AllerGen Success Stories
Post-Doc Opportunity at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute
The Centre for Allergy Research (CfA) of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, an AllerGen research partner, invites applications to a post-doctoral research position in Chemometrics, Biostatistics and ‘Omics data integration. The successful candidate will join the multidisciplinary ChAMP (CfA highlights Asthma Markers for Phenotyping) project, a collaboration between the Karolinska Institutet and AstraZeneca. The project employs an integrated approach to understanding disease and to developing predictive models in asthma, allergies and COPD.
The application deadline is January 15, 2014.
New Canadian guidelines on the introduction of potentially allergenic foods to babies
Delaying the introduction of potential “trigger” foods, such as peanut, fish or egg, beyond six months of age, does not prevent, and may even increase, the risk of developing food allergy, according to new guidelines from Canadian pediatricians and allergists. The position statement, issued jointly by the Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) and the Canadian Society of Clinical Immunology (CSACI) on December 2, 2013, has also been endorsed by the Dietitians of Canada.
Although parents may hold off introducing specific solid foods until the first year or even later—particularly for babies with a parent or sibling who has a food allergy or another allergic condition like eczema, asthma or hay fever—the current best evidence suggests there is no significant protective effect on allergy prevention.
The new Canadian recommendations, which also suggest that mothers should not restrict these foods from their diet during pregnancy or breastfeeding, are consistent with guidelines from the United States and Europe. Additional research on tolerance induction by introducing solid foods earlier than six months, is currently underway. Read the CPS/CSACI position statement.
“Bold innovation” to develop bronchitis test strip wins Grand Challenges Canada award
A project to develop a simple test strip to measure bronchitis in patients with asthma and COPD has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Grand Challenges Canada's global health care program.
Dr. Parameswaran Nair, an AllerGen investigator and the CIHR Canada Research Chair in Airway Inflammometry at McMaster University, has developed the test, which measures the quantity of eosinophil peroxidase (EPX), a protein that can be detected in sputum.
Dr. John Brennan, a Canada Research Chair in Bioanalytical Chemistry and the Director of McMaster University’s BioInterfaces Institute, is helping Dr. Nair transform the technology into a simple, paper-based strip by using novel “bio-inks.” The bioactive paper would offer an inexpensive, diagnostic test for infectious and allergic bronchitis that could be performed at home or in a doctor’s office.
“This frugal innovation, we hope will change the way airway diseases are managed globally, both in resource-poor and resource-high countries, and in both children and adults,” Dr. Nair explains in his online video about the project. He continues this work as a legacy to the late Dr. Freddy Hargreave who pioneered the use of sputum cell counts at the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health (Hamilton, Ontario) to treat patients with severe airway diseases. In the next phase of this research, Dr. Nair and Dr. Brennan plan to use the strip to study the treatment of bronchitis in India.
The project was one of 83 “creative, out-of-the-box ideas” selected for recognition from among 451 applications to Grand Challenges Canada—a federal agency dedicated to supporting bold ideas with big impact in global health. The award was announced November 21, 2013, and featured in The Hamilton Spectator and GlobalNews.
Development of the biosensor test strip is also supported by funding from a CIHR -NSERC grant through the Collaborative Health Research Program. Dr. Nair's research program is supported by AllerGen NCE.
“Modern Life versus microbes” article highlights CHILD Study
Postmedia News outlets, including the Montreal Gazette, The Province (BC), The Windsor Star and The Ottawa Citizen, recently highlighted AllerGen’s Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study and ongoing research on the importance of the human microbiome. AllerGen investigator, Dr. Stuart Turvey, and Dr. Brett Finlay, both professors at The University of British Columbia (UBC), were interviewed for the article, “Modern life versus microbes: Our obsession with clean living is harming us.”
Dr. Turvey leads the Vancouver arm of the CHILD Study—a birth cohort study of roughly 3,500 children in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario that investigates early-life influences contributing to the development of asthma and allergies.
Dr. Finlay’s UBC-based research lab is working with Dr. Turvey to explore how antibiotics affect the development of children’s microbiota and immune systems using samples obtained from CHILD Study participants.
AllerGen investigators share clinical expertise at food allergy fair
Allergy experts Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan and Dr. Yuka Asai gave free public lectures in front of a standing-room only crowd at a food allergy fair on Saturday, November 9, 2013, in Montréal.
Drs Ben-Shoshan and Asai answer questions at AQAA Food Allergy Fair.
Drs Ben-Shoshan and Asai, both AllerGen investigators from McGill University, discussed the genetic links to peanut allergy, the mechanisms of food allergies and the development of a new pan-Canadian database to track cases of anaphylaxis.
The event was hosted by the Quebec Food Allergy Association (AQAA) to promote awareness and understanding of food allergies and featured expert speakers, interactive workshops, kiosks and recipe demonstrations.
Clean Air Champions receives 2013 International Olympic Committee award
Clean Air Champions, an Ottawa-based national charity and an AllerGen partner, has been awarded the 2013 International Olympic Committee (IOC) World Sport and Environment Award. Deirdre Laframboise, co-founder and Executive Director of Clean Air Champions, accepted the award at the IOC World Conference on Sport and the Environment in Sochi.
Clean Air Champions is devoted to inspire Canadians to live more sustainable, active and healthier lifestyles and is the first Canadian charity to receive the prestigious award. Read more about the award and the upcoming Sochi Olympics at http://www.cleanairchampions.ca/
‘Salon’ for food allergies to be held in Montréal,
The Quebec Food Allergy Association (AQAA) will host its first annual ‘Salon for food allergies’ on Saturday, November 9, 2013. This free public fair will feature:
The Salon will be held at the Complexe Desjardins, Grande Place in Montréal from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 9. For more information and directions, visit the Quebec Food Allergy Association website at www.aqaa.qc.ca.
Hamilton Spectator features AllerGen researchers
Several AllerGen researchers were featured in “Picture of Health: The players and the innovators in Hamilton's health care sector,” part of the October 24 edition of The Hamilton Spectator.
“Working to stem the rising tide in allergies” highlights Dr. Judah Denburg’s research, which focuses on the underlying causes of asthma and allergy and the mechanisms of allergic inflammation, including the role played by cells in bone marrow.
“Unravelling why heart disease targets ethnic groups” describes Dr. Sonia Anand's work to shed light on how environmental, dietary and genetic factors influence the development of heart disease.
“Cracking the case on asthma’s rapid rise” features Dr. Paul O’Byrne’s research investigating why the number of children with asthma has quadrupled in the past 20 years.
The Hamilton Spectator health supplement is available online at http://www.thespec.com/hamilton-topics/4169063-picture-of-health.
Going gluten free under debate
There is no credible evidence to suggest that embracing a wheat- and gluten-free diet is a wise lifestyle choice—except for people with specific ailments such as celiac disease—according to a recent commentary by Professor Timothy Caulfield, an AllerGen investigator and a University of Alberta professor of health law and science policy.
“Gwyneth and Miley may believe gluten-free works wonders, but the science tells a different, more complex, story,” Professor Caulfield wrote, in a special commentary to the Star on October 18. Read Professor Caulfield’s commentary here.
AllerGen investigator wins prestigious Trudeau Fellowship
Professor Timothy Caulfield, a health law expert whose work debunks common health myths and informs the development of Canadian health and science policies, has been chosen as a 2013 Trudeau Fellowship recipient.
The fellowship, valued at $225,000 over three years, recognizes exceptional contributions in research, creativity and commitment to solving social issues important to Canada.
Professor Caulfield is the Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy and a professor at the University of Alberta. His research explores the legal, ethical and social implications of emerging health technologies, such as genetic testing and stem cell research; complementary and alternative medicine; the commercialization of research; and access to health care, among others.
He is also a Principal Investigator on several AllerGen research projects that broaden our understanding of how evidence can be used in the development of public policies and legislative initiatives relevant to the asthma and allergy community.
Established in 2001, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation supports outstanding scholars in four areas that relate to the life and work of former Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau: human rights and dignity; responsible citizenship; international affairs; and the environment. Each year, the Foundation selects up to five fellows who have demonstrated excellence in one or more of these thematic areas.
The 2013 Trudeau Fellowship winners were announced on October 16, 2013, at the Université de Montréal in Montréal, Québec.
A fond remembrance of an asthma and allergy pioneer
Dr. Redwan Moqbel, an internationally renowned authority on the pathophysiology of asthma, passed away on October 9, 2013, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, after a protracted battle with cancer. Dr. Moqbel, a longtime AllerGen NCE friend and colleague, was best known for his work to elucidate the immunobiology of human eosinophils and their potential role in airway disease. He was among the first to identify the immunological cell types that regulate asthma and allergy.
As a founding member of the AllerGen Board of Directors, a former Research Management Committee member and joint Theme Leader for the Diagnostics and Therapeutics research area, and as a Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator on numerous AllerGen research projects, including the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study, Dr. Moqbel provided vision and leadership to the entire AllerGen Network.
Dr. Moqbel leaves behind his wife, Shar Mitchell, as well as children, grandchildren, family, friends, and a scientific community in Canada and abroad who are saddened by his passing. An obituary can be viewed online at the Winnipeg Free Press.
Understanding the impact of maternal and infant nutrition in the first years of life
Dr. Sonia Anand
Dr. Sonia Anand, AllerGen Principal Investigator and Professor of Medicine at McMaster University, and a team of maternal/child health researchers from across Canada have recently received a $2 million grant to investigate the role of maternal and infant nutrition on the development of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardio-metabolic disorders, allergies and asthma.
The project, titled Understanding the impact of maternal and infant nutrition on infant/child health in the first 5 years of life, was ranked second in the competition and awarded a five-year grant through a Programmatic Grant Program in Food and Health sponsored by the CIHR Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes.
The study will explore how maternal nutrition interacts with genetic factors of the mother and fetus and the potential impacts on an infant’s risk of adverse health outcomes, including excess body fat, abnormal blood lipids and blood sugar, allergies and asthma.
Using data from four birth cohorts, including AllerGen’s Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study, the project aims to improve infant health outcomes in diverse Canadian populations, including Caucasians, South Asians, and Aboriginal people.
AllerGen trainees seated at Young Canadians Roundtable on Health
AllerGen trainees, Timothy Chung from the University of Toronto and Ryan Persaud from the University of Manitoba, are among a select group of 17- to 26-year-olds from across Canada chosen for The Sandbox Project’s inaugural Young Canadians Roundtable on Health (YCRH).
The YCRH brings together motivated young Canadians from coast-to-coast to coast in order to make real change to the health prospects of children and youth. This group will provide leadership in research, public debate and education on issues impacting the present and future health of Canadian youth, including injury prevention; mental health; growing, healthy bodies; and the environment.
Chung and Persaud both held AllerGen Summer Studentships in 2013. Timothy Chung worked with Dr. Brian Rowe at the University of Alberta on the management of acute asthma in an urban Emergency Medical Service. Under the supervision of Dr. Anita Kozyrskyj at the University of Alberta, Ryan Persaud’s research focused on the impact of perinatal infant antibiotic exposures on allergic outcomes in the Winnipeg cohort of AllerGen’s Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study.
Read more about the Young Canadians Roundtable on Health at https://www.facebook.com/YoungCanadiansRoundtableOnHealth?ref=stream
Dr. Douglas Barber to be inducted into Hamilton’s Gallery of Distinction
Dr. Douglas Barber
Dr. Douglas Barber, a leading Canadian businessman, entrepreneur, and a founding member of the AllerGen NCE Network Board of Directors has been named to Hamilton’s Gallery of Distinction. Dr. Barber co-founded Linear Technology Inc. in 1973 and developed the Burlington-based company into Gennum Corporation, a world leader in hearing aid microtechnology. Dr. Barber served as President and CEO of Gennum Corp. until his retirement in 2000.
Dr. Barber has made many significant contributions that have promoted the economic success and prosperity of the City of Hamilton, the Province of Ontario and contributed to the social and economic advancement of Canadians as a whole. He is an Honorary member of the Board of Governors and Professor-in-Residence at McMaster University, a founding member of the Hamilton Civic Coalition, a founding member of AllerGen’s Board of Directors, and was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2007. Dr. Barber was also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
The Hamilton Gallery of Distinction was founded in 1984 for the purpose of recognizing outstanding citizens who have made an indelible mark upon the city of Hamilton through their leadership, dedication and talent. Dr. Barber and six other distinguished community leaders will be inducted into the Gallery of Distinction in a ceremony to be held on November 12, 2013.
AllerGen trainees receive prestigious Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships
Two early career researchers from the Allergy, Genes and Environment (AllerGen NCE Inc.) Network, have been named 2013 Banting Postdoctoral Fellows. The fellowships, each valued at $70,000 per year for two years, are Canada’s most prestigious awards for post-doctoral research.
Drs Meghan Azad from the University of Alberta and Jeremy Hirota from the University of British Columbia have been recognized among an elite group of researchers who have demonstrated both research excellence and leadership in their fields of study. The announcement was made on September 23, 2013, by The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology), at Université Laval.
“Drs Azad and Hirota are exceptional early career scientists that are making substantial contributions to our understanding of the genetic and environmental influences of allergy and asthma,” said Dr. Judah Denburg, Scientific Director and CEO of AllerGen NCE Inc. Read more.
AllerGen trainee monitors pollution in ‘real time’
Natalia Mykhaylova, a PhD candidate in chemical engineering at the University of Toronto, is part of an AllerGen-funded research team that is developing an inexpensive air-quality monitoring device that could eventually be used to increase pollution monitoring across cities. By mounting the device on outdoor utility poles, placing it in homes, or even carrying a handheld version, this new technology will allow a more precise measurement of pollution levels.
The device is equipped with an array of sensors to monitor local concentrations of nitrogen oxide (NO2), ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM2.5) – pollutants known to contribute to the development of asthma and other chronic diseases.
Placing a network of monitors around a city would help to map the variability of air pollution across neighbourhoods and allow individuals to measure their personal exposure to pollutants in ‘real time’, according to Mykhaylova and Professor Greg Evans, an AllerGen Investigator who leads the study. This research is part of AllerGen’s Gene and Environment research platform under the subproject BEAM (Better Exposure Avoidance Measures), led by Dr. Jeff Brook. Read more.
Sweden’s Karolinska Insitutet Receives Funding for Anaphylaxis Research and Three Postdoctoral Positions
With the goal of better diagnosis and new treatments, the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, an AllerGen research partner, will investigate anaphylaxis and the risk factors associated with severe allergic reactions. This new research initiative, managed by Sweden’s Centre for Allergy Research (CfA), allows the hiring of three post-doctoral fellows for a period of two years. For full details on the research initiative and how to apply for the postdoctoral positions, CLICK HERE. The deadline for applications is September 16th, 2013.
1,500 Youth Athletes to Attend International Children’s Games
AllerGen NCE will raise awareness for asthma, allergies and anaphylaxis at the 47th annual International Children’s Games, which is expected to attract over 1,500 youth athletes from around the world from August 14 to 18, 2013 in Windsor, Ontario.
The Games have attracted over 35,200 participants representing 332 cities from 74 countries over 4 continents, and is now believed to be the largest gathering of young people taking part in sport in the world.
AllerGen will partner with The Sandbox Project – a national charity devoted to improving health outcomes of Canadian children with respect to injury prevention, obesity, mental health, and the environment. The Sandbox Project will erect the world’s largest sandbox on site at the Games, bringing everyone together in the sandbox for a common cause: making Canada the healthiest place in the world for children and youth to grow up.
AllerGen and CSACI to co-host Young Allergy Professionals Networking Reception at CSACI Scientific Meeting in Toronto
AllerGen Trainee’s Research Featured in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
August 2013 (Volume 132, Issue 2)
Childhood allergic rhinitis, traffic-related air pollution, and variability in the GSTP1, TNF, TLR2, and TLR4 genes: Results from the TAG Study
Elaine Fuertes, Michael Brauer, Elaina MacIntyre, Mario Bauer, Tom Bellander, Andrea von Berg, Dietrich Berdel, Bert Brunekreef, Moira Chan-Yeung, Ulrike Gehring,, Olf Herbarth, Barbara Hoffmann,Marjan Kerkhof, Claudia Klümper,,Sibylle Koletzko, Anita Kozyrskyj, Inger Kull, Erik MelénGöran Pershagen, Dirkje Postma, Carla M.T. Tiesler, Chris Carlsten
JACI, an official journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), features the latest, cutting-edge research in allergic diseases and clinical immunology. Articles cover topics on asthma, food allergy, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, primary immune deficiencies, occupational and environmental allergy, and other allergic and immunologic diseases.
AllerGen researcher, Dr. Parameswaran Nair
AllerGen researchers funded to develop paper-based biosensor
Dr. Parameswaran Nair and Dr. John Brennan of McMaster University have received a $600,000 award to develop a bioactive paper that aims to provide an inexpensive, point-of-care diagnostic tool for asthma and COPD.
The paper strip will measure the quantity of an eosinophil-specific protein secreted in sputum. Treatment strategies for asthma and COPD that are based on quantitative eosinophil cell counts provide significantly better outcomes than strategies guided by conventional assessments of symptoms and airflow.
NSERC and CIHR have provided $600,000 over a period of three years through the Collaborative Health Research Program to further Dr. Nair’s research on the biosensor.
Dr. Nair, an AllerGen Investigator, is the CIHR Canada Research Chair in Airway Inflammometry and Associate Professor of Medicine at McMaster University. Dr. Brennan is a Canada Research Chair in Bioanalytical Chemistry and the Director of McMaster's BioInterfaces Institute.
Anaphylaxis Canada Announces Pryde Family Travel Grant
In honour of the Pryde family, and Sean Delaney, who passed away in 2007 from a severe allergic reaction, Anaphylaxis Canada has established a Travel Grant in support of food allergy research and education programs.
Two travel grants valued at $500 each will be awarded for attendance at an academic program or event related to food allergies. Eligible applicants must be enrolled in medical or graduate studies in Canada or be an allied health professional working with allergists in Canada. The deadline to apply for the award is August 31, 2013. Recipients will be selected by lottery.
Click here for further details.
AllerGen Investigators and Trainees Featured in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Twelve AllerGen researchers are featured in the July issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), July 2013 (Volume 132, Issue 1).
JACI, an official journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), features the latest, cutting-edge research in allergic diseases and clinical immunology. Articles cover topics on asthma, food allergy, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, primary immune deficiencies, occupational and environmental allergy, and other allergic and immunologic diseases.
Articles by AllerGen researchers in the July issue:
- Comparative outcomes of leukotriene receptor antagonists and long-acting β-agonists as add-on therapy in asthmatic patients: A population-based study. Click Here
Mohsen Sadatsafavi, Larry Lynd, Carlo Marra, Pierrick Bedouch, Mark FitzGerald
- Asthma in the real world. Click Here
Paul M. O'Byrne
- What is an “eosinophilic phenotype” of asthma? Click Here
- Filaggrin gene mutation associations with peanut allergy persist despite variations in peanut allergy diagnostic criteria or asthma status. Click Here
Yuka Asai, Celia Greenwood, Peter R. Hull, Reza Alizadehfar, Moshe Ben-Shoshan, Sara J. Brown, Linda Campbell, Deborah L. Michel, Johanne Bussières, François Rousseau, T. Mary Fujiwara, Kenneth Morgan, Alan D. Irvine, W.H. Irwin McLean, Ann Clarke
CHILD Study featured in International Innovation
The groundbreaking research being conducted by Dr. Malcolm Sears and collaborators on the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study is featured in a three-page article in the April 2013 issue of International Innovation magazine.
In an engaging interview, Dr. Sears discusses his research interests and explains how CHILD explores the role and interplay of environmental and genetic factors in the development of asthma and allergy. According to Dr. Sears, preliminary CHILD Study findings reveal that by one year of age, mould is present in 40% of homes examined; more than 10 percent of children had experienced recurrent wheezing; 16 percent had positive skin allergy tests; 14 percent had atopic dermatitis; and 6 percent reported a food allergy.
International Innovation is a leading global dissemination resource for the wider scientific, technology and research communities. To download the pdf of the full interview, click here.
Dr. Malcolm Sears
Dr. Malcolm Sears Speaks to CBC’s Ontario Today
On Thursday, June 27, 2013, AllerGen Research Leader, Dr. Malcolm Sears, spoke with Kathleen Petty, the host of CBC Radio’s Ontario Today about the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study. Dr. Sears discussed the benefits of studying the interplay of environmental and genetic factors in the development of asthma and allergy for all Canadians. The entire program can be heard on the CBC Radio website at http://www.cbc.ca/ontariotoday/#igImgId_73729.
Sunday, June 23, 2013 - Dr. Paul Keith, President, Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - Dr. Judah Denburg, Scientific Director, AllerGen NCE Inc.
AllerGen Investigators Present at European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) and World Allergy Organization (WAO) Congress in Milan, Italy
Sunday, June 23, 2013 - Dr. Paul Keith, President, Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - Dr. Judah Denburg, Scientific Director, AllerGen NCE Inc.
Also presenting at the Congress are fellows-in-training, Dr. Andrew O’Keefe, McGill University and Dr. Gina Tsai, Western University. Both are members of AllerGen’s Students and New Professionals Network.
For more information on EAACI-WAO Congress 2013, click here.
AllerGen researcher receives $100,000 award for non-invasive asthma test
AllerGen researcher Dr. Darryl Adamko of the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Alberta, is a 2013 recipient of a $100,000 federal Grand Challenges Canada grant through the “Stars in Global Health” program. Dr. Adamko has developed a simple urine test that can detect tissue damage and reduced lung function caused by asthma and allergies. The test detects unique markers in the body which are excreted in the urine. As Dr. Adamko explains his work: “Diagnosing and treating respiratory diseases, especially in lower income countries, is difficult. Often doctors just give trials of therapy hoping something will work. We have been developing a test to diagnose respiratory diseases using urine samples.”
Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting bold ideas with significant impact in global health, and funds innovative research that addresses “a specific critical barrier that, if removed, would help solve an important health problem in the developing world, with a high likelihood of global impact through widespread implementation.”
See a brief interview with Dr. Adamko on the Grand Challenges website: http://www.grandchallenges.ca/grantee-stars/0203-01/ or read more about his receipt of the award here: http://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/four-u-of-s-researchers-receive-federal-grants-1.1262880
Dr. Darryl Adamko (photo courtesy of CTV Saskatoon)
AllerGen researchers at McMaster featured in Globe and Mail Supplement
Foods that are harmless to most people may trigger anaphylaxis—a sudden, life-threatening reaction – in sensitized (or allergic) individuals. Dr. Manel Jordana and Dr. Susan Waserman, AllerGen investigators and professors at McMaster University, are trying to find out what causes the body’s immune system to respond inappropriately to certain foods, in particular peanuts— the most common cause of food-related anaphylaxis.
In a May 15th special supplement of The Globe and Mail newspaper on allergies and anaphylaxis, the researchers described their investigations into the causes of peanut allergy through experimentation on mice. The article can be read in full here.
AllerGen 2013 Scientific Meeting, King City, ON, June 7 to 10, 2013
The AllerGen Scientific Meeting brings together over 100 outstanding Canadian researchers and new professionals specializing in the areas of allergy, asthma and related immune diseases. The event shines a spotlight on scientific exchange which will help to catalyze new ideas, new collaborations, new commercialization opportunities, and new strategies to influence public policy, improve quality of life and contribute to a reduced morbidity, mortality and socioeconomic burden of allergy, asthma and anaphylaxis.
Dr. Claude Roy inducted into Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
Dr. Claude Roy, a pioneer of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, and a former member of AllerGen NCE’s Board of Directors, has been inducted into The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Known as an outstanding researcher, clinician, teacher and mentor, Dr. Roy is a Professor Emeritus at the Université de Montréal and a gastroenterologist at CHU Sainte-Justine, the largest mother and child centre in Canada. His visionary research on infant nutrition, chronic liver disease in children, and gastrointestinal and hepatobilliary manifestations of Cystic Fybrosis, has helped children overcome severe illnesses and advanced the study of pediatric gastroenterology to a vibrant and valued medical subspecialty. Established in 1994, The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame—the only one of its kind in the world—is dedicated to celebrating medical heroes. On May 2, 2013, Dr. Roy was one of six of Canada's distinguished medical leaders inducted into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony in Halifax, N.S. Read about Dr. Roy and the other 2013 inductees at http://www.cdnmedhall.org/six-medical-heroes-have-been-inducted-hall-fame.
Dr. Claude Roy (centre) inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
AllerGen HQP meet in Montréal
Dr. Phil Gold speaks to AllerGen trainees AllerGen students and new professionals from across Canada attended the AllerGen Trainee Symposium, May 2-4, 2013 in Montréal, QC. This annual event is part of AllerGen’s strategic goal to create value-added opportunities for the training, education and professional development of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) working in the field of allergy, asthma and anaphylaxis research. The symposium allows for skill and knowledge acquisition to enhance career development and complement academic and scientific training while fostering networking and collaboration among trainees and young professionals. In addition to dynamic workshops on presentation skills, the job search, reference letters and knowledge translation, the symposium facilitated face-to-face interactions with Montréal’s leading researchers and clinician-scientists. A highlight of the three-day symposium was an address by McGill University Professor and Canadian Medical Hall of Fame inductee, Dr. Phil Gold.
Dr. Phil Gold speaks to AllerGen trainees
AllerGen students and new professionals from across Canada attended the AllerGen Trainee Symposium, May 2-4, 2013 in Montréal, QC. This annual event is part of AllerGen’s strategic goal to create value-added opportunities for the training, education and professional development of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) working in the field of allergy, asthma and anaphylaxis research. The symposium allows for skill and knowledge acquisition to enhance career development and complement academic and scientific training while fostering networking and collaboration among trainees and young professionals. In addition to dynamic workshops on presentation skills, the job search, reference letters and knowledge translation, the symposium facilitated face-to-face interactions with Montréal’s leading researchers and clinician-scientists. A highlight of the three-day symposium was an address by McGill University Professor and Canadian Medical Hall of Fame inductee, Dr. Phil Gold.
AllerGen HQP from the University of Calgary
Taking ‘control’ on World Asthma Day
Did you know? World Asthma Day 2013 will be held on May 7, 2013. The theme of this year’s event, “You Can Control Your Asthma,” focuses on improving control of the disease and reducing hospitalizations for asthma worldwide. World Asthma Day is an annual awareness-raising event organized and sponsored by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). For more information about achieving asthma control and World Asthma Day, please visit http://www.ginasthma.org/World-Asthma-Day
Did you know?
World Asthma Day 2013 will be held on May 7, 2013. The theme of this year’s event, “You Can Control Your Asthma,” focuses on improving control of the disease and reducing hospitalizations for asthma worldwide. World Asthma Day is an annual awareness-raising event organized and sponsored by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA).
For more information about achieving asthma control and World Asthma Day, please visit http://www.ginasthma.org/World-Asthma-Day
UBC and McGill professors shed light on food and environmental allergies during dynamic Café Scientifiques.
Allergy experts from two Canadian universities gave free public lectures, known as ‘Café Scientifiques,’ on April 29, 2013, in recognition of World Immunology Day.
In Vancouver, over 80 community members gathered at the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens to participate in the Café Scientifique, ‘Allergies-what can be done?’ Hosted by the Child & Family Research Institute and the CIHR Human Immunology Network, and co-sponsored by AllerGen NCE, the event offered refreshments, exhibitor displays and the opportunity for the public to interact with leading allergy researchers and clinicians. AllerGen researchers, Drs Stuart Turvey and Edmond Chan, along with University of British Columbia Clinical Instructor, Dr. Amin Kanani and moderator, Dr. Rusung Tan, discussed current advances in the fields of immunology and allergy and then opened the floor for an extensive question and answer period.
At the Café Scientifique, ‘Allergies-what are they all about?’ held in Montreal at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Drs Christine McCusker and Mathieu Picard explored the facts and myths surrounding allergic disease in front of a standing-room only crowd. Co-sponsored by AllerGen NCE, the public outreach evening was presented by the McGill University Health Centre, Centre Hospitalier de L’université de Montréal and the CIHR Human Immunology Network.
A national research network, AllerGen is committed to supporting and fostering public engagement with researchers and clinician-scientists to improve the quality of life for Canadians impacted by allergic disease, asthma and anaphylaxis.
Café Scientifique in Montréal, April 29
Café Scientifique in Vancouver, April 29
Global climate change affecting pollen counts
An interview with Dr. Anne Ellis on Kingston morning radio show.
Dr. Anne Ellis, an AllerGen investigator and an Associate Professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, spoke with the hosts of a local radio station about seasonal allergies. Dr. Ellis discussed how global climate change is affecting the amount of pollen we are exposed to, new research into cures for allergies and current treatments available for allergy sufferers. Listen to the interview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-PGH0li55U
Dr. Anne Ellis, an AllerGen investigator and an Associate Professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, spoke with the hosts of a local radio station about seasonal allergies. Dr. Ellis discussed how global climate change is affecting the amount of pollen we are exposed to, new research into cures for allergies and current treatments available for allergy sufferers.
Listen to the interview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-PGH0li55U
AllerGen will also collaborate with the McGill University Health Centre and other partners to host a Café Scientifique – Allergies at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montréal, QC. View the event flyer.
Both of these Café Scientifiques will bring an outstanding panel of Canadian clinicians and researchers together with the local community to share and explore information about allergies.
AllerGen investigator interviewed on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning during World Allergy Week.
On April 8, 2013, Dr. Susan Waserman, an AllerGen investigator and an allergist and clinical immunologist at McMaster University Medical Centre, spoke with Matt Galloway on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning during World Allergy Week. Dr. Waserman discussed why the prevalence of allergies is on the rise, particularly in North America and Europe, and answered questions on diagnosis, prevention and ongoing clinical research into allergies. Listen to the interview at cbc.ca
On April 8, 2013, Dr. Susan Waserman, an AllerGen investigator and an allergist and clinical immunologist at McMaster University Medical Centre, spoke with Matt Galloway on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning during World Allergy Week.
Dr. Waserman discussed why the prevalence of allergies is on the rise, particularly in North America and Europe, and answered questions on diagnosis, prevention and ongoing clinical research into allergies.
Listen to the interview at cbc.ca
Stop Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis campaign
The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) launched its Stop Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis campaign to enhance awareness of the prevalence of food allergy in the European community and highlight the increase in anaphylaxis, particularly in children.
The campaign runs from June 2012 to June 2013. As part of the initiative, the EAACI published a European Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Public Declaration and helpful educational materials, including a free Allergy Travel Card, Allergy Body Guide and Pollen Counts World Map.
View the Stop Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis campaign and its materials at http://infoallergy.com
April 8-14, 2013 is World Allergy Week
World Allergy Week 2013, hosted by the World Allergy Organization (WAO), addresses the theme of “Food Allergy – A Rising Global Health Problem.” The prevalence of food allergy is rising, especially in children, in both developed and developing countries. In 2012, a nationwide study found that about 2.5 million Canadians, or one in every 13 people, suffer from a significant food allergy. This year, World Allergy Week highlights the need for greater awareness and understanding of food allergy as well as the exchange of ideas and collaboration in order to address a variety of safety and quality-of-life issues related to the care of patients with food sensitivity. Resources and information about World Allergy Week are available online at http://www.worldallergy.org
World Allergy Week 2013, hosted by the World Allergy Organization (WAO), addresses the theme of “Food Allergy – A Rising Global Health Problem.”
The prevalence of food allergy is rising, especially in children, in both developed and developing countries. In 2012, a nationwide study found that about 2.5 million Canadians, or one in every 13 people, suffer from a significant food allergy.
This year, World Allergy Week highlights the need for greater awareness and understanding of food allergy as well as the exchange of ideas and collaboration in order to address a variety of safety and quality-of-life issues related to the care of patients with food sensitivity. Resources and information about World Allergy Week are available online at http://www.worldallergy.org
Preventing children’s seasonal asthma spikes: What parents, teachers and the public need to know
AllerGen's Café Scientifique public forum on seasonal asthma spikes connected parents, educators and the community with experts on asthma and allergy.
Free public lecture, The Global Allergy Epidemic, Nature & Nurture, April 6, 2013.
Almost one in three Canadians suffers from some allergic illness. Dr. Judah Denburg, Professor of Clinical Immunology & Allergy at McMaster University and Scientific Director of the allergy research network AllerGen, examines this ‘epidemic’ and provides insights into the relationship between individual and environmental factors.
AllerGen researchers find infant gut bacteria is influenced by delivery and feeding methods and may have long-term health effects
In an article published February 11, 2013 by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), AllerGen trainee and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Meghan Azad, and AllerGen researcher Dr. Anita Kozyrskyj, University of Alberta, found that infant gut microbiota was influenced by method of delivery (vaginal vs. cesarean) and feeding method (breastfeeding vs. formula). Gut microbiota play a crucial role in the maturation of the immune system, as well as bodily functions such as digestion, excretion, and protection from infections. Alteration of microbiota during early life has been linked to chronic diseases such as asthma, allergies, cancer and type II diabetes.
Click here to see national and international media coverage.
AllerGen Emerging Clinician-Scientist Fellowship Award
AllerGen NCE Inc is pleased to announce that Dr. Philippe Bégin from the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) and the Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine (CHU Sainte-Justine) in Montreal, Quebec has been awarded the prestigious AllerGen Emerging Clinician-Scientist Research Fellowship Award in the amount of $250.000. This award is an innovative solution to the critical shortage of allergy and clinical immunology expertise in Canada and the need to enable newly trained Canadian Clinical Immunologists and Allergists to pursue allergy, asthma and anaphylaxis academic research training.
Thank you to everyone who attended AllerGen's third Café Scientifique - A public forum on Preventing children’s seasonal asthma spikes: What parents, teachers and the public need to know on Thursday November 29, 2012 at the Halton Regional Centre, Oakville, ON Canada.
We appreciated your feedback:
“Congratulations and bouquets to you and your organization team for putting together an outstanding information session for parents and educators. Everything, (the speakers, the food, the promotional information, sample resources and the very welcoming atmosphere you and your team provided to all who attended, was first class. I appreciated the opportunity of attending and learning much more about asthma and its effects on children and youth.”
“An excellent panel of experts, take home resources, open forum, food and drink”
“Thanks again for a great event.”
Thank you to our expert panelists, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Infection and Immunity and our community partners who helped make this event possible:
Related media to date include:
Stay tuned for the web video!
AllerGen will be attending:
Keystone Symposia on Lung Development, Cancer and Disease
February 5-10, 2013, Taos, New Mexico
EAACI Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Meeting
February 7-9, 2013, Nice, France
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI)
February 22-26, 2013, San Antonio, Texas,
FOCIS - Advanced Course in Basic and Clinical Immunology
February 24-28, 2013 Scottsdale, Arizona
European Research Society's Lung Science Conference 12th Annual RE$EARCH MONEY Conference On Friday, March 23, 2012, during an announcement cere
March 15-17, 2013, Estoril, Portugal
Budget 2013: Checking the Pulse of Canada's Innovation Policies
April 9-10, 2013, National Arts Centre, Ottawa
AllerGen NCE Receives $36.5 million for Allergy, Genes and Environment Research to 2019
European Research Society's Lung Science Conference
12th Annual RE$EARCH MONEY Conference
On Friday, March 23, 2012, during an announcement cere