The Leadership Group membership reflects key agencies of the Government of Canada (Health Canada/PHAC; CIHR; CSA); representation from several Provincial Ministries of Health; and experts from across Canada in matters related to serologic surveillance, immunology, virology, infectious diseases, public health, and clinical medicine.

Mandate

  1. Establish and oversee the scientific strategy of the Task Force including:
    1. Accelerating the articulation of standards to evaluate serological assays via the PHAC/NML with a view to Health Canada regulatory approval for serologic tests that meet standards
    2. Agreeing priority study questions and the timing of their roll-out
    3. Designating specific Task Force member centres across Canada to lead in the implementation of these study questions
    4. Approving calls for proposals and adjudicating the selection process, informed by scientific review and assessment of relevance
    5. Overseeing the responsible implementation of serologic studies including recommending action to overcome bottlenecks where appropriate
    6. Identifying supplementary investigations necessary to strengthen the scientific foundations of the Task Force
  2. Deliberate on and synthesize the results of studies in order to communicate these to decision-makers in a timely and clear way
  3. Oversee the Task Force secretariat and other implementing arms of the Task Force

Members

Co-chairs and Executive Director

Photo of Catherine Hankins

Catherine Hankins

Professor of Public and Population Health, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University

Full bio

Catherine Hankins is Professor of Public and Population Health, McGill University. A community medicine specialist, she holds an MD (University of Calgary), MSc (University of London, England, and PhD (University of Amsterdam). Before joining the UN in 2002, she had an active research career in Canada and chaired peer review and policy committees in the HIV response. Chief Scientific Adviser to UNAIDS in Geneva for a decade, she led the scientific knowledge translation team focused on ensuring ethical and participatory HIV prevention trial conduct, convening mathematical modelling teams, and supporting country implementation of proven biomedical HIV prevention modalities. In 2016, she led the development of Good Participatory Practice Guidelines for trials of Emerging Pathogens for WHO. She chairs the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership Scientific Advisory Committee and the National Institutes of Health HIV Prevention Trials Network Scientific Advisory Group. An Honorary Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, England, and Deputy Director, Science at the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, she is keenly interested in scientific capacity development and advancing women in global health and science. She is Scientific Chair of the annual African INTEREST conferences on HIV research in resource-limited settings and Co-Chair, Eastern Europe and Central Asia INTERACT Workshop. She was named to the Order of Canada in 2013.

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David Naylor

Professor of Medicine and President Emeritus, University of Toronto

Full bio

David Naylor is Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto where he served earlier as President (2005-13) and Dean of Medicine (1999-2005). Before that, Naylor was founding director of clinical epidemiology at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in Toronto (1990-96), and founding CEO (1991-98) of Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). He has co-authored over 300 scholarly publications spanning epidemiology, biostatistics, social history, public policy, medical education, and health economics, as well as clinical and health services research in most fields of medicine.  Naylor was a two-term inaugural governor of CIHR (2000-04). His public service also includes chairing three national panels: Canada’s review of public health after the 2003 SARS outbreak, the federal advisory panel on healthcare innovation (2014-15), and the federal review of support for extramural science and research (2016-17). He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and an international member of the US National Academy of Medicine.

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Timothy Evans

Professor and Director, School of Population and Global Health, McGill University

Full bio

Tim joined McGill University in September 2019, as the Inaugural Director and Associate Dean of the School of Population and Global Health (SPGH) in the Faculty of Medicine and Associate Vice-Principal (Global Policy and Innovation). He joins McGill after a 6 year tenure as the Senior Director of the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice at the World Bank Group. From 2010 to 2013, Tim was Dean of the James P. Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Senior Advisor to the BRAC Health Program. From 2003 to 2010, he was Assistant Director General at the World Health Organization (WHO). Prior to this, he served as Director of the Health Equity Theme at the Rockefeller Foundation. Earlier in his career, he was an attending physician of internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and was Assistant Professor in International Health Economics at the Harvard School of Public Health. Tim has been at the forefront of advancing global health equity and strengthening health systems delivery for more than 20 years. At WHO, he led the Commission on Social Determinants of Health and oversaw the production of the annual World Health Report. He has been a co-founder of many partnerships including the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) as well as efforts to increase access to HIV treatment for mothers and innovative approaches to training community-based midwives in Bangladesh. Tim received his Medical Degree from McMaster University in Canada and was a Research and Internal Medicine Resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He earned a D.Phil. in Agricultural Economics from University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Provincial/Territorial Liaisons & Ex-Officio Members

Photo of Theresa Tam

Theresa Tam

Chief Public Health Officer and Head of Public Health Agency of Canada

Biographie complète

La Dre Theresa Tam a été nommée administratrice en chef de la santé publique du Canada le 26 juin 2017. Elle est médecin et possède une expérience en matière d’immunisation, de maladies infectieuses, de préparation aux situations d’urgence et d’initiatives de sécurité sanitaire mondiale.

La Dre Tam a obtenu son diplôme en médecine à l’Université de Nottingham, au Royaume-Uni. Elle a fait sa résidence en pédiatrie à l’Université de l’Alberta et a obtenu une bourse de recherche scientifique en maladies infectieuses pédiatriques à l’Université de la Colombie-Britannique. Elle est Associée du Collège royal des médecins et chirurgiens du Canada et est l’auteure de plus de 55 publications sur la santé publique dans des revues évaluées par les pairs. Elle est également diplômée du Programme canadien d’épidémiologie de terrain.

La Dre Tam a occupé plusieurs postes de direction à l’Agence de la santé publique du Canada, dont celui d’administratrice en chef adjointe de la santé publique et celui de sous‑ministre adjointe responsable de la prévention et du contrôle des maladies infectieuses. Au cours des 20 ans qu’elle a passés dans la santé publique, elle a fourni une expertise technique et assuré le leadership de nouvelles initiatives visant à améliorer la surveillance des maladies transmissibles, à renforcer les programmes d’immunisation et à consolider la gestion des interventions d’urgence en santé ainsi que la biosécurité et la biosûreté des laboratoires. Elle a joué un rôle de chef de file dans la réponse du Canada à des urgences de santé publique, dont le syndrome respiratoire aigu sévère (SRAS), la pandémie d’influenza H1N1 et la maladie à virus Ebola.

La Dre Tam a agi à titre d’experte internationale au sein de plusieurs comités de l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé et a participé à de multiples missions internationales liées à la lutte contre le SRAS, la pandémie d’influenza et la poliomyélite.

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Mona Nemer

Chief Science Advisor to Prime Minister, Minister of Science, and Cabinet

Full bio

Dr. Mona Nemer is Canada’s Chief Science Advisor. Her role is to provide science advice to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet. An internationally renowned cardiovascular scientist and a distinguished academic leader, Dr. Nemer has made seminal contributions to several fields ranging from gene regulation to molecular cardiology. She is Professor in the department of Biochemistry, Immunology and Microbiology of the University of Ottawa and served as the University Vice-President of Research for 11 years. Prior to that, she was Professor of Pharmacology at the Université de Montréal, Director of the Cardiac Development Research Unit at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM), and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Cell Differentiation. Professor Nemer holds a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University and did post-doctoral training in molecular biology at the IRCM and at Columbia University. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Member of the Order of Canada. She is also a Knight of the Ordre national du Québec and a Knight of the French Republic’s Ordre national du Mérite.

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Stephen Lucas

Deputy Minister of Health, Canada

Full bio

Dr. Stephen Lucas was appointed Deputy Minister of Health on September 3, 2019.

Before joining the Department, Dr. Lucas served as Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) since January 2017.

As Senior Associate Deputy Minister (Climate Change) from June 2016 to January 2017, Dr. Lucas led ECCC activities in support of the development and adoption of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Before joining ECCC, Dr. Lucas was Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet for Plans and Consultations and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Privy Council Office. From 2013 to 2014, he was Assistant Secretary, Economic and Regional Development Policy, at the Privy Council Office.

As Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Policy Integration at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) from 2009 to 2013, he was responsible for strategic policy development related to energy, mineral and forest resources, climate change and clean energy and international and intergovernmental relations. Prior to that, from 2007 to 2009, he was Assistant Deputy Minister, Minerals and Metals Sector, at NRCan, where he provided leadership on innovation, green mining and corporate social responsibility.

Dr. Lucas was a Director General in the Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB) at Health Canada from 2003 to 2007, Senior Director at NRCan for Science, Innovation, Regional and Aboriginal Affairs from 2000 to 2003, and Director of Policy Planning and Coordination in the Earth Sciences Sector at NRCan from 1998 to 2000.

Dr. Lucas started his career as a research scientist at the Geological Survey of Canada in 1988. He has a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Geological Engineering from Queen’s University and a Ph.D. in structural geology and tectonics from Brown University.

Vanessa Allen

PT Representative, Ontario

Marguerite Cameron

PT Representative, Prince Edward Island

Catherine Elliot

PT Representative, Yukon

Richard Garceau

PT Representative, New Brunswick

Heather Hannah

PT Representative, Northwest Territories

Jessica Minion

PT Representative, Saskatchewan

Michael Patterson

PT Representative, Nunavut

Ed Randell

PT Representative, Newfoundland and Labrador

Leadership Group Members

Photo of Carrie Bourassa

Carrie Bourassa

Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH)
Professor, Department of Community Health & Epidemiology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon

Full bio

Dr. Carrie Bourassa is the Scientific Director of CIHR’s Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH). Through IIPH, she leads the advancement of a national health research agenda to improve and promote the health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada. The Institute is housed at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon where she is a tenured Professor in the Department of Community Health & Epidemiology, College of Medicine.

Dr. Bourassa spent over 15 years as a professor of Indigenous health studies in the Department of Indigenous Health, Education and Social Work at the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) in Regina.

She is a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada, public member of the Royal College Council of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Board Member of the Health Quality Council of Saskatchewan and was appointed as a member of the International Research Advisory Board for the HRC of New Zealand in 2019. She also co-moderates CanCOVID #theme-indigenousresearch and is a member of the Saskatchewan COVID19 Evidence Support Think Tank supporting Indigenous health rapid response needs. 

Dr. Bourassa is Métis and belongs to the Riel Métis Council of Regina Inc. (RMCR, Local #34).

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Vivek Goel

Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives
Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Full bio

Professor Vivek Goel is Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Toronto and a Professor in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He obtained his medical degree from McGill University and completed post-graduate medical training in Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Goel completed an MSc in Community Health from U of T and an MS in Biostatistics from Harvard University School of Public Health. He was a founding scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), where he continues as an Adjunct Senior Scientist. He served as Vice-Provost, Faculty and subsequently was the University’s Vice President and Provost from 2004 until 2008. He served as founding President and CEO of Public Health Ontario from 2008 until 2014, where he was highly successful in building an academic public health services agency that provided scientific and technical advice to front-line practitioners and provided leadership for the response to H1N1. Prior to rejoining the University he served as Chief Academic Strategist with Coursera, a global platform that connects universities and learners with online courses.

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Scott Halperin

Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology and Immunology, Dalhousie University

Full bio

Dr. Halperin is a Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology and Immunology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As the Director of the Canadian

Center for Vaccinology, Nominated Principal Investigator of the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN) and its predecessor PCIRN (Public Health Agency of Canada/Canadian Institutes of Health Research Influenza Research Network), Co-Principal Investigator of the Immunization Monitoring Program–Active (IMPACT), and Executive Committee member of the Canadian Association for Immunization Research and Evaluation (CAIRE), he has played a foundational role in the establishment of these Canadian collaborative research networks undertaking evaluative vaccine research that informs public health policy and practice. He has also served on provincial, national, and international committees of the Government of Nova Scotia, Public Health Agency of Canada, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization. These committees provide fora for the dissemination of research findings to policy- and decision makers, assess existing and proposed vaccine programs, and make recommendations on the prioritization of these programs. Dr. Halperin’s research focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of pertussis and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

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Charu Kaushic

Scientific Director, CIHR-Institute of Infection and Immunity
Professor, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University

Full bio

Charu Kaushic is the Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-Institute of Infection and Immunity, serving in this role since July 1, 2018.  Dr. Kaushic is also a tenured Full Professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine in McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.  In her role as the Scientific Director for CIHR-III, Dr. Kaushic is responsible for making decisions for CIHR strategic investments in the area of infection and immunity, nationally and internationally. She also represents CIHR and Government of Canada at various national and international forums related to infectious diseases. In this capacity she serves as a Co-Chair of GloPID-R, a global consortium of funders in pandemic preparedness and emergency response research. She also represents Canada on the JPIAMR Management Board. Dr. Kaushic has a PhD in Immunology and did her post-doctoral training in mucosal immunology. Since her faculty appointment in McMaster in 2002, she has done extensive teaching and training in immunology and built an interdisciplinary research program in women’s reproductive health, specifically basic, clinical and translational research examining susceptibility and immune responses to sexually transmitted viruses, HIV-1 and HSV-2. Prior to joining CIHR, Dr. Kaushic’s research program was funded by CIHR, CFI, CANFAR and OHTN. She has received numerous national and international awards including a Rockefeller post-doctoral fellowship, CIHR New Investigator Award, OHTN Research Scholar award, OHTN Research Chair award and the 2017 American Journal of Reproductive Immunology Research Excellence Award.

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James D. Kellner

Consultant in Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Professor, Departments of Pediatrics, Community Health Sciences, and Microbiology, Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary and
Calgary Zone, Alberta Health Services

Full bio

Dr. Kellner is a pediatrician, subspecialist in pediatric infectious diseases and clinical epidemiologist. From 2008 to 2018, he was Professor and Head of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Calgary and the Calgary Zone of Alberta Health Services. His research interests are in the field of vaccine preventable infections and he works with colleagues from clinical medicine, public health and basic sciences locally, across Canada, and internationally. His main interest is the pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae(pneumococcus), which is the most common bacterial cause worldwide of common to severe infections including middle ear infections, pneumonia and meningitis. He has also studied meningococcus, influenza, human papillomavirus and pertussis infections and vaccines. He has served on the Alberta Advisory Committee on Immunization since 2002 and was Chair for a decade. He serves on the pneumococcal working group of the National Advisory Committee for Immunizations (NACI) and was a member of the WHO Serotype Replacement Technical Advisory Group. He helped lead local planning and management in Calgary of the H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009-2010. In the early 2000s, he contributed to the development of national and provincial pandemic influenza plans. 

Photo of Susan Kirkland

Susan Kirkland

Professor and Head University Research Professor, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University / Nova Scotia Health Authority

Full bio

Dr. Kirkland’s program of research relates to the epidemiological examination of health outcomes that are prevalent in older populations, including chronic diseases, multimorbidity, and frailty, and the exploration of underlying determinants of health, particularly the interplay among the genetic, psycho-social, and physical determinants of healthy aging. Dr. Kirkland plays a leadership role on a number of landmark studies of international repute, including the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, a 20-year study of 50,000 older adults in Canada funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). She also currently leads studies in the areas of healthy aging, frailty, HIV and aging, cognitive function and aging, access to health services and transitions in care, health inequalities in aging, technologies to support aging in place, and person-centred approaches to engaging older adults in research. She has published over 170 peer reviewed papers, given over 150 invited presentations and 250 national and international conference presentations. She has held over 100 research grants totalling $95M. Dr. Kirkland has participated in national advisory boards including CIHR’s Institute Advisory Boards for the Institute of Aging and the Institute of Population and Public Health; the Board of Governors of the Northwood Group of Companies, a non-profit continuing care organization serving residents of Nova Scotia; and the Board of Directors for AGE-WELL, a national Network Centre of Excellence.

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Gary Kobinger

Professor and Director of the Infectious Diseases Research Center
Department of Microbiology-infectiology and immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval

Full bio

Gary Kobinger obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Montreal in 1998 before completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2005, Gary was the Chief of the Special Pathogens Biosafety Level 4 program at the National Microbiology Laboratory where he worked for 11 years. He is now professor at the Infectious Disease Research Centre of Université Laval, associate professor at the University of Manitoba and adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Gary was granted several awards, co-authored over 300 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and gave numerous keynote presentations concerning research on high consequence pathogens and public health policies and recommendations.

In 2013-2020, 60 minutes, National Geographic, BBC Horizon, NOVA, France 2, PBS, CBC, and others featured the leading work of Gary and his team on successful treatment of Ebola infection and the VSV-based Ebola vaccine which he contributed to bring to clinical trials.

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Mel Krajden

Medical Director of the BCCDC Public Health Laboratory; Professor Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia

Full bio

Mel Krajden MD, FRCPC is the Medical Director of the BC Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory and the Medical Head of Hepatitis at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control. He is also a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia.

His laboratory research involves in the application of molecular techniques to diagnose viruses, assess correlates between infection and clinical disease, and track microbial infections for epidemiological purposes. His clinical research involves integration of hepatitis prevention and care services which involves the use of linked laboratory and administrative data to help understand how to measure population level health outcomes for policy making.

He spearheads the BC-Hepatitis C Tester’s Cohort (BC-HTC). The BC-HTC contains de-identified health information on ~3.5 million British Columbians tested for HCV, HIV, HBV & TB. It includes almost all: lab tests/results, medical visits, hospitalizations, prescriptions, cancer outcomes, and mortality outcomes. With ~30 years of longitudinal information, the BC-HTC is able to determine health outcomes by different groups while adjusting for confounders. The goal is to drive value-based practices from the bench to population level — translating discovery into practice across a range of health related questions.

He has extensive clinical trials expertise and has received CIHR funding in the fields of human papillomavirus, HIV, hepatitis C virus and COVID-19. He is also a Co-PI/Mentor for CIHR funded Canadian Hepatitis C Network (CanHepC) and has >286 publications.

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Richard Massé

Special Advisor to Government of Quebec (public health, epidemiology) – PT Representative

Full bio

Richard Massé a complété sa spécialité en médecine préventive et en santé communautaire (1987) et est aussi fellow du CRMCC. De 1998 à 2003, le Dr Massé est sous-ministre adjoint au ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) et directeur national de santé publique du Québec. Par la suite, il a été nommé président-directeur général de l’Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ, 2003-2008). De 2007 à 2013, il est membre du Conseil dadministration de lAgence de protection et de promotion de la santé de lOntario. De 2009-14, il est nommé membre, puis président, du Conseil consultatif de l’Institut de recherche en santé publique du Canada. Le Dr Massé a été professeur agrégé de la Faculté de médecine, puis directeur de l’École de santé publique de l’Université de Montréal (2008-11).

Enfin, il a été nommé en 2012 directeur régional de santé publique de Montréal jusqu’en avril 2018. Il travaille actuellement comme médecin-conseil à la DRSP-Mtl en maladies infectieuses et à la RRSSS du Nunavik pour le programme de lutte à la tuberculose. Depuis mars 2020, il est conseiller médical stratégique auprès du MSSS concernant la pandémie de COVID-19.

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Allison McGeer

Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology and Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto

Full bio

Dr. McGeer completed an undergraduate and master’s degree in biochemistry, then her medical degree at the University of Toronto. She specialized in internal medicine and infectious diseases followed by a fellowship in hospital epidemiology at Yale New Haven Hospital.

She returned to Mount Sinai Hospital in 1989 as microbiologist and director of infection control. Her major research interests are in the prevention of infection in hospitals and nursing homes, and the use of surveillance to advance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. She is the principal investigator of the Toronto Invasive Bacterial Diseases Network and the Ontario Group A Streptococcal Study, two collaborative surveillance networks studying the epidemiology of severe community-acquired infections.

Dr. McGeer is a Professor in the Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology and Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. In addition to her position as director of infection control at Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. McGeer is an infection control consultant to The Scarborough Hospital and The Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care. She currently serves on Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization and on the infection control subcommittee of the Ontario Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee, and is a member of several local, provincial and national pandemic influenza committees. She is an expert reviewer for many research funding agencies including the Canadian Institute of Health Research and US National Institutes of Health, and has served on the editorial boards of several journals, including the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

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Deborah Money

Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Medicine, School of Population and Public Health Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
Clinician Scientist, Women’s Health Research Institute

Full bio

Dr. Deborah Money is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and is an associate member of both the Department of Medicine and the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia.  Following residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology, she did a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington, becoming Canada’s first dual specialist in OBGYN and Infectious Diseases. She is an active clinician scientist in Reproductive Infectious Diseases, with several large multicentered research projects in the maternal/infant microbiome and HIV in women. As well, she has been the lead for a study of the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of the HPV vaccine in girls and women living with HIV. She is the lead for CANCOVID-Preg, a Canada-wide surveillance program studying the outcome following COVID-19 for pregnant women and their infants. She was the inaugural Executive Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI) and is a past President of the Infectious Diseases Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (IDSOG). She has published more than 200 peer reviewed publications and has received more than $24M in peer reviewed funding. In addition to her academic pursuits, she is currently the Executive Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at UBC.

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Gina Ogilvie

Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia

Full bio

Gina Ogilvie, MD MSc FCFP DrPH is a Professor and Canada Research Chair at University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health; Senior Public Health Scientist at BC Centre for Disease Control; Associate Director of Women’s Health Research Institute. Dr. Ogilvie received her MD from McMaster University, and completed a specialty in Family Medicine and a Fellowship in Population Health and Primary care. She received her Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology at UBC, and her Doctorate in Public Health from the University of North Carolina. Currently, Dr. Ogilvie is Principal Investigator on over 15 million dollars in grants from CIHR, NIH, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research among others. Her research, clinical and policy expertise focuses on the public health and clinical aspects of testing and interventions for reproductive tract infections, HPV screening and the HPV vaccine, and her findings have been highly influential in shaping public health policy for screening, testing and treatment in Canada and globally. She currently leads several large clinical trials on screening and testing both in Canada and in global settings including Uganda. She sits on many national and global advisories including for the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Public Health Agency of Canada, the World Health Organization and Ministries of Health globally, providing guidance on optimal testing and screening policies for STI, HIV and as well as on HPV and STI vaccine policy and programming. Dr. Ogilvie is the recipient of many honours, including YWCA Woman of Distinction (2018); and Provincial Health Officer’s Award for Excellence in Public health (2015).

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Jutta Preiksaitis

Professor Emeritus, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta

Full bio

Dr. Preiksaitis is a virologist, transplant infectious diseases (TxID) physician and Professor Emerita, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta.  She obtained her MD from McMaster University, then trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the Universities of Toronto, Manitoba and Alberta and TxID at Stanford University. She developed and led the first Canadian TxID service at the University of Alberta Hospitals and the first TxID Community of Practice of the American Society of Transplantation. She has regularly participated in international guideline development related to the prevention and management of infectious complications after solid organ transplantation. Dr. Preiksaitis was the Medical Director of Alberta’s Provincial Public Health Laboratory (2000-2009) during the SARS, West Nile virus and H1N1 influenza epidemics and participated in Canadian modeling of disease burden associated with hepatitis C virus and transfusion-transmitted infection related to emerging pathogens. Her research is focused on the epidemiology and pathogenesis of infection transmitted by organ transplantation and blood transfusion and quality improvement in clinical diagnostic virology. Dr. Preiksaitis has participated in national committees related to blood, tissue and organ donor safety standards and public health laboratory coordination.  She is an author of over 150 peer reviewed publications.

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Caroline Quach-Thanh

Professeure titulaire, Département de Microbiologie, infectiologie et Immunologie, Université de Montréal et Microbiologiste-infectiologue, CHU Sainte-Justine

Full bio

Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases & Immunology and in the Department of Pediatrics at Université de Montréal. She is the Medical Lead for Infection Prevention & Control at the CHU Sainte-Justine, where she works as a pediatric infectious diseases consultant and a medical microbiologist. She holds a cross-appointment at the Quebec Institute of Public Health (INSPQ) where she works in the Healthcare-Associated Infections and Immunization branches. She is a clinician-scientist and holds a salary award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS, chercheure boursière de mérite). Her research interests are focused on the prevention of infections – both healthcare-associated infections and vaccine-preventable diseases.

Dr. Quach is the current Chair of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). She was the President of the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease – Canada’s (AMMI) from 2014-2016. She was inthronized as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and of the Society for Hospital Epidemiology of America. She was selected as one of the 2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women (2019 Top 100 Award Winner in the Manulife Science and Technology category).

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James Talbot

Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alberta – PT Representative

Full bio

Dr. James Talbot has a B.Sc. (1st class Hon) and a Ph.D from the University of Alberta and an M.D. from the University of Toronto. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Medical Microbiology.

He has served as the Director of the Provincial Laboratory for Public Health in Edmonton, Medical Officer of Health for Edmonton and Area in Alberta Health Services, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nunavut and Deputy and Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta.

He is currently an Adjunct Professor of the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta and Expert Advisor to Deena Hinshaw, the Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health, for COVID-19 laboratory testing and surveillance.

His research and teaching interests are in using surveillance and epidemiology to provide evidence needed to guide action to prevent or mitigate disease or injury

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Gail Tomblin Murphy

Vice-President, Research, Innovation & Discovery and Chief Nurse Executive, Nova Scotia Health Authority

Full bio

Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy believes that partnerships and networks are the cornerstone of the uptake of research, and that to have true uptake, decision-makers, health researchers and innovators need to work together from the outset. As the Vice President of Research, Innovation & Discovery and CNE of the Nova Scotia Health Authority, Gail has been an active champion of innovation in healthcare, leading our teams to seek creative solutions and agile processes to address the challenges with our health system in order to deliver the best care for the best health outcomes. 

As an internationally recognized expert in population needs-based approaches to health systems and workforce planning, evaluation and research, Gail is committed to building capacity for using evidence to inform health policy and practice. Gail has been an Expert Advisor on health workforce to the World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization since 2005 and is the Director of the WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre on Health Workforce Planning and Research (Dalhousie University). Gail has been involved in over 90 funded research projects (over 66 as principal or co-principal investigator) representing over $23 million in provincial, national and international funding, of which over $14 million is as a principal or co-principal investigator. She is actively involved in a number of national and international networks, including the World Health Innovation Network, the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research, Primary Health Care to Communities, and the Canadian Health Human Resources Network. In her 30 years at Dalhousie University, Gail became a strong researcher, teacher, mentor and leader, including taking on the roles of Director of the School of Nursing and Assistant Dean Research in the Faculty of Health. In 2019, she was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing as a Fellow. 

Gail completed her BN and MN degrees from Dalhousie University and her PhD in nursing from the University of Toronto. 

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Paul Van Caeseele

Medical Director, Cadham Provincial Laboratory, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living
Professor, Departments of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, and Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Consultant, Winnipeg Children’s Hospital, Shared Health Manitoba
Travel Health and Tropical Medicine Specialist, Winnipeg regional Health Authority Travel and Tropical Medicine Clinic
PT Representative

Full bio

Dr. Paul Van Caeseele graduated from the University of Manitoba Medical School in 1995 and later completed postgraduate specialty training in Medical Microbiology in 2000.  He has served as Medical Director of Cadham Provincial Laboratory, Manitoba’s public health laboratory, since 2000; he is also past Director of medical labs in Percy E. Moore Memorial Hospital, Norway House Hospital, St. Amant Centre and Mount Carmel Clinic, all in Manitoba.

He has been working as a pediatric infectious diseases consultant and travel health and tropical medicine specialist with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) since 2001.  Dr. Van Caeseele is a professor at the University of Manitoba in the Department of Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases since 2000 and is cross-appointed in Pediatrics & Child Health since 2005. He is past Program Director of the University of Manitoba Medical Microbiology Training Program and past Chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Examination Board in Medical Microbiology. He sits on the Board of Directors of Diagnostic Services Manitoba since 2011 and the Kuwait Institute of Medical Specialization Examination Board for Medical Microbiology since 2017. He is currently the provincial/territorial co-Chair of the Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network.