Research Ethics Board: About the Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada REB

Research involving humans can greatly benefit human society, but it must be done in a way that protects and respects the research participants. The Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Research Ethics Board (REB) was created to provide this oversight. It reviews all research from Health Canada and PHAC that involves humans (including living individuals, human biological materials and information from or about humans) to ensure that it meets the highest ethical standards, and that the greatest protection is provided to research participants. Specifically, the Health Canada-PHAC REB reviews all research involving humans that is:

  • Carried out by Health Canada or PHAC (intramural);
  • Performed by Health Canada or PHAC in collaboration with external researchers;
  • Carried out on Health Canada or PHAC premises; or
  • Conducted under contract to Health Canada or PHAC.

The REB may also review research that is funded by Health Canada or PHAC through grants and contributions to external researchers who do not have access to another research ethics board.

Researchers must obtain ethics approval in writing before the research begins.

All research is also subject to continuing ethics review by the REB throughout the life of the project. To maintain a valid ethics certificate, applicants are required to submit annual reports to the REB, seek approval for amendments to the research protocol, and report any unanticipated issues or events.

The REB is guided by the principles of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, which sets the standard for research ethics boards in Canada.

On this page

Mandate and scope

REB mandate and reporting

The Health Canada-PHAC REB serves as an independent ethics review board to help ensure that all proposed or ongoing research involving human participants or communities carried out by, funded by, or otherwise under the auspices of Health Canada or PHAC, meets the highest ethical standards. In so doing, it helps ensure that safeguards are implemented to provide the greatest protection to human participants and/or communities. The REB makes recommendations to Health Canada or PHAC as to whether research projects should be approved, rejected, modified, or terminated. The REB reviews applications in accordance with the considerations set forth in the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans as the minimum standard, and other applicable policies and norms.

Health Canada's REB became operational on September 1, 2002. On April 1, 2010, the REB became a joint board for both PHAC and Health Canada. The REB reports to the Deputy Minister of Health and the President of PHAC, who jointly appoint REB members, approve REB procedures and authorize research to be initiated or terminated. The Deputy Minister and President have delegated their decisional authority functions to a senior official within Health Canada and PHAC respectively, each of whom is referred to as the Decisional Authority in Research Ethics.

Scope of REB review

The Health Canada-PHAC REB shall review all research involving human subjects in circumstances where the research is:

  • Carried out by Health Canada or PHAC employees in the course of their employment;
  • Carried out on Health Canada or PHAC premises, or involves technical or consultation support including the use of equipment, laboratories or other facilities belonging to HC or PHAC;
  • Undertaken in a collaboration or partnership between Health Canada or PHAC and external researchers; or
  • Carried out under contract with Health Canada or PHAC.

The REB may also review research that is funded by Health Canada or PHAC through grants and contributions to external researchers who do not have access to another TCPS-compliant REB.

Research involving humans as "research participants" includes research with:

  • Living individuals;
  • Human remains, cadavers, embryos or fetuses;
  • Human biological materials such as tissues, organs, blood, plasma, serum, DNA, RNA, proteins, cells, hair, nail clippings, feces, urine, saliva and other body fluids; and
  • Information from or about humans, such as information obtained through questionnaires, or from records of nonliving humans that are not in the public domain.

For the purposes of this REB, research is defined as an activity designed to test a hypothesis or answer a specific question, permit conclusions to be drawn and develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge through the use of scientific methods, standardized protocols, systematic collection or analysis of data, or other forms of inquiry. Research may rely upon quantitative methods or qualitative approaches. It also includes experimental development of new products or processes.

Examples of activities that do not meet this definition of research and therefore do not require REB review include public opinion research, public consultations, research using publicly available information, and routine public health investigations and surveillance activities. Some boundaries between research and non-research activities may be difficult to define. Whenever there is uncertainty as to whether a proposed activity requires REB review, applicants should consult the REB Secretariat or (for PHAC researchers) the PHAC Office of the Chief Science Officer (OCSO).

Annual reports

The REB Secretariat produces an annual report for the Deputy Minister of Health and the President of PHAC, summarizing the activities of the Board and the Secretariat during the fiscal year. The reports include details on the number and profile of submissions, outcome of REB reviews, and approval times.

Committee structure and responsibilities of members


The REB membership is intended to ensure that the REB has the expertise and independence essential for conducting competent research ethics reviews. The REB consists of nine regular and nine alternate members with expertise in the following areas:

  • Two members with knowledge/expertise in research ethics;
  • One member with knowledge/expertise in law;
  • One member from Health Canada with methodological knowledge/expertise in Health Canada research;
  • One member from PHAC with methodological knowledge/expertise in PHAC research;
  • One member external to Health Canada and PHAC with broad methodological knowledge/expertise in both Health Canada and PHAC research;
  • One member with broad expertise in public health;
  • One member recruited from the community (general population) served by Health Canada and PHAC; and
  • One member from the Indigenous community.

Members are appointed by the Deputy Minister of Health and the President of PHAC. The mandate for each member is for three years and is renewable.
All REB member positions are voluntary and no financial remuneration is offered. However, travel, accommodation expenses, parking and other authorized REB meeting expenses are reimbursed through the REB Secretariat.

Responsibilities of REB members

The REB members review the ethical acceptability of research projects, reflecting on, for example, potential risks and benefits; respect for, and protection of, research participants; and relevance and rigour of the research.
The following expectations, qualities and skills are required of all members to ensure quorum and optimal group dynamic:

  • Be available and willing to commit time for board meetings (including preparation time);
  • Participate actively in discussions with other REB members, providing input to research applications/protocols and input in drafting REB documents and procedures;
  • Be a team player – present views and opinions clearly and directly, contribute constructively to debate and possess skills that promote working effectively together;
  • Listen attentively and respectfully to other members; and
  • Consider complex issues thoughtfully and objectively.

REB meeting attendance

The full REB meets monthly (except for August), either by teleconference or face-to-face in Ottawa. Quorum requires that at least five members (regular or alternate) be present, including one member knowledgeable in ethics, one member knowledgeable in law, one member from the community, and two members with expertise in relevant research disciplines, fields and methodologies covered by the REB. All regular and alternate members are invited to the two-day meeting held each June, which includes a focus on REB member training in addition to the regular research ethics review work.

All REB members (regular and alternate) are also expected to participate on a rotating basis in delegated review meetings (typically three or four per year). Delegated review meetings are held weekly by teleconference (biweekly in July and August) and consist of the Chair (or Deputy Chair) and one other REB member.


Regular members

Chair and Researcher External to Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada

  • Barbara McGillivray, MD, FRCPC, FCCMG
    Chair, Health Canada-PHAC Research Ethics Board

    Dr. McGillivray was a professor and clinical geneticist in the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia. Dr. McGillivray's research interests include inherited cancers (breast, ovarian and colon cancer), clinical genetics, and prenatal diagnosis. She has been involved for many years in the field of ethics of research involving humans. She was a member of the Tri-Council Working Group for the Code of Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, a member of the Standing Committee on Ethics of Medical Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). She is also an experienced REB Chair, and has been on both biomedical and social science REBs. Dr. McGillivray was a council member of National Council on Ethics in Human Research for several years, and continues as a member of the Evaluation Committee. She has participated in many site visits to evaluate research ethics boards and most recently, in a series of visits to evaluate the CIHR Guidelines for Health Research involving Aboriginal Peoples.


  • Jean-Frédéric Ménard, LL.B., B.C.L.

    Me Jean-Frédéric Ménard is a professor at the Faculty of Law of Université de Sherbrooke since 2017. He teaches the civil law of persons to undergraduates and the organization of the healthcare system in the Health Law and Policy graduate programme. He is a member of the Quebec Bar since 2007. Upon graduating from McGill, Me Ménard served as a law clerk to the Honourable Justice Louise Charron of the Supreme Court of Canada. Before joining the Université de Sherbrooke Me Ménard worked as an ethicist with the Centre for Applied Ethics of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal.

    Me Ménard holds a BA in philosophy (Université Laval, 2001) and law degrees from McGill University (BCL / LLB, 2005) and the University of Oxford (Mansfield College, BCL, 2012). He is completing a PhD in law on the ethics of neonatal critical care at University College London.

Health Canada Researcher

  • Meredith Curren, Ph.D.

    Dr. Meredith Curren is a subject matter expert for human biomonitoring of environmental chemicals in vulnerable populations in Canada. She received her Ph.D. in Analytical and Environmental Chemistry from Carleton University in 1999, and she has nearly 20 years of experience in academic, government, and industrial research settings designing and applying a broad range of methodologies for the measurement of chemicals in people and the environment.

    Dr. Curren's work portfolio at Health Canada has included scientific evaluation and results dissemination for maternal biomonitoring projects conducted through the Northern Contaminants Program (NCP), the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP), and the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS). Dr. Curren has been a member of the NCP Human Health Review Team and the Northern Scientific Training Program (NSTP) committee, has contributed a short communication on small population sizes and sampling considerations in the North, and has completed three comparative assessments of human contaminant concentrations across Northern and Southern Canada, the Eastern and Western Arctic, and against maternal data from Mexico. Dr. Curren was also the Health Canada Project Lead for a biomonitoring study examining newcomer women from South and East Asia in two Canadian cities. Most recently, Dr. Curren was the lead editor for the human health assessment of the fourth Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report.

Public Health Agency of Canada Researcher

  • Stephanie Booth, B.Sc., D. Phil.

    Stephanie Booth is the Public Health Agency of Canada's senior research scientist on prion diseases and has a laboratory at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. She completed her Bachelor's degree in Microbiology at University College London, followed by a Doctorate in Biochemistry and Virology at the University of Oxford. Her primary research interests include developing innovative molecular techniques for surveillance and diagnosis of human prion diseases (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease) and understanding the molecular mechanisms by which infectious prions kill brain cells.

Public Health Community Member

  • Kue Young, CM, MD, FRCPC, D.Phil.

    Kue Young completed his five-year term as Dean of the School of Public Health, University of Alberta in July, 2018. He has previously been Professor and TransCanada Chair in Aboriginal Health at the University of Toronto, and Head of the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. A public health physician (MD McGill, MSc Toronto) and biological anthropologist (DPhil Oxford), he has worked as a primary care physician, health administrator, and academic researcher in Indigenous communities in northern Canada and other circumpolar regions.

    Dr. Young's major research interest is in northern and Indigenous health, particularly in the prevention and control of emerging chronic diseases, and more recently in community-based primary health care. He has published seven books, including the text Population Health: Concepts and Methods (by Oxford University Press). His research has been recognized by the Senior Investigator award of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, induction as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2009, and Member of the Order of Canada in 2010 for his lifetime contributions to contributing to improving the health of Indigenous people.


  • Nancy Walton, B.Sc.N., Ph.D.

    Dr. Nancy Walton is the Associate Dean, Student Affairs in the Yeates School of Graduate Studies, and an Associate Professor in the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, at Ryerson University. At Ryerson since 2003, she has previously served as Director of the School of Nursing, as Director of eLearning, and as the Chair of the Ryerson University Research Ethics Board. In 2016-17 she was seconded to the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities as Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister. Dr. Walton also serves as the Chair of the Women's College Hospital Research Ethics Board.

    Dr. Walton has a PhD in Nursing with completion of the Collaborative Program in Bioethics from the University of Toronto (2003) and an undergraduate degree in nursing science from Ryerson (1992). She has published and presented on priority setting and decision-making in cardiac surgery, ethical considerations of internet-based research, research ethics board composition, and ethical and legal considerations in research on children and adolescents and most recently on ethical issues arising in the Ebola virus disease outbreak as well as the ethical concerns and opportunities of new mobile technologies. Her primary areas of research and interest are the experiences of parenting children with disabilities, the ethical considerations in the use of technologies and innovations in healthcare and moral courage.

    Dr. Walton is a longstanding member with expertise in ethics on the Research Ethics Board at the Hospital for Sick Children, a founding member of the Research Ethics Board at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, a scientific member of the REB at Women's College Hospital and remains an ad hoc member of the Ryerson University REB. She was a previous member of the National Council on Ethics in Human Research (NCEHR) and is a member of both CAREB (Canadian Association of Research Ethics Boards) and PRIMR (Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research). In 2016, she received the CAREB Distinguished Service Award.

    She is the Canadian author of the textbook Ethics and Issues in Contemporary Nursing (3rd edition) and is the co-editor of the textbook Leading and Managing in Nursing (2019).

  • Glenn G. Griener, Ph.D.

    Glenn G. Griener is a philosopher whose primary areas of scholarly activity are applied ethics and the philosophy of science, with a particular focus on the issues arising in health care and the ethics of biomedical research. He has conducted research into the privacy and confidentiality concerns arising from the development of electronic health records. Dr. Griener has been asked to provide advice on these issues by both the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services. He has also participated in or led several bodies developing national policy on research ethics.

    Dr. Griener has a B.Sc. in physics (Loyola University, New Orleans) and an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Western Ontario. He retired from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Alberta in 2019. During his long career at the University Dr. Griener enjoyed joint appointments with the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, the Faculty of Nursing and the School of Public Health.

Community Member - General Population

  • Sandra Romain, B.Sc., Ph.D.

    Dr. Sandra Romain completed a direct-entry Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in Medical Anthropology in 2016, where she was the recipient of both CIHR and Ontario Graduate Scholarships. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Medical Anthropology from the University of Toronto Scarborough.

    Her community-based research in Nunavut considers how policy, Inuit culture and Indigenous language preservation legislation influence pharmacy health care. She has published and presented extensively on a variety of issues including peer-reviewed articles on Indigenous health literacy, pharmaceutical policy, immunization uptake, Arctic One Health initiatives and prenatal care. She has taught undergraduate courses at the University of Toronto and Trent University. Dr. Romain currently holds a position as a Senior Policy Analyst at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

Community Member - Indigenous Population

  • Meeka Otway

    As an Inuit woman who grew up in the Northwest Territories (Nunavut), and who now lives in Edmonton, she appreciates and understands many of the challenges indigenous peoples face, both in rural and urban settings. In addition she can very much appreciate the value of research in advancing the health and improving social determinants of health for indigenous peoples as well as some of the unique challenges in ensuring that the research takes place in an ethical and culturally sensitive manner.

    Ms. Otway has experience working with and representing Indigenous peoples locally, nationally, and internationally. Currently she is the President of Inuit Edmontonmiut, (the Inuit society of Edmonton), and serves on the national Board for Inuit women, Pauktuutit. She was recently appointed by the Minister of Indigenous Relations in the Province of Alberta to the positon of First Nation Economic Security Council for Alberta Government. She has participated in many national and international conferences, including most recently on the national roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. She continues to work as a Community Liaison Officer for the Indigenous & Global Health Research Group for the University of Alberta.

Alternate members


  • Marie-Ève Couture Ménard, D.C.L., LL.M., LL.B

    Marie-Eve Couture Ménard is a member of the Barreau du Québec and an assistant professor at the Faculty of Law of the Université de Sherbrooke. She has worked for many years at the Centre de recherche en droit public of the Université de Montréal, doing research in the fields of biomedical research ethics and public health law. She also did an internship at Ménard Martin avocats, a law firm specialised in medical liability.

    Mrs. Couture Ménard completed a Bachelor in Law and a Master in Law and Biotechnology at the Université de Montréal, under the supervision of Prof. Thérèse Leroux. She also completed a Doctorate in Civil Law at McGill University under the supervision of Professor Lara Khoury. Her thesis (2013) examines the public accountability of public-private collaborations occurring in the public health sector in Canada.

    She has been a member of Research Ethics Boards for many years, notably a member of the Research Ethics Board in Health of the Université de Montréal.

  • Melanie McPhail, J.D., LL.M.

    Ms. McPhail is currently a legal researcher working for the Institute of Health Economics, focusing on the development of, access to, and funding of expensive treatments for rare diseases. Previously, she has worked as a policy analyst for the Department of Canadian Heritage on the international affairs team and a course instructor at Western University in the Faculty of Health Sciences teaching health policy and advanced health policy. Ms. McPhail received her Bachelors degree from Queen's University, where she majored in geography and environmental studies, and her Juris Doctor degree from Western University. After completing her JD, Ms. McPhail completed her Masters of Laws (LLM) from Western University under the supervision of Dr. Jacob Shelley. Her masters research focused on the intersection of public health and the law, analyzing the constitutionality of advertising restrictions on recreational cannabis in Canada.

Researcher External to Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada

  • Stuart G. Nicholls, B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc., M.Res., Ph.D.

    Dr. Stuart Nicholls is the Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) Facilitator and a Senior Clinical Research Associate at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI). Having trained in both the basic and social sciences his research sits at the intersection of ethics, social science, health policy, and health services research. Dr. Nicholls takes an empirical approach to studying challenges in research ethics, research methods (including trial design), as well as patient-oriented research and patient engagement.

    He has published widely on the topic of informed consent, population health ethics, as well as challenges raised by more pragmatic ('real world') research approaches. He is also co-author of the Oxford University Press book Childhood Obesity: Ethical and Policy Issues. Dr. Nicholls holds several editorial positions, including posts with the Research Ethics journal and the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics.

  • Lehana Thabane, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., EMISI, FASA, FSCT, FCAHS

    Dr. Lehana Thabane is a Professor of Biostatistics and Interim Chair of the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact; Associate member of the Departments of Pediatrics and Anesthesia, School of Nursing, and School of Rehabilitation Science, in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University (Hamilton, ON). He is also the Director of Biostatistics at St Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. He is a former member of the Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics, and has served as a member of the Hamilton Integrated Research Ethics Board for almost 20 years. He is an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute, Fellow of the American Statistical Association, Fellow of the Society for Clinical Trials, and Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

    Dr. Thabane's research interests include clinical trials, pragmatic trials, pilot and feasibility trials; reporting of trials; systematic reviews; and mentorship. He is a member of several professional societies that include the International Statistical Institute, the American Statistical Association, the International Society of Clinical Biostatistics, the Society for Clinical Trials, and the Statistical Society of Canada. He is member of the Working Groups for the CONSORT extension to pilot trials, and the CONSORT extension to trials using cohorts and routinely collected health data. Having mentored over 100 graduate students and junior faculty, Dr. Thabane has won several teaching and mentorship awards; he is also the clinical trials mentor for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and CIHR Drug Safety and Effectiveness Cross-disciplinary Training (DSECT) Program. He has co-authored over 700 peer-reviewed publications.

Health Canada Researcher

  • Madzouka Kokolo, M.Sc., M.A.

    Madzouka Kokolo is academically trained both in Epidemiology (Master of Science, University of Ottawa) and in Public Ethics (Master of Arts, Saint Paul University). She has been involved in health science projects in academic, governmental and non-profit contexts, locally, nationally, and internationally (e.g., Canadian Society for International Health, United Nations Population Fund). Her M.Sc. thesis quantitatively analyzed intersections between methods and ethics considerations in the design of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis trials, which involved populations in situations of vulnerability. Her research contributed to increasing awareness and clearing misconceptions on that (then) novel intervention in the community (e.g., collaboration with the Canadian AIDS Society).

    Having previous work experience as a Methodologist (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute), Ms. Kokolo has extensive knowledge and experience in clinical research designs, research conduct and methodological assessments, and is a published author. She is currently working as an Epidemiologist in Health Canada's Health Products and Food Branch, routinely conducting critical appraisals of scientific evidence to support regulatory decision-making. She also chairs the Abstract Review Committee of the Health Canada Science Forum.

Public Health Agency of Canada Researcher

  • Guillaume Poliquin, MD, Ph.D.

    Dr. Poliquin completed his medical degree at Western University prior to pursuing a paediatrics residency at the University of Manitoba, followed by a fellowship in paediatric infectious diseases also at the University of Manitoba. After residency, Dr. Poliquin joined the Special Pathogens Division at the Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) for a PhD focused on Ebola virus. He has since assumed the role of Medical Advisor to the Scientific Director General at the NML. This part-time role is rounded out with a paediatric infectious diseases consultative practice in Winnipeg as well as general paediatrics practice in remote communities in northern Manitoba and Nunavut. Finally, Dr. Poliquin has a research portfolio primarily focused on vaccine research.

Public Health Community Member

  • Michael Wray Clarke, Ph.D.

    Dr. Clarke is an adjunct professor in the Interfaculty Program in Public Health at Western University where his teaching focusses on global health practice and research. He is a Board member of the Middlesex-London Public Health Unit as a representative of the Ontario government. As well, he is a member of the Board of the Southwest Middlesex Health Centre and a member of the Quality, Patient Safety and Risk Management Committee of the Middlesex Hospital Alliance. He is an Associate Editor of Globalization and Health, a BioMed Central journal.

    Dr. Clarke was the inaugural Director of the Global Health Policy Program Area at the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa where he founded the Advisory Committee on Research Ethics and served as Chair for two years. In this capacity he worked with the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research to develop a CORE module on the ethics of multi-jurisdictional research.

    Previously, he was a Professor in the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry where his research focussed on the molecular genetics of African trypanosomes. He also served as Chair of the University Council on Animal Care for three years and served as Chair for many site visits and assessments at university research facilities on behalf of the Canadian Council on Animal Care.

    Dr. Clarke's formative years were in Sierra Leone where he served as a CUSO co-operant as a teacher and researcher. He has a PhD from the Department of Pathology of the University of Guelph.


  • Stéphane P. Ahern, M.A. (Philosophy), MD, Ph.D., FRCPC

    Dr. Stéphane P. Ahern is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Université de Montréal in the Faculty of Medicine. He is a specialist in general internal medicine and adult critical care. Since 2007, he has served as Chair or Vice-Chair of the Research Ethics Board (REB) at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital and now at CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Ile-de-Montréal - REBs operating in fields at the forefront of stem cell transplantation, psychiatry, advanced ophthalmologic therapy and oncology, among others. He was Chair of the Standing Scientific Committee on Entry on the List of Medications of the Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) of Quebec for several years, during which time he was interested in responsibly bringing innovation to the fields of oncology and rare diseases.

    Dr. Ahern holds a Master's degree in Philosophy from the Université de Sherbrooke and a PhD in Clinical Sciences, also from the Université de Sherbrooke, where the theme of his research was assessing the capacity to consent to treatment.

  • Julie Toole, RM, MHSc

    Julie Toole holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Development from Trent University, a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery from Ryerson University, and a Master of Health Sciences degree in Medical Sciences, Bioethics from the University of Toronto. She has worked as a Registered Midwife in Toronto, where her practice focused largely on serving uninsured clients and the urban Indigenous community and currently works as a Quality & Risk Management Specialist at the Association of Ontario Midwives. Her particular areas of interest include management of adverse events, outbreaks and pandemics, clinical ethics, privacy, and mental health; clinical areas of interest include equity, informed choice, and prenatal genetic screening. Ms. Toole currently co-leads two ethics task forces, one focused on ethical issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the other on the creation of a code of ethics for midwives in Ontario. She supervises both midwifery undergraduate students and graduate students in the fields of bioethics and public health.

Community Member - General Population

  • Janaki Jayanthan, MPH

    Janaki Jayanthan is a Senior Primary Care Program Developer (Vancouver Island) with the Primary Care Division of the British Columbia Ministry of Health. In her current role she supports the implementation of Urgent and Primary Care Centres and Community Health Centres as part of provincial efforts towards team-based primary and community care. Ms. Jayanthan's passion and appreciation for research ethics began while supporting the work of the Conjoint Faculties and Conjoint Health Research Ethics Boards at the University of Calgary over a four-year period. As a Research Ethics Advisor, she worked alongside researchers, the REB Chairs and members, and her administrator colleagues to navigate complex issues in the protection of participants in research, laying the foundation for a lasting interest in the field.

    Ms. Jayanthan has contributed to public health research and community-based projects in Canada and abroad in diverse areas such as the experiences of marginalized groups in self-managing their chronic conditions in Vancouver, patient reported measures of outpatient care quality in Sri Lanka, antibiotic knowledge and use in central Mexico and household water treatment in Eastern Bolivia. Ms. Jayanthan holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Calgary and a Masters of Public Health (Global Health) from Simon Fraser University.

Community Member - Indigenous Population

  • Kathleen Makela, B.A., LL.B.

    Kathleen Makela is a Métis born in Alberta and now living in Saskatoon. She is a descent of Old Man Beaulieu from Fort Resolution (Deninu), NWT, on her mother's side, and Finnish on her father's side (he is a first generation Canadian). Deeply committed to improving the socio-economic conditions of Indigenous people through access to equitable, culturally relevant and responsive education and legal systems, Ms. Makela holds a BA interdisciplinary honors degree with distinction from Saint Thomas University and a law degree from the University of New Brunswick. Upon graduation Ms. Makela returned west to work at University of Saskatchewan, first with the Native Law Centre of Canada and then with the Aboriginal Students' Centre. Responsible for the development and delivery of Indigenous student retention programming on campus, she also taught for many years as a sessional lecturer with Indigenous Studies. She is currently a program manager with The Gordon Foundation. Ms. Makela has had the good fortune to work with many traditional knowledge keepers over the years and she appreciates the importance of spiritual teachings and ceremonies.

Become a member

The Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada Research Ethics Board welcomes membership applications from interested individuals at any time. If there are no openings, applications will be kept on file for future consideration.

Current opportunities

There are no openings at this time.


Individuals who would like to apply to become an REB member should send their curriculum vitae along with a covering letter outlining their interest and how they meet the criteria to:

Dr. Gregory Huyer
Manager, Health Canada-PHAC REB Secretariat
Tel : 613-941-5199

We thank all those who apply.

Only applicants chosen for an interview will be contacted.

Contact us

Health Canada-PHAC Research Ethics Board Secretariat
70 Colombine Driveway, Room 941C, PL: 0909C
Brooke Claxton Building, Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9

Telephone: 613-941-5199
Facsimile: 613-941-9093

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