Home2020 Pryde Family Travel Grant Winners

2020 Pryde Family Travel Grant Winners

June 30, 2020

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The Pryde Family Travel Grant provides two $500 travel grants for graduate students, medical students or healthcare professionals who have an interest in food allergy/anaphylaxis. The funds help to offset expenses for attending an academic program or event related to food allergy.

Meet our 2020 recipients, Dr. Anna Whalen-Browne and Rachel Simpson, who are using their grants to attend and present at two important conferences. Learn more about them below.

Meet Dr. Anna Whalen-Browne

Dr. Anna Whalen-Browne
Dr. Anna Whalen-Browne

Why are you interested in the field of food allergy/anaphylaxis? 

Patients with food allergy carry their diagnoses everywhere they go. My interest in the field was born in caring for these patients and hearing the unique stories of how food allergy affects their everyday lives. I am undergoing residency training, and while I do not have a food allergy myself, I recognize that they are indiscriminate and unpredictable. Food allergy has the potential to cause life-threatening anaphylaxis at any time, and this risk is something that significantly shapes the lives of people with food allergy, making them a population whose bravery I admire.

How will you be using the travel grant? 

The Pryde Family Travel Grant allowed me to travel to Montreal, Quebec for the 74th Annual Canadian Society of Asthma and Clinical Immunology (CSACI) Scientific Meeting, in October 2019. 

Why did you choose this event? How did participating in this event contribute to your educational goals? 

CSACI Annual Scientific Meeting

The annual CSACI conference brought together physicians, trainees, allied health professionals, and members of industry from across the country to share their expertise in the field. Food allergy and anaphylaxis are key topics at the meeting, and I learned of the most up to date clinical evidence and scientific research in food allergy and anaphylaxis, while meeting leaders within the field. 

What did you take away from attending the conference?

Attending the CSACI conference truly deepened my understanding of the impact of food allergy on patients and the clinicians who treat them. A plenary session on food allergy explored the role of oral immunotherapy as a treatment modality, while considering potential risk to patients. Another session covered food challenges in infants and toddlers, discussing how to select the most appropriate patients for food challenge and which foods to challenge, while again balancing the risks and benefits. Posters and oral presentations offered further learning in the field of food allergy and anaphylaxis, while highlighting up-and-coming researchers and clinician-researchers. Combined, this experience allowed me to gain great knowledge and skills which will continue to serve me for years to come in my future clinical career.

What advancements in food allergy research excite you, and what can the food allergy community look forward to?

What excites me the most about food allergy is the opportunity to care for patients on an individual scale, and advocate on a population scale. One of my unique areas of interest is in identifying how settings can affect recognition and management of anaphylaxis. I am currently working on a review of management of patients who have experienced anaphylaxis in a wilderness setting. The backcountry poses unique challenges as supplies are limited and there is a significant time to transfer patients to a hospital for care. Beyond these projects, I look forward to continuing to work for advancements in the field throughout my training and career. 

Meet Rachel Simpson

Rachel Simpson
Rachel Simpson

Why are you interested in the field of food allergy/anaphylaxis? 

I am interested in food allergy because I have seen how impactful living with a food allergy can be on an individual and how much it can affect quality of life. No one should have to live in fear of encountering a food and that’s why I want to do my part to help make an impact in the food allergy community – to be an advocate and contribute in any way possible.

How will you be using the travel grant? 

I will be using the travel grant to present at and attend (virtually due to COVID-19) the World Allergy Organization International Scientific Conference 2020, which was originally scheduled to be held in Rome, Italy. Although the medium in which the conference is to be held has changed understandably, I have no doubts it will still be an educational and enriching experience!

Why did you choose this event? What are your anticipated benefits of your participation in relation to your educational goals?

wish 2020 virtual

I chose this event because the World Allergy Organization is able to uniquely bring together experts in allergy from all over the world. By being exposed to different practices and expertise from across the globe, I believe this will provide an invaluable experience that I will be able to take with me in my future food allergy research and career.

What advancements in food allergy research excite you, and what can the food allergy community look forward to?

The recent advancements in oral immunotherapy really excite me! Working as a clinical research coordinator in an allergy clinic,  I have seen how this treatment is able to really positively impact patient’s quality of life that respond well to it. I look forward to seeing more advancements in this treatment approach in the future and hope it can help the quality of life of those living with food allergy.

Congratulations Dr. Whalen-Browne and Rachel! To learn more about the Pryde Family Travel Grant, visit our community awards page.

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