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NDIT Investigators

Principal Investigator

Dr. Jennifer O`Loughlin

Dr. O’Loughlin is a Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Montreal. She is also a senior epidemiologist in the Risks, Prevention, and Health Promotion Axis in the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM), a consultant to the Tobacco Control Research team at the Institut national de sante publique (INSPQ) and an elected member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Tobacco Consortium. Her team is housed at the CRCHUM and in addition to local researchers Dr. O’Loughlin has many ongoing collaborations nationally and internationally. During her 9-year tenure (to date) as a Tier I Canada Research Chair in the Early Determinants of Adult Chronic Disease, her research had focused on increased understanding of the relative importance of genetic, psychosocial, behavioral and environmental determinants of the childhood risk for adult chronic disease. She heads two pediatric cohort investigations (i.e., the Nicotine Dependence in Teens (NDIT) Study and AdoQuest) and she is a co-investigator on another four. From 2007-13, she headed an interdisciplinary capacity enhancement team (funded 1.5 million by the CIHR), which included 35 investigators and students working on tobacco control research. Her research output over the past 5 years includes 125 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, 2 manuscripts under review and 19 manuscripts in preparation (mean=29 manuscripts/year), over 180 presentations at local, national and international conferences, as well as Knowledge Transfer products including 13 “Feuillets” on her work with INSPQ practitioners improving cessation counseling practices in six health professional groups. These feuillets are distributed to tobacco control practitioners and policy makers across Quebec and help assure that the results of her research are incorporated in practice. Dr. O’Loughlin’s work has attracted media coverage, and she was one of the University of Montreal’s Top Newsmakers in 2008. Perhaps a key indicator of how her work is influential, is its citation in “Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2012” and “A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease, 2010.” Her research is also cited in a recent INSPQ submission to the Quebec government on proposed legislative changes to the Quebec Tobacco Control Act. Overall Dr. O’Loughlin’s work exemplifies interdisciplinary research that is well-grounded in public health, it demonstrates leadership in child and adolescent research, and it provides the “cells to society” underpinnings for furthering early prevention of adult chronic disease.

Contact: jennifer.oloughlin@umontreal.ca

 

Co-Investigators

 

Dr. Geetanjali Datta

Contact: geetanjali.datta@umontreal.ca  

 

Dr. James Engert

Jamie Engert is a genetic epidemiologist in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, and an associate member of the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University.  He received his PhD from Boston University after which did a post-doctoral fellowship with Tom Hudson at the Montreal General Hospital. His current research is on the genetic etiology of cardiovascular disease and their risk factors (cholesterol, obesity, smoking, etc.), and he has a particular interest in Gene-Environment interactions. Recent work has also focused on genetic variants that play a role in the occurrence of drug side effects.

Contact : jamie.engert@mcgill.ca  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Dr. Lisa Kakinami

 

Lisa Kakinami is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in collaboration with the PERFORM Centre, at Concordia University. Her research focuses on the socioeconomic, psychosocial, and behavioural determinants of obesity and cardiovascular disease prevention across the lifespan, with particular attention on the longitudinal associations and methodological tools used in measuring disease risk over time.

Contact : lisa.kakinami@concordia.ca 

 

 

  

Dr. Nancy Low

Nancy Low is the Clinical Director of the Mental Health Service of McGill University, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at McGill University, Clinician-Researcher at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), and Staff Physician in the Mood Disorders Program of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). She obtained her BS (Hons) from the University of Toronto, her MD from the University of Saskatchewan, Psychiatry specialty and MSc in psychiatric epidemiology from McGill University, and post-doctoral training in the genetic epidemiology of mood and anxiety disorders at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH, NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. She is both American and Canadian board-certified in psychiatry and has won Junior Investigator awards from the Society of Biological Psychiatry, International Society of Psychiatric Genetics, the American Psychiatric Association in addition to funding from the MUHC Research Foundation. She is a Chercheur-Boursier Clinicien (Clinical Research Scholar) salary award recipient from the Fonds de recherché en santé du Quebec (FRSQ). She divides her time between taking care of students with a whole range of disorders at McGill, mood disorder patients at the Mood Disorders Program and conducting research on subjects from clinical settings and large community samples in collaboration with epidemiologists, geneticists and biostatisticians. Her research program is multi-disciplinary focused on the natural history, clinical course and treatment of psychiatric disorders. She is heavily involved in mentoring, teaching and supervising graduate students directly from undergraduate degrees and healthcare professional students wishing to obtain clinical research skills and experience. 

Contact: nancy.low@mcgill.ca  

 

Dr. Annie Montreuil

Annie Montreuil is a researcher in tobacco control at Institut national de santé publique du Québec, the main advisory group for the Ministry of Health and the Public Health Network in Quebec. She obtained a Ph.D. in Psychology (UQAM) and pursued with postdoctoral training at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. She holds an adjunct faculty position at the Department of Psychology at UQAM. Previous work has documented the effects of smoking bans in public places on smokers, tobacco promotion in point of sales, use of cessation services by smokers and the social disparities of smoking in cars carrying children. She is the Quebec collaborator of the Canadian Student Tobacco , Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CSTADS) since 2014. She recently contributed to consultations by the Quebec government on proposed legislative changes to the Quebec Tobacco Control Act, and serves as a public health expert and spokesperson on electronic cigarette. Other research interests include acculturation and ethnic diversity. 

Contact : annie.montreuil@inspq.qc.ca 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Catherine Sabiston

Dr. Catherine Sabiston is an Associate Professor of exercise and health psychology at the University of Toronto and holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Physical Activity and Mental Health. Dr. Sabiston’s research primarily focuses on strategies to improve physical activity, and reduce sedentary behaviour, and how physical activity relates to mental health. Dr. Sabiston has nearly 140 peer reviewed articles, as well as numerous book chapters and has been involved in over 300 conference presentations and community public health talks. She has received numerous career awards for her work in sport, exercise, and health psychology and has held nearly $17 million in funding to conduct her research. She is the co-director of the newly developed Mental Health and Physical Activity Research Center at the University of Toronto.

Contact: catherine.sabiston@utoronto.ca 

 

 Dr. Marie-Pierre Sylvestre

Marie-Pierre Sylvestre is an Assitant Professor in biostatistics at the School of Public Health of the University of Montreal and a Researcher at the CHUM research Centre. Her research interests include: (1) the development and validation of statistical methods to classify and model trajectories over time; (2) genome-wide association studies using longitudinal phenotypes; (3) statistical methodology for the construction and assessment of genetic risk scores for prediction; and (4) Mendelian randomization.

Contact: marie-pierre.sylvestre@umontreal.ca  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Collaborators

 

Dr. Joseph DiFranza

Joseph R DiFranza is a family physician and Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Dr. DiFranza has been actively conducting research on tobacco for 25 years.  His policy-related interests include youth access to tobacco, environmental tobacco smoke, and tobacco advertising.  Dr DiFranza was the first to use compliance testing to demonstrate the ease with which children can purchase tobacco.  His research on the Joe Camel cartoon and his petition to the Federal Trade Commission were instrumental in the eventual elimination of  Joe Camel.

Contact : difranzj@ummhc.org

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Gilles Paradis, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FACPM, FAHA, FCAHS

Gilles Paradis is a Strathcona Professor and Chair at the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University and a medical consultant at the Public Health Institute of Quebec (INSPQ).  He is also the founding Scientific Director of the Quebec Population Health Research Network (www.santepop.qc.ca), and the Director of the Quebec Research Training Program in Public Health Interventions: Prevention, Promotion and Public Policy (4P).  He chaired the Advisory Board of the Institute for Population and Public Health of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) from 2007 to 2009.  He also chaired the International Society for Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention (Vice-Chair 2008-2010; Chair 2011-2013) and was the Scientific Editor of the Canadian Journal of Public Health (2007-2013).  He completed his MD at Université de Montréal, specialty training in community medicine and MSc in epidemiology at McGill and a two-year fellowship at Stanford University. He also held a CIHR Applied Public Health Research Chair in chronic diseases prevention from 2008 to 2013. His research includes community-based CVD prevention programs in low-income populations and First Nation communities, the epidemiology of chronic diseases risk factors particularly in children and adolescents and on the organization of public health services in Canada.

Contact: gilles.paradis@mcgill.ca 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Lori Pbert

Dr. Pbert is a clinical psychologist, Professor of Medicine and Associate Chief of the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Dr. Pbert’s NIH-funded research includes the development and evaluation of novel tobacco and obesity prevention and treatment interventions for youth and adults integrated within health care, school and community settings, and the application of mindfulness training for health behavior change and chronic disease management.  She serves as a founding member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Center for Child Health Research Tobacco Consortium, which translates the results of tobacco prevention and treatment research into practice-based interventions for children and adolescents. Dr. Pbert is founder and Director of the Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training (CTTRT) and of the UMass Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training and Certification Program. Her Center developed the core competencies for the delivery of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment that now serve as the standard for Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training Program Accreditation by the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD).  

Contact : Lori.pbert@umassmed.edu

 

 Dr. Rachel Tyndale

Rachel Tyndale is the Canada Research Chair in Pharmacogenetics, Head of Pharmacogenetics at CAMH, and a Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Toronto. Her doctorate focused on the genetic variation of cytochrome P450 enzymes and their role in therapeutic drug toxicity and carcinogenesis, while her post-doctoral fellowship was at UCLA studying GABAA receptor regulation in models of alcohol and epilepsy. Dr. Tyndale team focuses on 1) pharmacogenetic variation in enzymes and drug targets and their impact on drug dependence, in particular smoking, and 2), the regulation, expression and toxicity of CYP enzymes in the central nervous system.

Contact: r.tyndale@utoronto.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Dr. Robert Wellman

Robert Wellman is a psychologist and addiction specialist whose current research focuses on the development, assessment and biological underpinnings of nicotine/tobacco addiction. He has a particular interest in the addiction spectrum, including alcohol abuse, other drugs and gambling, in adolescents and young adults. He is Professor (Voluntary) in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Contact: Robert.Wellman@umassmed.edu

 

 

 

 

Dr. Jonathan P. Winickoff

Jonathan P. Winickoff is a practicing general pediatrician and researcher. With over 100 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Winickoff's research focuses on strategies to address tobacco use and exposure in families; current work includes CEASE (Clinical and Community Effort Against Secondhand Smoke Exposure), as well as projects related to thirdhand smoke, regulating smoking in multiunit housing, and raising the sales age of tobacco to 21. As the past Chair of the AAP Tobacco Consortium, Dr. Winickoff works with pediatric tobacco control researchers across the US and internationally to develop the best tobacco practices for child healthcare settings. Dr. Winickoff is a Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Mass General Hospital for Children. Dr. Winickoff was educated at Yale University, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health and completed his pediatric residency at Boston Children's Hospital and Boston Medical Center and fellowship in health services research at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Contact: JWINICKOFF@mgh.harvard.edu