Allergy and Asthma

Our Faculty and research trainees are investigating fundamental immune regulatory mechanisms contributing to Allergy and asthma and applying multi-omic approaches to understand lung and airway inflammation. Several projects are investigating the effects of early life exposures to multiple factors such as specific microbes or breast feeding and others are determining the impact of vaping, smoking and air pollution.  


AZAD, Meghan (PhD)
Assistant Professor - Cross Appointee

Dr. Azad's research program is focused on the role of infant nutrition and the microbiome in child growth, development and resilience. She co-leads the Manitoba site of the CHILD Cohort Study, a national pregnancy cohort following 3500 children to understand how early life experiences shape lifelong health. She is leading a clinical trial to improve matching procedures for preterm neonates receiving donor human milk, and directing the new International Milk Composition (IMiC) Consortium. Dr. Azad's research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Azad serves on the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation Executive Council and the joint US/Canada Human Milk Composition Initiative.
Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease

Office Phone: (204) 975-7754
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HAYGLASS, Kent (PhD) Professor Emeritus
Canada Research Chair in Immune Regulation
(not accepting trainees)

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Our goal is to understand human immune regulation and how it controls if good health or chronic disease develops. To do this, we examine how human immunity is turned on, how different responses (helpful or bad) develop and how they are turned off. We want to translate these discoveries to improve human health.
Most of our research is on the role of cytokine and chemokine responses resulting from innate or antigen-specific CD4 T cell activation.
Currently we focus on:
(i) How does your sex (gender is a social construct) affect innate immune homeostasis or responsiveness to acute PRR-stimulation in healthy humans.
(ii) What changes occur in pro-and anti-inflammatory innate immunity during healthy term pregnancy?   Do they occur in homeostasis and/or following  innate activation? How long do they last?
These studies recruit small groups of specially selected volunteers with defined clinical phenotypes through to cross sectional national cohorts involving ~ 3500 infants and their parents. (CHILD, Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development)

The vision of my research program is to advance fundamental knowledge of how inflammation is enhanced or controlled in chronic disease, with focus on asthma and arthritis. We study immunity-related functions of molecules known as host defence (antimicrobial) peptides. We also examine aspects of how air pollution impacts the lungs. We are currently integrating impact of biological sex in the process of inflammation and response to therapy in asthma. My drug discovery projects aim to develop small peptide-based therapies for difficult to treat steroid-unresponsive asthma. My lab is an inclusive environment, committed to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. I ensure that everyone is given opportunities to excel in scholarly activities. For more information see    
MOOKHERJEE, Neeloffer (PhD) 
Associate Professor, Internal Medicine & Immunology
CIHR Sex and Gender Science Chair; Circulatory & Respiratory Health.
Chair WISDOM (Women In Science: Development, Outreach & Mentoring), RFHS

Office Phone: (204) 272-3115
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SOUSSI GOUNNI, Abdelilah (PhD)

Dr. Abdelilah S. Gounni, is currently a Professor of Immunology at the Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba and a scientist at the Children Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba.Dr. Gounni research interests include the mechanisms of airways diseases and pathways regulating structural and inflammatory cell recruitment, activation and survival Over the years, his work has focused on the role of high-affinity IgE receptor (FceRI), cytokines (interleukin-9, thymic stromal lymphopoeitin), soluble pattern recognition receptor (pentraxin-3) in regulating airway inflammation, airway hyperresponsiveness and remodelling.
Most recently, his lab studies the function, expression and regulation of a neuronal chemo-repellent protein, Sema3E, in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Office Phone: (204) 975-7750
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YANG, Xi (M.D, M.Sc. Ph.D)

Office Phone: (204) 789-3304
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The current research program in my laboratory focuses on the cellular and molecular basis of immune responses in  allergy, chlamydial infection and cancer.

Focus one: Study on hygiene hypothesis related to allergy/asthma. It focuses on the mechanism underlying the long-term documented but unexplained mystery that as many countries reduce the burden of infectious diseases, a remarkable increase in the incidence of atopic allergies has occurred.

Focus two: Study of the protective immunity and immunopathology to chlamydial infection. The objective of the study is to dissect the cellular and molecular basis for chlamydial protective immunity and pathology. Specifically, this project will analyze: (I) the role of dendritic cells, NK/NKT cells, cytokines (chemokines) and adhesion molecules in the development or prevention of immunopathological responses; (ii) interaction of DC/NKT and DC/NK in chlamydial infections with a recent focus on the modulating effect of NKT/NK on the function of dendritic cells.

Focus three: Study of the role of SND1 in oncogenicity and tumor development, particularly its role involving antigen presentation and CD8 T cell activation.