The mandate of the ASNPN Executive Committee is to enhance research and professional networking opportunities for AllerGen research trainees, research staff and new professionals. The ASNPN Executive Committee comprises a maximum of 10 elected members and a past President. The Executive Committee is a national, multidisciplinary team, representing different regions, official languages, educational levels and AllerGen Legacy Projects and Enabling Platforms.
ASNPN Executive Committee (2015-2016)
President - Amrit Singh, The University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia
Dr. Singh is a post-doctoral fellow at the PROOF (Prevention of Organ Failure) Centre, working under Dr. Bruce McManus. He received his PhD in Experimental Medicine in 2016, under the supervision of Dr. Scott Tebbutt, focusing on blood-based biomarkers predictive of the late-phase asthmatic response in subjects undergoing allergen inhalation challenge, as part of the AllerGen Clinical Investigator Collaborative. His research has been published in many journals, including PLOS ONE, BMC Genomics, Proteomics – Clinical Applications and Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Dr. Singh is the recipient of a CIHR Doctoral award, a Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement and an AllerGen Research Skills Acquisition Award. Prior to becoming President, Dr. Singh served on the ASNPN Leadership Committee as Pacific Director for two terms.
Vice-President - Laura Feldman, Hospital for Sick Children
Hospital for Sick Children
Laura received her B.Sc. in Environment and Health from The University of Toronto in 2014, and her Masters of Public Health degree from The Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, in 2016. From 2011 to 2016, Laura was supervised by AllerGen investigator Dr. Teresa To, focusing on asthma surveillance and the identification of risk factors for asthma. Through this work, Laura developed expertise in the use of health administrative data for epidemiological research, and also developed an interest in the growing field of spatial epidemiology—a field she hopes to explore further.
In 2015, Laura received an International Trainee Research Visit grant from AllerGen to conduct a 4-month-long research project at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, under the supervision of Dr. Anna Bergström; the aim of her project was to assess the impact of early-life exposures to secondhand smoke on the risk of developing food hypersensitivity into adolescence. Laura is also a three-time recipient of the AllerGen Undergraduate Summer Studentship, and she previously served as a member-at-large.
Laura is presently working, for a one-year term, with Dr. To at the Hospital for Sick Children.
Events Director - Leah Graystone, University of Waterloo
University of Waterloo
Leah received her B.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences from Brock University in 2013. She is presently an M.Sc. student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. Leah’s broad research interests focus on experiences and perceptions of the management of anaphylactic allergies. Under the supervision of Dr. Nancy Fenton, Leah’s thesis examines school-based anaphylaxis management policies; in particular, the implementation and implications of school policies on the lives of at-risk children, teachers, parents and other individuals.
Communications Director - Mena Soliman, Boehringer Ingelheim
Mena completed his M.Sc. in Immunology and Microbiology at Queen’s University, under the supervision of Dr. Anne Ellis, in 2016. His research focused on optimizing Nasal Allergen Challenge (NAC) protocols to study the pathophysiology of allergic rhinitis (AR) as well as the effect of novel medications on AR. Mena also worked on phenotyping the AR response and identifying the nasal biomarkers for each phenotype. The optimized model is part of the AR–Clinical Investigator Collaborative (AR-CIC) of the AllerGen network, which aims to implement the NAC model for use in multi-centre clinical trials.
Mena completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MB ChB) degree at the Kasr Al-Ainy School of Medicine of the University of Cairo in Egypt. He has also completed elective training in several specialities at Toronto Western Hospital (University of Toronto), St. Joseph’s Hospital (McMaster University), and McMaster Children’s Hospital.
Mena is now Medical Science Liaison – Respiratory for Boehringer Ingelheim
Pacific Director - Jasemine Yang, The University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia
Jasemine received her B. Sc. in Cell Biology and Genetics from The University of British Columbia (UBC). Currently, Jasemine is a PhD candidate in Experimental Medicine working under the supervision of Dr. Delbert Dorscheid at UBC’s Centre for Heart Lung Innovation. Her research focuses on mechanisms of normal airway epithelial repair and examining defects in these processes that contribute to the pathogenesis of asthma. Specifically, she is investigating the role of interleukin-13 receptors in normal airway epithelial repair and identifying relevant phenotypic markers in these signaling pathways that can be used to better phenotype asthmatic patients for biologic therapies.
An AllerGen CAIDATI award recipient, Jasemine has been an active member of the ASNPN and AllerGen-NCE for several years.
Central Director - Vivek Gandhi, University of Alberta
University of Alberta
Vivek received his B.Sc. from Bhavnagar University and M.Sc. in Microbiology from Sardar Patel University in India. Currently, Vivek is a Ph.D. student in Experimental Medicine at the University of Alberta under the supervision of Dr. Harissios Vliagoftis. His research focuses on understanding the expression regulation of a pro-inflammatory receptor called Proteinase Activated Receptor-2 (PAR-2) on airway epithelium in asthma.
Ontario Director - Elizabeth Simms, McMaster University
Elizabeth is an MD/PhD student at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Mark Larché. Prior to joining the MD/PhD program, she completed an M.Sc. supervised by Dr. Larché and Dr. Parameswaran Nair, in which she examined the role of allergen in driving T-cell cytokine responses in asthmatic patients. For her Ph.D. thesis, she is investigating the use of peptide immunotherapy for the treatment of peanut allergy. Clinically, Elizabeth is interested in immune-mediated pathology and the role of immune system in health and disease.
Québec/Atlantic Director - Cynthia Kanagaratham, McGill University
Cynthia completed her Bachelor of Science (Immunology) at McGill University and is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Danuta Radzioch. Her research focuses on identifying candidate genes for allergic asthma phenotypes, such as atopy and airway hyperresponsiveness, in order to map how these phenotypes are genetically related and distinct. Cynthia also researches the use of novel compounds, such as toll like receptor ligands and vitamin A derivatives, for treating allergic asthma. Cynthia has received research training awards from AllerGen, CIHR and FRSQ doctoral awards.
Member-at-large - Kyla Jamieson, University of Calgary
University of Calgary
Kyla is a Ph.D. candidate at University of Calgary under the supervision of Dr. David Proud. Her project focuses on the epithelial innate immune response to concurrent bacterial and viral exposure in the lungs and how this response may be altered in respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Kyla joined ASNPN in 2012 as an undergraduate student at McMaster University, working as a co-op student for Dr. Proud.
Member-at-large - Mark Tenn, Queen's University
Mark is a Masters of Science candidate at Queen’s University under the supervision of AllerGen investigator Dr. Anne Ellis. Mark’s research interests include immunology, allergic airway diseases and food allergies, particularly peanut-induced anaphylaxis. Mark joined the ASNPN in 2014, while an undergraduate student at McMaster University. In 2015, Mark received an AllerGen Summer Studentship and worked with McMaster professors Dr. Mark Larché and Dr. Susan Waserman on “Peptide immunotherapy for prevention of peanut sensitization in a murine model.”.