Science advisory committee on health products containing cannabis: Membership list and biographies

Core members

Ad-hoc member

Core members

Boivin, Jean-François M.D., Sc.D.

Consulting physician, Quebec National Institute for Excellence in Health and Social Services; Professor Emeritus, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University; Researcher, Clinical Epidemiology, Jewish General Hospital.

Dr. Boivin is a physician with clinical training in substance abuse and opioid addiction. He practised family medicine in various substance abuse and rehabilitation clinics from 2010-2017, has been a consulting physician in the Montreal Public Health Network from 1986-2018, and is currently a consulting physician at the Quebec National Institute for Excellence in Health and Social Services. In these roles, Dr. Boivin's patients have included occasional cannabis users as well as users with major addictions.

Dr. Boivin is also a public health specialist and has been a professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McGill University for over 40 years. He holds a Master's in Epidemiology and Doctorate of Science in Epidemiology from Harvard University. Dr. Boivin's research interests include pharmaco-epidemiology, public health, evaluation of emergency services, evaluation of health services, screening for chronic diseases and the health of the homeless. He has also conducted several epidemiological studies on substance abuse. Dr. Boivin was a member of the Advisory Board for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, and on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addictions.

Brown, Paula PhD (Co-Chair)

Director of Applied Research, Natural Health & Food Products, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT); Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, University of British Columbia.

Dr. Brown is a researcher and the Director of Applied Research, Natural Health & Food products at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). She is also a Canada Research Chair in Phytoanalytics. Dr. Brown's research program at BCIT is focused on the basic and applied science underlying natural health product (NHP) quality, manufacturing processes and the roles that NHPs can play in human health, well-being, nutrition, longevity and society. She also focuses on the development and utilization of analytical methods to characterize the phytochemicals in plants, and explores relationships and interactions within the plant, with the environment and in human health. The overarching goal of this research is to advance natural product quality and safety. In addition, Dr. Brown has been dedicated to developing novel tools for characterizing botanical products to support both preclinical and clinical studies. Dr. Brown holds a Masters in Science from Simon Fraser University and a PhD in Natural Product Chemistry from the University of British Columbia. She has served as an advisory board member for various organizations and associations, such as the Canadian Health Food Association, and has been engaged by Health Canada, the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA), the United States National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements and National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health to serve on numerous committees.

Fitzcharles, Mary-Ann MB ChB FRCP

Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology and the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at McGill University.

Dr. Fitzcharles is a Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada certified Rheumatologist and Pain Medicine Physician, and has been in active clinical practice since 1982. She is also an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology and the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at McGill University, with an active research program which has been focused in the past two decades on understanding the clinical relevance of pain related to rheumatic diseases. She has been particularly interested in the role that cannabinoids might play in management of rheumatic diseases and patients with chronic pain conditions. Notably, Dr. Fitzcharles is a leader in both the Canadian and the international rheumatology community regarding issues related to medical cannabis. She has over 150 peer-reviewed publications, of which approximately 26 are cannabinoid-related.

Huntsman, Richard M.D. FRCP (Co-Chair)

Clinical Associate Professor and Consultant Pediatric Neurologist, Department of Pediatrics, University of Saskatchewan.

Richard Huntsman is a pediatric neurologist and researcher with an interest in how medical cannabis can be used to help treat pediatric neurological disorders, particularly drug resistant epilepsy (DRE). He is actively involved in this research area at both national and international levels, and has led many related research projects and clinical trials. Notably, Dr. Huntsman played a leading role in two studies investigating the use of cannabis for symptom relief in children with cancer pain and another on pediatric headaches. He also designed and was the lead investigator of the Cannabidiol in Children with Refractory Epileptic Encephalopathy (CARE-E) study; a multisite Canadian open label dosage escalation study. Dr. Huntsman is on the executive committee for the Canadian Childhood Cannabinoid Clinical Trials Network as well as the Cannabinoid Research Initiative of Saskatchewan.

Kelly, Lauren E PhD, MSc, CCRP

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics & Child Health, University of Manitoba; Director of Clinical Trials, Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba; Clinical Trialist at the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation; Scientific Director of the Canadian Childhood Cannabinoid Clinical Trials (C4T) platform, an academic partnership of parents, researchers and healthcare providers.

Dr. Kelly is a Certified Clinical Research Professional with expertise in pediatric cannabis clinical trials. She has a very active research program and her research interests include medical cannabis exposure in pregnancy/breastmilk, as well as cannabis products used for health purposes in children and adolescents. Dr. Kelly is leading a cannabis team research grant funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research on Cannabis for symptom management in children with cancer: a demonstration project by the Canadian Childhood Cannabinoid Clinical Trials (C4T) platform and is the principal investigator on CAN-CDH, a clinical trial evaluating dose escalations of a cannabis-based product in adolescents with chronic daily headache. She is also the principal investigator on Canadian Pediatric Surveillance Program (partnership between the Canadian Paediatric Society and the Public Health Agency of Canada) project to evaluate serious adverse drug reactions to medical cannabis products. Dr. Kelly completed her PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Western Ontario in 2014, followed by fellowships at the Hospital for Sick Children and Mount Sinai Hospital. She has also participated on a number of committees, including KidsCAN Trials, Maternal Infant Child Youth Health Research Network and the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse, and has chaired the Canadian Childhood Cannabinoid Clinical Trials Committee. In addition, she is an expert member of a pan-European clinical trials network in pharmacovigilance (Connect4Children).

Le Foll, Bernard PhD, MD

Clinician-scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). He is the Head of Translational Addiction Research Laboratory within the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute of CAMH and Lead of the Clinical Research Innovation Service within the Addiction Division at CAMH. He has been in various medical leadership roles at CAMH over the last few years. Head of the Alcohol Research and Treatment Clinic within CAMH; Professor, Family and Community Medicine, Psychiatry, Pharmacology, University of Toronto.

Dr. Le Foll is an experienced clinician-scientist who is specialized in drug addiction and the cannabinoid system. His research program has involved the cannabinoid system for approximately 20 years, and during this time, he has examined this system from both neurobiological and medication development perspectives. He has tested multiple cannabinoid drugs in various animal models of addiction and has undertaken epidemiological studies evaluating the impacts of cannabis on various populations. Currently, Dr. Le Foll is exploring the medical use of cannabis for various disorders.

Dr. Le Foll holds a Masters and PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Paris, and has completed postdoctoral training in pharmacology at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Le Foll has published over 200 peer-reviewed publications and has received numerous awards and research grants for this work. Dr. Le Foll is also involved in many organizations, for instance, as scientific Advisor on Cannabis for the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, member of Cochrane, Co-Chair of the national Continuing Medical Education (CME) of Canadian Consortium for the Investigation on Cannabinoids and Co-Principle investigator of the Canadian Research Initiative on Substance Misuse funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Bryant, Patti, Patient Advocate

Patti has extensive lived experience through her daughter who is on the severe end of the Dravet spectrum of disorders. Her daughter has used cannabis for medical purposes for seizure control since 2012, and since then Patti has been very interested in various related products available and their associated research.

Patti is currently involved in many organizations, particularly in patient advocacy roles. For example, she is Chair, Webmaster and Research Director for Dravet Canada, which educates families and the public about Dravet spectrum disorders by providing conferences, family retreats, and lectures to the medical community, and collecting and disseminating information on this topic. She is also a member of the Canadian Epilepsy Association, Cannabis Committee, and is active with various other patient groups.

Caulkett, Nigel DVM, MVetSc, Diplomate ACVA

Professor of Veterinary Anesthesiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary.

Dr. Caulkett is a clinician researcher, whose research has focused on the development of anesthetic, analgesic, and sedative techniques for a variety of veterinary patients. His clinical work focuses on small animals and horses, and his research efforts are primarily focused on farm animals, laboratory animals and wildlife. Dr. Caulkett has published over 30 peer-reviewed publications and one textbook in the past 10 years and is well recognized internationally for his contributions to the field of wildlife capture and handling. Dr Caulkett is a volunteer with Academics Without Borders and currently works on projects in Southern and Northern India. He has participated in several committees, including at the provincial level (e.g. AVMA animal welfare committee, Chair of the AVMA Wildlife Committee) and federal government levels (National Animal Health Strategy, CVMA subcommittee on swine welfare). He currently serves on the Executive of the Canadian Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians the Executive of the University of Calgary Faculty Association and the Veterinary Advisory Board for Jurox pharmaceuticals. He also currently the Chair of the Canadian Council on Animal Care Committee to revise the Guidelines on the use of Wildlife in Research.

Hurnik, Daniel DVM, MSc

Chair of the Department of Health Management, Professor - Swine Health Management, Director of Animal Resources, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island.

Dr. Hurnik is a veterinarian who works mainly with food animals, particularly in pork production. His research interests include swine health management, and health products that have application to veterinary medicine, particularly in disease control and antimicrobial alternatives. Dr. Hurnik has conducted feed and drug trials, and also has experience in epidemiology and biostatistics. Of note, Dr. Hurnik had experience in a national context, particularly with the Pork Council on various committees including Quality Assurance and Traceability.

Ad-hoc member

Mathews, Karol Ann DVM, DVSc, Diplomate ACVECC

Professor Emerita, Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.

Dr. Mathews was Service Chief of Emergency & Critical Care Medicine, OVC, 1989-2009, President of the Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Society (VECCS), 2002-2004, and Chair of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Global Pain Council - Guidelines. She is a recipient of the 2002 ACVECC Scientific Achievement Award, and the 2002-2004 University of Guelph Presidential Distinguished Professor Award. Her research interests include emergency and critical care medicine and pain management. Dr. Mathews has served as a member or chair on numerous committees, including the board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine. She is Co-author of 73 scientific journal publications (19 pain focused) and 28 chapters (12 pain focused) in several veterinary textbooks, the Editor and Co-author of the Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Manual 3rd edn 2018, LifeLearn, Guelph, Ont., and Co-author of Analgesia & Anesthesia for the Ill or Injured Cat & Dog, K. Mathews, M. Sinclair, A. Steele, T. Grubb. 2018 Wiley.

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