Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy

Judah A. Denburg

M.D., FRCPC

Professor, Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Department of Medicine

Director, Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy

William J. Walsh Professor of Medicine

Scientific Director, AllerGen-NCE Inc.


Education and Professional Standing

Dr. Denburg received his MD from McGill University Medical School and Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel (1971). Subsequently, he received his Fellowship Certification from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for the specialties of Internal Medicine and Hematology. Currently, Dr. Denburg is Director and Chief of Service of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster Division. He has been a Professor in the Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University since 1988, and holds the William J. Walsh Professorship in General Internal Medicine. Dr. Denburg is a recognized expert on autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

In addition to his other duties, Dr. Denburg is now the Scientific Director and CEO of AllerGen NCE Inc., a Network of Centres of Excellence based at McMaster University whose mandate is to support research, networking, commercialization and capacity building activities that contribute to reducing the morbidity, mortality and socioeconomic impact of allergic disease and asthma worldwide.

Research Interests

Dr. Denburg's main research thrusts include examination of the mechanisms of allergic inflammation, with particular emphasis on hemopoietic cytokines and their role in activating the differentiation and recruitment of inflammatory cells such as eosinophils, basophils and mast cells. This includes an understanding of the growth and differentiation of human basophil and eosinophil precursors, with the development of in vitro assays to monitor clinically relevant fluctuations in these cells during allergic responses. The specific diseases studied have included allergic rhinitis, nasal polyposis and asthma. Currently, the focus of his research is the development of allergic disease and asthma through the study of cord blood stem cells. Additionally in several national projects undertaken by AllerGen NCE, hemopoietic progenitor phenotyping has been utilized to discover new biomarkers to predict the development of allergic disease and asthma.

As Scientific Director of AllerGen, Dr. Denburg helps steer the innovative and inter-disciplinary research program involving research partners in academic, public and private sectors, representing expertise in medicine, genetics, molecular biology (genomics and proteomics); environmental, occupational and population health; epidemiology; health economics, and health policy; ethics, psychology, sociology, and medical geography and anthropology, aimed at understanding both the physiological and psychosocial aspects of allergic/immune diseases.

Selected Publications

Dr. Denburg has edited or co-edited 4 books on allergy/inflammation and his publications include 60 book chapters, as well as more than 200 original articles, reviews, and editorials.
  1. Allakhverdi Z, Comeau MR, Smith DE, Toy D, Endam LM, Desrosier M, Liu Y-J, Howie KJ, Denburg JA, Gauvreau GM, Delespesse G. CD34+ hemopoietic progenitor cells are potent effectors of allergic inflammation. J Allergy Clin Immunol 123:472-478, 2009.
  2. Fernandes R, Kusel M, Cyr M, Sehmi R, Holt K, Holt B, Kebadze T, Johnston S, Sly P, Denburg JA, Holt P. Cord blood hemopoietic progenitor profiles predict acute respiratory symptoms in infancy. Ped Allergy Immunol 19:239-247, 2008.
  3. Denburg JA, van Eeden SF. Bone marrow progenitors in inflammation and repair: new vistas in respiratory biology and pathophysiology. (Editorial) Eur Respir J 27:441-445, 2006.
  4. Sehmi R, Denburg JA. Haemopoietic mechanisms in allergic rhinitis. (Editorial) Clin Exp Allergy 35:1-3, 2005.
  5. Denburg JA, Hatfield HM, Cyr MM, Hayes L, Holt PG, Sehmi R, Dunstan JA, Prescott SL. Fish oil supplementation in pregnancy modifies neonatal progenitors at birth in infants at risk of atopy. Pediatr Res 57:276-281, 2005.
  6. Wilson AM, Duong M, Crawford L, Denburg J. An evaluation of peripheral blood eosinophil/basophil progenitors following nasal allergen challenge in patients with allergic rhinitis. Clin Exp Allergy 35:39-44, 2005.
  7. Li J, Saito H, Crawford L, Inman MD, Cyr MM, Denburg JA. Hemopoietic mechanisms in murine allergic upper and lower airways inflammation. Immunology 114:386-396, 2005.
  8. Denburg JA, Keith PK. Systemic aspects of chronic rhinosinusitis. Immunol Allergy Clin N Am 24: 87-102, 2004.
  9. Sehmi R, Dorman S, Baatjes A, Watson R, Foley R, Ying S, Robinson DS, Kay AB, O'Byrne PM, Denburg JA. Allergen-induced fluctuations in CC chemokine receptor 3 expression on bone marrow CD34+ cells from asthmatic subjects: significance for mobilization of haemopoietic progenitor cells in allergic inflammation. Immunology 109:536-546, 2003.