McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Minister announces renewed funding for AllerGen

Published: March 23, 2012
Pictured from left: Sina Rusta Sallehy, Claudia Hui, Judah Denburg, Gary Goodyear and Delia Heroux
Minister Gary Goodyear studies a cord blood sample, along with AllerGen's scientific director and CEO Judah Denburg and research technician Delia Heroux in the Denburg Laboratory, as students Sina Rusta Sallehy and Claudia Hui look on. Goodyear announced $36.5 million in renewed funding for AllerGen's work treating allergies.

The battle against allergic and immune diseases has received a $36.5 million boost from the federal government.

Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology announced Friday at McMaster University that the renewed federal funding will flow, over the next seven years, to the AllerGen Network of Centres of Excellence. The network, headquartered at McMaster, is made up of almost 200 researchers from 23 universities and organizations.

"These diseases cause a lot of suffering and create an immense economic burden," Goodyear said. "AllerGen NCE has already had a very positive impact on Canada's ability to understand and prevent these illnesses and to improve care for patients."

The funding will allow researchers to pin down underlying causes and develop new treatments and prevention methods for people living with allergies, asthma and anaphylaxis.

Judah Denburg, scientific director and chief executive officer (CEO) of AllerGen NCE and professor in the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, said his team will work in the next seven years to decrease the burden of allergic and immune disease on Canadian's productivity and economic growth and lead major Canadian innovation and commercialization.

"We will be recognized globally," he said.

The NCE program is managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), in partnership with Industry Canada.

Patrick Deane, McMaster's President & Vice-Chancellor, said it's an honour to be the host institution of AllerGen — a network which shares a similar philosophy on research.

"We're aligned in our thinking and approach to research through innovation and multidisciplinary collaborations," he said. "The blend of talent and expertise within AllerGen is second to none and their collective work will improve the health and well-being of many Canadians."

Goodyear added that AllerGen has already had notable successes with improving asthma diagnosis and treatments, unravelling the genetic connections to allergies and asthma and revealing the impact of environmental and socio-economic factors on the development of the human immune system.

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