HomeCampaignFood Allergy Awareness Month 2020Creating a better future webinar series – Presenters

Creating a better future webinar series - Presenters

Food allergy experts, allergists, and more! Learn all about our distinguished presenters.

Jennifer Gerdts

Jennifer Gerdts

Executive Director, Food Allergy Canada

Jennifer joined Food Allergy Canada in 2014 as a volunteer board member before assuming the position of Executive Director in January 2018. Since joining the organization, Jennifer has been instrumental in crafting the strategic direction that maintains Food Allergy Canada’s foundation in providing medically reviewed education and support for individuals and families living with food allergies while elevating the focus on key advocacy issues, like the National Food Allergy Action Plan.

Jennifer’s interest in food allergy is driven by the experience of raising twin boys who have multiple food allergies. Her sons started school the same year Sabrina’s Law was implemented (2005), Ontario legislation that protects children at risk of anaphylaxis. With this, Jennifer and her family experienced firsthand the benefits of the work of Food Allergy Canada, which advocated for the passing of this legislation.

Dr. Abrams

Elissa Abrams MD, FRCPC

Dr. Abrams is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Paediatrics, Section of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the University of Manitoba. She is Vice Chair of the Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Section of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; and President of the Allergy Section of the Canadian Paediatric Society. Her research interests include food allergy, food allergy prevention and early childhood wheeze.

Dr. Edmond Chan, M.D.

Edmond S. Chan MD, FRCPC

Dr. Chan is a certified practicing Pediatric Allergist, UBC Clinical Associate Professor, and Head of the Division of Allergy & Immunology in the Department of Pediatrics at BC Children’s Hospital. He leads a clinical research program dedicated to multiple aspects of food allergy and eosinophilic esophagitis. He is on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; and on the Executive of the Allergy Section of the Canadian Paediatric Society.

Dr. Upton

Julia Upton MD, FRCPC, MPH

Dr. Upton is on staff at the Hospital for Sick Children in the Immunology and Allergy department; and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto. She is Chair of the Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Section of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; and her research interests include food desensitization therapies, allergy diagnostics, and advancing the recognition and treatment of immunodeficiencies.

Dr. Cecilia Berin

Cecilia Berin, PhD

Cecilia Berin completed her undergraduate and MSc degrees at Queen’s University and received her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from McMaster University. After postdoctoral training in mucosal immunology at the University of California, San Diego, she moved to New York for a faculty position at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

She is currently a Professor of Pediatrics and the Deputy Director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute. Dr. Berin’s research is focused on understanding immune mechanisms of allergy and tolerance to foods. After working for many years with mouse models of food allergy to study cellular mechanisms of food allergy, her work has transitioned to studying the immunology of food allergy in humans. Her lab works with clinical trials to understand why some individuals respond better than others to therapy, with the goal of developing better treatment approaches for food allergy. Her lab group is also working on the immune system in early life to understand susceptibility to food allergy in infancy. Her work is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Ben-Shoshan

Moshe Ben-Shoshan MD, MSc

Dr. Ben-Shoshan is a physician in the division of Allergy/Immunology at Montreal Children’s Hospital. Among other accomplishments, he has established the largest cross-Canada registries that collect data on the diagnosis and management of food allergy, anaphylaxis, drug allergy, and primary immunodeficiencies; and his research has resulted in more than 90 published manuscripts. His research interests include anaphylaxis, chronic urticaria and immunodeficiency.

Thomas Miles

Thomas Miles

CFL football player

Thomas Miles is a CFL player for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Thomas has lived with peanut allergy his entire life. While challenging at times, Thomas says his food allergy has provided him with more opportunities than it has prevented. He has been involved with Food Allergy Canada in varying roles since 2013 – as a media ambassador, youth mentor, and guest speaker – he notes, all of which have been incredibly rewarding experiences.

Kyle Dine, Food Allergy Entrepreneur and Musician

Kyle Dine

Musician and food allergy educator

Kyle has been working with Food Allergy Canada since 2008 creating resources and programs to support teens and youth. Over the past decade, Kyle has been a trusted food allergy educator and musician who performs engaging allergy awareness assemblies in elementary schools across North America. His empowering and educational messages about living with food allergy has reached over 1 million children. He has multiple food allergies to peanut, tree nut, egg, seafood and mustard.

Kyle is also the Founder and CEO of www.allergytranslation.com – a website that provides customized translation cards for allergic travellers in 43 different languages. He is a co-founder of the travel resource website at www.allergytravels.com.

Samara Carroll

Samara Carroll

Registered social worker and food allergy counsellor

Samara Carroll has been living with food allergy since she was two years old. She knows what it’s like to navigate the daily stress of food allergy, and understand the importance of finding a balance between remaining vigilant and enjoying life.

Samara has her Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto, as well as an MA from York University. She is a registered social worker who has worked with children and families in clinical and community settings for more than 10 years. In her private practice, Carroll Counselling, she counsels children, teenagers and families to manage food allergy related anxiety. She also has an 11 month old baby.

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