Scientific Advisory Panel on Isotretinoin Risk Management (SAP-IRM)

Membership list and biographies

Neil Shear (Chair), MD, FRCPC
Head of Dermatology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Professor, Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Toronto Medical School
Toronto, Ontario

Dr. Neil Shear graduated with a degree in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto and earned his medical degree at McMaster University, Hamilton. Dr. Shear completed training in both internal medicine and dermatology recognized by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American Boards. He also completed a fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology, supported by the Medical Research Council of Canada, at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Dr. Shear joined the staff of Sunnybrook Hospital in 1984 and is now the Head of Dermatology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and is a Professor of Medicine & Pharmacology at the University of Toronto Medical School. Dr. Shear founded the Drug Safety Clinic at Sunnybrook in 1985 and was the founding chair of the Canadian Adverse Drug Reaction Advisory Committee (CADRAC) of Health Canada.

Dr. Shear has conducted numerous clinical trials in dermatology, from first in human early pharmacology studies to large randomized trials of novel therapeutics. Dr. Shear's main interest is in idiosyncratic drug reactions that involve the skin. He has published over 300 peer reviewed papers and numerous chapters and abstracts. His clinical interests are diverse, from rosacea and camouflage makeup to autoimmune blistering diseases.

Dr. Shear is a past president of the Canadian Society for Clinical Pharmacology and a recipient of the society's Distinguished Service Award. He is President of the Canadian Dermatology Foundation, and Secretary of the Canadian Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation. He was the founding editor of the Canadian Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and has served on the editorial boards of the Archives of Dermatology, Drug Safety, the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, and Journal Watch Dermatology. He is currently the President Elect of the Canadian Dermatology Association. In 2016 Dr. Shear was awarded a “Life Membership” from the Ontario Medical Association in recognition of his contributions to the association and medical care and knowledge.


Innie Chen, MD, MPH
Associate Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hopsital Research Institute
Staff Physician, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Newborn Care, The Ottawa Hospital
Ottawa, Ontario

Dr. Innie Chen is an Assistant Professor and Clinical Research Chair in Reproductive Population Health and Health Services in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Ottawa. Following her medical training at the University of British Columbia and residency specialist training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Alberta, she completed a Fellowship in Advanced Gynecologic Laparoscopy, Endometriosis, and Pelvic Pain, as well as a Master of Public Health at the University of British Columbia. She currently works at the Shirley E. Greenberg Women’s Health Centre at the Ottawa Hospital, where she has a subspecialty practice for women with complex gynecologic conditions and offers minimally invasive and advanced laparoscopic surgery options. Dr. Chen is a national leader in gynecologic surgical research. Her research on hysterectomy surgical practice in Canada is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Ontario Physicians’ Services Incorporated Foundation and has resulted in key partnerships with the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Her research is focused on issues surrounding equity of surgical care, surgical safety, and healthcare utilization for women with common uterine diseases, and it seeks to raise the quality of care for women’s gynecologic health.


Edith Guilbert, MD, MSc, CCFP, FCFP
Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Laval University
Member, Department of Public Health and Pediatrics, CHU de Québec
Québec, Québec

Dr. Edith Guilbert is a family physician and an epidemiologist with appointments as an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Laval University and a member of the Departments of Public Health and Pediatrics at the CHU de Québec. She has been active in Family Planning for almost 40 years and was involved in clinical and public health research in contraception, abortion and teenage pregnancy prevention. Dr. Guilbert is a founding member of the Contraception Awareness Project of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologist of Canada (SOGC). She co-chaired several committees of SOGC for the publication of guidelines on Contraception and Abortion. In Quebec, she piloted the implementation of the practice of contraception by registered habilitated nurses and is the lead author of the Protocole de contraception du Québec. As a result of her implications in family planning and public health, she was honoured with several honorific prices, among which the Mérite du Conseil interprofessionnel du Québec, in 2014.


Sandra Knowles, BscPharm, RPh, ACPR
Drug Information Pharmacist, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Toronto, Ontario

Sandra Knowles graduated from University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BScPhm) degree. She completed her hospital residency at Sunnybrook Hospital and went on to fulfill numerous clinical roles including specialties in geriatrics, psychiatry and drug information. For over 21 years, Sandra worked as the Drug Safety pharmacist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. From 2013-6, she was the Drug Policy Research Specialist with the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network at St. Michael’s Hospital. Sandra has returned to Sunnybrook as a drug information pharmacist. Sandra has published extensively on adverse drug reactions in peer-reviewed journals and has contributed to various book chapters, with over 100 publications to date.


Michele Ramien, MD
Assistant Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine, University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario

A junior Assistant Professor, Dr. Ramien has significant research experience both in basic and clinical science. During her Master’s in Pharmacology, she completed several published projects on the changes in innervation of the skin and spinal cord caused by injury. Dr. Ramien’s research endeavors continued as a medical student, resident, and fellow where she sought to apply her research training to clinically-oriented publications. During her fellowship year, she completed a prospective study on the impact of cosmetic camouflage on the quality of life of patients with visible skin disorders that was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
As a new staff, she has become involved in a number of projects including the development and validation of an Eczema Action Plan. With her colleagues in Plastic Surgery, they are developing a Spitz nevus registry to enable them to study histologic prognostic factors and outcomes and examining mTOR receptor expression and it’s implications in vascular anomalies. Dr. Ramien is a member of the multicenter Therapeutic Education for Atopic Dermatitis in Canada group. The study, “North American Study of Pediatric Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis: Setting Diagnostic Criteria, Systematic Review and Retrospective Cohort Analysis Comparing Outcomes of Common Treatments”, was initiated by her team in Ottawa but through Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance (PeDRA) they have been able to recruit collaborators and benefit from their collective experience.  They recently received seed funding for this grant through the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute Research Growth Award and a Team Grant from the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance.

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