UM Today UM Today University of Manitoba UM Today UM Today UM Today
News from
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
UM Today Network
Estelle Simons smiling at a podium.

Estelle Simons

UM pediatric pioneer in immunology and allergy named to Order of Canada

June 27, 2024 — 

Estelle Simons [B.Sc./65, MD/69], professor emerita at the Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, has been named to the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest honours. 

The UM professor of pediatrics & child health and immunology was one of 83 new appointments by Governor General Mary Simon on June 27. She was cited for her profound global impact on mitigating the effects of allergic reactions and diseases, notably among children.  

“Congratulations to Dr. Simons on being appointed to the Order of Canada,” said Dr. Peter Nickerson, Vice-Dean (Health Sciences) and Dean, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. “Her groundbreaking research helped save the lives of those at risk of severe allergic reactions, and her pioneering studies changed how we think about allergies and the medications we use to combat them.” 

Simons was one of the first pediatrician clinician scientists in Canada. She is internationally renowned for research on pharmacologic management of allergic diseases, including anaphylaxis and asthma.  

She was also the first to publish descriptions of clinical and immunological reactions to mosquito bites, including anaphylaxis and “skeeter syndrome.” 

Her dedication to scholarship, innovative research and education helped transform allergic disease management from empiricism to science, relieve suffering and mitigate the impact of the global allergy epidemic.  

Estelle Simons' Canadian Medical Hall of Fame portrait.

Simons’ Canadian Medical Hall of Fame portrait, which is on display on Bannatyne campus.

Simons led an interdisciplinary team that conducted landmark investigations to establish the scientific basis for the use of new medications. These medications have since become safe and effective treatments for allergic diseases worldwide.  

Many of her 580 publications are widely cited and some are translated into multiple languages. 

She has been honoured with many awards during her distinguished career including  the Canadian Medical Association Medal of Service, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology  Distinguished Clinician Award, the World Allergy Organization Scientific Achievement Award. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2017, she was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. 


© University of Manitoba • Winnipeg, Manitoba • Canada • R3T 2N2

Emergency: 204-474-9341