Search impact stories
Video Content: 
0

Allergy research that’s nothing to sneeze at

At a glance
The intern

Alexia Chávez García from Tecnológico De Monterrey, Mexico

Hosted by

Dr. Anne Ellis at Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen’s University

The research

Determining the effects of pollen on children’s allergies

As an allergy sufferer, Alexia Chávez García knows the frustration of dealing with a runny nose, sneezing, and trouble breathing. As a biotechnology student from Tecnológico De Monterrey in Chihuahua, Mexico, she’s determined to help the research community better understand allergies with the aim of preventing them.

This summer, Alexia’s working on a research project with Dr. Anne Ellis at Queen’s University’s Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences. Dr. Ellis’s research explores allergies and their impact on the Canadian population. Alexia’s project will help determine whether links exist between local pollen counts, a mother’s allergies (or lack of them), and biomarkers of children’s potential allergies in umbilical cord blood. From there, researchers will better understand the impact of pollen on children’s health outcomes and whether pollen-related allergies can be prevented.  

The opportunity to work in a research setting has proven especially exciting for Alexia. “With this project, I can see what clinical research is like, and play a role in helping people like me who also experience allergies.” Alexia’s data collection this summer will contribute to the research team’s understanding of allergies and how to prevent or treat them, whenever possible.

Alexia had previously studied abroad, but glowing reviews from other classmates inspired her to apply for Mitacs’ Globalink Research Internship that brought her to Kingston. “Coming to Canada seemed like an amazing opportunity, and it’s exciting to work on a project I really like.”

With a year left in her undergrad program, Alexia’s not certain of her next pursuits, but the future is bright. “I would love to come back to Canada,” she raves. “I’ve been enjoying Kingston — I love the city and the research.”


Mitacs would like to thank the Government of Canada, along with the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, and the Government of Quebec for their support of the Globalink Research Internship program. In addition, Mitacs is pleased to work with the following international partners to support Globalink: Universities Australia; the China Scholarship Council; Campus France; the German Academic Exchange Service; Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Education, Tecnológico de Monterrey, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico; Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education; and Tunisia’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Mission Universitaire de Tunisie en Amerique du Nord.