Leadership Group

The CITF Leadership Group includes experts from across Canada in matters related to serologic surveillance, immunology, virology, infectious diseases, public health, and clinical medicine. It also includes ex-officio members representing agencies of the Government of Canada, including the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the office of the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister, as well as representatives of Provincial-Territorial Ministries of Health, and McGill University (host of the Secretariat).

Our mandate (a summary)

  • Establish and oversee the scientific strategy of the CITF;
  • Ensure appropriate collaborative mechanisms are developed to support widespread awareness and engagement of key stakeholders in the CITF’s work;
  • Deliberate on and synthesize results of studies in order to communicate them to decision-makers in a timely and clear way; and,
  • With the Executive Director, oversee the establishment and activities of the Secretariat charged with coordinating multi-site serological and vaccine surveillance surveys and establishing common platforms that harmonize methods and functions for the efficient operation of these surveys.

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Co-Chairs and Executive Director

Photo of David Naylor

David Naylor

Co-chair

Professor of Medicine and President Emeritus, University of Toronto

Full bio

Catherine Hankins

Co-chair

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

Full bio

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Timothy Evans

Executive Director

Professor, Director and Associate Dean of the School of Population and Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University

Full bio

Government of Canada Representatives

Photo of Theresa Tam

Theresa Tam

Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

Full bio

Photo of Mona Nemer

Mona Nemer

Chief Science Advisor of Canada

Full bio

Stephen Lucas

Stephen Lucas

Deputy Minister of Health, Canada

Full bio

Members

Photo of VIvek Goel

Vivek Goel

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waterloo

Full bio

Philippe Gros

Philippe Gros

Deputy Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation &
Professor, Department of Biochemistry, McGill University

Full bio

Photo of Scott Halperin

Scott Halperin

Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, IWK Health Centre, Dalhousie University

Principal Investigator, Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN)

Full bio

Charu Kaushic

Charu Kaushic

Scientific Director, CIHR-Institute of Infection and Immunity

Professor, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University

Full bio

Photo of James Kellner

James D. Kellner

Pediatric Infectious Disease Consultant

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

Full bio

Photo of Susan Kirkland

Susan Kirkland

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

Full bio

Photo of Gary Kobinger

Gary Kobinger

Professor and Director, Infectious Diseases Research Centre, Department of Microbiology-Infectiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval

Full bio

Photo of Mel Krajden

Mel Krajden

Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia

Medical Director of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory

Full bio

Christie Lutsiak

Director, Health Innovation Partnerships & Strategy, Alberta Health

Full bio

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Richard Massé

Special Advisor to the Government of Quebec (public health, epidemiology)

Full bio

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Allison McGeer

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

Full bio

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Deborah Money

Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology, School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Clinician Scientist, Women’s Health Research Institute

Full bio

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Gina Ogilvie

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

Senior Public Health Scientist, BC Centre for Disease Control

Associate Director, Women’s Health Research Institute

Full bio

Photo of Jutta Preiksaitis

Jutta Preiksaitis

Professor Emerita of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Alberta

Full bio

Photo of Caroline Quach-Thanh

Caroline Quach-Thanh

Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, CHU Ste-Justine, Université de Montréal

Chair, National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI)

Full bio

Gail Tomblin Murphy

Gail Tomblin Murphy

Vice President of Research, Innovation & Discovery

Chief Nurse Executive, Nova Scotia Health Authority

Full bio

Photo of Paul Van Caeseele

Paul Van Caeseele

Medical Director, Cadham Provincial Laboratory, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living

Professor, Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, and Pediatrics & Child Health, University of Manitoba

Full bio

Provincial & Territorial Representatives

Shelly Bolotin

Ontario

Scientist, Health Protection, Public Health Ontario

Full bio

Marguerite Cameron

Prince Edward Island

Provincial Epidemiologist, PEI Health and Wellness, Chief Public Health Office, Population Health Assessment and Surveillance

Full bio

Catherine Elliott

Yukon

Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health, Yukon

Full bio

Richard Garceau

Richard Garceau

New Brunswick

Microbiologist – Infectious diseases, Microbiology Laboratory Dr. Georges L Dumont University Hospital Centre

Full bio

Heather Hannah

Northwest Territories

Territorial Epidemiologist

Manager of the Epidemiologist and Surveillance Unit, Northwest Territories

Full bio

Photo of Mel Krajden

Mel Krajden

British Columbia

Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia

Medical Director of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory

Full bio

Christie Lutsiak

Alberta

Director, Health Innovation Partnerships & Strategy, Alberta Health

Full bio

Photo of Richard Massé

Richard Massé

Quebec

Special Advisor to the Government of Quebec (public health, epidemiology)

Full bio

Jessica Minion

Jessica Minion

Saskatchewan

Laboratory Medicine & Infection Prevention and Control, Regina, Saskatchewan Health Authority

Full bio

Michael Patterson

Nunavut

Chief Public Health Officer, Nunavut

Full bio

Rosann Seviour

Newfoundland and Labrador

Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, Newfoundland and Labrador

Full bio

Gail Tomblin Murphy

Gail Tomblin Murphy

Nova Scotia

Vice President of Research, Innovation & Discovery

Chief Nurse Executive of the Nova Scotia Health Authority

Full bio

Photo of Paul Van Caeseele

Paul Van Caeseele

Manitoba

Medical Director, Cadham Provincial Laboratory, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living

Professor, Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, and Pediatrics & Child Health, University of Manitoba

Full bio

Executive Committee Members

The Executive Committee reports to the Leadership Group and is the final funding decision-making body. It comprises the two Co-Chairs, the Executive Director, and six additional rotating members from the Leadership Group. An important condition for membership is that the individual has no intent to hold or seek funds from the CITF, either as a Principal Investigator or a Co-Investigator on a project being funded by the CITF.

Tim Evans
Cate Hankins
Heather Hannah

David Naylor
Mona Nemer
Howard Njoo
Gina Ogilvie

Jutta Preiksaitis
Gail Tomblin-Murphy
Paul Van Caeseele

David Naylor
Catherine Hankins
Tim Evans
Mona Nemer
Vivek Goel
Charu Kaushic
Gina Ogilvie
Jutta Preiksaitis
Gail Tomblin Murphy

Indigenous Advisory Circle

The work of the Indigenous Advisory Circle (IAC) has come to a conclusion. The CITF expresses its deepest thanks to all members for their efforts and contributions. As results from CITF-supported studies emerge bearing on Indigenous communities, the CITF will continue to make efforts to engage Indigenous policy, community and scientific leaders in discussion of their implications.

About the CITF Working Parties

Our Working Parties (WP) report to the Leadership Group and are comprised of experts in fields relevant to the three Scientific Strategy Priorities: Field Studies, Immune Science, and Immune Testing.

The Working Parties are responsible for monitoring the scientific landscape in their priority area in Canada (and beyond), articulating a strategy and workplan for the LG to review and endorse, and for catalyzing the development and implementation of studies. WPs are expected to review, and where appropriate propose to the Leadership Group, a re-direction of priorities as knowledge and context change, identifying supplementary studies necessary to strengthen the scientific relevance and rigour of the CITF.

WPs are led by a member(s) of the Leadership Group. WP membership includes members of the Leadership Group, as well as the Secretariat, and experts external to the CITF as needed and appropriate.

The CITF Working Parties

Field Studies

Working Party Leads: Jim Kellner & Gina Ogilvie

The Field Studies Working Party supports the development and implementation of population-level studies to determine and report on the levels and trends of exposure, infection, and immunity to SARS-CoV-2 across the Canadian population. As part of its work, where possible, the Field Studies WP aims to harmonize surveys being conducted across the country using a predetermined set of indicators called the Core Data Elements.

Read Objectives

Immune Science

Working Party Lead: Charu Kaushic

The Immune Science Working Party aims to advance the state of knowledge on infection-acquired immunity and correlates of protection (what, in the immune system, fights off the virus) to SARS-CoV-2 while also examining immune correlates of disease severity. Comparative studies are used to evaluate responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection in different populations to better elucidate whether the response to infection is asymptomatic, is mildly/moderately symptomatic, or results in severe illness — and whether the initial response to infection influences the degree of subsequent immune protection.

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Immune Testing

Working Party Lead: Mel Krajden

The Testing priority of the CITF aims to enable accurate, quality assured, efficient, scalable, and safe immunity testing for SARS-CoV-2 across Canada. Given the novel status of SARS-CoV-2, all immune tests – whether based on blood draws from veins, pin pricks for blood spots, saliva samples, or others – require validation for accuracy. A test’s accuracy depends on its sensitivity and specificity, and the interpretation of a test is also dependent on the timing of testing in relation to an individual’s infection. Defining the duration of antibody responses will guide testing strategies and help understand the technology’s limitations.

Read Objectives