Staff coordinate OTRU’s activities and carry out our research, evaluation, training and dissemination projects.
Robert Schwartz, Executive Director
Robert Schwartz is Executive Director of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, Professor at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and Senior Scientist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Dr. Schwartz is Director of the U of T Collaborative Specialization in Public Health Policy. He leads the new Strategy Design and Evaluation Initiative with work underway on municipal drug and opioid strategies. At OTRU, Dr. Schwartz directs research, evaluation, knowledge exchange and capacity building programs. His research interests include (1) Tobacco Control Policy, (2) E-Cigarettes (3) Strategy Design and Evaluation, (3) Evaluation of Tobacco Control Programs and Policies, (4) Public Health Policy (5) Accountability (6) The Politics and Quality of Evaluation, (7) Performance Measurement and Performance Auditing. He has published widely about tobacco control, strategy evaluation, accountability, public health policy, policy change, program evaluation and government – third sector relations. Email Robert Schwartz
Michael Chaiton, Project Lead
Dr. Michael Chaiton is a Scientist at the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit and Associate Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. He has a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto and has been active in tobacco control since 2000 when he started working for Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada and the International Non-Governmental Coalition against Tobacco. He is co-director of the Collaborative Specialization on Addiction Studies and is instructor of the graduate level course Tobacco and Health: From Cells to Society. His work includes understanding the impact of policy on smoking cessation and the development of tobacco related co-morbidities. Email Michael Chaiton
Pamela Kaufman, Project Lead
Dr. Pamela Kaufman is a Scientist with the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit and Assistant Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. She has been working in tobacco control at OTRU since 2000. Her research interests include social and physical exposure to tobacco, e-cigarette and cannabis use in outdoor spaces and multi-unit housing, and the impact of smoke-free policies on smoking behaviour. Pam was a member of the 2016 Smoke-Free Ontario Scientific Advisory Committee, and chaired the SFO-SAC 2.0 Protection Working Group. As a Senior Manager at OTRU, Pam leads the online course, Tobacco and Public Health: From Theory to Practice, and provides knowledge and evaluation advice and support at the local, provincial, and national levels. Email Pamela Kaufman
Shawn O’Connor, Project Lead
Dr. Shawn O’Connor, a Senior Manager at OTRU, is a recognized expert in the surveillance of tobacco control outcomes. At OTRU, Shawn has led the development of the Tobacco Informatics Monitoring System (TIMS) and the Cannabis Informatics Monitoring System (CIMS), innovative web-based data portals designed to enhance the use and adoption of risk-factor indicators by public-health stakeholders.
Shawn’s current research focuses on vaping products and pro-tobacco influences. Email Shawn O’Connor
Tracey Borland, Research Officer
Tracey Borland has been a Research Officer with OTRU since 2009. Tracey received an MSc in International Public Health Policy (Health Inequalities) from the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests include: health equity; community-based research/evaluation and qualitative methods.
Tracey’s work at OTRU has focused on youth and young adult smoking prevention, vaping and commercial tobacco reduction for pregnant and recently pregnant women; construction and manufacturing employees; and First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. Email Tracey Borland.
Lori Diemert, Research Officer
Lori Diemert has an MSc in Health Studies from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor. As a Research Officer at the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, Lori has supported a wide range of research and evaluation initiatives to inform tobacco control policies and programming. Lori has an interest in survey methodology, smoking cessation and patterns of electronic cigarette use over time. Lori coordinated the Ontario Tobacco Survey, a large population-based longitudinal study of smokers and cross-sectional study of non-smokers across Ontario. Currently, Lori is managing a Health System Research Fund related to e-cigarettes, which includes a panel study of youth and young adult vaping trends over time. Email Lori Diemert
Jolene Dubray, Research Officer
Jolene Dubray obtained her MSc in Community Health and Epidemiology from Dalhousie University. She has been a Research Officer at the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit since 2005. At OTRU Jolene has coordinated several evaluations related to the implementation and enforcement of provincial and local smoke-free policies; written content and provided statistical support to Strategy Monitoring Reports; supported several OTRU’s Knowledge and Evaluation Support projects; and, conducted assessments of the level of smoking cessation services provided by Ontario’s hospitals, dental health professionals and health care professionals. She has also managed research studies related to the effectiveness of MPOWER measures on smoking prevalence, and patterns of cigarillo use among young adults. Currently, Jolene is managing the HSRF-funded Research on Advancing Cessation Treatment (REACT) study. Email Jolene Dubray
Sonja Johnston, Communications Associate/Web Admin
Sonja Johnston is a Communications Associate at the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit and is currently the project coordinator for OTRU’s online course, Tobacco and Public Health: From Theory to Practice. She is also responsible for website administration, publication design, formatting and copyediting, designing infographics and marketing materials, and online survey design. Sonja has a BA from the University of Toronto and has worked in internet-related positions since 1996. Email Sonja Johnston
Emily Taylor, Research Officer
Emily Taylor is the Evaluation Coordinator with the Strategy Design and Evaluation Initiative (SDEI) at the University of Toronto. She has over ten years of experience in research and evaluation in the fields of international development, public health (tobacco, food policy, substance use) and strategy design. Recent projects that Emily has been involved in include: the design of an evaluation framework for the Municipal Drug Strategies Coordinators Network of Ontario; the development and evaluation of a food literacy measurement tool; the evaluation of the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge (HKPR) opioid response strategy; and research on government strategy design principles. Emily has been the Editorial Coordinator of the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation since 2010. Email Emily Taylor