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Welcome to the University of Toronto’s Institute for Pandemics, the world’s first academic centre dedicated exclusively to preventing, preparing for, fighting and recovering from pandemics.

Forged by our experts’ front-line experience fighting COVID-19, drawn from our deep history in public health and health systems, and ignited by the vision of tech-savvy supporters, the Institute is urgently committed to help Canada and our planet. Starting now.

The cause of pandemics is complex; beyond any single government or world body to address. But the opportunities are equally strong, if we can couple technological advances with an intimate knowledge of health systems, economics, the intersectional social determinants of health — and the credibility to influence change amid a historic crisis of trust in governments and the media. Universities must play a central role if we are to mitigate the human suffering and economic devastation caused by pandemics. 

Find out more:

Who We Are

Our People

Adalsteinn Brown

Dean, Dalla Lana School of Public Health (Founding Director, Institute for Pandemics)
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Professor Brown is well known for his expertise in evidence-informed policy making, health-care quality improvement, and health systems capacity-building and strategy. He also has extensive entrepreneurial and leadership experience in the private and public sectors, including in the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. Prior to serving as Dean of the DLSPH, he was Director of the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and while in this role, he led numerous complex initiatives, made possible by his collaborative partnerships with other universities, hospitals, government and international agencies.

Prof. Brown has played a critical role in Ontario’s pandemic response, along with many DLSPH faculty members. He has worked collaboratively with the Ontario Premier and his cabinet on resilience and recovery measures and efforts. Prof. Brown is known in particular for his ability to clear complex hurdles to positive change in health care.

David Fisman

Theme Lead, ‘Pandemic Readiness’
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Professor Fisman is a physician and epidemiologist who studies the epidemiology of infectious diseases, particularly pneumonia. His interests include laboratory datasets as epidemiological resources, mathematical modeling and simulation, infectious disease and environment/climate change, and decision/cost effectiveness analysis. Professor Fisman’s work on COVID-19 has been focused on understanding sources of variability in severity and outcomes, and in mathematical modeling to identify control strategies and optimal uses of drugs and vaccines. He has created seminal models of COVID-19 spread in Ontario that have informed policy decisions.

Geoff Anderson

Theme Lead, ‘Pandemic Recovery’
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Professor Anderson studies health system performance and innovations that can serve vulnerable populations of individuals with complex health and social care needs.

Fahad Razak

Assistant Professor
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Dr. Fahad Razak is an internist and epidemiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital, specializing in observational methods, ‘big data’ projects, and global health. Fahad is also an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and serves as the Provincial Clinical Lead for Quality Improvement in General Internal Medicine with Ontario Health. He obtained his master’s degree in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University before obtaining his medical degree from the University of Toronto. 

Fahad’s work focuses primarily on co-leading GEMINI, a data driven quality improvement and research network across Ontario, where he works closely with physicians and health care leaders across the province. GEMINI has developed infrastructure to extract and standardize electronic clinical data from hospital IT systems and currently collects data from the 30 biggest hospital sites in Ontario. 

Pandemic Related Publications: 

Patient characteristics, clinical care, resource use, and outcomes associated hospitalization for COVID-19 in the Toronto area 

Modelling resource requirements and physician staffing to provide virtual urgent medical care for residents of long-term care homes: a cross-sectional study 

Prediction of Personal Protective Equipment Use in Hospitals During COVID-19 


Arjumand Siddiqi

Associate Professor
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Professor Siddiqi is Head of DLSPH’s Division of Epidemiology and a Canada Research Chair in Population Health Equity. Her research focuses on understanding how social policies, and other indicators of societal conditions, influence population health and health inequalities.

Audrey Laporte

Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Professor Laporte is Director of the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME). She is an economist and Director of the Canadian Centre for Health Economics. Her research focusses in general on the development of economic theory and the application of econometric methods to address questions of policy interest to health and health care. She has an interest in the modelling the link between shocks at the macro level as well as at the individual level on individual level health outcomes and the impact on health and economic systems.

Ross Upshur

Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Professor Upshur is co-Chair of the WHO COVID-19 Ethics Working Group and a member of the Ontario COVID Bioethics Table. He is the ethics and epidemics lead for the WHO Collaborating Centres for Bioethics. He has conducted epidemiological research on the impact of influenza and other respiratory viruses on health services. His research interests include primary care, preventive medicine with a specific focus on aging and complex patient populations as well as the philosophy of medicine.

Dionne Aleman

Associate Professor
Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Dionne Aleman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto, and holds appointments in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (U of T); the Institute for Pandemics (U of T); and the UHN Techna Institute. She is also co-Lead for the Joint Translational Centre for Digital Health, a collaboration between the University of Toronto and the University of Manchester and is a member of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s external experts COVID modeling group. Dr. Aleman received her PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Florida (2007), MSc from the University of Florida (2006), and BSc from the University of Florida (2003). 

Dr. Aleman’s research focuses on the application of operations research to medical and healthcare systems to improve the quality, timeliness, and efficiency of care. This research includes using optimization, simulation, machine learning, and graph theory to predict and mitigate the spread of pandemic diseases in urban populations, to design and validate radiation therapy treatment plans, to improve hospital surgical scheduling, and to optimize organ transplant matches and multi-person chains. Dr. Aleman has held grants from NSERC, CFI, ORF, and NSF for her research. She is a two-term past President of the Canadian Operational Research Society (CORS). Within the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS), she currently serves on the Committee for Teaching and Learning, and has previously served as Chair of the Health Applications Society (HAS), President of the Public Sector OR Section (PSOR), President of the Junior Faculty Interest Group (JFIG), Chair of INFORM-ED, and TutORials co-chair. Dr. Aleman is also a Topical Editor for the Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science, Associate Editor for IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering, Associate Editor for OMEGA, Associate Editor for the International Journal of Biomedical Data Mining, and Editorial Board Member of Operations Research in Health Care. 

Pandemic Related Publications

D.M. Aleman, B.Z. Tham, S.J. Wagner, J. Semelhago, A. Mohammadi, P. PriceR. Giffen, P. Rahman. How effective was Newfoundland & Labrador’s travel ban to prevent the spread of COVID-19? An agent-based analysis. medRxiv. 2021. 

D.M. Aleman, B.Z. Tham, S.J. Wagner, J. Semelhago, A. Mohammadi, P. Price, J. Bradfield, J. Lawrence, R. Giffen, P. Rahman. 2020. morPOP: a fast and granular agent-based model of COVID-19 to examine school mitigation strategies in Newfoundland & Labrador. In Proceedings of the 30th Annual International Conference on Computer Science and Software Engineering (CASCON ’20). IBM Corp., USA, 266–267. 

M. Ventresca and D.M. Aleman. A randomized rounding algorithm with local search for containment of pandemic disease spread. Computers & Operations Research. 48:11–19. 2014. 

M.F. Beeler, D.M. Aleman, M.W. Carter. A simulation case study to improve staffing decisions at mass immunization clinics for pandemic influenza. Journal of the Operational Research Society: Special Issue on Healthcare Operations Research. 65:497–511. 2014.

M. Ventresca and D.M. Aleman. Evaluation of strategies to mitigate contagion spread using social network characteristics. Social Networks. 35(1):75–88. 2013.  

A. Durbin, A. Corallo, T.G. Wibisono, D.M. Aleman, B. Schwartz, P. Coyte. A cost effectiveness analysis of the H1N1 vaccine strategy for Ontario, Canada. Journal of Infectious Diseases and Immunity, 3(3):40–49. 2011. 


Shafi Bhuiyan

Assistant Professor
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Dr. Shafi Bhuiyan MBBS, MPH, MBA, FRSPH, PhD is an award-winning faculty member and an internationally recognized–academic/professional leader in global health training, research and education initiatives, with diverse experience in both developed and developing countries. After finishing medical college at Dhaka, he worked as the founding liaison of maternal and child health research and training institute in Bangladesh where he focused on capacity building training of health professionals. Following completion of PhD in human sciences- he worked as JSPS Post-Doctoral scientist and faculty at Osaka University, Japan; ASEAN Institute of Health Development, Mahidol University Thailand; University of Health Sciences Bangladesh. In 2010 Dr. Bhuiyan emigrated to Canada where he began a new career focused on how equity informed approaches can improve health services and health care training. Over the next several years Dr. Bhuiyan moved through successively more senior positions so that today he is a faculty member both at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH), U of T and Ryerson University.  

Throughout his career focus has been on improving the way we deploy and refine global health resources – whether guidelines or training programs – to improve health system performance and the equity of health system performance in local and global contexts. Dr. Bhuiyan is a co-creator of Pilot Masters of Sciences – MScCH program for internationally educated health professionals at DLSPH. He is a co-founder, and program lead of the innovative Internationally Trained Medical Doctors (ITMD) Bridging Program at Ryerson University, which provides ITMDs with training to transition into healthcare jobs. Dr. Bhuiyan is currently the Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research. He is a winner of the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians Award for civic engagement and leadership in Canada. Dr. Bhuiyan is a passionate Lions leader and champion in community services. 

Pandemic Related Publications

Shafi U Bhuiyan, Housne Begum, Tasmia Tazrin, Fouzia Uzma, Surbhi Singh, Erum Zaidi, Nurullhude Ziya and Romana Sheikh. Prevalence of Maternal Depression and Anxiety during COVID-19 Pandemic5(11): 22-32

Shafi U Bhuiyan, Housne Begum, Sugandha Agarwal, Julia Atanasova, Indranee Adhikary, Priyanka Saxena, Shehla Khan and Volf Gaby. Assessment of Community-Based Approaches to Providing Ongoing Maternal and Child Health Care in Low Resource Countries during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Scoping Review. 5(11): 33-45.

Shafi Bhuiyan., et al. “Vaccine Hesitancy and Barriers to Vaccine Utilization in the Current COVID 19 Pandemic – Canadian Experience: A Narrative Review”. EC Emergency Medicine and Critical Care 5.5 (2021): 61-68.

Shafi Bhuiyan., et al. “Investigating the Face Mask Policies among the High Income – G7 Member Countries”. EC Emergency Medicine and Critical Care 5.6 (2021): 50-66.

Shafi Bhuhiyan, Housne Begum, Khalid Niaz, Eiman Ali, Ishraq Tashkandi, Elahe Ranjbar, Mariano Rubharajan and Hana’a Badran. A Narrative Review of Selected Literature on the Management of Thromboembolism in Patients with COVID-19. EC Emergency Medicine and Critical Care 5.3 (2021): 17-26. 

AKM Alamgir, S. Usmani, Shafi Bhuiyan and Axelle Janczur. Structuring a Communication Framework to Address the Challenges of Vulnerable Communities for Building Trust and Ensuring Access to Emergency Health Messages for Compliance during COVID-19. EC Emergency Medicine and Critical Care 5.2 (2021): 07-16. 

Bhuiyan S., et al. (2020). A systematic scoping review of cancer patients’ treatment during the COVID‐19 pandemic. EC Emergency Medicine and Critical Care 4.12, 34-44. 

Bhuiyan, S., et al. (2020). A contemporary systematic review of systematic reviews on the safety and efficacy of the pharmacological treatments of COVID-19. EC Emergency Medicine and Critical Care 4.12, 58-73. 

Bhuiyan, S. U., Badran, H. M., Bhuiyan, N. T., & Kandil, S. M. (2020). The impact of COVID‐19 pandemic on diabetic children: A systematic review on the current evidence. International Journal of Community Medicine and Health Education 105. DOI: 10.46715/ijcmhe2020.12.1000105.  

Bhuiyan SU, Begum H, Azam SF, Orin M, Olang O, et al. (2020) Association between Morality in Covid-19 Patients and Underlying Co-Morbidities in Patients above 40 Years of Age: A Rapid Review. Int jou commu med Health Edu: IJCMHE-106, DOI: 10.46715/ijcmhe2020.12.100010

Kevin A. Brown

Assistant Professor
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, my infectious disease research has focused on healthcare-associated infections, including C. difficile infection and antimicrobial resistance. During the pandemic, my work has been focused on understanding SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the long-term care settings and in neighbourhoods, and developing efficient vaccination strategies to maximize population level benefits in the context of large inequities in COVID-19 burden. Layered over this is an interest in efficient statistical models for combining routine public health surveillance data with genomic markers to understand disease dynamics in real time.

Pandemic Related Publications

Brown KA, Jones A, Daneman N, et al. Association Between Nursing Home Crowding and COVID-19 Infection and Mortality in Ontario, Canada. JAMA Intern Med 2021; 181:229. Available at:   

Brown KA, Gubbay J, Hopkins J, et al. S-Gene Target Failure as a Marker of Variant B.1.1.7 Among SARS-CoV-2 Isolates in the Greater Toronto Area, December 2020 to March 2021. JAMA 2021; 325:2115. Available at: 

Brown KA, Soucy J-PR, Buchan SA, et al. The mobility gap: estimating mobility thresholds required to control SARS-CoV-2 in Canada. CMAJ 2021; 193:E592–E600. Available at: 

Selected COVID-19 related reports 

Brown KA, Stall NM, Joh E, et al. A Strategy for the Mass Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines in Ontario Based on Age and Neighbourhood. Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, 2021. Available at:  

Brown KA, Stall NM, Vanniyasingam T, et al. Early Impact of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout on Long-Term Care Home Residents and Health Care Workers. Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, 2021. Available at: 



Prof. Andrea Cortinois

Andrea Cortinois

Assistant Professor
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Dr. Cortinois is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences. His research interests include the impact the global economic regime and the planetary ecological crisis have on displacement; rural/urban migration; and migration as an intermediate determinant of health, with particular attention given to mechanisms of inclusion/exclusion, precariousness, and detention/deportation as mediating factors.

Vivek Goel

Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Professor Goel is a distinguished scholar with an extensive background in teaching, research and university administration. He was a founding scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (IC/ES) and founding President and CEO of Public Health Ontario, where he was highly successful in building an academic public health services agency that provided scientific and technical advice to front-line practitioners. He has served as both the University of Toronto’s Vice-President and Provost and its Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives. As an academic public health physician, his interests include clinical effectiveness, medical decision-making, technology assessment, and health services research. He is a member of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force and is the Scientific Advisor for the CanCOVID Research Network.

Jessica Hopkins

Adjunct Lecturer
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Dr. Hopkins is a public health and preventive medicine physician with extensive local and provincial public health experience. She is the Chief Health Protection and Emergency Preparedness Officer at Public Health Ontario where she leads a multi-disciplinary team in synthesizing data and evidence to provide advice to decision-makers on public health and infection control programs and policies. Her experience with pandemics includes being on the frontlines of pandemic H1N1 in public health in Niagara region, leading the collaborative public health response to the opioid epidemics in Hamilton and then Peel, and now working with various government ministries, local public health units, health care partners, and academics to support Ontario’s COVID-19 response.

Dr. Hopkins is an Adjunct Lecturer with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Assistant Professor (part-time) with the Department of Health Research Methods, Epidemiology, and Impact, McMaster University, former Associate Medical Officer of Health for Niagara region and Hamilton, former Medical Officer of Health for Peel region, and practicing family physician.

Pandemic Related Publications

The effect of seasonal respiratory virus transmission on syndromic surveillance for COVID-19 in Ontario, Canada

S-Gene Target Failure as a Marker of Variant B.1.1.7 Among SARS-CoV-2 Isolates in the Greater Toronto Area, December 2020 to March 2021  DOI: 10.1001/jama.2021.5607 

Comparative analysis of policies and programs to support families and children during COVID-19 

Impact of COVID-19 pre-test probability on positive predictive value of high cycle threshold SARS-CoV-2 real-time reverse transcription PCR test results DOI: 10.1017/ice.2021.369 

Gerald Lebovic

Assistant Professor
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Professor Lebovic is a biostatistician at the Applied Health Research Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital, UHT  working primarily with observational data ranging from small cohort studies to large registries and administrative databases. Prof. Lebovic is also a secretariat member of the Ontario Covid-19 Science Table. 


Health research methods: (biostatistics, observational studies, longitudinal analysis). 

Covid-19: (Health outcomes, Health equity, Long- Covid, public health measures, VOCs) 


1)    As an applied statistician I have an interest in presenting statistical methods commonly employed in observational studies. My aims are to emphasize not only the statistical techniques available but just as, if not more crucial, is the interpretation of the results and the conclusions that they lead to. 

2)    Working with Administrative datasets: An area of interest is using administrative data to examine changes in health care outcomes due to various interventions. These steps include validation of appropriate coding and algorithms, ensuring a proper cohort is constructed and choosing the most appropriate statistical analysis. 

Covid-19 Research

My interests are: 

1)    Contracting Covid-19: Previous research has shown that occupation, living arrangement and location may be risk factors of contracting the disease amongst other factors. 

2)    Covid-19 outcomes: Risk factors associated with poor outcomes from Covid-19 including hospitalization, ICU admission, ventilation and death. 

3)    Impact of public health measures: How various public health measures have helped limit the spread of Covid-19. 

4)    Health Equity: How has Covid-19 impacted various racial and ethnic groups, recent immigrants, and those with lower socioeconomic status. 

Fiona A. Miller

Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Dr. Fiona A. Miller is a Professor in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, where she holds the Chair in Health Management Strategies and Directs the Centre for Sustainable Health Systems. Dr. Miller’s research aims to identify policy and practice opportunities for responsible health technology innovation ecosystems: resilient, sustainable and directed toward social needs. Accordingly, Miller’s pandemic-research interests relate to resilient medical product supply networks, and policy opportunities for building forward better and fairer.  

Pandemic Related Publications

Miller, Fiona A., The Federal Spending Power: Building Forward after the Pandemic. Healthcare Management Forum, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:  

Miller FA, Young SB, Dobrow M, Shojania K. The vulnerability of the medical product supply chain: The wake-up call of COVID-19. Viewpoint. BMJ Quality and Safety. Epub: 02 November 2020. 

Michelle Murti

Adjunct Professor
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Professor Murti is a Public Health and Preventive Medicine physician and is an Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ministry of Health, for Ontario. Her expertise is in communicable disease control, surveillance, and emergency preparedness and response, and she has provided extensive scientific and technical advice on public health case, contact and outbreak management guidance for the Ontario COVID response, as well as policy advice on public health measures. She is a member of the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Task Group and the High Consequence Infectious Disease Working Group of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

Prof. Murti is an instructor in Emergency Preparedness for the Master of Public Health program at DLSPH. Her research interests include influenza and emerging respiratory viruses and syndemics-based approaches to communicable disease surveillance. She has also completed fellowships as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and as an Emerging Leader in Biosecurity at Johns Hopkins University Centre for Health Security. She has worked in public health at Public Health Ontario and the Fraser Health Authority in British Columbia, and practiced clinically in Ontario and New Zealand.

Alison Paprica

Assistant Professor (Status)
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Professor Paprica holds status academic appointments at the University of Toronto and is Executive Advisor and Affiliate Scientist at ICES and a member of the Executive Committee for Health Data Research Network (HDRN) Canada where she is Chair of the HDRN Public Engagement Working Group. Her main research interests are evidence-informed policy, public involvement in data-intensive health R&D, and the leadership and management of research as a topic in its own right. Her pandemic-related work focuses on trust, transparency, and data governance related to pandemic data and data linkage.  

Alison’s previous roles include inaugural Vice President, Health Strategy and Partnerships at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence; inaugural Director, Strategic Partnerships at ICES; Director of the Planning, Research & Analysis Branch at the Ontario Ministry of Health; and management positions in international pharmaceutical R&D. She holds an Honours Combined BSc in biochemistry and chemistry (McMaster, summa cum laude), a PhD in organic chemistry (Western University, NSERC Scholarship), and a status appointment as Assistant Professor at the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto with a cross appointment to the department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology in the Faculty of Medicine.  Alison is also Senior Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Massey College, a member of the Board of Directors at Ontario Genomics, and a member of the International Advisory Board for Health Data Research UK. 

Pandemic Related Publications:

Paprica PA, Sydes MR, McGrail KM, Morris AD, Schull MJ, Walker R. Prospective data linkage to facilitate COVID-19 trials–A call to action. International Journal of Population Data Science. 2020;5(2). doi: 10.23889/ijpds.v5i2.1383.

Beate Sander

Professor (Status), Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
Senior Scientist, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute

Professor Sander holds a Canada Research Chair in Economics of Infectious Diseases. She is a Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, where she directs the Population Health Economics Research (PHER) group, and holds appointments as Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, and Adjunct Scientist at ICES (formerly known as Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences) and Public Health Ontario.

Her research focuses on assessing infectious disease interventions using simulation modeling and on estimating the burden of infectious diseases using population-based data. In March 2020, she founded the COVID-19 Modeling Collaborative, a multidisciplinary team of volunteer academic researchers, trainees and knowledge users, conducting policy-relevant research which has informed the Ontario COVID-19 response throughout the pandemic.

Professor Sander contributes substantively to federal/provincial policy decision-making, serving as an expert to advisory bodies, including Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). She is serving as a Steering Committee Member for CIHR’s Centre for Research on Pandemic Preparedness and Health Emergencies and is a member of the Council of Canadian Academies’ (CCA) Expert Panel on Opportunities for Maximizing the Benefits of Health Data Sharing. Dr. Sander co-chaired the Ontario COVID-19 Modeling Consensus Table and was a member of the Science Advisory Table.

James Scott

Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Professor Scott is Head of DLSPH’s Division of Occupational and Environmental Health. He is an environmental microbiologist with expertise in biological hazards in the workplace and community. Prof. Scott’s research focuses on the biophysical characteristics and dynamics of bioaerosols, bioaerosol sampling technology, and the use of molecular genetic methods to characterize bioaerosols. He has extensive experience working with bacterial, fungal and viral bioaerosols. At the start of Canada’s pandemic, Prof. Scott quickly established a facility to conduct a variety of standard testing procedures to assess mask filtration efficiency and study the performance characteristics of new and emerging mask technologies. This facility actively conducts research on bioaerosol generating phenomena to better understand risk factors for viral transmission and identify opportunities for public health interventions. Professor Scott is also contributing to guidelines on the safe reopening of dormant buildings and the prevention of viral transmission in workplaces.

Simron Singh

Simron Singh

Assistant Professor (Status)
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Dr. Simron Singh is a medical oncologist at Odette Cancer Center, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, Canada and an associate professor at the University of Toronto. He is a Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences as well as holds a faculty appointment in the newly established Institute for Pandemics at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. He holds the role of Provincial Head of person centered care at Ontario Health/Cancer Care Ontario.

He completed his B. Sc as well as MD at University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. He completed postgraduate training in Internal Medicine at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada and Medical Oncology at the University of Toronto. After completing his clinical training, Dr. Singh completed his Master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard University in Boston, MA, USA.

Janet Smylie

Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Professor Smylie is a physician-researcher with a focus on developing and applying Indigenous and public health knowledge to improve health services and programs for Indigenous populations in Canada. She is an expert in Indigenous knowledge translation; Indigenous health assessment; understanding and addressing anti-Indigenous racism in health services; and the application of Indigenous approaches to health services.  She has co-led multiple overlapping initiatives in response to COVID-19 among First Nations, Inuit, and Metis (FNIM) peoples—focused on addressing gaps in Indigenous COVID-19 case reporting and response nationally, provincially, and in the city of Toronto and also on COVID-19 public messaging for FNIM living in urban and related homelands.

Abi Sriharan

Assistant Professor
Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation

Abi Sriharan, D.Phil., MSc, PCC is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of health workforce and leadership wellness. She currently serves as the program director of the master’s in systems leadership and innovation at the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation. Before joining the University of Toronto, she held senior leadership roles at medical schools and hospitals in Canada and the US and served as a consultant for multinational organizations such as the World Health Organization, the World Federation of Neurology, and the Middle East Hearing Association. 

Professor Sriharan’s research focuses on how control systems and human factors contribute to organizational culture and health workforce performance. Her current research explores two broad questions: How can organizations prevent burnout, promote wellness, and support their workforce performance under crisis situations? How do individuals find meaning in their work and achieve their fullest potential as leaders during a crisis such as a pandemic?  

Dr. Sriharan’s teaching focuses on behavioural strategy and leading transformational change. She has provided training and/or consulting services to executives in over twenty countries globally, related to health workforce recruitment, advancement, and retention as well as effective governance and workforce wellness. As a professional leadership coach, she is extensively involved in coaching physicians and high-performing women leaders. 

Dr. Sriharan received her MSc with a concentration in health care and D.Phil. from the University of Oxford and her BSc in health studies and human biology from the University of Toronto. She received her coaching training from the Weatherhead School of Business at the Case Western University. She received advanced leadership training from the Harvard University and Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto. 

Pandemic Related Publications

Sriharan, A., Ratnapalan, S., Tricco, A. C., & Lupea, D. (2021). Women in healthcare experiencing occupational stress and burnout during COVID-19: a rapid review. BMJ Open11(4), e048861.

Sriharan, A., Ratnapalan, S., Tricco, A., Lupea, D., Ayala, A. P., Pang, H., & Lee, D. D. (2020). Occupational Stress, Burnout and Depression in Women in Healthcare during COVID-19 Pandemic: a rapid scoping review. Frontiers in Global Women’s Health1, 20. 

Raj M, DePuccio MJ, Stephenson AL, Sullivan E, Lai AY, Fleuren B, Sriharan A, McAlearney AS, Thomas SC. (2021). Addressing evolving patient concerns around telehealth in the COVID-19 era. The American journal of managed care27(1), e1-e3. 

Sriharan, A., West, K. J., Almost, J., & Hamza, A. (2021). COVID-19-Related Occupational Burnout and Moral Distress among Nurses: A Rapid Scoping Review. Nursing Leadership (Toronto, Ont.)34(1), 7-19.

Sriharan, A., Ratnapalan, S., Lupea, D., & Tricco, A. (2020). 179 Healthcare superheroes need rescue during pandemics. 


Amol Verma

Assistant Professor
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Amol Verma is a General Internal Medicine physician and scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. His work is comprised of 3 facets: first, he co-leads GEMINI, a collaborative project that harnesses data from hospitals across Ontario. Second, he is the Provincial Clinical Lead for Quality Improvement in General Medicine with Ontario Health and is helping build the Ontario General Medicine Quality Improvement Network. Third, he is developing and implementing novel applications of artificial intelligence at St. Michael’s Hospital. 

After medical school at the University of Toronto, Amol completed a Masters in Economic and Social History at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, a 1-year interdisciplinary fellowship with the Canadian Frailty Network and a 2-year research fellowship studying big data and advanced analytics in the Clinician Investigator Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is also active in medical education, having co-founded The Rounds Table, a podcast about new research in adult medicine, which has been downloaded more than 320,000 times in over 150 countries. 

Pandemic Related Publications:

Patient characteristics, clinical care, resource use, and outcomes associated hospitalization for COVID-19 in the Toronto area

Modelling resource requirements and physician staffing to provide virtual urgent medical care for residents of long-term care homes: a cross-sectional study

Prediction of Personal Protective Equipment Use in Hospitals During COVID-19

Nelson Lee

Interim Director, Institute for Pandemics
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Professor Nelson Lee is an infectious diseases physician who has been deeply involved in the research on emerging infectious diseases, epidemics and pandemics for almost two decades. With an interdisciplinary approach, he has conducted a wide range of studies to understand the epidemiology, disease burden, health outcomes, transmission modes and prevention, as well as antiviral and vaccine effectiveness against viral respiratory infections. His research is referenced by international health authorities, contributing to the prevention and control of epidemic viral diseases including coronavirus and influenza. Professor Lee is dedicated to his goals in preventing, effectively responding, and mitigating the impacts of pandemics through research and education.

Before joining the Dalla Lana School of Public Health in 2021, he spent four years at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, where he served as professor and research chair in the Division of Infectious Diseases. He was an endowed professor in The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he worked for 15 years, tracking and managing outbreaks of emerging infections (e.g., SARS, novel influenza).

Sara Allin

Theme Lead, ‘Pandemic Resilience’
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Professor Allin is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto, and Director of Operations of the North American Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. Prof. Allin conducts research that aims to improve health system performance, and comparative studies across provinces/territories and internationally in health care and public health.  She founded the North American COVID-19 Monitor to systematically document the public health, health system and economic policies introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, its provinces and territories, and the United States and Mexico.

Jennifer Gibson

Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Professor Gibson is the Director of the Joint Centre for Bioethics (JCB) and the Sun Life Financial Chair in Bioethics at DLSPH. Professor Gibson leads the WHO Collaborating Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto, founded the Ethics and AI for Good Health program at the JCB, and has served as expert advisor to governments and policymakers on issues related to medical assistance in dying, critical care triage, pandemic planning, resource allocation, and health data governance. She chairs the COVID-19 Bioethics Table in the Ontario health system response structure.

Ashleigh Tuite

Assistant Professor
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Professor Tuite is an infectious disease epidemiologist who is using modelling to understand the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada and the world, including how to use public health measures to prevent illness and death. Her research focuses on the use of mathematical modeling and other quantitative methods to improve decision-making for emerging, re-emerging, and endemic communicable diseases. She is particularly interested in the use of mathematical models to synthesize and communicate complex information and uncertainty.

Victoria Arrandale

Assistant Professor
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Professor Arrandale is an expert in occupational exposure assessment and occupational health. Her research focuses on evaluating workplace exposures and their association with occupational diseases, including cancer and respiratory system illnesses. She is an expert in exposure prevention strategies for reducing COVID-19 transmission in the workplace.

Carol Strike

Director, Division of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Professor Strike is head of DLSPH’s Social and Behavioural Health Sciences Division. She studies harm reduction, addictions, mental health, and HIV prevention and care, with the aim of improving the health of marginalized populations. With community partners, Prof. Strike is leading studies to learn the factors that influence COVID prevention and risk within safer supply programs that offer prescription drugs as a substitute for illegal drugs. As well, she is evaluating the perceived benefits and challenges of a telephone/online model of supervised consumption services.

Philip Awadalla

Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Philip Awadalla PhD is a Professor at Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. He is the National Scientific Director and Lead of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (CanPath) and the Executive Scientific Director of the Ontario Health Study at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research where he is also the Executive Director of the Genome Canada Canadian Data Integration Centre and Director of Computational Biology.

Dr. Awadalla is a genome scientist and genetic epidemiologist who has worked in the developing world on human – pathogen interactions, with an emphasis on malaria, having publications appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy, the Royal Society, Nature Genetics and Nature Reviews Genetics. His work as an advisor to the NIH and Wellcome Trust funded H3Africa program supported previous US Administrations rapid deployments to respond to Ebola and other pathogen outbreaks in West Africa. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he mobilized the Ontario Health Study and CanPath to address questions about exposures, prevalence, risk factors, and mental health. CanPath and OHS are performing real-time analyses of immunology and vaccine efficacy, supported by the CIHR, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Covid-19 Immunity Task Force. 

Pandemic Related Publications

Using image-based haplotype alignments to map global adaptation of SARS-CoV-19  

Clonal hematopoiesis is associated with risk of severe Covid-19      

Genome-wide variation and identification of vaccine targets in the Plasmodium falciparum genome    

Plasmodium falciparum genome-wide scans for positive selection, recombination hot spots and resistance to antimalarial drugs 

Evidence for additive and interaction effects of host genotype and infection in malaria  

The Evolutionary Genomics of Pathogen Recombination 

CanPath Webinar: Using population cohorts to support COVID-19 research

Webinar: CanPath COVID-19 Questionnaire Results: A Preliminary Analysis 

Lisa Berger

Adjunct Lecturer
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Dr. Berger is a public health and preventive medicine specialist and an Associate Medical Officer of Health at Toronto Public Health. She has postgraduate training in geriatric medicine and her clinical career is focused on Care of the Elderly. Her pandemic research interests lie at the intersection of the two fields.  

As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, there is a need for research into best practice of surveillance and management of outbreaks in congregate settings where older adults are resident. This research should consider the presentation and progression of illness in older persons; management of outbreaks including infection, prevention and control; clinical supports needed, for example clarification of goals of care and palliative care; impacts of public measures such as isolation on both the residents and their caregivers and loved ones. Research can help identify which type of professional is best to lead and drive improvements in this sector. 

Studies of pandemic impacts on community living older persons are equally important and would enable identification of common and major impacts on functional decline and how to mitigate them. Some examples include inability to insert hearing aids due to lack of use when isolated at home; loss of ability to use a calendar; diminished participation in physical activity due to lack of foot care; deferral of health care during a pandemic and how older persons can be aided in prioritizing their care; caregiving during a pandemic, including withdrawal of caregivers or caregiving activities due to fear of acquiring or transmitting infection and the additional stress on caregivers.  

Karen Born

Assistant Professor
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Karen Born, MSc, PhD is Knowledge Translation Lead for the Choosing Wisely Canada . Choosing Wisely Canada is the national voice for reducing unnecessary tests and treatments in health care and is based at St. Michael’s Hospital, in partnership with the University of Toronto and Canadian Medical Association. She is responsible for the dissemination of Choosing Wisely Canada content to patients and the public. This includes leading media and public awareness campaigns to advance health literacy and knowledge about resource stewardship in health care. She also co-leads the integration of Choosing Wisely Canada and resource stewardship competencies into undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. Karen organizes the Choosing Wisely international Collaboration, bringing together more than twenty-five countries from six continents. She serves as a Series Advisor with the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on a Choosing Wisely practice series. She is a member of national and international research teams related to de-implementation, resource stewardship and health system sustainability. This research includes approaches to pandemic recovery which optimize limited health system resources and prioritize high value, sustainable health care. Karen holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a PhD from the University of Toronto. She is an assistant professor at the Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation and teaches on knowledge translation, qualitative research methods, quality improvement, value and sustainability. 

Pandemic Related Publications

Born K, Levinson W. Reframing Resource Stewardship and Sustainability as Professionalism: What Can Efforts for a Net-Zero Health System Learn from Choosing Wisely Campaigns? Healthc Pap. 2020 Oct;19(3):35-40. doi: 10.12927/hcpap.2020.26375. PMID: 33337301 

Leis J A, Born K B, Theriault G, Ostrow O, Grill A, Johnston K B et al. Using antibiotics wisely for respiratory tract infection in the era of covid-19 BMJ  2020;  371 :m4125 doi:10.1136/bmj.m4125 

Soong C, Born KB, Levinson W. Less is more, now more than ever. BMJ Qual Saf. 2021 Jan;30(1):56-58. doi: 10.1136/bmjqs-2020-011444. Epub 2020 May 22. PMID: 32444426. 

Born, KB, Levinson, W, Correia, L, Vernero, S. Using resources wisely in the COVID-19 pandemic: an international list of Choosing Wisely recommendations.Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 1, p. 16-21, may 2020. ISSN 2675-021X. 

Sarah Buchan

Sarah Buchan

Assistant Professor
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Sarah Buchan is a Scientist at Public Health Ontario (PHO) in Health Protection where she conducts applied public health research related to the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable and other infectious diseases. Her interests include studying the burden of respiratory viruses in high-risk populations, assessing vaccine effectiveness, and estimating vaccine coverage. She has been supporting PHO’s COVID-19 Incident Management System since February 2020 with a focus on addressing questions to support the provincial response and inform decision-making. She has also contributed to analyses related to COVID-19 burden, transmission, variants of concern, immunization, and vaccine effectiveness. 

Pandemic Related Publications

Buchan SA, Tibebu S, Daneman N, Whelan M, Vanniyasingam T, Murti M, Brown KA. Increased household secondary attacks rates with Variant of Concern SARS-CoV-2 index cases. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2021 Jun 9;ciab496. doi:10.1093/cid/ciab496. 

 Chung H, He S, Nasreen S, Sundaram ME, Buchan SA, Wilson SE, et al. Effectiveness of BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 covid-19 vaccines against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe covid-19 outcomes in Ontario, Canada: test negative design study BMJ 2021; 374 :n1943 doi:10.1136/bmj.n1943 

 Paul LA, Daneman N, Schwartz KL, Science M, Brown KA, Whelan M, Chan E, Buchan SA. Association of Age and Pediatric Household Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Infection. JAMA Pediatr. Published online August 16, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.2770 

 Murti M, Achonu C, Smith BT, Brown KA, Kim JH, Johnson J, Ravindran S, Buchan SA. COVID-19 Workplace Outbreaks by Industry Sector and Their Associated Household Transmission, Ontario, Canada, January to June, 2020. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2021 Jul 1;63(7):574-580. doi:10.1097/JOM.0000000000002201. 

 Brown KA, Gubbay J, Hopkins J, Patel S, Buchan SA, Daneman N, Goneau LW. S-Gene Target Failure as a Marker of Variant B.1.1.7 Among SARS-CoV-2 Isolates in the Greater Toronto Area, December 2020 to March 2021. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2021 May 25;325(20):2115-2116.

Colin Furness

Assistant Professor (Status)
Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation

Colin is an infection control epidemiologist, and assistant professor (teaching stream) in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto.  He also holds a status cross-appointment to the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. 

From the University of Toronto, Colin received a Bachelor of Science in psychology (1990), Master of Information Studies in information systems design (1999), PhD in the interdisciplinary field of knowledge management (2010), and Master of Public Health in epidemiology (2014).  He is currently a master’s candidate in Education, studying the sociology of the professions. 

In public health, Colin worked within industry for several years with a Toronto-based company using geospatial analysis to track infections both in communities and inside buildings.  During this time he led the analysis to develop Ontario’s tuberculosis tracking system, working closely with Ontario Public Health, Toronto Public Health, and Peel Public Health to deepen his understanding of disease transmission in populations.  Colin also led the design of an integrated hardware and software system to track movement of people and equipment in hospitals to measure infection risk.  A significant portion of this work, in Canada and the US, focused on automating contact tracing as well as automated measurement of risky behaviours by patients, staff, and visitors. 

Colin’s work during COVID-19 has been in public advocacy and education.  He has been retained as an expert witness several times in Ontario concerning COVID-19 emergency measures and public safety. He has also been engaged more than 1,000 times for media commentary on a local and national level with CBC Radio and Television, TV Ontario, CTV television news, CTV radio, Global News, CityPulse News, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, New York Times, and NPR. At the Faculty of Information, Colin has developed two master’s courses pertinent to the study of COVID-19: ‘Pandemics and Information’, and ‘Information, Misinformation, and Health’. 

Pandemic Related Publications:


Shalansky RA, Wu M, Shen SC, Furness C, Morris SK, Reynolds D, Wong T, Pakes, Crowcroft N. (2019). Evaluation of a pilot immunization curriculum to meet competency training needs of medical residents. BMC Medical Education 20(1), 442-8. 

Guthrie JL Alexander DC, Marchand-Austin A, Lam K, Whelan M, Lee B, Furness C, Rea E, Stuart R, Lechner J, Varia M, McLean J, Jamieson FB. (2017). Technology and tuberculosis control: the OUT-TB Web experience. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 24(e1), e136-142. DOI: 

Furness C, Srigley JA, Gardam M (2017).  How much do beds and mattresses sleep around? Automated measurement of bed frame and mattress movement in an acute care hospital. Canadian Journal of Infection Control 32(4), 222-224. 

Srigley JA, Furness C, Gardam M (2016). Interventions to improve patient hand hygiene: a systematic review. Journal of Hospital Infection 94(1). 23-29. 

Srigley JA, Furness C, Gardam M (2014). Measurement of patient hand hygiene on multi-organ transplant units using a novel technology: an observational study. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 35 (11), 1336-41.  (more…)

Daniel Grace

Associate Professor
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Daniel Grace is an Associate Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. He is an internationally recognized medical sociologist who leads a mixed methods program of community-engaged research to advance the social, mental, physical, and sexual health of sexual and gender minorities. His research into the everyday understandings of biomedical HIV prevention and public health interventions has informed community programs, health policy, and legislation at provincial, national, and international levels. His research examines multiple, intersecting pandemics including the impacts of HIV, mental health, and COVID-19 for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men across Canada. Dr. Grace holds a CRC in Sexual and Gender Minority Health and is the Director of the Centre for Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research. 

Pandemic Related Publications

Grace, D., Nath, R., Parry, R., Connell, J., Wong, J., Grennan, T. (2020). ‘…if U equals U what does the second U mean?’: Sexual minority men’s accounts of HIV undetectability and untransmittable scepticism. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 1-17. 

Grace, D., Gaspar, M., Rosenes, R., Grewal, R., Burchell, A.N., Grennan, T., Salit, I. (2019). Economic barriers, evidentiary gaps, and ethical conundrums: A qualitative study of physicians’ challenges recommending HPV vaccination to older gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. International Journal for Equity in Health. 18(159), 1-9. 

Grace, D. Institutional Ethnography as a critical research strategy: Access, engagement, and implications for HIV/AIDS research. (2019). Thinking Differently about HIV/AIDS: Contributions from Critical Social Science Editors: Eric Mykhalovskiy and Viviane Namaste. UBC Press: 103-133. 

Grace, D. Gaspar, M., Lessard, D., Klassen, B., Brennan, D.J., Adam, B., Jollimore, J., Lachowsky, N., Hart, T.A. (2019). Gay and bisexual men’s views on reforming blood donation policy in Canada: a qualitative study. BMC Public Health. 19: 772. 

Grace, D., Jollimore, J., MacPherson, P., Strang, M., Tan, D. (2018). The pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)-stigma paradox: Learning from Canada’s first wave of PrEP users. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 32(1): 24-30.   (more…)

Arif Jetha

Assistant Professor
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Dr. Arif Jetha is a Scientist at the Institute for Work & Health and an Assistant Professor (status only) at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. His research program aims at understanding how the future of work will impact pathways to health. Dr. Jetha is currently examining how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the nature of work and contributed to unique labour market challenges and opportunities for vulnerable workers including youth and young adults and people living with disabilities. He is also interested in examining the system of factors that determine the safe re-opening of workplaces amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Pandemic Related Publications:

Jetha A, Tucker L, Chen C, Gignac MAM. (2021). Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the employment of Canadian young adults with rheumatic disease: longitudinal survey findings. Arthritis Care & Research. In press.  

Jetha A. (2020). Coronavirus: The risks to essential workers with hidden health conditions. The Conversation Canada.  

Gignac MAM, Shahidi FV, Jetha A, Kristman V, Bowring J., Cameron J, Tonima S, Ibrahim S. (2021). Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on health, financial worries, and perceived organizational support among people living with disabilities in Canada. Under review 

Jetha A, Shamaee A, Bonaccio S, Gignac MAM, Tucker L, Tompa E, Bültmann U, Norman C, Banks CG, Smith P. (2021). Fragmentation in the future of work: A horizon scan examining the impact of the changing nature of work on vulnerable workers. Under review 

Jetha A, Smith BT (2021). What employers can learn from the NBA about returning to work amid COVID-19. The Conversation.  

Yasmin Khan

Associate Professor
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Yasmin Khan, MD, MPH, FRCPC is an Associate Professor in the Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto and the Clinical Public Health Division at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She is a physician-researcher trained in emergency medicine, public health, epidemiology and public health policy. Her research program focuses on health system emergency preparedness and response, and resilience, and encompasses Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded projects on performance measurement for public health emergency preparedness, communication strategies for emergencies, and learning during recovery from emergencies and disasters. Dr. Khan’s research is transdisciplinary, employs integrated knowledge translation with end users, and embeds consideration for values and equity throughout the research process. During the COVID-19 response, Dr. Khan has provided leadership and scientific and technical advice to support evidence-informed decision-making and public health planning.  

Pandemic Related Publications

Sanford S, Schwartz B, Khan Y. The role of tacit knowledge in communication and decision-making during emerging public health incidents. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 2020 May 25;50. Available from: 

Khan Y, Brown AD, Gagliardi A, O’Sullivan T, Lacarte S, Henry B, Schwartz B. Are we prepared? The development of performance indicators for public health emergency preparedness using a modified Delphi approach. PLoS One. 2019 Dec 23;14(12). Available from: 

Khan Y, Tracey S, O’Sullivan T, Gournis E, Johnson I. Retiring the Flip Phones: Exploring Social Media Use for Managing Public Health Incidents. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2019 Dec 1;13(5-6):859-867. Available from: 

Khan Y, O’Sullivan T, Brown A, Tracey S, Gibson J, Généreux M, Henry B, Schwartz B. Public health emergency preparedness: a framework to promote resilience. BMC Public Health. 2018 Dec 5;18(1):1344. Available from: 

Khan Y, Sanford S, Sider D, Moore K, Garber G, de Villa E, Schwartz B. Effective communication of public health guidance to emergency department clinicians in the setting of emerging incidents: a qualitative study and framework. BMC Health Serv Res. 2017 Apr 28;17(1):312.  

Khan Y, Fazli G, Henry B, de Villa E, Tsamis C, Grant M, Schwartz B. The evidence base of primary research in public health emergency preparedness: a scoping review and stakeholder consultation. BMC Public Health. 2015 Apr 28;15(1):432. Available from: 

Greg Marchildon

Director, North American Observatory on Health Systems and Policies
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Professor Marchildon is an expert on comparative health policies and health systems. He is Director of the North American Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (NAO), which seeks to create a foundation for more systematic health system and policy comparisons among subnational jurisdictions in federations such as Canada, the United States and Mexico. Currently, the NAO is conducting a series of comparative studies on COVID-19 responses in North America as well as provincial and territorial policy responses within Canada. The NAO is also conducting a study comparing COVID-19 responses in selected countries in Latin America and the Caribbean region.

Sharmistha Mishra

Assistant Professor (Status)
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Dr. Mishra is an infectious disease physician and mathematical modeler and holds a Tier 2 Canadian Research Chair in Mathematical Modeling and Program Science. Her research focuses on disentangling sources of heterogeneity in risks of onward transmission of infectious diseases, and is grounded in the implementation of targeted and adaptive public health programs. Research interests include the structural and systemic inequities as they relate to the pathways that lead to disproportionate risks of transmission, and modeling interventions tailored to disproportionate risks. Her lab primarily works in the field of HIV and sexually transmitted infections among key populations, in partnership with communities and program implementers in low and middle income settings and in Canada. She also served with the WHO working in Sierra Leone during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak.

In the COVID-19 pandemic, her lab partnered with a network of interdisciplinary scientists across Canada to investigate the sources and epidemic consequences of heterogeneity in acquisition, spread and severity of SARS-CoV-2 in various settingsA key focus of the lab’s pandemic work has been quantifying prevention gaps and modeling the impact of interventions tailored to persons experiencing homelessness, older adults living in congregate settings, and essential workers. This research has supported the COVID-19 epidemic responses in Toronto hospitals, congregate settings, local public health units, and the province of OntarioThe lab’s work has expanded to support the COVID-19 response in low and middle-income settings where the lab has established partnerships with local community and public health programs. 

Pandemic Related Publications

Baral S, Rucinski K, Twahirwa Rwema JO, Rao A, Menezes NP,…, Mishra S. The relationship between the global burden of influenza from 2017-2019 and COVID-19: a descriptive epidemiological assessment. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2021;7(3):e24696.

Knight J, Mishra S. Estimating effective reproduction number using generation time versus serial interval, with application to COVID-19 in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. Infect Dis Model. 2020;5:889-896.

Wang L, Ma H, Yiu KCY, Calzavara A, Landsman D, Luong L,…, Mishra S. Heterogeneity in risk, testing and outcome of COVID-19 across outbreak settings in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada: an observational study. CMAJ Open. 2020;8(4):E627-E636.

Mishra S, Wang L, Ma H, Yiu K, Paterson JM, Kim E, et al. Estimated surge in hospital and intensive care admission because of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada: a mathematical modelling study. CMAJ Open. 2020;8(3):E593-E604.

Mishra S, Kwong J, Chan A, Baral S. Understanding heterogeneity to inform the public health response to COVID-19 in Canada. CMAJ. 2020;192(25):E684-E685.


Laura Rosella

Associate Professor
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Professor Rosella is an epidemiologist and Big Data expert. She co-created the influential #howsmyflattening dashboard, tracking Ontario’s COVID response and analyses tracking the impact of the pandemic across the social determinants of health. Her research interests include epidemiological methods, applied biostatistics, social determinants of health, premature mortality and developing population-based prediction models to support public health planning.

Maxwell J. Smith

Assistant Professor
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Maxwell J. Smith, PhD, is a Bioethicist and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University. Professor Smith is the Co-Director of Western’s Health Ethics, Law, and Policy (HELP) Lab and has appointments in the Department of Philosophy, Rotman Institute of Philosophy, Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion, and Institute for Earth and Space Exploration. Professor Smith is a member of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, Ontario’s COVID-19 Bioethics Table (which he previously co-chaired), Public Health Agency of Canada’s Public Health Ethics Consultative Group, World Health Organization’s (WHO) Ethics and COVID-19 Working Group, and WHO’s ACT Accelerator Ethics and Governance Working Group. He has also served as a consulting ethicist to organizations including the WHO, Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH), Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Professor Smith has published widely in the area of public health ethics, with a specific focus on the requirements of health equity and social justice when responding to infectious disease threats. His research has appeared in journals like the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Nature Medicine, BMJ Global Health, Vaccine, Social Science and Medicine, and Health and Human Rights, as well in guidance documents published by the World Health Organization.

Professor Smith completed a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University, a PhD in public health sciences, public health policy, and bioethics at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Joint Centre for Bioethics, an Master of Science in Bioethics at Union Graduate College and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, an Honours Bachelor of Arts in philosophy at the University of Toronto, and a Certificate in Health Law from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School. 

Pandemic Related Publications

Emanuel EJ, Persad G, Upshur R, Thomé B, Parker M, Glickman A, Zhang C, Boyle C, Smith MJ, Phillips JP. (2020). Fair Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in the Time of Covid-19New England Journal of Medicine, 382(21): 2049-2055. 

World Health Organization Working Group on Ethics and COVID-19. (2020). Ethics & COVID-19: Resource Allocation and Priority Setting. Geneva: World Health Organization. WHO/RFH/20.2. 

Smith MJ, Upshur REG. (2019). Pandemic Disease, Public Health, and Ethics. In Oxford Handbook of Public Health Ethics, ed. Mastroianni AC, Kahn JP, Kass NE. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 

Silva DS, Smith MJ. (2020). Social Distancing, Social Justice, and Risk During the COVID-19 PandemicCanadian Journal of Public Health, 111: 459–461.


Gillian Strudwick

Assistant Professor
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Dr. Gillian Strudwick is the Chief Nursing Executive (Interim) and a Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. She is an Assistant Professor (Status) at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She holds academic appointments at Western University and the University of Victoria and is currently the President of the Ontario Nursing Informatics Group. As a tri-council funded researcher, Dr. Strudwick conducts studies in the fields of digital mental health care and informatics. Recently Dr. Strudwick has conducted research as it relates to supporting mental health and wellness during the COVID-19 through digital interventions. Dr. Strudwick completed her undergraduate degree in nursing at Queen’s University, and both her Masters and PhD at the University of Toronto. She began her career as a mental health nurse in Kingston, Ontario, and has since worked in a number of clinical, professional practice and research-based roles in both public and private organizations in Canada and internationally. 

Pandemic Related Publications

Digital Interventions to Support Population Mental Health during COVID-19: A Knowledge Synthesis

Strudwick G, Sockalingam S, Kassam I, Sequeira L, Bonato S, Youssef A, Mehta R, Green N, Agic B, Soklaridis S, Impey D, Wiljer D, Crawford A
Digital Interventions to Support Population Mental Health in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Rapid Review JMIR Ment Health 2021;8(3):e26550

Roberta K. Timothy

Assistant Professor
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Professor Timothy’s research addresses key areas of concern in anti-colonial, anti-oppression and community-based health promotion, policy, and practice. She takes a transnational (global) intersectional human rights approach to social determinants of health affecting African/Black and Indigenous communities. She is currently investigating the national and transnational (global) health impacts of COVID-19 on African/Black individuals and their communities, and their resistance-centred strategies and interventions.

Xiaolin Wei

Professor, and Dalla Lana Chair in Global Health Policy
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Xiaolin is a medical doctor, public health specialists, professor and the Dalla Lana Chair in Global Health Policy in the University of Toronto, Canada.  He was elected as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Prof. Wei is an internationally recognized leader at using implementation science frameworks in health service research, specifically in the control of tuberculosis, diabetes/hypertension, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and recently in COVID-19. His scholarship has reformed health policies to promote quality and equitable care in COVID-19, tuberculosis, AMR and diabetes at national and global levels. He has served as the Vice President and Secretary General of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease in driving global TB policy change.

He currently leads a project in Ontario examining the population protection effect of hybrid immunity (previous infection + vaccines) on COVID hospitalization and death using the Ontario Health Data Platform (OHDP). He also leads two implementation science studies, one is to improve vaccine confidence among the poor in the Philippines, and another is to improve non-communicable disease management in rural Pakistan using telemedicine.

Walter Wodchis

Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Professor Wodchis is an expert in the Canadian health system. His research interests include health economics, health financing, performance measurement/program evaluation, health services delivery, chronic and long-term care. Prof. Wodchis is participating in research projects related to COVID-19 screening modalities and to population health effects (including socioeconomic distributional impacts) of COVID-19 and public health responses.

Affiliated Academics

Ahmad Firas Khalid

Sessional Lecturer
Department of Sociology – University of Toronto at Scarborough

Ahmad Firas Khalid is a medical doctor, a health policy researcher, and a lecturer on health systems and policy. Firas completed his PhD in Health Policy at McMaster University with a focus on supporting the use of research evidence to inform decision-making in crisis zones. Recently, Firas worked as a Senior Research and Learning Consultant at the Canadian Red Cross working on Epidemic Prevention and Control COVID-19 research. Previously, Firas worked as a COVID19 Research Manager at Evidence Aid and as a Health Policy Researcher at the Research Unit on Humanitarian Stakes and Practices (UREPH) at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Geneva, Switzerland. He also worked in the department of Child and Maternal Health at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland.  

Firas teaches pandemic-related courses at a number of Canadian Universities. Firas uses the expertise he developed during his education and professional experience to help educate people around the world about the health policy implications of coronaviruses. He is now applying the specialized knowledge he acquired about coronaviruses to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and has become a sought-after expert for media outlets seeking context for news stories. Firas has expertise in medicine, health policy, health education, knowledge translation and health emergencies working with relief and intergovernmental organizations.  

Pandemic Related Publications:

Khalid, A. F, Lavis, JN., El-Jardali, F., Vanstone, MSupporting the use of research evidence in decision-making in crisis zones in low- and middle-income countries: A critical interpretive synthesis. Health Research Policy and Systems. 2020 February 18; 18, 21. Impact Factor 2.863. First Author. 

Khalid, A. F., Lavis, J. N., El-Jardali, F., & Vanstone, M. Stakeholders’ experiences with the Evidence Aid website to support ‘real-time’ use of research evidence to inform decision-making in crisis zones: a user testing study. Health Research Policy and Systems. 2019 December 30; 17, 106. Impact Factor 2.863. First Author. 

2021 April 01 Health Policy Expert. Dr. Ahmad Firas Khalid returned to the show, to help us get ready for the COVID-19 shutdown. Interviewer: Scott Thompson. 900 CHML The Scott Thompson Show. Global News.

2021 March 29 Health Policy ExpertNext up, Scott welcomed Dr. Khalid back to the show, to get his input on a caller’s question, as well as to help everyone catch up with the news surrounding Ontario’s case numbers, and the World Health Organization’s forthcoming report from their investigation in China. Interviewer: Scott Thompson. 900 CHML The Scott Thompson Show. Global News. 

2021 March 25 Queen Elizabeth Scholar. QES Stories: Ambitious approaches, interconnected experiences: a scholar’s COVID-19 response. Interviewer: Marlene Oliveira. Community Foundations of Canada. 

2021 March 23 Health Policy ExpertDr. Khalid returned to the show to discuss updates on just about everything related to COVID-19. What does the latest AstraZeneca news means? Interviewer: Scott Thompson. 900 CHML The Scott Thompson Show. Global News.


Srikanth Kondreddy

Bruyere Research Institute (uOttawa)

Dr Srikanth Kondreddy is a founding member and vice-president of policy and research with Urban Health 360, a non-profit organization based in the USA. Also, he is an investigator with the Bruyere Research Institute and a Senior Fellow of WHO Collaborating Centre for Knowledge Translation and Health Technology Assessment in Health Equity in Canada. He works with United Nations agencies, governments and also contributes to Think 20, a policy engagement group of the G20.  

Between 2019-2020, he served as a Senior Officer with the Global Health and Nutrition Bureau of Global Affairs Canada. He previously worked for the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute, McGill University, Indian Council of Medical Research, Public Health Foundation of India, and Population Council. He received honours and awards from the Canadian Society for International Health, Indian Council of Medical Research, University Grants Commission, Eastern Sociological Society, International AIDS Society, and J N Tata Endowment. 

Dr Kondreddy has academic training in global health policy, governance, and diplomacy. His global health research program focuses on two pillars – 1) global health governance and 2) global health diplomacy, built on multidisciplinary research partnerships and collaborations from India, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, the USA, the UK, the Caribbean region and the WHO. He is a member of the Global One Health Network, an interdisciplinary research-to-action network to strengthen Canadian leadership in improving the global governance of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance. His pandemic research interests include preparedness and response, and currently researching -1) Canada’s response to COVID-19 in the context of international health regulations, 2) Political prioritization of international health regulations compliance in the Caribbean region, and 3) International norms and standards around Covid-19 International Certificate of Vaccination. 

Pandemic Related Publications

Reddy KS, Chattu VK, Wilson K. Canada’s legal preparedness against the COVID-19 Pandemic: a scoping review of federal laws and regulations. Canadian Public Administration, 2021  

Reddy KS, Mithani SS, Wilson L, et al. Canada’s response to international travel during COVID-19 pandemic – a media analysis.  BMC Public Health 21, 1028 (2021). 

Knight WA, Reddy KS. Caribbean response to COVID-19: a regional approach to pandemic preparedness and resilience. The Round Table. 2020 Jan 1;109(4):464-5. 

Luckhurst J, Ertl V, Fleurbaey M, Grimalda G, Kirton J, Knight WA, Reddy KS, Sidiropoulos E, Thomas M. Transversal G20 response to Covid-19: Global governance for economic, social, health, and environmental resilience. Task Force. 2020;11.

Thomas YF, Aginam O, Banerjee S, Ezeh A, Galea S, Gatzweiler FW, Mberu B, Nguendo-Yongsi B, Ogbuoji O, Reddy KS, Thomas M.  Reaffirming the significance of global public goods for health: Global solidarity in response to Covid-19 and future shocks. Task Force. 2020;11. 

Kickbusch I, Reddy KS. Global health governance–the next political revolution. public health. 2015 Jul 1;129(7):838-42.

Kickbusch I, Reddy KS. Community matters–why outbreak responses need to integrate health promotion. Global health promotion. 2016 Mar;23(1):75-8. 

Reddy, KS. Spanish flu- the infamous pandemic of the 20th century. Diplomaatia, 2015; 142/143.

Dominik Nowak

Lecturer – Adjunct Faculty
Department of Family and Community Medicine

As a family physician, Dr. Dominik Nowak understands the responsibility of health, community, and business leaders to work across disciplines to build a brighter future for the next generation. 
In 2020, Dr. Nowak joined the TELUS Medical Advisory Council as Chair. In this capacity, he drives collaboration across a cross-functional team of experts to mount a science-based and compassionate response to emerging health issues. He is a trusted advisor to senior leaders across TELUS and other Canadian organizations in health and safety, business continuity, emergency operations, healthcare, digital health, ventures, and corporate citizenship. Through COVID-19, the shared purpose of the Medical Advisory Council is to promote the health of 60,000 team members globally, role model proactive workplace policy, and uphold thoughtful social impact. 
Amidst COVID-19 vaccine rollout, Dr. Nowak also chairs the working group on vaccine policy at the Primary Care Collaborative. The Primary Care Collaborative, an amalgam of primary care organizations, together represents over 20,000 primary care professionals and teams in Ontario. This working group is dedicated to supporting an effective and equitable COVID-19 vaccine rollout, built on the trusting relationships that primary care professionals and teams establish with their communities. 
Beyond his leadership work, Dr. Nowak is a practicing family physician and a faculty member in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. He trained at McMaster University, where he specialized in family medicine and served as chief resident. He finished a Master of Health Administration at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation out of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Whether at his family practice, in advocacy for healthy policy, or as a health leader, Dr. Nowak’s professional mission is to promote health in the communities he serves. 

Pandemic Related Publications

Lessons Learned from Israel’s Vaccine Rollout. Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. 

Social prescribing: A call to action. Canadian Family Physician. 

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Iffath Unissa Syed

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Dr. Iffath Unissa Syed is a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation under the supervision of Dr. Geoff Anderson at University of Toronto

Dr. Iffath Unissa Syed is a public health researcher with rapidly growing experience in scientific writing, publication, and knowledge dissemination, as demonstrated by her double-blind peer-reviewed work in scholarly journals and other research outlets.  Relevant fields of research include: health policy, administration, management, and evaluation; public health; sociology of health and illness; work/labor studies; medical sociology; medical humanities; critical disability studies; critical gerontology, aging, and the life course; and migration studies.

Research areas and interests include: health and social policy; working conditions and health; occupational health inequities; occupational segregation; occupational injuries, illness, and disabilities; chronic disease or chronic illness in the workplace; work-related musculoskeletal disorders; cumulative trauma disorders; workplace violence; occupational cancers; labor policies, labor legislation, and health and safety law.

Dr. Syed’s doctoral research addressed the health impacts of precarity in work for racialized and immigrant workers, specifically women, and suggests that we should broaden the criteria for “precarious labor” to include common living and working experiences of care workers, and even their managers. Dr. Syed looked at housing pressures, financial remittance payments, the double workday, and labor intensification, as factors that can lead to negative health impacts for workers.

Dr. Syed’s work critically intervenes in health research by focusing on the ways in which gender, race, and class shape the social determinants of health.  This was also demonstrated in her recent work about occupational segregation that was published in Social Science & Medicine, as well as her work about diet, physical activity and emotional health, which was published in BMC Public Health.

Her research focuses on the following groups: women, visible minorities, and (im)migrant populations, particularly intersections of racism, classism, and/or the disablement of care workers. Various theoretical lenses and frameworks are used in these research endeavors including: critical political economy, feminism, critical race theory, human rights, and social determinants of health; all of which help to examine disparities in a comparative context.  Recent contributions include policy interventions on the situation of care workers, advocating for paid sick leave, among other things.


Fanor Balderrama Santander

Post-Doctoral Fellow
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

Dr. Fanor Balderrama is a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation under the supervision of Dr. Geoff Anderson at University of Toronto. His current research is focused on modelling the impact of COVID and COVID containment strategies on health outcomes across socioeconomic strata using econometric models. He is also working on mapping the risk of contracting COVID and COVID-related employment risks in the city of Toronto and in Ontario, and the elaboration of risk indexes for these measures.

Originally from Bolivia, he obtained his BSc in biomedical engineering form Yale University. He then went on to complete a Masters in bioengineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology (USA). After returning to Bolivia to obtain an MBA from Universidad Privada Boliviana, he worked as a management consultant, worked in the medical device industry, and in public health care management. He then moved to Canada and completed a PhD in health economics from McMaster University, where he also taught courses on health policy and health care management.
His doctoral research was focused on the price-accessibility of pharmaceuticals in Ontario. More specifically, it was focused on the ethics of drug pricing and the analysis of two public formulary policies in the province of Ontario that affected the price of high-strength opioids and cancer drugs for pediatric patients. Other research interests of his include the costs of cancer care, health economic evaluation, smoking cessation intervention, health inequities, immigrant health, and health care ethics. His methodological expertise is in econometrics, quantitative health policy analysis, and he has a passion for programming in R, Python, VBA, and Unix

How to Help

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To discuss supporting the Institute for Pandemics, please contact:

Afshaan Kohari (she/her)
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University of Toronto
J. Robert S. Prichard Alumni House
21 King’s College Circle
Toronto, ON  M5S 3J3

tel: 647-526-3958



The Institute

COVID-19, SARS and other urgent health threats began in animals. It’s time to drop misleading distinctions between human and animal health.  Our underpinning “one health” approach considers human, animal and environmental health together.

The Institute draws from across Canada’s leading university to incorporate complex skill sets, such as mathematical modelling, health economic analysis, health geography and GIS, environmental epidemiology, a complex understanding of the social determinants of health, and approaches to disease detection using novel data sources and techniques. Because these skill sets require input from so many disciplines, they are seldom taught in single centres, and consequently are in short supply in the workforce. Therefore, we remain ill-equipped to respond rapidly when a pandemic arises and to recover in its aftermath. And even the best public health measures fall short without expertise in assessing and communicating a decision’s risks to health, health systems, the economy, the environment and social interactions.

The new institute will transform this situation by focusing on three streams:

Pandemic Readiness

Pandemic modelling focuses on answering the “where, when and how” of an infectious disease. Where is it spreading? When will it end? And how can we fight it? Through these analyses, scientists generate projections in real time during public health crises such as the one we’re experiencing with COVID-19 and predict outbreaks in advance—before they become pandemics—which can serve as a global early warning system.

The Centre for Pandemic Readiness will further this critical work in three ways: combine traditional and innovative data collection tools to model and estimate the development and spread of pandemics and other global health emergencies; use foresight and scenario modelling techniques to identify early signs of emerging threats like pandemics; and develop deep expertise and experience in communicating data on pandemics to decision- makers to guide action. This ensures that health agencies can make informed decisions and “buys time” until treatments or vaccines become available.

Using public data, the centre will perform modelling and forecasting that advises on the implications of a disease outbreak, its surveillance, transmission, case management, risk factors, protocols and response. It will also look at the impact on health system capacity and resources, as well as novel disease emergence. The research team will ensure that their work is both transparent and reproducible by adhering to current best practices in infectious disease epidemiology, including generating open source code, using analytical “freeware” (such as the R statistical environment) where possible, and employing or generating publicly available datasets that other researchers can access.

Dr. David Fisman will lead the Centre for Pandemic Readiness. Dr. Fisman is a national authority on the study of emerging infectious diseases—particularly infectious disease modelling—and has been a widely consulted expert during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other DLSPH faculty members will contribute their expertise, including Dr. Ashleigh Tuite, Dr. Beate Sander and Dr. Laura Rosella. They already participate in the Province of Ontario’s modelling table and their work has been used to predict and explain COVID-19 spread and impact in Canada, as well as in Iran and China.

The University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics will also play a role, providing its extensive ethical decision-making capabilities, which have helped to guide responses during the COVID-19 pandemic and H1N1 and SARS crises.

Pandemic Resilience

Following the tragedy of SARS, multiple reports recommended strengthening the Canadian public health system and building stronger collaboration and planning across the public health and health care systems. However, progress on these goals has been uneven across the country and around the world.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, it has become clear that the decisions taken by some governments and health authorities have helped to curb what could have been a catastrophic spread of the virus. For example, when we look at South Korea, it appears that the high rates of testing carried out there contributed to fewer infections than might otherwise have happened as the results allowed public health officials to determine whom to isolate.

The Centre for Pandemic Resilience will bring together leading health policy, public administration and clinical leaders to develop best practices in how public health systems use information to prepare for and respond effectively to pandemics. This will include examining governance, decision-making and communication that have resulted in speedy and effective responses in democratic societies. The centre will advise health authorities and governments on how to remain prepared for outbreaks and equip health systems on the ground, drawing on lessons learned from SARS, H1N1, Ebola and COVID-19 and the history of infectious diseases and viruses.

DLSPH faculty members involved in this stream include Dr. Jennifer Gibson, Dr. Ross Upshur, Dr. Robert Schwartz, Dr. Xiaolin Wei, and Dr. Adalsteinn Brown. Experts will also include Dr. Greg Marchildon and Dr. Sara Allin, who lead the North American Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. These faculty members all have extensive experience advising decision-makers—and in some cases acting as decision-makers —at the provincial, federal and international levels.

Pandemic Recovery

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our communities have asked many serious questions around immediate needs and life afterward. Where can we secure the supplies our health-care workers need? What will happen to businesses both small and large? How will we care for the most vulnerable members of society?

The Centre for Pandemic Recovery will lead a program of study that quantifies the short- and long-term health and economic consequences of pandemics and other public health emergencies. It will pay attention to equity of outcomes, the social determinants of health, issues that exacerbate stigmatization and other social divides, and economic recovery.

The new centre will prepare road maps to recovery that can start during a pandemic rather than waiting until it is over. These will include the ROI of public health infrastructure, looking at factors such as surveillance capacity, supply chain resilience, and other types of preparation. Ultimately, the centre will inform policies to alleviate the economic and social impacts of a pandemic that are so devastating to communities worldwide.

DLSPH faculty members in this stream include Dr. Audrey Laporte, Dr. Mark Stabile, Dr. Geoff Anderson and Dr. John Frank. Contributors  have deep expertise in modelling broad societal costs and outcomes and who can integrate macro-economic and health system data.


The Institute for Pandemics was established with the visionary support of Canada’s Vohra Miller Foundation, dedicated to improving the health of people and the planet. We are deeply grateful to Sabina Vohra-Miller and Craig Miller for their generous $1 million gift to support research, education and knowledge translation activities related to pandemic risk, readiness, resilience, and recovery. Thank you to all the donors and supporters who have paved the way for a transformative initiative that will have critical public impact for years to come

Critical Funding Priorities:

  • Research
  • Training

A mix of expendable and endowed funds will support research, training, innovation and knowledge sharing.

Because public health crises are unpredictable, we need dedicated researchers who can focus exclusively on the work of the Institute without concerns about potential conflicts with academic or clinical schedules. The Institute will recruit trained scientists—such as those with expertise in modelling and forecasting—to help us to curb the transmission and spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

We will appoint research chairs with dedicated expertise to lead each of the institute’s three centres. Funds will support these chairs, as well as early-career professorships.

Recognizing that there is a lack of expertise in the disciplinary training needed in the fight against emerging infectious diseases, the new institute will aim to build a team that includes postdoctoral fellows, who will conduct advanced research and analysis based upon their burgeoning expertise and in conjunction with established scholars.

The institute will also attract and engage top graduate students. PhD students will carry out their thesis work under the direction of the institute’s principal investigators, while Master of Public Health (MPH) students will support the research agenda as part of their practicum. Funds will support fellowships, scholarships and stipends to ensure the institute can involve the most talented candidates and prepare them for a future in fields that will help us address pandemics.

Engagement and Innovation Fund

The world’s best researchers often face unexpected expenses. We are seeking to establish an engagement and innovation fund that will provide practical support for cutting-edge research at the institute’s three centres. This could include resources for materials, publishing, upgrades in technology and opportunities for ongoing collaboration with other institutions and organizations.

This fund will also allow each of the institute’s centres to engage with decision-makers and the public around issues relating to their area of focus. The centres will use tools such as the highly successful webinars the DLSPH developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, our journalism program, annual report cards, white papers and convening sessions. Scholars will also conduct briefings at the municipal, provincial, federal and global levels to promote innovation and bring attention to how policy-makers can support an effective public health system.

In addition, the fund will also support engagement roundtables with private and public sector partners to disseminate knowledge to stakeholders beyond the scientific community and strengthen the collaborations so necessary to tackling pandemics and our recovery from them.

A director will lead the Institute for Pandemics, overseeing all research, training and engagement and providing advice, inspiration and mentorship for the institute’s activities.

Pandemics require rapid responses. To ensure the institute’s work can proceed nimbly, we plan to establish a director’s fund, which will provide resources for strategic initiatives that transcend one area of focus and needs that may arise suddenly. The fund will support scholarship and other opportunities that require an integrated approach, creating a continuity of research, innovation and knowledge translation that spans pandemic readiness, resilience and recovery. Other cross-institute activities the fund may support include symposia, panels and Chatham House Rules sessions for key stakeholders and decision-makers.