Scientists and Affiliated Scientists

Scientists

Loraine Marrett

Loraine Marrett was thrust into the field of occupational cancer research during her first position as a cancer epidemiologist shortly after completing her PhD, and has maintained an interest throughout her career. She played a critical role in the development of the OCRC, advocating for a dedicated research environment to revitalize and advance of the field. Her work at OCRC centers around finding novel ways to make use of existing data sources including the Ontario Cancer Registry, existing cohorts, population-based surveys and census data to answer questions about causal relationships and trends in incidence for workplace-related cancers.

Minh T. Do

Minh joined the Occupational Cancer Research and Surveillance Pilot Project in 2002 when he was a Doctoral student with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Upon completion of his PhD studies, he began his post-doctoral training at the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (IS Global (formerly CREAL), Barcelona, Spain). Following his post-doctoral studies, he returned to Canada and resumed his work with the Occupational Cancer Research Centre. Minh has an interest in conducting occupational related research using administrative data. Specifically, his focus is to construct cohorts through record linkages in order to address etiologic research questions. Currently, his work at the OCRC relates to assessing cancer risks among a cohort of Ontario uranium miners.

Paul Demers

Paul comes to OCRC from the University of British Columbia, where he was a Professor in the School of Environmental Health. As well as being Director of the OCRC, he is also a Professor with the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He has an MSc in Industrial Hygiene and a PhD in Epidemiology, both from the University of Washington in Seattle. Paul is internationally recognized for his expertise on the health effects of workplace exposures and 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. He has extensive research experience and accomplishments, including 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 many graduate students and has published extensively.

Shelley Harris

Shelley Harris first became interested in occupational and environmental health while travelling in India and Jamaica as part of her undergraduate minor in International Agriculture, where poor working conditions led to exacerbated risk for serious acute illness due to environmental and occupational exposures. Now focusing on chronic disease in Canada and the United States, Shelley has a distinct appreciation for the challenges that exist when quantifying small, long-term exposures linked with cancer and other chronic diseases, and has centred her work on improving measurement of occupational and environmental exposures for determining disease risk. Shelley adds rigor and immense field-specific knowledge to the OCRC team, attracting both students and collaborating researchers to the Centre.

Affiliated Scientists

Anne Harris

Anne was OCRC's first postdoctoral fellow from 2011-2012. Her research focuses on occupational and environmental risk factors for chronic disease, and she is particularly interested in studying and improving the methods used to conduct this type of research. Anne has studied risk factors for Parkinson's disease (including whole body vibration, pesticides, head injuries and exposure to animals and viruses). At OCRC she continued to develop her work on occupational risk factors, with a particular interest in developing new methods and data linkages. Using these linkages and data sources, Anne is involved in analyses of night shift work as a risk factor for a) cancer in a census linkage cohort and b) biomarkers of insulin resistance in the Canadian Health Measures Survey. For more information on Anne's research interests, and a full CV, please see her website: http://anneharris.weebly.com/

Anne-Marie Nicol

Anne-Marie graduated from the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia in 2003. Her thesis research focused on exposure to pesticides in Canada, with a particular emphasis on para-occupational exposure. Her post-doctoral work developed a series of outreach materials for farmers and farm families aimed at reducing pesticide levels indoor. Entitled “Wash with Care”, this multi-media project (www.washwithcare.ca) has received a great deal of attention both within Canada and in India as the project was done in Punjabi, a major language spoken by farm families in BC. The materials from her post-doc are now used by agencies such as Worksafe BC as a resource for pesticide education. Anne-Marie has continued to work and research in the area of knowledge translation, particularly around carcinogenic exposures. She joined CAREX Canada in 2007 as the Executive Director before moving to SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences in 2013. Her current CAREX work focuses on translating knowledge about radon gas to policy makers and health practitioners across the country. To this end, she works with academics, government scientists and NGOs, bringing together stakeholders to discuss strategies and priorities for research, education and prevention. Anne-Marie has also continued to develop knowledge translation resources including a program on tick awareness for the BC CDC aimed at children and pets (the Tick Talk: ticktalk.spph.ubc.ca), which is now available in three languages and is being used by health authorities across the country. Anne-Marie is also currently affiliated with the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health where she works on community-level exposure projects to carcinogens such as radon and arsenic As an affiliated scientist to the Centre, Anne-Marie provides knowledge translation and exchange expertise to many of the research activities of the OCRC.

Cheryl Peters

Cheryl holds an MSc and PhD in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene from the University of British Columbia. She is a Research Scientist in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research at Alberta Health Services, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Departments of Community Health Sciences and Oncology at the University of Calgary. She is also the Co-Principal Investigator for CAREX Canada, a national occupational and environmental carcinogen exposure surveillance program. Cheryl’s PhD dissertation examined the improvement of exposure assessment for studies of occupational exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). These improvements happened at the population level (via the development of satellite data-enhanced job exposure matrices), as well as an individual level, where she designed and implemented the Outdoor Workers Project to objectively measure UVR exposure in Canada’s outdoor workers. Cheryl also studies the impact of sex and gender on occupational exposure to carcinogens and other hazards. As an affiliated scientist to the centre, Cheryl provides exposure assessment and epidemiological expertise to many research activities of the OCRC, with a focus on the Burden of Occupational Cancer study.

Chris McLeod

Dr. Chris McLeod is an assistant professor in the School of Population and Public Health at UBC and the co-research lead of the Partnership for Work, Health and Safety. His research focuses on the program and policy evaluation of occupational health policies and practices and on the causes and consequences of work-related injury and disease. Current areas of research include an assessment of the effectiveness of occupational health and safety management systems on work injury; an examination of the etiology and outcomes of serious work-related injury; and national and international comparative work with jurisdictions in Ontario, Manitoba, Australia, and New Zealand. More broadly, Chris’s research explores how institutional and economic structures across countries affect health and health inequalities over the working life course. This research uses high quality comparable longitudinal data from representative economies to examine the relationship between employment and working conditions and worker health within and across countries. His work examining the relationship between unemployment and health, supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, has been recently published in the Annual Review of Public Health and the American Journal of Public Health. In 2013 Chris received a CIHR New Investigator Award to expand this program of research.

Chun-Yip Hon

Dr. Chun-Yip Hon is an Assistant Professor with the School of Occupational and Public Health at Ryerson University. He received his PhD in occupational and environmental hygiene from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Hon is also a certified industrial hygienist (CIH) as well as a Canadian registered safety professional (CRSP) with more than 12 years of experience as an occupational hygienist. He has participated in several occupational health studies based in the healthcare sector including his doctoral dissertation which examined healthcare workers’ exposure to chemotherapy drugs. His research interests are occupational exposure assessments, risk assessment methods and evaluation of intervention measures to prevent occupational exposure.

France Labrèche

After graduating in epidemiology from McGill University, France worked for most of her career in the Québec public health sector, focusing on occupational and environmental health surveillance. In the last 20 years, she has been involved in a few cancer cluster studies in the workplace, and in research on mesothelioma diagnosis, occupational risk factors for postmenopausal breast cancer and exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in relation to wood burning. Now working at the Québec Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), France is mainly involved in studies concentrating on the assessment of exposure to carcinogens and on the appraisal of the impact of occupational carcinogen exposure. As an affiliated scientist to the OCRC, France provides epidemiological expertise to the “Human and economic burden of occupational cancer in Canada” project.

Hugh Davies

Hugh graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2002, and has been accredited as a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) by the American Bard of Industrial Hygiene. Dr. Davies is Principle Investigator of the Canadian Workplace Exposure Database Project, or CWED, a repository of nearly a half million occupational exposure measurements collected from around Canada. It is currently being used for national cancer surveillance projects and will eventually become a national research resource available to any bona fide researchers. Dr. Davies researches chemical and physical exposures in the workplace and in the community, and how those exposures influence the health of populations. He has studied the “non-auditory” effects of noise for over a decade, investigating the role of noise at home and work on chronic health and childhood learning. His group produced the first large-scale “noise map” of a Canadian city (Vancouver). Dr. Davies has also conducted occupational health research in Bangladesh, and is an honorary professor at the Bangladesh University for Health Sciences in Dhaka. Dr. Davies has served as Chair of the International Congress on the Biological Effects of Noise (Non-Auditory Effects Team) and is President of the Canadian Association of Research on Work and Health, as well as president of the BC Occupational and Environmental Health Network (BCEOHRN).

Jérôme Lavoué

Jérôme graduated from the Université de Montréal Department of Environmental and Occupational Health with a Ph.D. in public health in 2006. His main research area is exposure science, with particular interest in occupational exposures, exposure databanks, and statistical modeling. Major projects involve building a general population Canadian job exposure matrix from past expert assessments, studying and comparing major national exposure databanks in North America and Europe, and developing user friendly statistical tools to support decision making for compliance to occupational exposure limits. As an affiliated scientist to the Centre, Jérôme provides expertise in retrospective occupational exposure assessment to several of the research activities of the OCRC.

John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin is an epidemiologist and leader in Canadian cancer research. He leads interdisciplinary teams in large population-based studies that aim to discover environmental and genetic factors involved in the development of cancers, such as colorectal, ovarian and lung, and to determine the impact of these factors across the population.

D. Linn Holness

Dr. D. Linn Holness, MD, MHSc, FCBOM, FRCPC, FFOM(Hon) Dr. Holness graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto in 1977 and has a MHSc from the University of Toronto. She is certified in Occupational Medicine by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and is an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of London, UK. Dr. Holness is a Professor Emerita in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. She is the past Director of the Division of Occupational Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and past Chief of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at St Michael’s Hospital. She is the Director of the Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease which focuses on common non-malignant occupational diseases. Her research interests in occupational health are broad, covering a variety of topics including occupational disease and its prevention, recognition and reporting, occupational health services and occupational health and safety in the context of specific populations such as vulnerable workers. Her main research has focused on prevention, health care utilization, diagnosis, return to work and outcomes related to occupational skin disease.

Nancy Lightfoot

Dr. Nancy Lightfoot is a Professor in the School of Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian University in Sudbury. She has training in microbiology and community health epidemiology and has over 30 years research experience. Her research interests include: a) issues relevant to northern and rural health, b) environmental health (e.g., health effects related to wildfires; emergency preparedness for wildfires and other emergencies; development and evaluation of community resources for emergency preparedness), c) determination and evaluation of optimal research methods with various populations, d) health services research (e.g., impact of long distance travel for care, client satisfaction, recruitment and retention of health care professionals, and program evaluation), e) risk factors for chronic diseases, particularly various cancers, g) occupational health (surveillance, aetiology, quality of worklife, recruitment, retention), and h) paediatric cardiology (risk factors, survival, quality of life, and satisfaction with care). Among the studies she has led are three cohort studies of mortality and cancer incidence in nickel workers and one in copper-zinc workers, as well as a case-control study of occupational and other risk factors for prostate cancer in northern Ontario. She enjoys using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method methodologies. She currently coleads a study of occupational health and safety training and experience conducted with various northeastern Ontario Indigenous communities and leads a study of the impact of possible mining-related lung cancer on caregivers. She holds a cross appointment with the School of Social Work at Laurentian University and is a member of the Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health at Laurentian University. She also has previous work experience at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, in the Regional Cancer Program in Sudbury, and in Division of Cardiology at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. At Laurentian University she currently teaches research methods and critical appraisal.

Paul Villeneuve

Paul graduated from the Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto in 2000, and has been accredited as a Professional Statistician (P.Stat) by the Statistical Society of Canada. Paul has long been involved in epidemiological studies dating back to his time spent at the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control at Health Canada in 1988. His main research interests are environmental and occupational epidemiology. He has actively been involved in evaluating the relationship between occupational exposure to radon and lung cancer among Newfoundland fluorspar miners over the span of almost two decades. For his PhD dissertation, he examined the relationship between exposure to electric and magnetic fields among electric utility workers. He is currently involved in several cohort studies examining the association between ambient air pollution, and green space and chronic diseases. As an affiliated scientist to the centre, Paul provides epidemiological and biostatistical expertise to many of the research activities of the OCRC.

Thomas Tenkate

Thomas Tenkate is an Associate Professor and Director of the School of Occupational and Public Health at Ryerson University. He has worked in Australia, the USA and now in Canada in the fields of environmental health, public health and occupational health and safety. He has been in academia for over 10 years, and prior to this he worked in a variety of government roles for 10 years. Originally qualified as an environmental health officer, he has also gained qualifications in industrial hygiene, management, and education, including a Doctor of Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA. He has been active in professional societies, including a period as national president of Environmental Health Australia. An ongoing research interest is occupational exposure and risk management of ultraviolet radiation. He is currently working with OCRC on a national project tilted “Sun at Work”.

Victoria H. Arrandale

Victoria Arrandale holds an MSc in Occupational Hygiene and a PhD in Medical Science (Occupational Health). She is an Assistant Professor with the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Victoria’s interest in occupational exposure and disease stems from her experience in the pulp and paper industry as a young worker. Victoria’s current research focuses on improving the exposure assessment in ongoing Canadian cancer cohort studies as well as the development and evaluation of interventions to reduce carcinogen exposure in Canadian workplaces, particularly in the mining industry.