Two AllerGen trainees awarded ATS Abstract Scholarships

Two AllerGen trainees awarded ATS Abstract Scholarships

AllerGen trainees Maxwell Tran and Dr. Leila Mostaço-Guidolin were recognized for the outstanding quality of their abstracts at the 2016 conference of the American Thoracic Society (ATS), held May 13–18, 2016, in San Francisco.

tranTran, a BHSc student at McMaster University, was awarded a 2016 ATS Abstract Scholarship from the Assembly on Allergy, Immunology and Inflammation for his abstract “Effects of Infant Feeding Practices on Food Sensitization in a Canadian Birth Cohort.” The abstract presents findings from the CHILD Study, showing that the early introduction of cow’s milk, egg white and peanut to children reduces the risk of food sensitization to these foods by age one.

“This is a significant accomplishment for an undergraduate student and demonstrates that AllerGen trainees are highly valued in the scientific community,” says Dr. Malcolm Sears, Director of the CHILD Study and Tran’s supervisor. The ATS issued a press release about the abstract that generated international media interest, with Tran and the CHILD Study researchers quoted in The Globe & Mail, The National Post, CTV News, The Toronto Star and Newsweek, among other media outlets.

leilaDr. Mostaço-Guidolin,‎ a postdoctoral researcher at the Heart and Lung Innovation Centre of The University of British Columbia (UBC), was also awarded a 2016 ATS Abstract Scholarship for her abstract “Novel Non-Linear Optical Imaging To Understand The Composition Of Fibrilar Collagen And Elastin In Remodeled Asthmatic Airways.” The abstract was selected for oral presentation and took second place in the Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS) Poster Competition, held during the ATS.

“This study is important as the new imaging technique presented by Dr. Mostaço-Guidolin shows us for the first time the microscale structure of collagen, which is helping us to understand why the airways of patients with asthma become thickened and diseased,” comments Dr. Mostaço-Guidolin’s supervisor, Dr. Tillie-Louise Hackett, an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics and Associate Director of the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation at UBC.

The abstracts were two of 30 selected from among all those submitted by Canada-based trainees for the 6th Annual CTS Poster Competition.