One in three Canadians is directly affected by allergic disease—nearly three million people suffer from asthma, approximately 7.5% of Canadians self-report a food allergy and an estimated 21,000 Canadians die each year due to air pollution. The associated healthcare and economic burden reaches billions of dollars each year and more research is needed, both in terms of understanding and treating these diseases.
AllerGen NCE Inc. (AllerGen), the Allergy, Genes and Environment Network, is a national research network established in 2004 by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada) through the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program to address these growing problems.
AllerGen unites Canada’s leading experts in allergic diseases and asthma. Working in trans-disciplinary and multi-sectoral teams, and in partnership with organizations and stakeholders across sectors, AllerGen addresses gaps in knowledge and seizes opportunities to generate new preventive strategies, diagnostic tests, therapeutic approaches, medications, public policies and patient education to reduce the morbidity, mortality and socio-economic impacts of allergy, asthma, anaphylaxis and related immune diseases.
AllerGen also invests in training the next generation of researchers, innovators and clinician-scientists. By assimilating students and young professionals into multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral research and clinical training environments at over 20 sites across Canada, AllerGen’s HQP (Highly Qualified Personnel) training program creates value-added, capacity building opportunities that promote knowledge acquisition, national and international networking, and the development of professional skill sets that enhance employment opportunities for graduates.