2016 Program


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Conference Program

Featured Speakers | Call for Poster Abstracts | Bioinformatics Workshop

Conference Planning Committee | Delegate Information

AllerGen members: Travel Policy | Expense Report Form

AllerGen’s 8th Research Conference, Innovation from Cell to Society8, Connecting and Collaborating: Globalizing Advances in Allergic Disease Research, will showcase all areas of AllerGen Network research with a focus on ground-breaking work in birth cohorts (including AllerGen’s CHILD Study), epigenetics, biomarkers, food allergy, the human microbiome and the exposome.

Conference Program

View the Program in PDF

This world-class, four-day event will include:

  • Keynote addresses by internationally renowned experts
  • Expert panel discussions featuring AllerGen researchers, trainees and partner organizations, as well as leading international experts, industry and government representatives
  • Unique networking opportunities with AllerGen clinician-scientists, basic researchers, trainees, research partners and board members, as well as international researchers
  • Trainee research and KT posters and awards
  • Gala banquet and awards at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel at 5:00 PM Tuesday May 31, 2016, featuring music by the Kelly McNagny Band.

Additional program details will be posted on this site as they are confirmed.


Featured Speakers

Dr. Susan Prescott

Opening Keynote (May 30)


Dr. Susan Prescott (BMedSc, MBBS, MD, PhD, FRACP) is an internationally renowned expert in early life risk factors for inflammation as an antecedent for a broad range of noncommunicable diseases, with a particular interest in allergic disease.

She is Professor of Paediatrics at University of Western Australia, a paediatric allergist and immunologist at the Perth Children’s Hospital, and Associate Director of Research at the Telethon KIDS Institute.

Dr. Prescott works at the highest international level of her field. Her contributions in the area of allergy and early immune development have already been translated into novel concepts and led to a paradigm shift in the pathogenesis of allergic disease. She is founding President of the multidisciplinary ‘DOHaD’ Society in Australia and New Zealand (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease). As part of the World Universities Network, she also founded and continues to chair an international interdisciplinary research network (‘in-FLAME’) with over 200 members from more than 50 partner institutions. She is also Founding Director of the ORIGINS Project and a former Director of the World Allergy Organisation.

Dr. Prescott is widely published and is author of several books, including The Allergy Epidemic – a Mystery of Modern Life and Origins – Early Life Solutions to the Modern Health Crisis. She has received numerous prizes, awards and fellowships including a Winston Churchill Fellowship and a prestigious Practitioner Fellowship (2009-2018) from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). In 2010 her work was recognised by the NHMRC as among “10 of the Best Research Projects” in Australia.

Read a recent interview with Dr. Prescott: An immunologist’s holistic approach to life.


Dr. Pieter Cullis

Closing Keynote (June 1)


Dr. Pieter Cullis (PhD) is an internationally recognized research and innovation pioneer in the field of lipids, biological membranes and liposomal drug delivery systems.

Dr. Cullis is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Co-Founder and Chair of the Personalized Medicine Initiative, and Director of the Life Sciences Institute and the NanoMedicines Research Group—all at the University of British Columbia. He has been active in the development of several biotechnology companies. His work has led to three drugs approved by regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Europe for the treatment of cancer and its complications, and five more undergoing clinical studies.

Dr. Cullis has published over 300 scientific articles. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2004; received the Leadership Award of the Canadian Society of Pharmaceutical Scientists in 2010; was awarded the Prix Galien, Canada’s premier prize for achievements in pharmaceutical R&D, and the Bill and Marilyn Webber Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2011; and received the LifeSciences BC Milton Wong Award for Leadership in 2015.

Dr. Cullis’s latest accomplishment is the publication of The Personalized Medicine Revolution, in which he argues that, by replacing the current one-size-fits-all approach to medicine with treatment based on each individual’s unique molecular makeup, personalized medicine will dramatically improve diagnosis and treatment of disease and radically empower us to take control of our own health.


Mary Jane Marchisotto

Keynote Speaker (May 31)


Mary Jane Marchisotto (MBA) is Senior Vice President of Research for the patient advocacy organization Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), which was formed in 2012 as the result of a merger between the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI). She was previously Executive Director of FAI, which she joined in 2009.

Ms. Marchisotto also serves as Co-Chair of the Patient Organizations Committee of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), as Chair of the International Food and Anaphylaxis Alliance, as a member of the Adverse Reactions Committee of The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) and on the Sharing Clinical Trial Data Action Collaborative of the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In prior years, Ms. Marchisotto was a member of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases panel that issued “Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States” (2011) and served on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Committee that produced “Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Programs.” As a volunteer, Ms. Marchisotto has brought her expertise to a wide range of educational, recreational, and health care initiatives for children.

Prior to joining FAI, Ms. Marchisotto spent more than 30 years in the financial services industry, concentrating on financial management issues and on the development of internal best practices.


Prof. Timothy Caulfield

Featured speaker, HQP Networking Dinner (May 30)


Prof. Timothy Caulfield (BSc, LL.B., LL.M.) is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy and a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. He has been the Research Director of the University’s Health Law Institute since 1993.

Prof. Caulfield is the Principal Investigator for a number of large interdisciplinary projects that explore the ethical, legal and health policy issues associated with a range of topics, including stem cell research, genetics, patient safety, the prevention of chronic disease, obesity policy, the commercialization of research, complementary and alternative medicine and access to health care.

Over the past several years, Prof. Caulfield has published over 300 articles and book chapters stemming from his research endeavours. He also writes frequently for the popular press on a range of health and science policy issues and is the author of The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness (Penguin 2012) and Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash (Penguin 2015). He has won numerous academic awards and is a Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation, the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.


Bioinformatics Workshop


To register for this workshop, email info@allergen-nce.ca

Refer to the conference program for the workshop location.


Conference Planning Committee


CHAIR: Dr. Michael Kobor

Professor of Medical Genetics

The University of British Columbia


Dr. Meghan Azad

Asst. Professor, Pediatrics & Child Health

University of Manitoba


Dr. Allan Becker

Professor, Pediatric & Child Health

University of Manitoba


Dr. Dean Befus

Professor of Medicine

University of Alberta


Dr. Jeff Brook

Senior Scientist, Air Quality Research Branch

Environment Canada


Prof. Tim Caulfield

Professor, Faculty of Law and School of Public Health

University of Alberta


Dr. Ann Clarke

Professor of Medicine

University of Calgary


Dr. Susan Elliott

Professor of Geography and Environmental Mgmt.

University of Waterloo


Dr. Andrew Halayko

Professor, Physiology & Pathophysiology & Internal Medicine

University of Manitoba


Dr. Christine Hampson

President and CEO

The Sandbox Project


Dr. Nicole Letourneau

Professor, Faculty of Nursing

University of Calgary


Dr. Diana Royce

Managing Director and COO

AllerGen NCE Inc.


Dr. Andrew Sandford

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine

The University of British Columbia


Dr. Malcolm Sears

Professor of Medicine

McMaster University


Amrit Singh

AllerGen Trainee, PhD(c)

The University of British Columbia


Dr. Padmaja Subbarao

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

University of Toronto


Dr. Stuart Turvey

Professor, Department of Pediatrics

The University of British Columbia

Past AllerGen Research Conferences