Past ASNPN Executives

2015-17 | 2014-15 | 2013-14 | 2012-13 | 2010-11 | 2009-10

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ASNPN Executive Committee (2015-2017)

President - Amrit Singh, The University of British Columbia

Amrit SinghAmrit Singh, PhD, ASNPN President


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

feldmanLaura Feldman, ASNPN Vice-President


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


leah_sLeah Graystone, ASNPN Events Director


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-sMena Soliman, Communications Director


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

JasemineJasemine Yang, Pacific Director


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


vivek-gVivek Gandhi, Central Director (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba)


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


simmsElizabeth Simms, Ontario Director


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


CynthiaCynthia Kanagaratham, Québec/Atlantic Director


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

KylaKyla Jamieson, Member-at-large


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

TennMark Tenn, Member-at-large


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.”.


Member-at-large - Erika Ladouceur, University of Alberta

EricaErika Ladouceur , Member-at-large


University of Alberta


Erika is an undergraduate student in Psychology with Thompson River University. Since 2013, Erika has worked under the supervision of Dr. Miriam Stewart in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, developing online peer/professional support programs for families across Canada who live with asthma and allergies. Working with Dr. Stewart and the Social Support Research Program team, Erika has developed materials for an online support program for aboriginal youth and is currently running online support programs for vulnerable children and their parents. Erika hopes to build a career where she can continue to mentor youth and families living with asthma and allergies and develop more resources to help families cope with, and manage, life with asthma and allergies.


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ASNPN Executive Committee (2014-2015)

President - Lianne Soller, McGill University


lianne-sollerLianne Soller, ASNPN President


McGill University


Lianne successfully defended her PhD in Epidemiology, completed under the supervision of Dr. Ann Clarke, at McGill University in April 2015. Her research, for which she has been awarded an FRQS Doctoral Award, focuses on the prevalence and treatment of food allergy in Canada.


Lianne was an inaugural winner of AllerGen’s International Research Visit Award; for six months starting September 2013, she worked with Drs Jonathan Hourihane and Audrey Dunn Galvin at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland.


Lianne has served on the ASNPN Leadership Committee as Vice-President and Regional Director for Québec and the Atlantic provinces prior to this role. This is her third term as ASNPN President.

Vice-President - Pia Reece, Sim & McBurney IP


pia2Pia-Lauren Reece, ASNPN Vice-President


Sim & McBurney IP


Pia received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and her Ph.D. in Medical Sciences (Immunology) from McMaster University. Her thesis, supervised by Dr. Judah Denburg, involved investigating the mechanisms of stem cell differentiation in relation to both microbial influences and maternal atopy (i.e., surrogate measure of infant-allergic risk). This work has been published in PLOS One, Immunology and the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and has been presented at national and international meetings.


She completed a postdoctoral fellowship investigating whether gene expression profiles in differentiating cord blood progenitor cells may serve as molecular “biomarkers” of infant atopic risk, co-supervised by Drs Judah Denburg and Guillaume Paré and involving collaboration with AllerGen investigators of the Canadian Healthy Individual Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study.


Pia commenced a position as patent agent with Sim & McBurney IP in March 2015.


This is her third term as ASNPN Vice-President.


Events Director - Leah Shaver, University of Waterloo


leah_sLeah Shaver, ASNPN Events Director


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, Queen's University


mena-sMena Soliman, Communications Director


Queen’s University


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 currently an M.Sc. student in Immunology and Microbiology at Queen’s University, supervised by Dr. Anne Ellis.


His research is 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 is also working 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.


Pacific Director - Amrit Singh, The University of British Columbia

Amrit_headshotV2Amrit Singh, Pacific Director


The University of British Columbia


Amrit graduated from McMaster University in 2010 with a B.Sc. in Biology and Mathematics. Amrit is currently a Ph.D. student in Experimental Medicine under the supervision of Dr. Scott Tebbutt. His main research focus is on discriminating allergen-induced isolated early and dual responders by using various ‘omics’ data sets derived from peripheral blood, as part of the AllerGen Clinical Investigator Collaborative. Amrit is also a trainee at the PRevention of Organ Failure (PROOF) Centre. This is his second term as Pacific Director.


Central Director - Vivek Gandhi, University of Alberta


vivek-gVivek Gandhi, Central Director (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba)


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


simmsElizabeth Simms, Ontario Director


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 Drs. Mark Larché and 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. Elizabeth hopes to build a career that will blend hands-on patient care with her interest in clinically focused research.


Québec/Atlantic Director - Stephanie Nairn, McGill University


nairnStephanie Nairn, Québec/Atlantic Director


McGill University


Stephanie is a Ph.D. student in the Social Studies of Medicine, Bioethics and Sociology Department. She completed her Master’s degree at Queen’s University in Sociology and studied the everyday experience of food allergy and food intolerance. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of sociology, psychology and biological studies of health and illness. Stephanie is a research assistant on a number of different projects at McGill. She is interested in the social construction of scientific, medical and individuals’ knowledge about food allergy and intolerance and uses social theory and ethnographic methodologies to explore these phenomena. She also researches the experience of chronic stress, its impacts on health, and the ways in which individuals become resilient to adverse health and illness via access to social support. This is her second term as Québec/Atlantic Director.


Member-at-large - Carlo de Olim Rugginenti, University of Montreal


olimCarlo de Olim Rugginenti, Member-at-large


University of Montréal


Carlo currently studies in the Biomedical Sciences Masters Degree program under the supervision of Drs Catherine Lemière and Michel Gérin. His research interests include the evaluation of qualitative assessment methods of occupational exposures in work-related asthma. Carlo received his B.Sc. in Biomedical Sciences with a specialty in Clinical Biochemistry from the University of Mogi das Cruzes in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Following the completion of his B.Sc., he worked as a medical laboratory technician in clinical pathology and anatomic pathology laboratories. Aside from his interest in epidemiology and clinical biochemistry, Carlo also has a strong interest in the knowledge translation of research results. This is his second term as Member-at-Large.


Member-at-large - Laura Feldman, University of Toronto


feldmanLaura Feldman, Member-at-large


University of Toronto


Laura is an MPH student studying Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Laura received her B.Sc. in Environment and Health from the University of Toronto in 2014. Since 2011, Laura has worked under the supervision of AllerGen investigator Dr. Teresa To, focusing on asthma surveillance and the identification of risk factors for asthma. Working with Dr. To, Laura has developed an interest in the growing field of spatial epidemiology—a field she hopes to explore further over the course of her graduate studies. Laura is a three-time recipient of the AllerGen Undergraduate Summer Studentship.