Leadership & Specialists

CANUE truly represents an amazing opportunity to build a dynamic community in Canada that brings the best in urban environmental research and applications to the health research community, ultimately to support decision-making with public health in mind.  We are hopeful that CANUE will enable and conduct highly relevant research on environmental factors, exposures or metrics and their links to health.  Our goal is to empower our members, to foster collaboration, exchange and knowledge translation so that members and non-members alike clearly see our value-added and hence paddle hard to take CANUE to much success and well past our starting five-year time horizon.

Jeff Brook, PhD
Nominated PI and Scientific Director

The CANUE Health Research Consortium is made up of members from academia, government, and organizations active in urban environmental health research and policy. Our leadership and direction comes from a number of interactive teams and an advisory panel.


Jeffrey Brook
Scientific Director and Nominated Principal Investigator

Jeffrey Brook (Principal Investigator and Scientific Director) has 25 years of experience as an Environment Canada scientist working at the science-policy interface. During this time he spent 15 years as faculty at the University of Toronto, where he was involved in research, lecturing and graduate student training. He is one of Canada’s leading experts in air quality, recognized at all levels of government and academically, including for his substantial contributions in air pollution health research. Dr. Brook has led scientific assessments to inform policy nationally and internationally, and advised multi-stakeholder groups shaping policy. He has led a variety of multi-disciplinary research teams in government, government-academic partnerships and in academia. Recently his efforts have expanded beyond air quality, for example for 8 years he has led the Environmental Working Group of the Canadian Health Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) study and co-led the Gene x Environment Research Platform within the AllerGen Network of Centres of Excellence.

Philip Awadalla
Director and Principal Investigator

Philip Awadalla is the National Scientific Director of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, Principal Investigator for the Ontario Health Study, and Director of Computational Biology at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. He is also a Professor of Population and Medical Genomics at the University of Toronto and the Director of Genome Canada’s Canadian Data Integration Centre. Dr. Awadalla focuses on developing next-generation genomics approaches, model-based tools, and population-based approaches to study mutation rates, genome biology, and cancer. His main research interests include identifying genetic determinants of blood disorders and cancers, and genomic epidemiology of age related disorders in population cohorts.

Michael Brauer
Director and Principal Investigator

Michael Brauer is an internationally recognized expert in urban and environmental health. He is Director of UBC’s Bridge Program, Professor in UBC’s School of Population and Public Health, and Professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Dr. Brauer’s research has uncovered relationships between transportation-related and biomass air pollution, and reproductive, respiratory, and cardiovascular health, and identified impacts of multiple exposures mediated by urban form on population health. He has participated in studies throughout the world and served on advisory committees to the UN Climate and Clean Air Coalition Scientific Panel, the World Health Organization, the US National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine, the Royal Society of Canada, the International Joint Commission and governments in North America and Asia.

Howard Hu
Director and Principal Investigator

Howard Hu, Affiliate Professor At the University of Washington School of Public Health, and Founding Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at University of Toronto is internationally renowned as an expert on environmental health. He is a physician-scientist, specializing in occupational and environmental medicine and epidemiology. Previously, Dr. Hu was a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Channing Laboratory of the Brigham & Women’s Hospital (1988-2006), and the NSF International Chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Professor of Environmental Health, Epidemiology & Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan (2006-2012). His work leading an international team of scientists has won a number of awards, including the 1999 US National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences Progress and Achievement Award, the 2006 Harriett Hardy Award, the 2009 Linus Pauling Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the American Public Health Association, and the 2015 John R. Goldsmith Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field from the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology.

Kim Mcgrail
Director and Principal Investigator

Kim McGrail (PA) is an Associate Professor in the UBC School of Population and Public Health, and provides expertise in managing big data infrastructure, specifically for confidential health data. She is the Scientific Director of Population Data BC and is PI on the major grants that fund its operations. She has twenty years of experience building and operating data linkage platforms and educating researchers and trainees about the potential of administrative data to address policy-relevant research questions, as well as about the appropriate uses of those data. Population Data BC includes person-specific data that extend well beyond health care, and is the data platform lead for the CIHR-funded BC SPOR SUPPORT Unit. Kim’s contributions in the area of privacy-sensitive governance of research data extend beyond BC as well, most significantly as a founding member of the International Population Data Linkage Network (www.ipdln.org). PopData was the network director for this group in 2013-2014 and Kim co-chaired the network’s international conference in Vancouver in April 2014.

Dave Stieb
Director and Principal Knowledge User

David Stieb, MD, is a Public Health Physician with Health Canada’s Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Epidemiology, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, and member of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the University of Ottawa. In addition to conducting primary research, including linking national administrative cohort data and exposure surfaces, and key systematic reviews and meta-analyses of epidemiological studies of air pollution and health, he has made notable contributions to knowledge translation, working with federal, provincial and municipal public health and NGO partners. These include acting as health science lead in the development of Canada’s Air Quality Health Index, a public health risk communication tool (www.airhealth.ca). He also co-developed the Air Quality Benefits Assessment Tool and other applications that translate knowledge to estimate the human health impacts and costs/benefits of changes in ambient air quality resulting from proposed regulatory or other initiatives.

Padmaja Subarrao
Director and Principal Investigator

Padmaja Subbarao (PA) has expertise in maternal, fetal, and child health. She is a Clinician Scientist and Respirologist at the Hospital for Sick Children and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. She is Co-Director and Toronto Site Leader of the CHILD study. She has specific expertise in lung development and physiology and is a world recognized expert in Infant and Preschool lung function. As Director of the Pulmonary Function Laboratory at the Hospital for Sick Children, she has developed objective markers of lung disease to improve respiratory phenotyping of infants and children. This work has led to international recognition and opportunities to introduce novel phenotyping tools to North America. She has worked with Environmental Scientists both in and out of the CHILD study to look at the impact of the environment on child health, specifically lung health. Her work has been continuously funded by CIHR and AllerGen NCE to study the development of lung function in health and asthma and the impact of the environment.

Dan Crouse
Director | 2016-2018

Dan Crouse, PhD is a Consulting Senior Scientist at the Health Effects Institute, Boston, MA. Dan’s research bridges knowledge on the environmental and the social determinants of health.  He has been involved in a number of studies investigating the impact of exposure to ambient air pollution on adverse health outcomes including risk of mortality, adverse birth outcomes, and incidence of cancer.

Perry Hystad
Director | 2018-2020

Dr. Perry Hystad is an Assistant Professor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University, USA. He is the program coordinator for the environmental health program and PI of the Spatial Health Lab. His research focuses on connecting people to places to determine chronic disease risk factors and prevention opportunities. He is developing new methods to assess environmental exposures for large population-based studies using new technologies and big data approaches. He has been PI and co-Investigator on several grants that assess air pollution and built environment exposures, determine associations with health outcomes, and translate this information into effective policy and prevention activities. Currently, he is PI of a 5-year NIH funded grant to examine the cardiopulmonary health effects from air pollution in the global prospective urban and rural epidemiology (PURE) study.

Olimpia Pantelimon
Director | 2016-2018

Mrs. Pantelimon is a registered professional planner with the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP), Alberta Professional Planning Institute (APPI), urbaniste with the Ordre des urbanistes du Quebec (OUQ), and has over 20 years of professional city & regional planning and community development experience working across Canada. As an appointed expert Peer Reviewer for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Green Municipal Fund  (GMF) she works on the assessment of integrated sustainable plans, studies and capital projects on Energy Efficiency, Climate Change Action Plans, Water, and Brownfields from coast to coast.

Active and passionate about Healthy Cities and cities’ future, she has been appointed for a second mandate as Chair of the Healthy Communities Committee,  Canadian Institute of Planners. She facilitates collaborative work between health and planning professionals with the aim to enable transfer of knowledge and scientific evidence to professionals and policy makers.

Salimah Shariff
Director | 2018-2020

Dr. Salimah Shariff is a Staff Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) satellite site at Western University (ICES Western) and Adjunct Professor at the John Labatt Family School of Nursing, Western University, London ON. As an epidemiologist, she focuses on applied research using Ontario’s large health administrative databases, and has published over 50 manuscripts and reports using ICES data across diverse clinical disciplines. In her role as Staff Scientist, she oversees and leads various ICES Western research initiatives, knowledge user requests and stakeholder engagement activities. Dr. Shariff is also notably responsible for developing the ICES Faculty Scholars Program. Now in its third cycle, this two-year program provides university research faculty with hands-on training in health services research using administrative data.

Eleanor Setton
Managing Director

Eleanor Setton is the Managing Director of CANUE. As an Adjunct Associate Professor (2008- 2016), Eleanor most recently acted as Co-Director of the Spatial Sciences Research Lab (SSRL) at the University of Victoria. This role involved managing the SSRL grants, staff, and students, and conducting a range of research related to spatial aspects of exposure to environmental pollutants as a PI or Co-PI. Of particular value to CANUE is Dr. Setton’s expertise in population-level environmental exposure assessment; direct experience working with large spatial and tabular datasets related to land use, pollutant emissions and socio-economic characteristics; and developing knowledge translation products about cancer and the environment.

Advisory Panel

Bert Brunekreef

Affiliation: Professor of Environmental Epidemiology and Director of the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University

Location: Utrecht, Netherlands

Co-author of more than 400 peer reviewed journal articles in the field of environmental epidemiology and exposure assessment

Gordon McBean

Affiliation: Professor, Geography, University of Western Ontario

Location: London, Ontario

Former Canadian Assistant Deputy Minister of the Environment, Co-Director of the Centre for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Western Ontario, President-elect of the International Council for Science; and Co-chair of Future Earth Research for Global Sustainability.

Diana Royce

Affiliation: President, The Deerfield Group Inc.

Location: Burlington, Ontario

Dr. Royce was Managing Director of the Health Evidence Applications Network [HEALNet) NCE at McMaster University (1998-2002), and Senior Policy Advisor in the Ontario government. Since 2002, The Deerfield Group Inc. has provided grant preparation and Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer services to AllerGen NCE Inc.

Salim Yusuf

Affiliation: Professor, Department of Medicine, Director of the Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University

Location: Hamilton, Ontario

Co-investigator, Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological Study (PURE), societal, biologic and genetic determinants of population health in developing populations; his studies involve over 83 countries in all the inhabited continents of the world


Mahdi Shooshtari
Data Scientist and Lead Developer

Mahdi has recently completed an MSc at the University of Alberta in Computer Science. He specializes in computer vision – using and developing advanced algorithms to identify unique characteristics and features in images and videos. He will be working with Google Street View and Google Earth Engine, as well as developing tools to turn big data into usable exposure measures for environmental health research.

Dany Doiron
Data Linkage Specialist

Dany is based at Maelstrom Research (MR) group at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal. Dany has worked with a number of epidemiological research consortia in Canada and Europe, helping them implement innovative solutions to facilitate multi-centre data integration and co-analysis, and provides expertise on linking environmental data to confidential health databases for CANUE.

Andre Redivo
Geospatial Specialist

Andre has considerable expertise in the development and management of geospatial data. He developed national web-based applications for data analysis and visualization in Brazil. He developed and maintains the CANUE data browser and download site, and develops CANUE datasets.

Data Governance and Management

Expert Team

Affiliation: Director, Occupational Cancer Research Centre, Cancer Care Ontario and Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Location: Ontario

Epidemiology; occupational hygiene; occupational and environmental exposure assessment; cancer; creating new linkable dataset related to workplace; work-related and environmental risk factors

Affiliation: Professor, Department of Family Medicine,Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa; Senior Medical Advisor, Health Analysis Division, Statistics Canada; Senior Scientist, Clinical epidemiology POrogram, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Location: Ontario

Integrated Research – Adults

Expert Team

Affiliation: Chief Science Officer and Senior Scientist, Public Health Ontario and Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Location: Ontario

Interdisciplinary population studies; chronic disease epidemiology; environmental and genetic risk factors; integration of population and biological sciences; cohort and data platform development, use and governance; implementation and KT

Affiliation: Associate Professor of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Location: British Columbia

Air pollution; controlled human exposure for environmental health observations, asthma, co-exposures as modifiers of health effects; diesel exhaust, phthalates; allergens, gene-environment interactions

Integrated Research – Maternal/Fetal/Child

Expert Team

Affiliation: Research Scientist, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and Assistant Professor, Pediatrics & Child Health, University of Manitoba

Location: Manitoba

Developmental origins of chronic disease; infant feeding; human milk composition; asthma; allergy; obesity; epidemiology

Affiliation: Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University

Location: Ontario

Board of Directors, MICYRN (maternal infant child and youth research network); ReACH

Biostatistics and Geospatial Methods

Expert Team

Affiliation: Senior Research Scientist, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, Health Canada

Location: Ontario

CanCHEC; outdoor air pollution risk assessment

Affiliation: Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Location: Ontario

Biostatistics; statistical modeling; correlated data; birth cohorts

Exposure Measurement

Expert Team

Affiliation: Associate Professor & Endowed Chair in Sustainability and Environmental Health, Dalhousie University

Location: Nova Scotia

Population health science; health geography; human-environment behaviour; wearable sensors; spatial analytics; exposure assessment

Affiliation: Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Location: Ontario

Air pollution characterisation; exposure assessment; vehicle emissions and traffic pollution; pollution sources; energy systems; education; Director of Southern Ontario Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research

Knowledge Translation and Exchange

Expert Team

Affiliation: Chief, Environmental and Occupational Health, Public Health Ontario and Associate Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Location: Ontario

Exposure assessment; physical environment as a determinant of health; biomarkers; exposome; interventions to reduce exposure

Affiliation: Canadian Institute of Planners and Senior Planning Advisor, Government of Alberta

Location: Alberta

Chair, Health Communities Committee


Exposure Data Team

Affiliation: Associate Professor, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of Montreal

Location: Quebec

Ambient air pollutants, environmental noise, climate change; exposure estimation, health risk estimation, population impact assessment, environmental epidemiology; cardio-respiratory and inflammatory diseases

Affiliation: Associate Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia

Location: British Columbia

Environmental noise assessment; environmental epi of noise and chronic disease


Exposure Data Team

Affiliation: Associate Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Carleton University

Location: Ontario

Epidemiology; biostatistics; air pollution; green space; cancer; cardiovascular disease; record linkage studies

Affiliation: Assistant Professor, School of Population and Public Health and the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, University of British Columbia

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Health protection, disease prevention, and climate change mitigation by natural environments.

Weather and Climate

Exposure Data Team

Affiliation: Professor and Chair, Department of Geography, University of Victoria

Location: British Columbia

Climatology; climate change; human impacts on climate; water balance climatology and urban climatology

Affiliation: Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Location: British Columbia

Medicine; public health;occupational and environmental epidemiology; toxicology; use of biomarkers; medical surveillance; health impacts of climate change

Air Quality

Exposure Data Team

Affiliation: Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carleton University

Location: Ontario

Air quality modelling; air pollution exposure; air pollution health impact assessment; health benefit source attribution; uncertainty analysis; decision support systems

Affiliation: Air Health Science Division, Exposure Assessment Section, Health Canada

Location: Ontario

Air pollution exposure assessment; temporal and spatial air quality modelling and measurement; evaluating alternate approaches for estimating exposure in health studies; environmental epidemiology; identifying vulnerable periods during pregnancy and early childhood; environmental justice – social and environmental disparities


Exposure Data Team

Affiliation: Professor, Transportation Research Institute (UTTRI), University of Toronto

Location: Ontario

Traffic and emissions modelling; atmospheric dispersion; air pollution exposure; near-road air pollution characterization

Affiliation: Associate Professor, School of Planning, and Department of Civil and Resource Engineering, Dalhousie University and Director, Dalhousie Transportation Collaboratory (DalTRAC)

Location: Nova Scotia

Travel behavior analysis; transportation-land use interactions; health and built form; and microsimulation of urban systems

Neighbourhood Factors

Exposure Data Team

Affiliation: Assistant Professor, School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada Research Chair in Population Physical Activity

Location: Newfoundland

Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto; University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute

Location: Ontario