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Healthy Balance

7 Quick Questions with Pediatric Allergist Jonathan Hemler

Pediatric allergist Jonathan Hemler

As a pediatric allergist, Jonathan Hemler, MD, diagnoses and treats kids who have food allergies.

He also researches the causes and treatments of these allergies. He's especially interested in:

The organization Food Allergy Research & Education recently named UVA as a Discovery Center of Distinction. This recognizes our care for patients with food allergies. It also gives more people across the state opportunities to participate in food allergy research, Hemler says.

Meet a Charlottesville Pediatric Allergist

Hemler began practicing at UVA last year. Here, he answers our 7 Quick Questions about his background and why he loves being a pediatric allergist.

1. Why did you become a doctor?

I really wanted to dedicate my career to a vocation of service. I also love science and using science to help others. Medicine is the perfect merging of science and service, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.

2. Why did you choose your specialty?

Allergy/immunology is a fantastic specialty. I love the science of immunology and there is so much yet to be discovered in our field. There is a growing epidemic of allergic diseases in developed countries and therefore many patients who need our help.  

I love taking care of my patients and helping them feel better and live better.

3. What’s one thing about being a pediatric allergist that might surprise people?

I am privileged to get to know & follow my patients for months and even years.  I love developing these long-term relationships with my patients and families.

4. What’s the most exciting research happening in your field right now?

I specialize in pediatric food allergies, and the first FDA-approved product for food allergy just came out earlier this year. There are other exciting products for food allergies in the pipeline. My team and I are diligently working on improving diagnosis and treatment for this condition.  

We were recently named a FARE Food Allergy Discovery Center of Distinction and plan to bring cutting-edge food allergy research to the state of Virginia.

5. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee and also spent some time living overseas in Saudi Arabia.

Does Your Child Have Allergies?

Our pediatric allergists care for kids with environmental and food allergies, immune deficiencies, and respiratory issues.

6. Who is your inspiration or hero?

I gain inspiration from servant leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Teresa. I hope to emulate their example of service and love of their fellow man in my care for my patients and families.

7. What’s your favorite thing about working at UVA?

I love the team of people I get to work with here.  Everyone is so dedicated to helping improve the health of children.

View Transcript
Transcript:

My name is Jonathan Hemler and I am a pediatric allergist and immunologist. I see all kinds of different allergic patients in the clinic, but I mostly focus my practice on food allergies; specifically mediated-type food allergies. I've always wanted to help people, to make their lives better, to engage in research. I love science and so that's really what drew me into medicine. One of my big interests is research in food allergy and developing more of these types of medications to give patients options so that they can go on to have better quality of life and potentially a cure. What you can expect in the pediatric allergy clinic is a team-based approach where you see not only myself or another attending doctor, but trainees, residents, fellows, nurses and respiratory therapists. I love that my job involves working with kids every day. I get to high five them, see them laugh, and play with them. It's really very particularly rewarding, especially when I get to see them over time and really get to see their lives improve. Whether that be with getting their asthma treatment better, with finally being able to diagnose what's going on with their food allergies, getting their allergic symptoms better. It really is very rewarding and I really enjoy the long-term relationships I get to develop with my patients and their families.

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