2022 Pryde Family Travel Grant Winners: Alyssa Burrows and Andrew Thompson

September 2, 2022

The Pryde Family Travel Grant provides two $500 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. This grant was established in honour of the Pryde family and friends, and the friends and family of Sean Delaney.

Read about our 2022 recipients, Alyssa Burrows and Andrew Thompson, who are using their grants to attend two important conferences. Learn more about them below.


Meet Alyssa Burrows

Alyssa Burrows
Alyssa Burrows

What is your connection to food allergy/anaphylaxis; why are you interested in this field?

I was diagnosed with a peanut allergy at 13-years-old after experiencing an anaphylactic reaction. My lived experience with food allergy and my curiosity for science led me to shadow a clinical allergist when I was 15, volunteer in Food Allergy Canada’s Youth Advisory Panel, and join Dr. Ellis’ lab in 2017; where we primarily study allergic rhinitis. I am currently pursuing my MSc in Translational Medicine under the supervision of Dr. Ellis. I am fascinated by the immune system’s complexity and how therapies and clinical care can impact a patient’s wellbeing.

How will you be using the grant?

I will use the grant to attend the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) annual meeting in February 2023 in San Antonio, Texas.

Alyssa Burrows

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

The AAAAI annual meeting attracts Allergy and Immunology clinicians, researchers, and other allied health professionals from all over the world. This is a very exciting opportunity as it will be my first international conference. By attending, I anticipate learning about advances within the field, and meeting and people with similar research interests. If my abstract on the impacts of COVID-19 on people with allergic diseases is accepted to AAAAI, I would look forward to developing my communication skills in a professional academic setting.

What advancements in food allergy research excite you, and what can they mean for the food allergy community?

Part of my research focuses on quality of life and the mental health impacts of COVID-19 on people with chronic diseases, including allergic conditions such as food allergy, asthma and allergic rhinitis. Better understanding the psychological implications of food allergy is particularly exciting to me. As someone with a food allergy, I often think about how researchers and clinicians can better support people with food allergy and encourage them to live a fulfilling life where their food allergy is not an obstacle, and I think understanding the social and emotional impacts of food allergy is key to this.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you to the Pryde family for their ongoing efforts to provide support to trainees in the allergy and immunology field.


Meet Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson

What is your connection to food allergy/anaphylaxis; why are you interested in this field?

I have spent the last two years of my undergraduate degree studying the field of nutrition and food science. During that time, I have come to realize how important it is to keep contaminants and allergens out of the food we consume daily. I have had no personal experiences with food allergy, so building my knowledge of what others experience has truly helped expand my empathy and understanding of how people with food allergy may feel. I wish to use my career to help provide those who may struggle with food security to access safe, nutritious, and allergen-friendly meals, so I am always on the lookout for new concepts and information.

How will you be using the grant?

I will be putting the grant money towards the admissions cost of the 2022 Dietitians of Canada’s National Conference. It is a very exciting conference for me because the national conference hosts the greatest Canadian dietitian thought leaders all in one place. There will be so many learning opportunities and chances for me to discover the latest research in Canadian nutrition and food science.

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

I chose this event because I have a passion for nutrition and food science both internationally and domestically. I also wanted to know more about how the foods we eat are kept safe from common food allergens in a commercial setting. The Dietitians of Canada National Conference is where the foremost authorities in Canadian nutrition/food science gather and share ideas, so it is a great honour to simply participate. Hopefully, I will be able to make new connections and my passion for dietetics will grow even further.

What advancements in food allergy research excite you, and what can they mean for the food allergy community?

I am interested in the recent Canadian research on the prevalence of food allergy in our country. As someone who enjoys studying statistics and data trends, I see a lot of potential for practical improvements to the lives of individuals with food allergy using this data. If we recognize the areas for improvement, we can start problem-solving.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I am very grateful to the Pryde family and Food Allergy Canada for offering me this grant, and so pleased for opportunities like this to increase people’s understanding and awareness of food allergy in our country.


Congratulations Alyssa and Andrew! To learn more about the Pryde Family Travel Grant, visit our community awards page.

Tags: , ,