AllerGen investigators Dr. Catherine Laprise and Dr. Christopher Carlsten have each been awarded a Canada Research Chair for their outstanding work in the field of asthma and allergies.
Dr. Laprise, a professor in the Fundamentals Sciences Department at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, has been awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Environment and Genetics of Respiratory Diseases and Allergy.
Dr. Laprise’s work focuses on identifying genes and gene variants associated with asthma and allergy. Her research sheds light on how environmental factors such as breastfeeding, exposure to allergens, tobacco or work-related exposures can influence the activity of genes and increase the risk of developing allergic disease. Dr. Laprise has worked on numerous AllerGen research projects and is a co-investigator with the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study.
Dr. Carlsten, an associate professor of medicine at The University of British Columbia (UBC), has been awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease. Dr. Carlsten’s research aims to understand the effects of inhaled pollutants on the lungs in order to better prevent and treat lung disease. Dr. Carlsten leads an AllerGen-funded project investigating the mechanisms by which traffic-related air pollution may worsen the lungs’ response to allergen.
The Canada Research Chair program was established by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in 2000 to help attract and retain top researchers in Canada. Drs Laprise and Carlsten are two of 150 new and renewed chairholders across the country receiving $138 million of new funding.