Our National Research Program invests in Canadian researchers by supporting their research for better treatment options and ultimately a cure for asthma. The National Research Program is an expansion of Asthma Canada’s Bastable-Potts and Enhorning Funds, which have awarded and recognized established Canadian investigators involved in asthma research since 2014. In 2017, we extended our program to student researchers.

By supporting research, we are expanding our connections to the medical and scientific communities that work in conjunction with researchers, patients and families. By expanding our partnerships and networks we aim to promote self-management and prevention by helping our community take control of their symptoms through evidence-based resources and support.


Graduate Student Research Grants

By investing in emerging Canadian researchers and supporting their promising research, we ensure continued efforts to search for a cure for asthma, while making real strides towards better treatment options for the three million Canadians living with asthma. To that end, we have expanded our Bastable-Potts and Enhorning Research Funds to provide grants to emerging researchers involved in early-onset and late-onset asthma research. With Asthma Canada CEO & President Vanessa Foran as a board member, we have partnered with AllerGen NCE Inc. to create the Graduate Student Research Grants program. The program will grant two awards to Masters level (MSc/MScN) student researchers and two awards to PhD level student researchers. We are very excited about this initiative, which will not only support promising research, but will foster the next generation of Canadian asthma researchers.

The Asthma Canada / AllerGen Goran Enhorning Graduate Student Research Awards support research for early-onset asthma, while the Asthma Canada / AllerGen Bastable-Potts Graduate Student Research Awards support investigations into late-onset asthma. Each partnered award includes one grant of $10,000 for a Masters of Science student researcher and one grant of $20,000 for a PhD student researcher.

The deadline for the 2018 Call for Proposals has now passed and applications are closed. If you want to be notified for our 2019 Call for Proposals, please sign up for our mailing list to receive the announcement via email.

Below are the inaugural award recipients of the Asthma Canada /AllerGen NCE 2017 Graduate Student Research Awards!


Effects of Phthalate Inhalation on Airway Immunology: A Controlled Human Exposure Study                       

Danay Maestre-Batlle

The University of British Columbia

Asthma Canada / AllerGen Bastable-Potts Graduate Student Research Award

$20,000 to support investigations into late-onset asthma by a PhD student

Danay Maestre-Batlle, a PhD student at the University of British Columbia is conducting cutting-edge research on the respiratory and immunological health effects of inhaled environmental pollutants. The goal of her research is to improve the lives of Canadians, specifically vulnerable groups who suffer from chronic inflammatory airway diseases such as asthma.


Understanding the Role of Protein Prenylation in Asthma                                                 

Thomas Mahood

University of Manitoba

Asthma Canada / AllerGen Goran-Enhorning Graduate Student Research Award

$20,000 to support investigations into early-onset asthma by a PhD student

Thomas Mahood, a PhD student at the University of Manitoba is investigating the role of protein modifications in asthmatic lungs. His research will provide a better blueprint for understanding the mechanisms of asthma – giving us a look into how we can treat the disease and help people living with asthma breathe easier.


The Role of Human Rhinovirus Infections in the Pathogenesis of Airway Remodelling in Asthma       

Diana Pham

University of Calgary

Asthma Canada / AllerGen Goran-Enhorning Graduate Student Research Award

$10,000 to support investigations into early-onset asthma by an MSc student

Diana Pham is a Master of Science student at the University of Calgary with Dr. Richard Leigh. She is conducting research to expand our knowledge on the molecular mechanisms contributing to the development of asthma. Her findings will help determine an appropriate pharmaceutical target or preventative measure for the airway remodelling that occurs in early childhood asthmatics.


Lead Investigator Awards

Through our National Research Program, we continue to support lead investigators working to expand our understanding of asthma and finding new treatment options for people living with asthma. Past recipients include:


Dr. Michael Brauer  

A Professor at the School of Population and Public Health in the University of British Columbia. He is the first ever recipient of Asthma Canada’s Bastable-Potts Asthma Research Prize for his ground-breaking research into traffic-related air pollution and its relationship to asthma in both adults and children. In his study he showed a prevalence of physician diagnosed asthma and respiratory illness among children aged 0-24 months, who lived near and were regularly exposed to traffic related air pollution. His work is being recognized by the Asthma Canada as a significant contribution to Canadians suffering from allergies and asthma.


Dr. Malcolm Sears 

A Professor in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University. He conducts innovative research into the epidemiology and natural history of asthma with a focus on its frequency, risk factors and characteristics in large populations. One of his most important studies to Asthma Canada was his longitudinal study examining the incidence and impact of asthma in a birth cohort of New Zealand children followed from infancy to adulthood. He is now conducting the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study assessing the influence of genes and the environment on infant development, which we hope will add important information and understanding to the development of asthma in children and its impact in adults.


Dr. Parameswaran Nair 

A Professor of Medicine at McMaster University. He is recognized for his innovative research investigating non-invasive measurements of airway inflammation in the treatment of severe asthma. He directs the AllerGen National Centre of Excellence Clinical Investigators Consortium for Severe Asthma and is a co-investigator of the Canadian Respiratory Research Network. At the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, he looks after patients with complex obstructive airway diseases, severe asthma, recurrent bronchitis, and lung disorders.


Dr. Shawn Aaron

A Professor in The Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa and a Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Dr. Aaron is a respirologist with special research and clinical interests in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and cystic fibrosis (CF). Dr. Aaron’s research has been focused on clinical and health services research related to the correct diagnosis and treatment of obstructive lung diseases (asthma and COPD) in Canadian communities. Dr. Aaron is Principal Investigator and Director of The Canadian Respiratory Research Network, a CIHR Emerging Research Network whose goal is to bring together researchers across disciplines to work together in a coordinated fashion in order to improve understanding of the origins and progression of asthma and COPD in Canada.

Dr. Shawn Aaron is recognized for the importance of his research examining misdiagnosis of asthma and the prevalence and economic/ health burden of undiagnosed airflow obstruction in Canadian communities. We also recognize his significant life-time achievements in asthma-related research over a very distinguished career.


Research Funds

Asthma Canada is working to provide research grants to scientists who are searching for more effective treatments for controlling asthma, keeping the airways open and making breathing easier for millions of people with asthma. With your support we will continue working to provide assistance to researchers as they strive to find a cure!

We have a number of research funds available for you to support, including:

The Dr. Goran Enhorning Asthma Research Fund

In October 2015, Asthma Canada received a gift on behalf of the Dr. Goran Enhorning Foundation for Pulmonary Research. This donation has been allocated to support further research into finding a cure for asthma and continuing some of the research first started by Dr. Enhorning in the 1990s. Learn more about the work of Dr. Enhorning here.

The Bastable-Potts Asthma Research Fund

In early 2014, Asthma Canada established the Bastable-Potts Asthma Research Fund following the receipt of a bequest from the estate of Gail Suzanne Potts, who died in 2012. Mrs. Potts’ mother suffered from adult onset of asthma. Her desire was to advance research into the multiple factors that contribute to the development of asthma.