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Dr. Philip Awadalla

Dr. Philip Awadalla, PhD, is the National Scientific Director for the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (CanPath), Executive Scientific Director of the Ontario Health Study and Director of Computational Biology at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and Professor of Population and Medical Genomics at the University of Toronto. He is also the Director of the Genome Canada Canadian Data Integration Centre. Dr. Awadalla was trained at the University of Edinburgh and his team focuses on the development of next-generation genomics approaches, model-based tools and population-based approaches to study mutation rates, genome biology and cancer. His team’s research also focuses on systems and population genomics approaches to capture signals in population-based samples or families as well as tools to capture rare or de novo variants and pathways, potentially critical to disease phenotypes. Dr. Awadalla’s main research interests include identifying genomic determinants of blood disorders and cancers, understanding mutation and recombination biology and genomic epidemiology of age-related disorders in population cohorts.

Past Leadership

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Dr. Mark Purdue

Mark Purdue, PhD, is a Senior Investigator within the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Purdue was the Executive Scientific Director and Principal Investigator of the Ontario Health Study from 2014 to 2015. Under the leadership of Dr. Purdue, the Study expanded its biospecimen collection efforts with a series of 20 Local Study Centre locations as well as onsite blood collection clinics in businesses. The Study also piloted new efforts to improve participation and engagement by streamlining participant workflows, employing new methods of contact, and leveraging new partnerships.

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Dr. Vivek Goel, CM

Dr. Vivek Goel, PhD, is a member of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force, Chair of the Expert Advisory Group on the development of a Pan-Canadian Health Data Strategy, and Scientific Advisor for CanCOVID, the national research platform for COVID-19 research. He was a Founding Scientist at IC/ES and Founding President and CEO of Public Health Ontario from 2008 until 2014 and has held a number of senior administrative roles at the University of Toronto. Dr. Goel was the Executive Scientific Director and Principal Investigator of the Ontario Health Study from 2013 to 2014.

Professor Vivek Goel obtained his medical degree from McGill University and completed post-graduate medical training in Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Goel obtained an MSc in Community Health from U of T and an MS in Biostatistics from Harvard University School of Public Health. His research has focused on health services evaluation and the promotion of the use of research evidence in health decision-making.

As Executive Scientific Director of the Ontario Health Study, he oversaw the launch of Local Study Centres, a research initiative by the Study that collected physical measures and a blood sample from participants at more than 50 temporary locations across Ontario. This initiative enhanced both the geographic representation of the cohort and the research value of the Study overall.

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Dr. Lyle Palmer

Lyle Palmer, PhD, is the Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at the University of Adelaide and Chair of the South Australian and Northern Territories DataLink data linkage facility. He was previously Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto; Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toronto; Senior Principal Investigator, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; Senior Scientist, Cancer Care Ontario; and Senior Investigator, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute. Dr. Palmer was the Executive Director of the OHS from 2010 to 2013. He launched the baseline recruitment phase of the Study, which has recruited more than 225,000 adults aged over 18, making it one of the largest epidemiological studies of its kind. This pioneering effort will enhance research capacities across different disciplines and lead to improvements in health, welfare and economic prosperity.

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Dr. John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin, PhD, is a Professor of Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto; and Executive Director of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (CanPath). He served as Founding Director of the Ontario Health Study from 2007 to 2010, after many years of working with teams from across Ontario and Canada to develop plans and obtain funding for the Ontario and pan-Canadian programs. Dr. McLaughlin directed the launch and conduct of the Ontario pilot phase, which demonstrated and evaluated the principles, methods, logistics and feasibility of the large, province-wide, health research platform that integrates personal, environmental, community and biological measures. During that time, the operations and scientific teams were based at Cancer Care Ontario, interdisciplinary support was provided by scientists from across Ontario, and the team worked with colleagues across Canada and internationally to harmonize OHS with other major initiatives.