Read about the researchers who contributed to the early development and design of the Ontario Health Study.
Read about the researchers who contributed to the early development and design of the Ontario Health Study.
Dr. Shabbir Alibhai is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, and the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto.
He is a staff physician in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at the University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital, a senior scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute and the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and a prior Research Scientist of the Canadian Cancer Society. His research interests are in geriatric oncology, particularly in the impact of disease and treatment on quality of life and function of patients with prostate cancer, the value of geriatric assessment in older adults with cancer, and randomized trials of exercise to improve outcomes in older adults with cancer. Since 2015, he is also the medical lead for the geriatric oncology program at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Canada’s largest academic cancer centre.
“The mammoth scale of this project and the opportunity to collect a tremendous amount of data is inspiring and creates a fantastic opportunity to study many questions in older adults for all of us who are aging. I’m thrilled to be a small part of this incredible project.”
Johane Allard is a Gastroenterologist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She is crossed-appointed at the Department of Nutritional Sciences. Dr. Allard is also the Director of the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Toronto and the Director of the Nutritional Support Program at the University Health Network.
She is the Division Head of Gastroenterology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Allard is the founding President of the Canadian Society for Clinical Nutrition, now named the Canadian Nutrition Society. She is also Co-Chair of the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force. The aim of the task force is to create a knowledge base and close the gaps between research and practice in the prevention, detection and treatment of malnutrition in Canadians through the continuum of care. Dr. Allard is a clinical investigator, with a research focus in nutrition and gastrointestinal disorders, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Obesity, malnutrition and nutrition support are further areas of interest.
“The Ontario Health Study will provide valuable information about diet and lifestyle factors that can influence the health of our population in the long term. This will help us to determine which problems should be the priority in our future research.”
Dr. Eitan Amir is a Medical Oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.
He is the Executive Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Medical Oncology and Hematology Fellowship program and also serves as the Cancer Care Ontario Systemic Therapy Lead for Toronto Central South and as the Vice-Chair of the Cancer Research Ethics Board at University Health Network. Dr. Amir’s clinical interests are the treatment of breast cancer and toxicities of anti-cancer drugs. His academic interests include clinical trial methodology, meta-analysis and outcomes research. Dr. Amir completed his medical degree, internal medicine and medical oncology training in the University of Manchester, UK. He then completed a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Amir has over 200 peer-reviewed publications as well as numerous published abstracts and book chapters.
"Results of clinical trials are informative, but often cannot be generalized to the general population as a whole. The Ontario Health Study will allow us to investigate how effective our interventions are in a normal population."
Danielle Andrade is the Medical Director of the Epilepsy Program at the University Health Network, University of Toronto.
She is the founder and Director of Krembil Neuroscience Epilepsy Genetics Program. Dr. Andrade is also the Director of the Epilepsy Transition Program, which, in collaboration with The Hospital for Sick Children, helps promote coordinated, smooth and efficient transition from pediatric to adult health systems for patients with intractable epilepsy. She was the chair of the epilepsy implementation task force sub-group for the development of Guidelines for Transition in Epilepsy for the Province of Ontario. Dr. Andrade’s research interests are in the genetic causes of epilepsies, familial forms of epilepsy and genotype-phenotype correlations in adults. Dr. Andrade continues to collaborate on national and international initiatives to discover new genes that are associated with common and rare epilepsies, and to identify how these genes affect patient responses to therapy.
Professor Nancy Baxter is Head of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne.
She is a clinical epidemiologist, colorectal surgeon and health services researcher. Before joining the University of Melbourne, she was the Associate Dean, Academic Affairs at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, a Professor of Surgery in the Department of Surgery and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Her main research interests are in the evaluation of patterns of cancer care, the evaluation of cancer screening, determining the long-term consequences of cancer care for survivors and improving the quality and safety of surgery. She has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles. She also applies the use of linked health administrative data and cancer registry data to evaluate long-term consequences of cancer care for adults. She is a Fellow of both the American College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Anthony Bella is the Greta and John Hansen Chair in Men’s Health Research, Assistant Professor of Urology and Director of Basic Urologic Research at the University of Ottawa, and Associate Scientist (Neuroscience) at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa.
Dr. Bella’s primary urologic clinical interests are management of post-prostate cancer treatment complications and complex reconstructive urogenital surgeries. From a men’s health standpoint, his interests focus on aiding in the formation of a national Men’s Health Strategy for Canada, the use of urologic non-specific primary care health encounters to drive preventative men’s health, and delineation of non-traditional markers such as erectile dysfunction for cardiovascular health.
"The OHS offers an almost-unprecedented opportunity to impact health care across a broad range of disease processes, on a Canadian and truly international level. Prevention, treatment, knowledge – every man, woman and child has the potential to benefit from this research program."
Sasha Bernatsky is a rheumatologist and clinical epidemiologist with an interest in burden of disease and long-term outcomes in chronic rheumatic disease, and drug safety and effectiveness.
Dr. Bernatsky is a Professor at McGill University, Department of Medicine, and a clinical scientist in the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.
“The Ontario Health Study promises to be a very important resource and will be a model for chronic disease epidemiology, surveillance and outcomes research in Canada.”
Arlene Bierman is a general internist, geriatrician and the inaugural holder of Echo’s Ontario Women’s Health Council Chair in Women’s Health. She is an Associate Professor in the Lawrence F. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing; and of Health Policy, Evaluation and Management; and Medicine at the University of Toronto. As well, Dr. Bierman is a Senior Scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael's Hospital. She is the Principal Investigator for the POWER study, helping policymakers and health care providers to improve health and reduce health inequities in Ontario.
Dr. Bierman was a Senior Research Physician in the Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research at the U.S. Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. She has served as a Deputy Editor of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Bierman was Director of the Primary Care Internal Medicine residency program and Director of the Department of Ambulatory Care at Elmhurst Hospital Center in New York and on the faculty of the departments of Internal Medicine and Community and Preventive Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
Nick Birkett is a former Associate Professor in the School of of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa and the Associate Director (epidemiology) for the McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment.
He was at the University of Ottawa for more than 30 years. His personal interests are in epidemiological methodology and the application of systems concepts to the understanding of cancer causation. He worked with prostate and oesophageal cancer.
"The OHS is a great resource for Ontario. It will provide the base for exciting research for many years to come, and will lead to improvements in the prevention and treatment of cancer and other chronic diseases. But, all of this positive impact depends on the generosity and support of the people of Ontario. Many thanks to all."
Sandra Black holds the inaugural Brill Chair in Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
She received her medical and neurological training at the University of Toronto, completed postdoctoral research at the University of Western Ontario in Behavioural Neurology and Stroke, and pursued graduate work in the History and Philosophy of Science at Oxford University. She directs the Brain Sciences Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute, and is a Senior Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest. She is Medical Director of the Regional Stroke Centre for N&E GTA and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Site Director for the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery. She was Head of Neurology at Sunnybrook (1995-2006) and currently directs the LC Campbell Cognitive Neurology Research Unit. Her research interests include stroke recovery and vascular cognitive impairment, diagnosis of dementia and the use of neuroimaging to study brain-behaviour relationships. She has published over 350 papers and is actively engaged in clinical trials of stroke and stroke recovery, Alzheimer’s and vascular cognitive impairment.
“The Ontario Health Study has the potential to help us better understand the early predictors of Alzheimer’s disease and cerebrovascular disease, both dreaded disorders that sabotage quality of life in increasing numbers in our aging population, and pose a significant threat to our health-care system. Comprehensive population studies, especially of those coming to OHS assessment centres, can provide crucial longitudinal insights that can help us identify new biomarkers and new targets for intervention.”
Douglas Bradley is a Respirologist, a Professor of Medicine and Department Division Director of Respirology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Bradley also serves as Director for the Sleep Research Laboratory at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the Centre for Sleep Health and Research at the Toronto General Hospital of the University Health Network.
He obtained his MD degree at the University of Alberta. His clinical and research work focuses on the causes and cardiovascular consequences of sleep apnea and of its treatment on cardiovascular endpoints, especially in patients with co-existing heart failure, hypertension and stroke. He holds peer-reviewed grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, MaRS Innovation and the Ontario Centres of Excellence and has published over 190 papers and book chapters on sleep apnea and related topics. Presently, he is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and of the Editorial Board of SLEEP and is a former Associate Editor of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Bradley is highly sought as a speaker on sleep apnea, its causes and cardiovascular consequences around the world.
Rodney Breau is a Surgical Oncologist at The Ottawa Hospital and Associate Professor of Urology at the University of Ottawa. He completed his Urologic Oncology and Robotic Surgery Fellowship at Mayo Clinic and a Masters of Science in Clinical Research from Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education.
He is a founding member of the International Evidence Based Urology Group and serves on the American Urological Association and Cancer Care Ontario Clinical Practice Guideline steering committees. He is a Scientist with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and has specific interest in population-based observational studies and clinical trials. He is a member of the Society of Urologic Oncology and is interested in prostate, kidney and bladder cancer research.
“The Ontario Health Study is a unique opportunity for us to learn about ourselves. This study will allow us to determine predictors of health, patterns of disease, and areas for further study.”
Dr. Robert Campbell is Deputy Chair, Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Ophthalmology at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He is also an Adjunct Scientist with the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and leads an internationally-recognized, CIHR-funded health services research program focused on the assessment of eye and vision health care quality, access and safety.
Dr. Campbell holds positions in numerous health policy organizations and is Co-chair of Health Quality Ontario’s Glaucoma Quality Standards Expert Committee and a member of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Vision Care Task Force. Prior to assuming the role of Deputy Chair, Dr. Campbell served as the Queen’s University Ophthalmology Residency Program Director. Dr. Campbell studied medicine at the University of Ottawa, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Ottawa, followed by fellowship training in glaucoma surgery at the University of Toronto and cornea surgery at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, England.
“Canada has an outstanding history of scientific achievement, and the commitment of Canadians to providing high-quality health care across our population is a defining characteristic. The OHS is an important step in both of these ventures.”
Dr. Chi-Ming Chow is an attending staff cardiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital. He is a full professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Toronto.
He has an undergraduate degree in computer science from Brown University, USA. He completed his Doctor of Medicine (1990) at McGill University (Montréal, Québec) and a Masters of Science in Epidemiology at McGill University (1997). He completed his training in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Cardiology at McGill University. He then pursued his clinical and research echocardiography fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University before joining the Division of Cardiology at St. Michael’s Hospital in 2001. Clinically he specializes in non-invasive cardiac imaging, in particular echocardiography and stress echocardiography. He is the Director of the Echocardiography Laboratory at St. Michael’s Hospital. Currently, he a past president of the Canadian Society of Echo (CSE) and the president of the Chinese Canadian Medical Society (CCMS). He also speaks Cantonese and Mandarin fluently. He currently takes care of many GTA Chinese speaking patients in his practice. His academic interests include medical informatics and he has authored many popular medical education software programs (e.g. CardioMath, ECG Made Simple, iCCS for the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, iASE Guidelines App for the American Society of Echocardiography, CDA Clinical Practice Guidelines, iSVU Guidelines for the Society for Vascular Ultrasound, and Choosing Wisely Canada). These medical software programs are being used by healthcare professionals and students worldwide. His other current areas of research include ethnic differences in cardiovascular disease and investigating new technologies in non-invasive imaging. He also works on using artificial intelligence/machine learning to improve cardiac imaging and patient care. He had won multiple local and national teaching awards to recognize his teaching and innovation in medical education. Some of his awards include the CSE achievement award in 2017, the CCS Distinguished Teacher Award in 2015, the Ruedy Award for Innovation in Medical Education presented by the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada and the Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine and the 2009 William Goldie Prize for Innovation by the Department of Medicine, University of Toronto. He has authored multiple peer-reviewed journals and presented in local, national and international scientific meetings. He is a media spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation; and the President of the Chinese Canadian Council, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. He participates actively in health promotion and research among ethnic Chinese. To recognize his service to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, he won the Award for Volunteer Excellence in 2007 and the Rick Gallop Award for Pioneering Leadership in 2008. In 2010, he was awarded the ACCE Best Community Service Award, and in 2012 he was awarded the Chinese Canadian Legend Award by the Asian Business Network Association in recognition of his service to the community.
Sean Cleary is a surgeon-scientist at the University Health Network and a Research Associate at the Prosserman Centre for Health Research in the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute.
In addition to his surgical training, Dr. Cleary completed a Masters degree in Cancer Genetics and a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Toronto. His research interests are focused on the genetic epidemiology of liver, pancreas and colorectal cancer, while his clinical practice is in the surgical management of these malignancies.
"The OHS represents a tremendous opportunity for us to understand some of the complex environmental and genetic causes behind difficult diseases such as cancer. The people of Ontario have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a major contribution to our understanding of so many diseases and it is an honour to be involved in such an amazing project."
Curtis Cooper is an Associate Professor with the University of Ottawa, Infectious Diseases Consultant with the Ottawa Hospital Division of Infectious Diseases, Clinical Researcher with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Ontario HIV Treatment Network Career Scientist.
Dr. Cooper’s research activities encompass HIV, viral hepatitis, and vaccine/vaccine adjuvant development with a focus on influenza and hepatitis B. He obtained his MD from the University of Saskatchewan and trained at the University of Manitoba for Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. His work is focused on the development of new therapeutic agents and the delivery of treatment that maximizes safety, adherence and safety; particularly in the development of new HCV therapeutics and immunization in immune compromised populations. Dr. Cooper also serves as Treasurer of the Canadian Association for HIV Researchers in addition to numerous other research groups and committees including the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (AMMI) Guidelines Committee.
Michelle Cotterchio is a Senior Scientist at Cancer Care Ontario and Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Dr. Cotterchio’s research program focuses on the etiology of cancer – in particular breast, colorectal and pancreatic cancer.
The majority of her research is focused on modifiable risk factors such as dietary intake, as well as the interaction with genetic factors. Dr. Cotterchio currently holds cancer epidemiology research grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Cancer Society, and serves as Co-Principal Investigator on the Ontario Familial Colon Cancer Registry Cohort, an international consortium funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute for the past decade.
“The OHS is an important initiative that has the potential to advance knowledge regarding the prevention of many chronic diseases.”
Natasha Crowcroft is Director of Surveillance and Epidemiology at Public Health Ontario. This scientific program is responsible for Provincial infectious disease surveillance as well as supporting surveillance and epidemiology in Environmental and Occupational Health, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Emergency Management and for the Public Health Laboratories.
A public health physician, she has a broad background in clinical medicine, microbiology and field epidemiology, and an extensive portfolio of research, training, policy and public health service. She has worked internationally and as an advisor to the World Health Organization, Geneva. During her decade with the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency, she was a national expert in immunization for the U.K., ran several national surveillance systems and conducted research studies in a number of areas, including pertussis and encephalitis. She moved to Canada in 2007, where she is a member of the Canadian National Advisory Committee on Immunization and Ontario’s Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committee on Immunization. She is also a member of the Pan American Health Organization’s International Expert Committee on the elimination of measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome from the Americas.
Pierre Côté is an epidemiologist, Canada Research Chair in Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation and Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. He is also the director of the UOIT-CMCC Centre for the Study of Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation and an Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.
In 2010, he reviewed and proposed modifications to the definition of catastrophic impairment related to traffic collision for the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. More recently, he was mandated by the Government of Ontario to develop evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines for the management of traffic injuries. Dr. Côté’s current research focuses on the etiology, prognosis and management of disability related to musculoskeletal pain and mental health.
"The richness of the data collected in the OHS will provide us with a unique opportunity to study the health of Ontarians. Ultimately, it may help us prevent disability and improve the health of our population."
Sulan Dai received her MD from the Shanghai Medical University and PhD in Health Geography from the University of Victoria.
After practicing medicine in teaching hospitals for over 10 years, she now specializes in chronic disease surveillance and prevention at the Public Health Agency of Canada. She serves as Senior Epidemiologist, leading the Cardiovascular Disease & Diabetes Unit in the Chronic Disease Surveillance & Monitoring Division. Her research interests focus on cardiovascular disease and diabetes incidence and prevalence and mortality in Canada, as well as their comorbidities and risk factors.
"It is a great opportunity to be part of the Ontario Health Study team. The OHS will add value to the cardiovascular disease research fields at the national level and fill data gaps in Canada’s cardiovascular disease surveillance system."
Anna Day is a Respirologist and Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She is Chair of Continuing Education for the Division of Respirology and Director of the Gender and Airways Program at Women’s College Hospital.
Dr. Day served as Physician-in-Chief at Women’s College Hospital and then Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre from 1991 to 1999 and was founding Board Chair of the Centre for Research in Women’s Health. Her clinical research is in the area of gender and pulmonary health, with a focus on both the psychosocial and biological factors contributing to gender differences in asthma and smoking-related pulmonary disease.
“This study provides us with a unique opportunity to utilize a ‘gender lens’ in studying the impact of heredity, environment and life choices on the health of our population, particularly in the area of smoking-related pulmonary disease.”
Craig Earle is a medical oncologist at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre, a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Vice President, Cancer Control, at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.
Between 2008 – 2017 he was the Director of Health Services Research for Cancer Care Ontario and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Prior to that, Dr. Earle spent 10 years at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. While there, he was the founding Director of the Lance Armstrong Foundation Adult Survivorship Clinic at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His personal research interests focus on evaluating and improving the quality of care received by patients with advanced cancer and cancer survivors.
“The OHS has the potential to be one of the best platforms for medical research in the world, allowing discoveries ranging from the causes of disease to what the patient experience is like after treatment. The more people that participate, the more valuable it will be, so I encourage everyone who is eligible to sign up!”
Dr. Susan J. Elliott is the Dean of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Waterloo and a Professor of Public Health and Health Systems, cross-appointed to Geography and Environmental Management.
She completed her PhD in Medical Geography and has published extensively in a range of health-related areas, including the geographies of health promotion and individual and community level impacts of a range of environmental exposures. Her primary research focus is on relationships between environment and health. She is currently a Co-theme Leader in AllerGen, a Canadian National Centre of Excellence on allergies and asthma in the environment and an adjunct professor with the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment & Health, where she works in the area of the water health nexus in East Africa. She is currently the Scientific Leader for the Sandbox Project, which is focused on improving health outcomes with respect to injury prevention, obesity, mental health and the environment in response to the lack of health indicators for children and youth in Canada.
“Canada lost a great man in Dr. Fraser Mustard, the man who taught us that the health of populations is an essential area of study and impact. The OHS has the potential to be a flagship project in this area.”
Khaled El Emam is an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine, and the School of Information Technology and Engineering, a Senior Investigator at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute and a Canada Research Chair in Electronic Health Information at the University of Ottawa.
Prior to this, Dr. El Emam was a Senior Research Officer at the National Research Council of Canada and he headed up the Quantitative Methods Group at the Fraunhofer Institute in Kaiserslautern, Germany. His main area of research is data sharing and the privacy of personal health information, which includes developing techniques for secure anonymization of health information, assessing re-identification risk of health datasets and developing secure multi-party computation protocols for distributed surveillance and data analysis.
Katya Feder has a PhD in Rehabilitation Science and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ottawa, School of Rehabilitation, Audiology Program, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Dr. Feder is the lead investigator on several peer-reviewed articles based on Canadian Health Measures Survey data related to measured hearing loss prevalence among Canadians adults, adolescents and children including hazardous occupational noise exposure and hearing loss. Dr. Feder works in the Non-ionizing Radiation Division – Health Sciences Division of Health Canada and is involved in research on noise and health. She is also the co-author of several wind turbine noise and health papers and has conducted research on personal listening device usage and hearing among adolescents. Dr. Feder is also a member of the World Health Organization Working Group – Make Listening Safe initiative.
"The OHS is an exciting project and will provide much needed information about many health outcomes including vision and hearing health. This data will help guide health professionals, public health officials, policy makers and researchers as to what our next steps should be with regards to health promotion and prevention of disability."
Aaron Fenster received his PhD from the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto in 1976. His went on to work at the university’s Department of Radiology and Medical Biophysics and as the Director of the Radiological Research laboratories of the Department of Radiology.
In 1987, Dr. Fenster moved to London, Ont., and became a Scientist and founding Director of the Imaging Research Laboratories at the Robarts Research Institute and Professor at The University of Western Ontario (UWO) in Radiology and Medical Biophysics. He is the founder and Associate Director of the Biomedical Engineering interdisciplinary graduate program at UWO and Chair of the basic Science Division of the Department of Medical Imaging. He holds a Canada Research Chair-Tier 1 in Biomedical Engineering and is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award for Innovative Leadership. He is the first recipient of the Premier’s (Ontario) Discovery Award for Innovation and Leadership (2007), the Hellmuth Prize for Achievement in Research at the UWO (2008) and the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists (COMP) Gold Medal Award (2010). Dr. Fenster’s group has focused on the development of 3D ultrasound imaging with diagnostic and surgical/therapeutic cancer applications. His research has resulted in 37 patents (27 awarded and 10 pending).
Amit Garg is a Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Western Ontario. He is the Scientific Director of ICES@Western and a practicing Nephrologist at the London Health Sciences Centre.
Dr. Garg conducts clinical and health services research to improve health outcomes for patients with kidney disease, including those receiving dialysis or a kidney transplant. One of his goals is to improve the efficiency by which renal care is delivered. Dr. Garg holds a Clinician Scientist Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. His key research interests include quality and improvement in renal care, population renal surveillance and outcomes of living kidney donation.
“The Ontario Health Study provides an important and unique opportunity to understand the factors that cause kidneys to fail, so that we reduce the incidence of kidney failure or prevent it all together.”
Dr. Ginsburg is medical oncologist with expertise in cancer genetics, epidemiology, prevention, and screening. She is currently located at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, where she serves as Senior Scientific Officer at the NCI’s Center for Global Health.
From 2017 to 2021 she served as Director of the High-Risk Cancer Genetics Program at the Perlmutter Cancer Center and was Associate Professor, Section for Global Health, Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Health. She was an Associate Professor in Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto until 2015. From October 2015 to November 2016, Dr Ginsburg worked in Geneva Switzerland as a Medical Officer in the NCDs Management Unit at the World Health Organization (WHO). Her research and policy work spans more than a decade in global cancer control and women’s health equity. Since 2004, she has developed a program of population intervention research and training in global cancer control, with projects in Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Tanzania. She is principal investigator on studies of population differences in breast cancer risk factors; and of public health interventions to improve access to cancer services for women in low-income countries, and women from ethno-cultural minority communities in North America. Dr. Ginsburg continues to serve as an ad hoc consultant, providing technical assistance in low and middle-income countries on behalf of WHO, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (IAEA-PACT) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Dr. Ginsburg has co-authored 2 books, 5 book chapters, 70 peer-reviewed articles as well as invited commentaries in journals such as The Lancet, The Lancet Global Health, The Lancet Public Health, JAMA, British Medical Journal, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Annals of Oncology. In 2016, she led a three-part commissioned series for The Lancet, “Health, equity, and women’s cancers” with 40+ authors from 18 countries, which was launched at the UICC World Cancer Congress in Paris. She was a founding editorial board member and is now Associate Editor for the Journal of Global Oncology (ASCO).
"I am delighted to take part in this important effort and encourage everyone to sign up. The OHS can teach us all a great deal about how to improve the health of Ontarians and can shed light on health equity, increasingly important in our interconnected world."
Keith Gordon is Vice President Research at the CNIB. Prior to joining CNIB in 2007, he spent more than 30 years in the ophthalmic industry, where he was responsible for a wide range of research and scientific activities.
He is responsible for managing the research operations of CNIB, and is committed to utilizing research to ensure ongoing, evidence-based vision rehabilitation services at CNIB and the maintenance of service quality. Dr Gordon’s primary research interests lie in the area of ophthalmic epidemiology. He is an adjunct professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Toronto.
Effie Gournis is an Associate Director at Toronto Public Health, focused on core areas of effective public health practice, and an Adjunct Professor in the Epidemiology division at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
She is a member of the Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committee focused on surveillance issues. She has worked in TB Epidemiology with San Francisco's Department of Public Health, malaria control and prevention with the Pasteur Institute, food-borne illness surveillance with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and as an HIV/AIDS advisor for an advocacy program in New York state.
"To understand health risks through a long-term population-based lens for those living in Ontario is a remarkable opportunity for both the academic community and the ultimate benefactor – the public."
Sherry Grace holds a PhD in applied research, and serves as a Full Professor in the Faculty of Health at York University. As well, Dr. Grace is Director of Research at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre Cardiovascular Rehabilitation and Prevention Program, and a Senior Scientist at the KITE-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, University of Toronto.
She serves as vice-chair of the OHS Psychosocial Health working group. Her research interests revolve around cardiac rehabilitation and cardiac psychology.
“Being a part of this study is so exciting – we have an incredible opportunity to better understand how to optimize psychosocial health and well-being, and also to understand what determines our psychosocial health. Our working group has really laid the groundwork so that in the coming years we will know so much more about not only emotional distress, but life satisfaction and well-being.”
After receiving her graduate training in experimental psychology at Boston University, Cheryl Grady went on to the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging in Bethesda, Maryland.
She is a Senior Scientist at Toronto’s Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest, and was the Assistant Director of the Institute from 2004 to 2010. She is a Professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Toronto, and holds a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Neurocognitive Aging. She has been awarded the Justine and Yves Sergent Award for Women in Neuroscience and was the recipient of the Donald Stuss Award for Research Excellence. Dr. Grady’s research focuses on the use of brain imaging to explore the functional and structural changes that occur in aging and how these relate to changes in behaviour. Her lab is exploring aspects of brain aging that may be of fundamental importance to our understanding of aging. These include age differences in large-scale functional connectivity of brain networks, the influence of lifelong experience (such as bilingualism) on brain structure/function, and variability of brain activity. The goal is to understand how cognition is altered, or maintained, during the aging process, and ultimately to use this knowledge to improve rehabilitation interventions in the elderly.
"The Ontario Health Study is important because it will provide a unique and extremely valuable dataset with health information on a large number and diverse spectrum of adults in the province. Aging affects all of the body’s systems, including the brain, so our knowledge of aging will be greatly expanded when we are able to combine data across all the aspects tapped by the OHS into a comprehensive picture of what it’s like to be an older adult."
Barry Greenberg co-directs the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance at University Health Network (UHN) as Director of Strategy, a consortium involving academic research and the five memory clinics at hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto to create a citywide dementia research centre.
Dr. Greenberg has been involved in Alzheimer’s disease research and drug discovery since 1985. He has held a series of positions in the U.S., Sweden and Canada within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Dr. Greenberg was the leader of a drug discovery project at AstraZeneca through lead optimization. Before joining UHN, he was Senior Director of Pharmacology at Neurochem. Dr. Greenberg possesses a significant background in most aspects of the drug discovery process in neurological disease, with expertise ranging from target identification and validation through preclinical and clinical development. He has a strong international network in the Alzheimer field, including industry, academia, government and the voluntary sector, plus previous involvement in multi-sector consortia. He has authored or co-authored 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 19 book chapters and reviews.
David Grimes is the Director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Clinic at The Ottawa Hospital. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and an Associate Scientist at the Ottawa Health Research Institute.
Dr. Grimes research interests are in the identification of gene mutations that cause or contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease and other disorders that cause involuntary movements. His major clinical interests are in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of movement disorders with an emphasis on Parkinson’s disease and dystonia as well as exploring novel treatments.
"Many of medicines greatest discoveries have come from clues gained by assessing large groups of individuals prior to their developing a specific disease. The OHS will provide the platform to study a broad range of health issues to lead the way for the next generation of medical breakthroughs."
Eva Grunfeld is a Physician Scientist with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Health Services Research Program, and Director of the Knowledge Translation Research Network.
She is the Giblon Professor and Director of Family Medicine Research at the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto. Dr. Grunfeld founded and directed the Cancer Outcomes Research Program at Cancer Care Nova Scotia and Dalhousie University. She obtained her medical degree from McMaster University and doctoral degree in cancer epidemiology from Oxford University. Dr. Grunfeld is internationally recognized for her research on cancer follow-up and survivorship. The clinical trials she has conducted on cancer follow-up care have influenced clinical practice guidelines internationally. Dr. Grunfeld holds many peer-review grants as a Principal Investigator and has served on various committees to further the goals of cancer control in Canada and internationally.
Dr. Harris is a Professor at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada and holds the Canadian Diabetes Association Chair in Diabetes Management and the Ian McWhinney Chair of Family Medicine Studies. He is also Medical Director at the Primary Care Diabetes Support Program at St. Joseph’s Health Care – an integrated team-based diabetes clinic for disenfranchised and marginalized populations.
Dr. Harris has published over 250 articles in peer-reviewed journals and participated extensively in clinical practice guideline development, including serving as chair of the Canadian Diabetes Association clinical practice guidelines committee. He is the recipient of the Ontario Ministry of Heath Career Scientist award, the Dr. Gerald S. Wong Service Award of the Canadian Diabetes Association, the Hellmuth Prize for Achievement in Research at Western University, and is a Fellow in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. On July 1, 2015, Dr. Harris was appointed to the Order of Canada for his contributions to the development of strategies to manage and reduce diabetes in Aboriginal communities and other vulnerable populations.
“At a time when chronic diseases such as diabetes have been recognized as leading causes of death, the Ontario Health Study offers an unprecedented opportunity to gain an understanding of key risk factors and association of the largest population cohort ever studied. It is a privilege to be a scientific member contributing to this exciting endeavour.”
Bob Harrison is Professor, and Vice-Chair (Research) of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Toronto, and is a Senior Scientist in the Neurosciences & Mental Health Program at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto.
He also has appointments in the Department of Physiology and the Institutes of Biomedical Engineering, and Medical Science. He is appointed as Adjunct Faculty at SALUS University, U.S. and involved in the education of new generations of Audiology specialists. Dr. Harrison has basic training in biological sciences, with doctoral degrees in auditory neuroscience from universities in England. His basic laboratory research explores both inner ear function and central auditory brain development and neuroplasticity. He is also involved in clinically related research, most recently in the area of hearing loss in children, including studies in pediatric cochlear implantation, and in auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder. Through 40 years of academic interest in audiology and otology, Harrison has maintained a philosophy is to take new basic science discoveries and translate them to promote wellness and improved hearing healthcare.
"The Ontario Health Study is important. At the micro "self interest" level, I want to know more about how many Canadians have hearing and communication problems. I want to know how many people develop hearing loss, and trace the causes. We need this information for planning education strategies for prevention, as well as health-care resources for treatment and habilitation. At the macro level, these questions are important for all aspects of health care and the quality of life of our society."
Ann Heesters is the Associate Director of Ethics at the University Health Network and a member of the University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics.
After a three-year internship in ethics (jointly funded by Hamilton Health Sciences and the Department of Philosophy at McMaster University), she became the first full-time ethicist at Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation in Saint John, N.B. Heesters subsequently became the Director of Ethics of The Ottawa Hospital. She is now Vice-Chair of Toronto Rehab’s Research Ethics Board, serves on the executive of the Canadian Bioethics Society, and is a founding member of PHEEP (Practicing Healthcare Ethicists Exploring Professionalization).
Jeffrey Hoch received his PhD in health economics. An award-winning teacher, Dr. Hoch has taught Health Economics classes in Canada and internationally.
In 2007, he was selected to develop and direct the Pharmacoeconomics Research Unit at Cancer Care Ontario. As Director of the unit, Dr. Hoch has pursued research making health economics more useful to decision makers. In 2009, Dr. Hoch became the co-Director of the Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control (ARCC). In 2015, Dr. Hoch was recruited to be Professor and Chief of the Division of Health Policy and Management in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of California at Davis (UCD). He also serves as the Associate Director of the Center for Healthcare Policy and Research at UCD.
“Cancer is a terrible disease and we must meet the challenge in a smart, efficient way. Applied research in cancer control is very important because it can help millions of people at a time.”
As an Ophthalmologist, Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Hodge assumed the role of Scientific Director of the Vision Team in late 2010.
He is a clinical epidemiologist whose research work has spanned the areas of observational research, clinical trials and knowledge synthesis. Prior to this, Dr. Hodge was on faculty at the University of Ottawa Eye Institute for 12 years. He did his medical and ophthalmology training at McGill University and University of California, San Francisco. He did his Clinical Epidemiology training at UC Berkeley and at McGill University.
“The Ontario Health Study will be the first Canadian prospective cohort study featuring vision as a major component. Hence the Ontario vision community has been mobilized, including clinical ophthalmologists, clinical optometrists, researchers, vision NGOs and international advisors. It promises to be a study with great impact for Canadians and for the vision community internationally.”
Bernard R. Hurley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Residency Program Director at the University of Ottawa as well as the fellowship Program Director for the University of Ottawa Eye Institute.
Dr. Hurley completed his post-graduate medical education at the prestigious Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The twice-awarded Outstanding Fellow recipient has written several book chapters and has authored or co-authored many peer-reviewed publications concerning the treatment of choroidal neovascularization and diabetic retinopathy.
"The OHS is a unique opportunity to better understand many important diseases that affect the lives of so many of our loved ones right here in Ontario. The more people that participate, the more significant the results will be, so I would encourage as many people as possible to become involved."
Cindy M.L. Hutnik completed doctorate work at the National Research Council of Canada prior to her medical training at the University of Ottawa. This was followed by ophthalmic training at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Wisconsin.
Dr. Hutnik has a full-time clinical glaucoma practice at the Ivey Eye Institute in London, Ontario, where she is involved in the clinical training of residents and medical students. She is a member of the international Tear Film and Ocular Surface committee of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and is a member of a number of editorial boards. She is also an Advisory Board member of a number of major pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Hutnik is Medical Coordinator of the ophthalmic basic science laboratory at the Lawson Health Research Institute in London. Dr. Hutnik’s research administrative roles include membership on the Board of Directors of the Lawson Health Research Institute and Chair of Research in the Department of Ophthalmology.
“Risk factor analysis plays a key role in our decision to offer treatment to patients. Treatments have risks and benefits that have to be carefully considered. Although we know many risk factors for some diseases, there is still a considerable gap in our knowledge, and hence understanding of, human diseases. The Ontario Health Study will provide a rich database to better understand the impact of known risk factors as well as potentially to reveal new important risk factors in Canadian health and disease.”
Jane Irvine holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at York University and is a research affiliate in the Behavioural Sciences & Health Division of the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, University Health Network. She also holds an academic appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Irvine is the Chair of the OHS Psychosocial and Mental Health Working Group. Her research focuses on the bio-behavioural mechanisms underlying the effects of negative emotions and psychological stress on the cardiovascular system. She has pioneered the development of cognitive-behavioural interventions for promoting health behaviour change (e.g., smoking cessation, enhancing adherence to health behavior change) and adaptation to illness (e.g., treatment of depression following an acute coronary event).
"I am very excited to participate as a researcher and as a research participant in this very important study. The OHS provides a unique opportunity to study how factors such as genetics, health behaviours, psychosocial stress and environmental toxins interact to influence the development of specific diseases and health outcomes."
A former computer scientist and General Internist at St. Michael’s Hospital, Trevor Jamieson is currently pursuing a Master’s in Biomedical Informatics through the Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland.
His interests are primarily in the use of informatics in day-to-day clinical decisions, in particular how decision support and user interfaces can augment the patient care process, and the use of communications technologies to improve the collaboration in patient-care teams.
“I believe the future of medical decision making, and the movement towards more personalized patient-centered care plans, hinges on our ability to intelligently gather data, store it and retrieve it. This is important not just for the purposes of broad-scale population-based research, but, ultimately, for the purposes of ‘real-time’ decision-making in the hopes of constructing a plan tailored to the patient given everything we know about past successes, failures and trends, both in that person and in people like them. The OHS is a great step in that direction.”
Kathleen Kerr is a staff physician and research liaison at the Environmental Health Clinic at Women’s College Hospital as well as lecturer in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, and assistant professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public health, at the University of Toronto.
She has special interest in environmental aspects of health, including long term health effects of environmental exposures and persistent body burdens, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity and functional assessment tools in chronic complex conditions. Her research interests include health effects of pesticides, lead and other heavy metals and methods to enhance elimination of xenobiotics. Dr. Kerr has published papers on Gulf war illness and completed a clinical trial as co-investigator entitled Gulf War Illness – Evaluation of an Innovative Detoxification Program.
"The OHS is very comprehensive in terms of including environmental exposures."
David J. Klein is a Staff Physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Critical Care Medicine and Sleep Medicine. He is also a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and Head of Business Strategy and Medical Affairs for the Applied Health Research Center.
Dr. Klein is board certified in Internal Medicine, Sleep Medicine and Critical Care Medicine. He is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. His research interests include clinical and translational research in biomarker development, and treatment of sepsis. He has published and served as faculty at major international congresses.
"I am proud to be part of such an important project that has the potential to have transformative impact on the health of Canadians. The Applied Health Research Center and Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute are strong partners of the Ontario Health Study."
Dr. Jennifer Kuk, PhD, is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University.
She has published over 100 scientific papers, reports and chapters related to obesity, health and lifestyle behaviors. Currently, her laboratory is investigating the relationship between obesity and health through clinical human studies and epidemiological approaches. In particular, she is interested in the characterization of the metabolically normal obesity phenotype and is currently working on factors that identify successful weight management in adult and pediatric patient population as a Research Consultant with the Wharton Weight Management Clinic. This work will help to clarify the most optimal weight management strategies for maintaining and improving health.
“The Ontario Health Study is an exciting opportunity that will allow us to further investigate how lifestyle impacts our health. This will better inform our health guidelines and public health initiatives that are specific for Canadians.”
Pascal van Lieshout is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto, a former Canada Research (II) in Oral Motor Function, and Director of the Oral Dynamics Lab. He also holds cross-appointments in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.
His area of interest is in speech motor control, studying the mechanisms that may faciliate or impair stability in movement coordination and speech fluency in a variety of populations, including people who stutter and individuals with Parkinson disease.
"Knowledge can change the world and nowhere is this more apparent than in health care. The ability to collect this much information on health and well-being from people in Ontario will allow researchers and clinicians to identify major challenges individuals experience in achieving healthy lifestyles and retain or regain the ability to be effective communicators to share their stories with family, friends and caregivers."
Andrew Lim is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Toronto and is a neurologist with a practice focusing on disorders of sleep and circadian biology.
He completed an MD and residency in neurology at the University of Toronto, a clinical sleep fellowship at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and a Master’s Degree in clinical investigation at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lim’s research is focused on using statistical genetic, neuropathological and epidemiological studies to better understand the genes and neural circuits that regulate individuals’ biological clocks and their sleep, and how disruption of sleep and biological rhythms (as seen in conditions such as insomnia, shift-work and jet-lag) impact individuals’ risks for such common medical disorders as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease and stroke.
"In partnership with the people of Ontario, the Ontario Health Study will have a major impact on our understanding of the complex links between our genes, our biological clocks and sleep, and our risk for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and stroke."
Vincent Lin is an Otolaryngologist/Head and Neck Surgeon at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre with a subspecialty focus in otology and neurotology.
He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and Associate Scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute. Dr. Lin did his medical school training at Queen’s University before completing an otolaryngology residency at the University of Toronto. He completed further training in clinical otology/neurotology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre before embarking on a research fellowship at the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Centre at the University of Washington, Seattle. His clinical focus is on surgical hearing and vestibular disorders, including cochlear implantation, mastoid and middle ear surgery, acoustic neuroma and other lateral skull base tumours. His basic science research focus is on the prevention and regeneration of auditory and vestibular hair cells.
"The OHS has the potential to answer many longitudinal questions that we still have on the development, prevalence and impact of hearing and vestibular loss in our population. From this information, we have the potential to dramatically improve the quality of health care we can provide to our patients."
Patrice Lindsay completed her PhD in Health Services Research/Evaluation and Outcomes through Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She is currently the Director of Performance and Standards for the Canadian Stroke Network and an appointed member of the Canadian Task Force on Preventative Healthcare.
Dr. Lindsay leads the development of Stroke Best Practices guidelines for the Canadian Stroke Network and collaborates on related national and international guideline initiatives. She coordinates the creation of several implementation tools and resources to support the best practice uptake. Dr. Lindsay has also developed and implemented a performance measurement framework for stroke care across Canada and is involved in ongoing stroke surveillance and the development of stroke benchmarks. She is currently a Principal Investigator for the Canadian Stroke Report and Chair of a Guidelines International Network task group on performance measurement.
Lorraine Lipscombe is an Endocrinologist and Research Scientist at Women’s College Hospital and Research Institute. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation at the University of Toronto.
She received her medical degree from McGill University, and underwent training in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Lipscombe also holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Toronto. She has a special interest in the prevention and care of diabetes in women, and her research is aimed at improving the prevention, care and outcomes for persons with diabetes. Dr. Lipscombe is currently leading a CIHR-funded clinical trial of a diabetes prevention program for women with recent gestational diabetes mellitus.
Muhammad Mamdani is the Director of the Applied Health Research Centre, the Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
He is also Associate Professor in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and in the Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation of the Faculty of Medicine, where he supervises graduate students and an adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. Prior to joining the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and St. Michael’s Hospital, Dr. Mamdani was a Director of Outcomes Research at Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals in New York. Dr. Mamdani’s research interests include pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoeconomics and drug policy. He has published over 200 research studies in peer-reviewed medical journals.
Mario Masellis is also an Associate Scientist in the Brain Sciences Program at Sunnybrook Research Institute and a Research Scientist in the Neurogenetics Section at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
He completed his M.D. in 2001 and obtained his FRCP(C) in Neurology in 2006. He has completed a clinical research fellowship in Cognitive Neurology. Dr. Masellis is a Clinician Scientist in the Department of Medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and a cognitive neurologist in the Division of Neurology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto treating a variety of cognitive disorders with a particular clinical interest in dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s disease dementia, corticobasal syndrome, and frontotemporal dementia. His main research area is pharmacogenetics, the study of effects of genetic polymorphism on variability in individuals’ response to medications, with a focus on neurological and psychotropic drugs. Other research interests include linking genetic and epigenetic factors to brain structure and function using neuroimaging. The focus of this translational research is on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as Lewy body and Frontotemporal Dementias. His ultimate goal is the clinical application of genetics and pharmacogenetics to improve diagnosis, clinico-pathological modeling and pharmacotherapy.
“The OHS has a great potential to identify genomic biomarkers of early disease states, so that we may target future disease-modifying therapies at the earliest stages in order to prevent onset or halt progression to the full-blown syndromes.”
Isabelle Massarelli presently leads food and nutrition surveillance activities at Health Canada.
She is a registered dietitian and has been an employee of Health Canada for the past 23 years. She has extensive experience in national food and nutrition surveys. She has collaborated in the adaptation of dietary collection tools for use in Canada, including the Automated Multi Pass Method (AMPM), a self-automated 24-hour recall tool (ASA24) and the Diet History Questionnaire (DHQ).
Dr. Roger McIntyre is currently a Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto and Head of the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit at the University Health Network, Toronto, Canada. Dr. McIntyre is also Executive Director of the Brain and Cognition Discovery Foundation in Toronto, Canada. Dr. McIntyre is also director for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Dr. McIntyre was named by Clarivate Analytics/Thomson Reuters in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 as one of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds”. This distinction is given by publishing the largest number of articles that rank among those most frequently cited by researchers globally in 21 broad fields of science and social science during the previous decade. Dr. McIntyre is involved in multiple research endeavours which primarily aim to characterize the association between mood disorders, notably cognitive function and medical comorbidity. His work broadly aims to characterize the underlying causes of cognitive impairment in individuals with mood disorders and their impact on workplace functioning. This body of work has provided a platform for identifying novel molecular targets to treat and prevent mood disorders and accompanying cognitive impairment. Dr. McIntyre is extensively involved in medical education. He is a highly sought-after speaker at both national and international meetings. He has received several teaching awards from the University of Toronto, Department of Psychiatry and has been a recipient of the joint Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) / Council of Psychiatric Continuing Education Award for the Most Outstanding Continuing Education Activity in Psychiatry in Canada. Dr. McIntyre is a contributor to the Florida Best Practice Psychotherapeutic Medication Guidelines for Adults with Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. Dr. McIntyre was the co-chair of the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) Task Force on the Treatment of Comorbidity in Adults with Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Disorder and as well a contributor to the CANMAT guidelines for the treatment of Depressive Disorders and Bipolar Disorders. Dr. McIntyre has published more than 400 articles/manuscripts and has edited and/or co-edited several textbooks on mood disorders. Dr. McIntyre completed his medical degree at Dalhousie University. He received his Psychiatry residency training and Fellowship in Psychiatric Pharmacology at the University of Toronto.
“The OHS matters largely because for the citizens of Ontario to be competitive in an increasingly global, smaller and flatter world, we need to reduce the incidence and harmful dysfunction associated with chronic illness by identifying preventative, predictive and prognostic factors. With both physical and mental health, the citizens of Ontario are in the best position to be competitive in the current landscape.”
Zul Merali is President and CEO of the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research and Scientific Director of the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group (ROHCG). He is a full professor with the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine and Social Sciences and a professor of neuroscience Carleton University.
Dr. Merali has published over 200 articles. His research focuses on the impact of stress on brain chemistry and how that may lead to the genesis of mental illness. He is also interested in the interactions between appetitive and aversive events and how that may impart risk or resiliency on mental illness.
“The OHS initiative has the potential of a large-scale platform for medical research and discovery which may be particularly poignant for developing better mental illness prevention and treatment strategies.”
Claude Messier is a Professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Psychology.
During his Master’s and PhD thesis, Dr. Messier discovered that ingestion or injection of glucose could improve memory. In 1996, he wrote a review explaining why and how diabetes would be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Fourteen years later, diabetes is recognized as a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Messier has a strong track record of attracting research funding. As a Principal Investigator, he has attracted over $2 million in funding to date. Dr. Messier has authored numerous publications and his work on the impact of glucose and diabetes on memory has been covered in the popular press. He is a review editor for Frontiers in Neuroenergetics. Dr. Messier has served on several committees and he was Chair of the grant review panel of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. He has consulted for Unilever, Danone and the MacArthur Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health. He works with TelAsk to develop adapted interactive voice response systems that adapt to the cognitive limitations of older people.
“The key to preventing and treating disease is knowledge. The knowledge contained in the health data of millions of people is very large. The Ontario Health Study will inevitably result in new prevention strategies and treatments of diseases.”
Fiona A. Miller, PhD, is a Professor of Health Policy and holds the Chair in Health Management Strategies at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto.
Her program of research focuses on health technology and innovation policy and sustainable development (environmental, social, political, economic) in health systems. Fiona is interested in how health technologies are developed and how their adoption is governed, with particular attention to the role of institutions such as health system procurement and health technology assessment.
Nadia Minian is a Knowledge Translation Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, where she is dedicated to promoting health equity and improving the health of Ontarians by working in collaborative partnerships with the health system, communities, researchers and policy makers.
She received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the Graduate Center, CUNY.
“I was fascinated when I first heard about the Ontario Health Study. Given its goal of studying millions of Ontarians over several decades, it has the potential to improve the health of millions, and decrease health disparities.”
Gordon Moe obtained his M.D. and internal medicine training from the University of Toronto and cardiology training at Queen’s University. Dr. Moe is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, a Fellow of the Hong Kong College of Cardiology and a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine.
He completed his research training at the University of Toronto and Harvard Medical School. He is currently the Director of the Heart Failure Program and Biomarker Laboratory at St. Michael’s Hospital and a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. He is the Chair of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Consensus Conference in Guidelines of Heart Failure. His research interests include bench and clinical research in heart failure; cardiac remodeling and biomarkers in heart failure; ethnicity and cardiovascular disease.
Sutapa Mukherjee is a Respirologist and Sleep Physician at Women’s College Hospital, an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and a Research Scientist at the Women’s College Research Institute.
She relocated to Toronto from Australia in mid-2011. In addition to her position as Clinical Lead of the Ontario Health Study, Dr. Mukherjee is Chair of the OHS Assessment Centre Working Group and Co-Chair of the OHS Sleep Working Group. She received her PhD from the University of Western Australia on the topic of “Gene Therapy of Lung Malignancy,” followed by post-doctoral work at Harvard School of Public Health in Occupational Epidemiology and Biomarkers of Oxidative Injury. Most recently, Dr. Mukherjee’s research interests have focused on sleep epidemiology and she is the Director of the Western Australian Sleep Health Study, a large-scale cohort study of sleep apnea patients.
“I am very excited and proud to be part of the Ontario Health Study, which has tremendous potential to improve our understanding of the common complex diseases that affect our lives, such as cancer, heart disease, sleep apnea, depression and others. This may lead to improved strategies for prevention of disease, better management of diagnosed disease and, ultimately, better quality of life as we age.”
Dr. Naglie received his medical degree from McGill University, specialty training in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Toronto, and graduate training in Clinical Epidemiology at McMaster University. He is a Professor in the Department of Medicine and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and holds the Hunt Family Chair in Geriatric Medicine. He is the Vice President of Medical Services, Chief of Staff, and Chief of the Department of Medicine at Baycrest Health Sciences and is a Scientist at Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute and at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute-University Health Network.
His research focuses on outcomes evaluation and quality of life in cognitively impaired and frail older adults. Dr. Naglie is a member of Candrive, a national team of researchers interested in driving safety in older adults, and he has a particular interest in driving issues in persons with cognitive impairment. He is Co-Lead with Dr. Mark Rapoport of the Driving and Dementia Research Team for the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, which is supported by CIHR and many partners and is the Canadian component of the CIHR Dementia Research Strategy.
“This exciting, leading-edge study will help answer numerous important research questions about physical and mental health and quality of life. The more people that participate, the more we will be able to learn.”
Steven Narod is a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Breast Cancer, a Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist at Women’s College Research Institute, where he leads the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit.
Dr. Narod is well known for his role on the team that identified the BRCA2 gene, that when mutated substantially increases a woman’s risk of breast or ovarian cancer. With more than 500 peer-reviewed publications, he is among the most-cited breast cancer researchers. Dr. Narod has worked in collaboration with 70 centres in a multitude of countries to understand how to assess breast and ovarian cancer risk and to prevent cancer among carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations.
"I have devoted my career to preventing breast and ovarian cancers by understanding the links to family history and modifiable risk factors, like diet and lifestyle. The data we get from large-scale population-based research studies, like the Ontario Health Study, give us important insights that bring us closer to our ultimate goal – to prevent breast and ovarian cancers."
Yael Ogniewicz is a cancer genetic counsellor at Grand River Hospital.
She completed an Hons. Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Western Ontario and an M.Sc. in human genetics/genetic counselling from Sarah Lawrence College, NY. She then worked as a clinical and research genetic counsellor in New York. After returning to Toronto in 2009, she joined Dr. Steven Narod and his research team at Women’s College Research Institute, coordinating a study on hereditary cancer.
“With a population-based study as large as the OHS, the possibility for medical research and findings are endless. I am honoured to be part of this research team and am optimistic about the health benefits it will ultimately bring.”
Dr. J.B. Orange is a Professor in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Western University, and an Associate Scientist with Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario. He also is the Scientific Director of the Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging at Western.
He currently leads collaborative research in the Ontario Neurodegenerative Research Initiative (ONDRI) funded by the Ontario Brain Institute, and the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA). Dr. Orange’s peer-reviewed publications and funded research address language and cognitive-communication disorders of adults and older adults. His research has a special emphasis on discourse, conversation and communication of individuals with various forms of dementia. Dr. Orange’s current research projects, several funded by ONDRI and CCNA, include analyses of language, discourse, and conversations of individuals with Alzheimer’s dementia, several subtypes of frontotemporal lobe dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, vascular cognitive impairment, and Parkinson’s disease, especially for those with hearing, vision, and both hearing and vision impairments. The objectives of these studies are to identify within- and between-group differences among different types of dementia that will assist differential diagnosis and will advance our understanding of disease trajectory based on correlations with cognitive and neuroimaging measures core to the ONDRI and CCNA studies.
“The Ontario Health Study provides a unique opportunity for researchers, clinicians, the lay public and health and social policy makers, among others, to advance our collective understanding of myriad health issues of Ontarians. Moreover, it is anticipated that data from the OHS will help advance the overall effectiveness and efficiency of health programs, and will improve the health-related quality of life of Ontarians.”
Barry Pakes is a public health and preventive medicine specialist who trained at McGill, University of Toronto and the Harvard School of Public Health.
His tropical medicine training is from the Universidad Cayetano Heredia in Lima. He is Principle Investigator in the “Ethical Analysis in Public Health Practice” project and lectures widely on Global Health Ethics and Social Responsibility in Academic Health Sciences. He is the Founder and Program Director of the Global Health Education Initiative at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and has taught graduate courses there and at the Braun School of Public Health in Jerusalem. Dr. Pakes has also worked as a Senior Fellow at the World Health Organization. He works clinically in primary care, emergency medicine and travel medicine in the Greater Toronto Area and in Northern Ontario. His international experience includes clinical, education and research work in India, Israel, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. His principle research interests include decision-making frameworks in medicine, vaccinology and medical education.
Smita Pakhale is Associate Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; Assistant Professor, Division of Respirology, Department of Medicine, the University of Ottawa; and a staff physician in the Division of Respiratory Medicine at Ottawa Hospital.
Her research interests are chronic lung diseases, quality of life, global health, health equity and social determinants of health.
“The Ontario Health Study is a phenomenal tool not only to deepen our understanding of causes of diseases, but also for causes of the causes. Join the OHS and make a difference, yes we can!”
Esteban J. Parra is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto at Mississauga.
He is a Molecular Anthropologist interested in the application of genetic markers in evolutionary and biomedical studies. He has participated in numerous genome-wide association studies to identify genetic risk factors for traits of biomedical relevance, including type 2 diabetes, lipids and anthropometric traits. He was also involved in studies aimed at evaluating vitamin D levels in individuals of diverse ancestry living in Ontario. Dr. Parra's research has been supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre, and the US National Institute of Justice.
"Ontario, and particularly the Greater Toronto Area, has an incredibly diverse population. The Ontario Health Study will provide an unparalleled opportunity to explore in detail the genetic and environmental factors associated with disease, and more importantly, the complex ways in which genes and environment interact to influence disease risk."
Tomáš Paus is the Tanenbaum Chair in Population Neuroscience at the University of Toronto and Senior Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute.
He is an expert in mapping the human brain in health and disease using a variety of tools, including magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography and transcranial magnetic stimulation. In his current research, Professor Paus applies brain-mapping tools in population-based studies investigating the interplay between genes and environment in shaping the adolescent brain and, in turn, cognitive and mental health.
Anthony Perruccio holds a PhD in Epidemiology, and is a Senior Scientist within Schroeder Arthritis Institute, Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network, and Associate Professor in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.
He serves as co-Chair of the OHS Musculoskeletal working group. His research interests focus on identifying distinct osteoarthritis subgroups both within clinical and population-based cohorts, with particular focus on inflammation, sex differences, and multijoint involvement. He continues further work documenting the significant impact of arthritis more broadly both at an individual and at the population level.
Kathy Pichora-Fuller is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto and an Adjunct Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest.
She worked as a Clinical Audiologist and then the Supervisor of Audiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto before completing her PhD in Psychology in 1991. Until 2002, she was on the faculty in the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences and Director of the Institute for Hearing Accessibility Research at the University of British Columbia. She combines her clinical experience in rehabilitative audiology with experimental research on auditory and cognitive aging. She is a hearing expert for the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging and the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging.
"I’m delighted that measures of hearing will be included in the OHS. Hearing loss is an important topic to include because it is one of the three most common age-related chronic disabilities. Even more importantly, we need to understand more about why people with untreated hearing loss seem to have poorer health outcomes in many other health domains compared to their peers who have good hearing or who have sought treatment for hearing loss."
Natasha Rajah received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and did her post-doctoral training at U.C. Berkeley. She is the Director of the Douglas Brain Imaging Centre, Douglas Institute, McGill University and is an Associate Professor at the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University.
Dr. Rajah was awarded a CIHR New Investigator Salary Award by the Institute of Aging in 2007 and currently holds a FRQ-S Junior 2 Chercheurs-boursiers. Dr. Rajah is interested in determining which frontal cortex regions exhibit changes in grey matter volume and activity with healthy aging, and how these changes impact our ability to remember details about our past personal experiences. She is also interested in understanding what compensatory mechanisms the aging brain uses to try and maintain memory functions. To answer these questions Dr. Rajah asks healthy young, middle aged and older adults to perform memory experiments while they undergo fMRI scanning to see what brain regions are involved in memory functions. The goal of this research is to understand how the frontal cortex, in collaboration with other brain regions, work as a neural network and influence learning and memory across the adult lifespan. The goal of this research is to understand how the brain changes from young adulthood to old age in order to identify: 1) at what age neural and memory changes start to emerge 2) how these changes in middle age relate to healthy versus pathological aging and 3) what the compensatory mechanisms in the aging brain are that help some older adults maintain good memory function.
"One of the most hopeful strategies for decreasing the incidence of a variety of diseases in our population, such as Alzheimer’s disease, lies in first identifying risk factors for disease occurrence, and then developing interventions to prevent the occurrence of the disease. Large longitudinal population-based studies such as the OHS are crucial for meeting the first criteria, and have great potential for improving the health of Canadians in the future. I am very excited to be a part of this promising study."
Dr. Ravi Retnakaran is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and an endocrinologist and clinician-scientist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada, where he holds the Boehringer Ingelheim Chair in Beta-cell Preservation, Function and Regeneration.
He was awarded the 2013 Dr. Charles Hollenberg Young Investigator Award by the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism and the 2014 Joe Doupe Award from the Canadian Society of Clinical Investigation. In 2020, he was named to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. His research program focuses on the pathophysiology and treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2DM), with a particular interest in the potential reversibility of pancreatic beta-cell dysfunction early in the course of diabetes. In this context, his research group has been conducting a series of innovative clinical trials evaluating novel therapeutic strategies for the preservation of beta-cell function in early T2DM. In addition, he has a particular interest in the concept that a woman’s gluco-regulatory response to the metabolic challenge posed by pregnancy can provide unique insight into her future risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and thereby provide an opportunity for the prevention of these conditions in women.
“The Ontario Health Study provides an opportunity to learn about the determinants of health and disease, and thereby improve the future health of our society.”
Robert Roberts is the President and CEO of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and founding Director of The Ruddy Canadian Cardiovascular Genetics Centre.
He received his M.D. from Dalhousie University, completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Cardiology at the University of Toronto. Funded by a Canadian Heart Foundation Scholarship, he pursued research in heart disease and in 1982 became Chief of Cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where he remained for 23 years. As a Cardiologist, Educator and Scientist, he developed the MCBK Test, which has been used to diagnose heart attacks for the past three decades. Dr. Roberts’ research led him to molecular biology and genetics, during which time he discovered many genes responsible for heart disease. He is generally regarded as one of the founders of molecular cardiology.
Isabelle Rondeau is a registered dietician and has been an employee of Health Canada for the past fifteen years.
She has extensive experience in food and nutrition consumption surveys. Ms. Rondeau has been involved in the Canadian Community Health Survey and the Canadian Health Measures Survey. Recently, she collaborated in the adaption of dietary collection tools for use in Canada, including the Automated Multiple Pass Method, a self-automated 24-hour recall tool, and the Diet History Questionnaire.
Clodagh Ryan is a respirologist with a subspeciality interest in sleep medicine. She holds an appointment as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Unvierstiy of Toronto and is Assistant Director and Quality Advisor of the Centre for Sleep Health and Research at University Health Network.
She is an active researcher in the area of sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease.
"The OHS is an exciting opportunity to do the first large epidemiology study of determinants and outcomes of sleep health in a Canadian population. Due to the collaboration and involvement of experts from multiple and diverse fields, this study is unique with far-reaching potential."
Andriy V. Samokhvalov is a psychiatrist and clinician-researcher at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
In 2007, he obtained a PhD for his research in clinical phenomenology and treatment outcomes of somatoform disorders. Dr. Samokhvalov’s research interest is in the field of addictions, with the major focus on alcohol use disorders epidemiology, comorbidities and treatment, as well as nicotine and opioid dependence treatment options and outcomes.
Gustavo Saposnik is the Program Director of the Outcomes & Decision Neuroscience Research Unit at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute.
Gustavo is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and has cross appointments at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (Senior Scientist at ICES), and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. Gustavo's vision is improving clinical outcomes through cost-effective, high impact & innovative research by applying concepts from Neuroeconomics that is integrated within existing clinical care services across Canada and Worldwide. Dr. Saposnik’s research focus is stroke outcomes and decision neuroscience research. Gustavo obtained his Masters degree in the Clinical Effectiveness Program from the University of Buenos Aires and the Harvard School of Public Health. He is currently completing a PhD in Neuroeconomics at the University of Zurich while carrying on his career as a staff neurologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Gustavo is the principal investigator of 15 ongoing research projects and has over 230 peer-reviewed publications. He is the current recipient of the 2017-2021 HSF Career-Scientist Award.
Rita Shahin is an Associate Medical Officer of Health with Toronto Public Health and an adjunct Professor with the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
Dr. Shahin is responsible for the Sexually Transmitted Infections Case Management Program, the Sexual Health Clinics Program and the Needle Exchange Program at Toronto Public Health.
Nikki has over 20 years of experience in applied social research previously concentrated on developing an understanding of the implementation, use, and sharing of medical records; and program evaluation using health informatics as the lens through which health services are best explained, rationalized and understood.
Throughout her research she has retained a focus on clinical governance, using her time as the ESRI Canada Research Chair to explore the use of geographic information systems (GIS) to support the quality of care and quality of life for First Nations Peoples and rural, & remote communities; specifically focusing on chronic diseases (including mental health & cancer) and adverse childhood experiences. She is a research methodologist who often collaborates with other researchers in disparate disciplines as she is an expert in qualitative, quantitative and blended methodologies. She maintains an ongoing interest in health care provider professionalism, research, disability studies and medical ethics. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Biology (Health Sciences) at Algoma University and the Family Medicine Research Tutor for the NOSM University residents in Sault Ste. Marie.
“I am excited to be associated with a study assuring quality health care through the prevention and treatment of disease. The Ontario Health Study supports my belief in the importance of research, evaluation and sharing of vital information that will contribute to the well-being and overall health of all Ontarians, now and in the future.”
Dr. Samir Sinha is a passionate and respected advocate for the needs of older adults. Dr. Sinha currently serves as the Director of Geriatrics of the Sinai Health System and the University Health Network in Toronto and the Peter and Shelagh Godsoe Chair in Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital. He is also an Associate Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
A Rhodes Scholar, after completing his undergraduate medical studies at the University of Western Ontario, he obtained a Masters in Medical History and a Doctorate in Sociology at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Ageing. He has pursued his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine at the University of Toronto and in Geriatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Sinha's breadth of international training and expertise in health policy and the delivery of services related to the care of the elderly have made him a highly regarded expert in the care of older adults. In 2012 he was appointed by the Government of Ontario to serve as the expert lead of Ontario's Seniors Strategy and he is now working on the development of a National Seniors Strategy. In 2014, Canada’s Maclean’s Magazine proclaimed him to be one of Canada’s 50 most influential people and its most compelling voice for the elderly. Beyond Canada, Dr. Sinha is a Fellow of the American Geriatrics Society and a member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. Dr. Sinha has further consulted and advised hospitals and health authorities in Britain, China, Iceland, Singapore, St. Kitts and Nevis and the United States on the implementation and administration of unique, integrated and innovative models of geriatric care that reduce disease burden, improve access and capacity and ultimately promote health.
“The Ontario Health Study’s Aging Study matters to me because I know it will make a significant contribution to support Ontarians living longer and living well.”
Dr. Walter Siqueira is the Dean, College of Dentistry, and a Tenured Professor at University of Saskatchewan.
As Dean, Dr. Siqueira is both the chief academic officer and the chief executive officer of the College of Dentistry. In addition, Dr. Walter Siqueira (h-index = 45) leads the Salivary Proteomics Research Laboratory at the College of Dentistry. Dr. Siqueira's program in proteomics, diagnostics, and therapeutic using saliva is unique in all Canada and few around the World. His research program is funded by CIHR, NSERC, CFI, SHRF, COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, FAPESP, and industry research contracts. His background as a dental clinician and basic scientist has enabled him to integrate basic science with applied clinical research and promote knowledge translation. Dr. Siqueira is considered an international authority in the field of salivary research. Dr. Siqueira's scholarship is impressive, with over 125 publications, an h-index of 45, research funding more than $9.1 M. In addition, due to his innovative research, Dr. Siqueira has been invited to present more than 50 lectures in universities and at conferences nationally and internationally. Dr. Siqueira has been awarded several prestigious Teaching and Research honors. He was a recipient of the W.W. Wood Award for Excellence in Dental Education by the Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry. He received the 2012 Salivary Researcher of the Year Award from the Salivary Research Group, International Association for Dental Research (IADR). Dr. Siqueira was also the recipient of the renowned CIHR New Investigator Salary Award. In 2018, he received from Western University the title of “Faculty Scholar”. This award title recognizes the complete scholar who has maintained an excellent record in teaching and research and has recently achieved distinction in one of these two domains. In addition, Dr. Siqueira is an IADR Distinguished Scientist Award Recipient, the most prestigious international award in oral health science. Recently, Dr. Siqueira was elected as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (FCAHS) Collectively, Dr. Siqueira comprehensive contributions in research innovation and creativity, training the next generation of highly qualified oral health professionals, and academic leadership activities are a reflection his national and international recognition as an ambassador of Canadian oral health research and dental education within the country and around the globe.
Allan R. Slomovic is the Research Director of the Cornea/External Disease Service at the Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network. He is the Chairperson for Continuing Professional Development for the Canadian Ophthalmologic Society and past chairperson of the Canadian Cornea Society. He is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Slomovic obtained a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Montreal and completed his residency at the New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Slomovic was awarded Fellowship programs at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami in Cornea/External Ocular Diseases and Laser Microsurgery. Dr. Slomovic has been involved in teaching for many years, including serving as the program Director for Ophthalmology for the University of Toronto from 1991-2001 and training 30 fellows in Cornea/External Ocular Diseases of the Eye from Canada, the U.S., Israel, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Great Britain. In 2001, Dr. Slomovic was awarded the Mentor of the Year Award by the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. Dr. Slomovic has published numerous articles in the area of Cornea/External Diseases of the Eye and Refractive Surgery and has also lectured internationally.
“This is a unique opportunity to obtain important information regarding health determinants in the province of Ontario. The implications for patient-centered health care delivery and research are far-reaching.”
Julia Spaniol is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Ryerson University, where she directs the Memory and Decision Processes Lab.
Dr. Spaniol earned a PhD in cognitive psychology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and completed postdoctoral work at Duke University Medical Center and at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest. Dr. Spaniol uses behavioural and neuroimaging approaches to investigate age-related changes in cognition. She is especially interested in the impact of reward motivation on memory and decision making in younger and older adults.
“As a cognitive psychologist, I am thrilled to have an opportunity to contribute to the OHS. Brain health and cognitive vitality are critical at every age. Given the increase in life expectancy, it is imperative that we understand how cognitive functioning changes over the lifespan, and how it relates to other aspects of health.”
Duncan Stewart is the CEO and Scientific Director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, as well as a practicing cardiologist and pioneering Canadian cardiovascular researcher.
He is recognized for his many important discoveries in blood vessel biology, as well as his dedication to translating these discoveries into benefits for patients and society. Dr. Stewart has made a number of seminal discoveries elucidating the importance of endothelial factors in health and disease, notably the role of the nitric oxide system in angiogenesis and of endothelin-1 in pulmonary hypertension. He also led the world’s first clinical trial of a gene-enhanced cell therapy for pulmonary hypertension.
Stephen C. Strother studied Physics and Mathematics at Auckland University and received a PhD in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in 1986. After a fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Professor Strother joined the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis as Senior PET Physicist and the University of Minnesota, where he became Professor of Radiology.
In 2004, he moved to Toronto as a Senior Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest, where he is Associate Site Leader at the multi-institutional Centre for Stroke Recovery, and Professor of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. His research interests include neuroinformatics, with a focus on PET and fMRI neuroimaging techniques for research and clinical applications applied to the aging brain. He is a cofounder of Predictek, Inc., in Chicago, a medical analysis and diagnostic company, an Associate Editor for Human Brain Mapping, a member of the Neurotechnology Review Committee and a past chairman of an international Neuroinformatics Standards Committee at the National Institutes of Health, U.S.A.
“The OHS solves one of the most difficult problems facing researchers using specialized neuroimaging techniques to study the aging and diseased brain. It will allow targeting of such studies to larger groups with unprecedented information on the participants population health status. This is likely to accelerate scientific discovery and translation to new and more effective clinical treatments.”
Howard C. Tenenbaum is a Professor of Periodontology and was Head of that discipline for eight years at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto.
He was Associate Dean for Biological and Diagnostic Sciences for six years. Dr. Tenenbaum is a cross-appointed Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathophysiology, Faculty of Medicine, U of T, and is Head of the Division of Research in the Department of Dentistry at Mount Sinai Hospital. As well, Dr. Tenenbaum serves as an FDA panel member for Dental Devices and Drugs (U.S.) and is Vice-Chair of the Federal Dental Care Advisory Committee (Canada). He is the Graduate Coordinator for the Faculty of Dentistry School of Graduate Studies Division. Dr. Tenenbaum has a D.D.S. from the University of Toronto and completed his specialty in periodontology as well as a PhD in bone cell biology. Dr. Tenenbaum has Fellowships from the Royal College of Dentists of Canada, the International College of Dentists and the Academy of Dentistry International. Dr. Tenenbaum has received research funding from the Medical Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and other agencies for 25 years and has pursued ongoing research in the fields of periodontics, orofacial pain and bone cell biology (including a series of bone cell studies aboard the Space Shuttle carried out by Senator John Glenn). He has published over 140 articles, book chapters and abstracts in scientific and clinical journals and has lectured nationally and internationally.
“I am terribly excited about the opportunity to work closely with my medical and other health professions colleagues. Given the emerging and increasingly robust data demonstrating the relationships between oral health and general well-being and health, I believe this study will provide unique data that can help us to understand these relationships in a manner not possible until now. With this information, I am certain that greater understanding of oral and non-oral diseases, especially infectious and inflammatory diseases and also chronic pain conditions, will lead to more rational preventive and treatment approaches to these and other disorders.”
Jack Tu was the Program Leader for the Cardiovascular Research Group and a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (IC/ES).
Prior to his death in 2018, he was an attending physician in the Division of Cardiology at the Sunnybrook Schulich Heart Centre, and also a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He held a Canada Research Chair in Health Services Research and was a Career Investigator of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. Dr. Tu was chair of the OHS cardiovascular working group, specializing in cardiovascular outcomes research aimed at measuring and improving the quality of health care delivery in Canada.
"Cardiovascular disease (including stroke) kills approximately 1 in every 3 Canadians. The information gathered from the OHS will enable us to significantly reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease for future generations of Canadians."
Karen Urbanoski is an Independent Scientist in the Social and Epidemiological Research Group at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
She obtained her doctorate from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health in 2010. Dr. Urbanoski recently spent 2 years as a researcher and instructor at the Center for Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School, after working in research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health from 2002 through 2009. Her research interests focus on the social epidemiology of substance use and addiction, particularly mechanisms of aetiology, recovery and processes of help-seeking for addiction-related problems.
George A. Wells is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Cardiovascular Research Methods Centre at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. He is also a Professor in the Department of Medicine and a Senior Investigator at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute at The Ottawa Hospital.
His research interests are in the design and analysis of clinical trials, statistical methodology related to health care delivery, systematic reviews and meta-analysis, economic evaluations and the development and assessment of decision support technologies for patients and practitioners. Dr. Wells has worked extensively with national and international government and non-government research organizations, as well as private pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He has been on the executive and steering committees of national and international research programs, external safety and efficacy monitoring committees, scientific grant review committees, editorial committees and scientific advisory committees. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology and on the Editorial Committee of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Albert Wong is a neuroscientist and psychiatrist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and a Professor at the University of Toronto.
He attended medical school at the University of Toronto, where he also completed specialty training in psychiatry and a PhD in neurobiology. Dr. Wong’s lab uses animal models and clinical studies to investigate genetic, epigenetic and developmental mechanisms of psychiatric disease. His areas of clinical expertise are in schizophrenia and brain stimulation.
“Detailed prospective epidemiological studies such as the OHS are crucial to obtain high-quality data on disease risk. Such information can provide valuable insights about etiology and preventative interventions.”
Bernard Zinman is Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and the Stephen and Suzie Pustil Diabetes Research Scientist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto Canada.
Dr. Zinman completed his medical degree at McGill University, where he also received his postgraduate training in internal medicine. He undertook further training in Endocrinology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Zinman has authored more than 550 publications in national and international journals. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Charles H. Best Medal for Distinguished Service in the Cause of Diabetes (awarded to the DCCT Investigators), the Alois Beringer Lecture Award, the Frederick G. Banting Award and the Gerald S. Wong Service Award of the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA). In 2006 Dr. Zinman received the American Diabetes Association’s Outstanding Physician Clinician Award. In 2009, Dr. Zinman was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Novartis Prize in Diabetes. and in 2010. In November 2011, Dr. Zinman was appointed to the Order of Canada, in recognition of his achievements in diabetes patient care and research. Thompson Reuters ranked Dr. Zinman as among the top 1% of researchers cited in their specific field. His main research interests include the long-term complications of diabetes mellitus, the development of new therapies for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, diabetes in Aboriginal communities, and studies directed at the prevention of diabetes.
“The Ontario Health Study provides an incredible opportunity to determine the health status of Canadians as well as an incredible research platform to address major heath questions.”