Lab Canada

New fellowship to encourage MD training, research in allergic disease

Toronto, ON – Three key players in the fight against the growing allergy epidemic in Canada have joined forces to increase the capacity of Canadian science to fight costly allergic and immune diseases.

AllerGen NCE, a Network of Centres of Excellence of Canada made up of more than 100 researchers across the country, Bayer and the Canadian Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Foundation (CAAIF) announced a new research fellowship at AllerGen’s First Annual Research Conference: Innovation from Cell to Society.

The two-year, $110,000 AllerGen/BAYER/CAAIF Immunodeficiency and Immunomodulation of Allergic Inflammation Clinician-Scientist Research Fellowship was created to encourage an increasing number of clinicians to train as scientists in the field of allergy.

Canada is currently experiencing nation-wide shortages and major distribution disparities of certified allergists/immunologists, clinician-scientists and allergy-related health professionals.

“All three sponsor organizations have made a commitment to support the development of highly qualified Canadian personnel in allergic and immune disease research and innovation,” said Dr Judah Denburg, AllerGens scientific director and CEO. “The creation of this fellowship is one step towards our common goal – to improve the quality of life for Canadians who suffer from these diseases by conducting research that leads to new diagnostic tests and better medications, and by getting more clinician-scientists trained in this field.”

One of AllerGen’s key objectives is to double the number of clinical and research trainees produced in Canada each year, while increasing the country’s capacity to train allergic-immune disease specialists by 25% per year.

According to Health Canada, non-food allergies are the most common chronic condition in Canadians who are 12 years of age and older, outpacing arthritis, back problems and high blood pressure. Allergic and immune diseases cost the Canadian economy an estimated $15 billion annually.

AllerGen is Canada’s newest addition to the national Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. AllerGen’s mandate is to support research, networking, commercialization, knowledge mobilization and capacity building activities that contribute to reducing the morbidity, mortality and socio- economic impact of allergic disease.