AllerGen Research Leader heads major urban health project

AllerGen Research Leader heads major urban health project
Jeff Brook 2013

Dr. Jeffrey Brook

AllerGen Research Leader Dr. Jeffrey Brook is Scientific Director and Nominated-Principal Investigator on a new five-year, $4.16 million Operating Grant from the CIHR’s Environments and Health Signature Initiative. The project, CANadian Urban Environmental (CANUE) Health Research Consortium, aims to advance our understanding of how cities can be designed or modified to improve population health.

“This consortium will provide critical environmental health research so policymakers and urban and regional planners can make evidence-based decisions when addressing the challenges of urbanization and growing suburbs,” says Dr. Brook, who is Assistant Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry of the University of Toronto, and Senior Scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada. “Climate change and how it impacts cities and residents is also a key priority for CANUE.”


The consortium unites over 80 environmental health experts in academia, government and the NGO and private sectors from coast to coast. The researchers will link standardized environmental exposure data about air quality, green spaces, walkability, noise, weather/climate and other aspects of the urban/suburban environment to existing human health data platforms.

“The CANUE initiative is well-aligned with the goals of AllerGen and its Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study in particular,” adds Dr. Brook. “It represents a strategic extension of the work that my Gene-Environment Interactions and CHILD Environmental Working Group colleagues and I have undertaken to improve our global understanding of the environmental factors related to asthma, allergy, and related immune and inflammatory diseases.”

The initiative will also link CHILD Study and GxE project data to CANUE’s urban form and environmental data, allowing for the identification of important insights of value to policy/decision-makers, helping to extend the value of CHILD.

In addition to Dr. Brook, there are seven AllerGen investigators involved in the core research team of CANUE, including Co-Principal Investigators Drs Michael Brauer and Padmaja Subbarao, as well as Co-Investigators Drs Meghan Azad, Christopher Carlsten, Greg Evans, Wendy Lou and Tim Takaro.

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