Dr. Frances Silverman, Associate Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, and world-renowned expert on the health effects of air pollutants and the role they play in the development of inflammation, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, at her home in Toronto.
Dr. Silverman was one of AllerGen’s original research leaders at the Network’s founding in 2005, providing leadership to the development of AllerGen’s Gene-Environment Interactions research investments and providing Network investigators with access to research infrastructure at the Gage Occupational and Environmental Health Unit at the University of Toronto.
She remained an active AllerGen investigator for the duration of the Network within the Gene-Environment Interactions (GxE) research platform, supporting the CHILD Study, working closely with the AllerGen GxE Research Platform Leaders, Drs Jeff Brook, Environment Canada/University of Toronto, and Mike Kobor, University of British Columbia.
“Frances was a dear colleague, friend and mentor to many in AllerGen,” says Dr. Judah Denburg, Scientific Director of AllerGen. “We are very saddened by her untimely passing. On behalf of the Network, I extend my heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.”
Dr. Silverman was recognized internationally for her innovative work on controlled human environmental chamber studies. She established productive collaborations with many groups, including Harvard School of Public Health, University of British Columbia, University of Michigan, University of California and the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil.
Dr. Silverman also developed and was the first Director of The Collaborative Program in Environment and Health at the University of Toronto, and created and taught the award-winning course Seminars in Environment and Health. Both aimed to stimulate graduate students to integrate their discipline-based research into a broader context related to environment and health by introducing them to methods and concepts from other disciplines.
At the time of her passing, Dr. Silverman was Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, and the Division of Occupational and Environmental Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, at the University of Toronto. She was also still active as a Scientist at the Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, at St Michael’s Hospital, as well as at the Research Institute at the University Health Network. She continued always to inspire her colleagues, students and friends alike.