The Allergy, Genes and
Environment Network (AllerGen)


2004 - 2021

When I joined AllerGen in 2007, I had published three papers on allergy-related topics in seven years. Since 2012, I have published 50 such papers with AllerGen colleagues in journals across several disciplines. I could not have achieved that depth and breadth of collaborative productivity without AllerGen. It was career changing.

Dr. Kelly McNagny, The University of British Columbia

AllerGen Associate Scientific Director, GxE leader


from the Board Chair, Scientific Director and President & CEO

After receiving the full 14 years of federal Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) funding, and an additional two years of support to mobilize knowledge and commercialize research results, the Allergy, Genes and Environment (AllerGen) Network completed its NCE term on March 31, 2021.

In this report, we take the opportunity to look back on our Network’s contributions and achievements since 2004.

Credit for these incredible accomplishments rests with AllerGen’s researchers, trainees and partners from across the country and around the world. They have worked together in a collaborative, coordinated, and networked effort to benefit those living with and caring for individuals with allergy, asthma and related immune disease. Their passion and commitment have generated new knowledge, advanced drug development, forged strong national and global communities in allergy and asthma research and innovation, and provided clinical and professional development training opportunities that have nurtured future generations of leaders in related fields.

AllerGen extends its deep appreciation to the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Program; AllerGen’s Board of Directors; Research Management Committee (RMC); Scientific, Training and Commercialization/KTEE advisory committees; the Administrative Centre team; and AllerGen’s host institution, McMaster University, for invaluable guidance, support and championing of AllerGen’s vision, mission and goals.

Together, we have transformed the landscape of allergic and respiratory disease in Canada and leave a lasting and self-sustaining legacy of national and global impacts that will perpetuate and increase the momentum achieved through the government of Canada’s NCE program for generations to come.

Thank you to all and may the “network way of working” continue to guide your future endeavours!

Pieter Cullis

Board Chair

Judah Denburg

Scientific Director

Diana Royce

President & CEO
AllerGen’s support has been truly invaluable to my training and career development. My first major operating grant, co-sponsored by AllerGen, launched my career by funding my first independent research project (using CHILD samples) and supporting my first PhD student. AllerGen has also routinely helped promote and share my research findings, amplifying the translation and impact of this work.

Dr. Meghan Azad, The University of Manitoba

Deputy Director, CHILD Cohort Study

Executive summary

The Allergy, Genes and Environment Network (AllerGen) was established in 2004 to unite Canada’s allergic and respiratory disease communities with the overall goal of improving the lives of Canadians living with asthma, allergies, anaphylaxis and related immune diseases.

Over 15 years as a national Networks of Centres of Excellence, AllerGen invested over $51M in 220 research projects; trained 1,763 Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) students and trainees; partnered with 651 organizations across sectors to leverage $128.6M; generated 6,730 scientific publications; and has had its research featured in major national and international media over 4,000 times.

Through the formation of partnered, trans-disciplinary, multi-sectoral teams, sharing a drive for unmitigated research excellence, AllerGen has created valuable new knowledge, products and tools; enabled knowledge and technology uptake and application by receptor and stakeholder communities in Canada and beyond; and built much needed national clinical capacity in allergic /asthmatic disease prevention and management. 

Through its strategic research investments, AllerGen catalyzed three ongoing, self-sustaining Legacy Initiatives that benefit those living with—and caring for people affected by—allergy, asthma and related immune diseases.

Research Projects








The support of AllerGen NCE had been crucial to my allergy program success. At the onset of my career, I was awarded the first AllerGen Emerging Clinician-Scientist Fellowship award which allowed me to establish a strong foundation for my subsequent research program. With AllerGen’s continuous support for the C-CARE anaphylaxis and food allergy registry, I have addressed new research questions that bridge knowledge gaps and contribute to the improved management of patients with severe allergies.

Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan, McGill University

Corporate profile

AllerGen was established in 2004 by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada) through the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Program to reduce the burden of allergic disease through leadership in research, knowledge translation and exchange, and trainee capacity building.

AllerGen has formed an enduring national research network of scientists, clinicians, stakeholders and partners in industry, government and healthcare working together to help Canadians tackle the challenges of living with asthma, allergies, anaphylaxis and related immune diseases.



AllerGen’s VISION

To create an enduring network of allergy and immune disease experts whose discovery and development efforts contribute to reducing the impact of allergic and related immune diseases nationally and globally.

AllerGen’s MISSION

To catalyze and support discovery, development, networking, capacity building, commercialization and knowledge translation to reduce the morbidity, mortality and socio-economic burden of allergy, asthma and anaphylaxis for the benefit of Canadians and the global community.
Although AllerGen may have concluded as an NCE, the relationships formed and scientific success will continue for years. I have no doubt that AllerGen, and the dedication and generosity of its investigators, leadership and administrative staff, was critical in launching my career.

Dr. Jennifer Protudjer, University of Manitoba

integrated research strategy

An evolution to lasting legacies

Becoming involved with the AllerGen NCE was one of the most fortunate events of my career and life. AllerGen has been there every step of the way in my career, pushing me to strive for excellence and to give back to the research community and the Canadian public. One of AllerGen’s most potent legacies is its investment in the future; for years to come, we will see the impact of AllerGen represented in the excellence of its trainees, as they make major strides in asthma and allergic disease research, knowledge mobilization and innovation.

Laura Feldman, University of Toronto

financial overview

From 2005-2020, AllerGen’s total NCE budget was $73.53M. Since 2005, Network-wide partner cash and in-kind investments total more than $128.6M, representing an NCE to non-NCE leveraging of $1 : $1.75.

Leveraging ratio 2005-2020

(NCE$ : Non-NCE$)

In the second half of AllerGen’s NCE mandate (2012-2020), when the Network’s final research strategy was established, the distribution of research investments by platform became proportionate to their anticipated legacy impacts.

Research investment by platform