OTRU Scientific Advisors are senior tobacco control researchers. They are called upon from time to time to offer scientific advice to OTRU on specific areas of research and on general approaches to fulfilling OTRU’s mandate of developing, synthesizing and providing knowledge in support of tobacco control efforts in Ontario and beyond. Activities include responding to methodological and substantive queries about measurement, data collection, analysis, knowledge synthesis, interpretation of results and knowledge transfer and exchange. Scientific advice will be provided as needed through email, telephone and ad hoc in-person meetings.
Susan Bondy is an Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She is also Program director for the MPH in Epidemiology. Dr. Bondy received her MSc in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of Western Ontario and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto. Her areas of research include: monitoring of alcohol and tobacco use and public opinions on tobacco control policies; psychoactive substance use and associated health problems; and health services research, particularly in the areas of mental health and addiction, as well as cancer detection and treatment. She has experience training graduate students and public health professionals in the analysis and use of survey methods and data in population health. Her research activities related to tobacco include the Ontario Tobacco Survey (a cross-sectional survey and panel study of smokers), as well as policy intervention studies and research on the impact of pharmaceutical therapies for cessation.
Joanna Cohen is the Bloomberg Professor of Disease Prevention and the Director of the Institute of Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She also holds an appointment in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Dr. Cohen obtained her PhD in Health Policy and Administration from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and her MHSc in Community Health and Epidemiology from the University of Toronto. She has been involved in tobacco policy research for 25 years. Trained in epidemiology and health policy, her research interests focus on the factors that affect the adoption and implementation of public health policies and on evaluating the beneficial effects and the unintended consequences of such policies. She is the Deputy Editor of the journal Tobacco Control.
Roberta Ferrence is Adjunct Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist Emerita with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. She was OTRU’s first Executive Director, holding the position from 1993 until 2011. Dr. Ferrence received her Master’s degree in Medical Sociology and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Western Ontario. She has been involved in tobacco and alcohol research for many years. Her research interests include the epidemiology of tobacco use and alternative nicotine products, the impact of tobacco policy on health, the role of tobacco use and exposure in mortality and morbidity, and economic factors in smoking behaviour. In recent years, she has been involved in research on environmental tobacco smoke exposure in public and private environments, behavioural and economic effects of restrictions on smoking, waterpipe smoke exposure and electronic cigarettes. Dr. Ferrence has served on numerous committees and task forces for the National Cancer Institute of Canada, the Canadian and American Cancer Societies, The US Institute of Medicine, The US National Institutes of Health, Health Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. She was lead editor on Nicotine and Public Health, published by the American Public Health Association.
Dr. John Garcia (Ph.D. University of Waterloo) is a professor of practice and associate director of Professional Graduate Programs at the School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo. Dr. Garcia has many years of experience working with government, private sector, voluntary health, and academic organizations to advance public health, health promotion, chronic disease prevention, and tobacco control initiatives. He has served previously in the Ontario Public Service, with senior management responsibility for health promotion and chronic disease prevention initiatives.
Peter Selby MD is the Chief of Medicine in Psychiatry Division, Deputy Physician-in-Chief of Education, and a Clinician Scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). He is a Professor in the Departments of Family and Community Medicine, Psychiatry, and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. He is also a Clinician Scientist in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Selby focuses on a range of interventions and development studies with a focus on tobacco use disorders and related physical & mental health conditions. His STOP study has enrolled and treated over 230,000 Ontarians, creating the largest health services research program in tobacco addiction treatment in Canada. The TEACH Project has developed the largest cadre of health professionals in Canada to treat tobacco addiction in a variety of populations and settings.