Canadian Medical Hall of Fame 2017 Inductee

Dr. F. Estelle R. Simons

April 26, 1945 (Vancouver, British Columbia)

Category for Induction: Leadership in building excellence in health for Canadians and the world
Education:  MD (Honours), University of Manitoba (1969)

Allergic diseases are among the most common chronic health problems of the 21st century. For many who wheeze, sneeze, and itch because of their allergies, quality of life is negatively affected; for some, exposure to specific allergens can mean severe, even fatal, reactions.

Dr. Estelle Simons, a clinician scientist, is internationally renowned for research on the management of allergic diseases. Throughout her career, with an interdisciplinary team, she designed and conducted innovative pharmacologic studies of many new medications that have subsequently been introduced worldwide for safe and effective treatment of asthma, allergic rhinitis, and urticaria. She also designed and conducted unique investigations of epinephrine and novel epinephrine delivery systems for anaphylaxis. In addition, with colleagues, she investigated new approaches to allergen immunotherapy and the mechanisms associated with sensitization and desensitization.

Many of her 575 peer-reviewed publications are widely cited. She has also edited or co-edited eight textbooks, including Middleton’s Allergy: Principles and Practice, the leading allergy reference textbook used worldwide. She has given more than 300 invited research presentations at major congresses, universities, and research institutes on six continents.

Over four decades Dr. Simons played an important role in building the specialty of allergy and clinical immunology nationally and internationally by serving as Chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Clinical Immunology Specialty Committee, President of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and President of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. During a 15-year commitment to the World Allergy Organization, she served several terms on the Board of Directors and chaired global research and education initiatives on anaphylaxis.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Dr. Simons has received 60 major awards and honours, including, the Canadian Medical Association Medal of Service, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Distinguished Clinician Award, and the World Allergy Organization Scientific Achievement Award.

Her dedication to scholarship, innovative research, education and knowledge translation have helped transform allergic disease management from empiricism to science; her efforts have helped mitigate the impact of the global allergy epidemic and alleviate suffering worldwide.   ~WLH