Dr. Paul Demers appointed OCRC director  

We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Paul Demers has been appointed to the position of Director, Occupational Cancer Research Centre, and Senior Scientist at Cancer Care Ontario, effective September 1 2010. Paul will be actively involved in the development of the Centre beginning in May.

Paul is currently Professor and Director of the School of Environmental Health at the University of British Columbia, where he has been on faculty since 1994. He has an MSc in Industrial Hygiene and a PhD in Epidemiology, both from the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Demers is internationally recognized for his expertise on the health effects of workplace exposures and, as a result, sits on many expert panels, including the International Agency for Research on Cancer working groups that evaluated carcinogens such as dusts and fibres, firefighting and formaldehyde.  Dr. Demers has extensive research experience and accomplishments, which includes his leadership of a national program known as “CAREX Canada,” a workplace and environmental exposure database. Over his academic career he has held numerous research grants, supervised a large number of graduate students and published extensively.

OCRC is the first of its kind in Canada, and was created to bridge the gaps in our knowledge of occupation-related cancers and to translate these findings into preventive programs to control workplace exposures and improve the health of Ontarians. This major new initiative is a unique partnership that unites health, workplace safety, labour and industry groups. It is jointly funded by Cancer Care Ontario, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division and was developed in collaboration with the United Steelworkers Union.

While welcoming Dr. Demers into this important role as leader of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre, all of the partners acknowledge the outstanding leadership of Dr. Aaron Blair who has graciously served as Interim Director since the Centre was inaugurated last year. Aaron has generously agreed to remain as Interim Director during the transition and we are grateful for his continued involvement.