Nancy Lightfoot

Affiliated Scientist

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.

Key Appointments

  • Professor, School of Rural and Northern Health, Laurentian University


  • B.Sc. (Microbiology), University of Toronto (1977)
  • M.Sc. (Microbiology and Immunology), University of Toronto (1983)
  • Ph.D. (Epidemiology), University of Toronto (1989)