Professor inducted into Medical Hall of Fame
Dr. Estelle Simons, already rich in honours and awards for her scientific accomplishments in understanding allergies, is now a member of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
The professor of pediatrics and child health, and immunology, is the fifth U of M professor to receive this honour, which will be bestowed upon her at a ceremony on May 4, 2017 in Québec City.
Simons founded the Section of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the U of M in 1975 and served as its head until 2005. In this time she held many other esteemed positions, such as Chief Examiner in Clinical Immunology for the Royal College, and Chair of the Allergy Section of the Canadian Paediatric Society.
“Dr. Estelle Simons’ scientific accomplishments are remarkable because her entire career has been spent at the forefront of discovery. She’s been the leader walking ahead into the dark, shining the light for the rest to follow. Her contributions to medicine have been extraordinary, and the University of Manitoba is proud to congratulate her on becoming a Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Laureate,” says Digvir Jayas, vice-president (research and international) and Distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba.
To date, her scientific legacy includes 580 peer-reviewed publications and eight textbooks. Her work has touched many facets of immunology but media interview her most often about her work on the most dangerous animal – the mosquito. She and her colleagues were the first to publish on Skeeter Syndrome – large local reactions to mosquito bites – and on anaphylaxis to mosquito bites.
Earlier in her career, four decades ago, Simons pioneered a new means to investigate the effectiveness of allergy medications used to treat diseases such as asthma. Her work brought a paradigm shift that has had an immeasurable effect on mitigating the impact of allergic diseases around the globe.
The University of Manitoba has a long and proud history with the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and is honoured that seven of our alumni have been recognized with this prestigious distinction. Our laureates include: Bruce Chown [MD/22], John Dirks [MD/57], Henry Friesen[MD/58], James Hogg [MD/62],Charles H. Hollenberg [MD/55], Arnold Naimark [MD/57] and Allan Ronald [MD/61].
About Dr. Estelle Simons
Recently named Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba, Dr. Estelle Simons began her academic career at the U of M, earning her BSc and MD (Honours) here. Dr. Simons then trained in Pediatrics and in Allergy/Immunology at the University of Washington.
She was one of the first pediatrician Clinician Scientists in Canada, holding the Medical Research Council of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth II Scientist Award from 1975-1981, and the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation/University of Manitoba Bruce Chown Professorship until 2001.
Her research focuses on development of a non-invasive epinephrine (adrenalin) formulation for treatment of anaphylactic episodes. With her colleagues, she is developing a rapidly-dissolving drug tablet that could be placed under a patient’s tongue.
Her many awards include the Canadian Medical Association Medal of Service, the AAAAI Distinguished Clinician Award, and the WAO Scientific Achievement Award. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.