A Decade of Exemplary Service to the Community
When Mary Jane Marchisotto first joined the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI), she brought with her 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and little to no experience in food allergy. But while her knowledge of the space at the time was limited at the time of her joining FAI, she had an unbounded dedication to advancing research toward a cure for this potentially life-threatening disease.
She quickly became an expert in her new field and over the last decade, has amassed a long list of accomplishments that have made an immeasurable impact on the food allergy community.
This week, as Mary Jane winds down her time as Senior Vice President of Research and International Operations at FARE, we pay tribute to her career at FARE, which began in the fall of 2009.
“I went into an area that I knew nothing about,” Mary Jane recalls. “I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to work with renowned researchers around the world and to get to know so many families affected by this disease.”
Mary Jane arrived at FAI after devoting her first career to financial management issues, working in senior positions at major global investment banks including Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. As Executive Director of FAI, she not only led the organization, but helped put it on the map, garnering attention for its research vision and collaboration with research pioneers.
She then played an instrumental role in the creation of FARE, the result of a 2012 merger with the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. During her time at FARE, Mary Jane led the research grant program, working with the country’s most respected food allergy researchers to help shape FARE’s renowned research portfolio, launched the first Research Retreat, created the FARE Outcomes Research Advisory Board to bring the patient perspective to the research agenda, chaired the International Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Alliance, which FARE co-founded, spearheaded the FARE Patient Registry Project and played a key role in the establishment of the FARE Clinical Network.
Under Mary Jane’s leadership, FARE has funded a number of innovative food allergy studies in the areas of prevention, prevalence, quality of life and treatment, such as oral immunotherapy and sublingual immunotherapy.
Behind the scenes, she was the driving force behind the National Academies consensus report on food allergy, worked to secure insurance coverage for oral food challenges and launched the first Research Retreat at FARE. She is also a published author, having collaborated with researchers such as Drs. Ruchi Gupta and Linda Herbert on peer-reviewed studies about labeling and mental health services, respectively.
Mary Jane serves as Chair of the Patient Organization Committee of the European Academy of Allergy and Immunology and served as a member of the Adverse Reactions Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology as well as the Sharing Clinical Trial Data Action Collaborative of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
In April at the FARE Research Retreat, she was presented with a “Contains: Courage™Award for 10 years of service to the organization.
“Mary Jane’s illustrious career at FARE includes so many impressive highlights, and we are incredibly grateful for all that she has done at FARE and for the food allergy community,” said FARE CEO Lisa Gable. “She will be greatly missed.”
Mary Jane will be leaving the organization effective July 22, but will continue efforts on behalf of the food allergy community, including work in the international realm.
“I am very proud of all that has been accomplished during the last decade both at FARE and in the world of food allergies. During that time, I have forged many friendships and have received inspiration from colleagues, researchers, patients and others dealing with food allergies. I look forward to future collaborations and to working on behalf of the food allergic community globally,” Mary Jane said.