“ Pollen is in the air: invasive plants and allergy in our changing environment ”

The two-day conference of the EU funded project Atopica taking place in Brussels on March 5-6th, 2015

A group of cellular and molecular biologists, immunologists, allergists, dermatologists, physicists, climate and air quality experts and land use specialists joint their efforts in a cross-disciplinary approach for the first time in Europe tackling the connection between pollen-related allergies, global and regional climate, air quality and land use and how to meet the health and environmental challenges of invasive alien species (IAS) invading Europe and other related issues.

You are invited to join the Atopica team at their conference and learn about the combined impact of changes in climate, land use and air pollution on the highly invasive weed Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) and its consequences on health.

The Atopica conference will take place in Brussels, Belgium, at the Committee of the Regions, with the consortium reporting to journalists, policy makers, members of parliament and interested citizens. The conference will be a two-day event featuring talks by Atopica members, invited speakers and will include workshops, posters and round table sessions.


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 Registration is now open on Registration and attendance for the conference are free!  

About Atopica

Ambrosia artemisiifolia, also known as common ragweed, is an annual herbaceous plant that originates in North America and began to spread in Europe after 1940. Currently, the pace at which Ambrosia is spreading is on the rise with a concomitant rise in allergy.

«Climate change foreseen for the next several decades of the 21st century over the European region will likely increase the spread of invasive plants like Ambrosia» says the project leader, Dr. Michelle Epstein of the Medical University of Vienna, talking about one of the main project findings. Together with Epstein, experts from seven different EU Countries (Austria, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Italy, and Croatia) are partners in the project.

Atopica has integrated quantitative physical and statistical models of climate and air quality with clinical data from paediatric and geriatric clinical cohorts. Children's Hospital Srebrnjak (CHS) is involved in cross-sectional prevalence data collection in children at different sites of exposure to pollen and air pollution, case study- identification of spatial data and exposure to ragweed and pollutants, collecting blood samples for -omics analysis and identifying de novo allergy to ragweed during three consecutive years as well as follow-up on the morbidity and severity and health impact data.

«There is an urgent need for awareness of ragweed in addition to sustainable strategies to control and reduce its spread with the intention of health and well being of Europeans» Epstein concludes inviting all to join the meeting in Brussels.



Dr. Michelle Epstein,
MUW – Medizinische Universität Wien,
Währinger Gurtel 18-20,
A1090, Vienna, Austria


Asst. Prof. Mirjana Turkalj, MD, PhD
CHS- Children's Hospital Srebrnjak
Srebrnjak 100,
10 000 Zagreb, Croatia


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Laura Vivani
Moverim sprl
Square Ambiorix, 32 B.te 43
B1000 Bruxelles, Belgium


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