Members of the Health Canada-Public Health Agency of Canada Research  Ethics Board

Regular Members

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

Barbara McGillivray, MD, FRCPC, FCCMG

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

Public Health Community Member



Nancy Walton, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Dr. Nancy Walton is Director and Associate Professor in the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing. From 2013-2016 she served a three-year term as the Director of eLearning for Ryerson University and was also the Chair of the Ryerson University Research Ethics Board from 2004-2013. In 2016-17 she was seconded to the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development as a Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister. She 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.

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).

She is the Canadian author of the textbook "Ethics and Issues in Contemporary Nursing" (3rd edition, Nelson, 2017) and the co-author of an upcoming open educational resource entitled "Critical Thinking for Nurses" (2018).

Community Member - General Population

Aïssata Sako, B.A., CRP

Mrs. Aïssata Sako B.A., CRP, is a Montreal based Research professional. She works as a Clinical research coordinator at Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center. When not involved in research projects investigating and evaluating services and care for vulnerable populations (newcomers, allophones, asylum seekers, adolescents with mental health issues), she is very active with different community organization such as le Groupe d'entraide Maternelle (GEM - RPP), for which she is an Administrative board member and international non-profit organization that promote reproductive health. Her background in sociology of health and clinical research has given her an expertise in research ethics and a sensibility to the importance of informed consent procedures in research involving human subjects. She is excited to join the REB as member of the community. Mrs. Sako has a B.A. Honours with distinction from Bishop's University.

Community Member - Aboriginal Population

Carla Moore, MA

Carla Moore is a member of the Mi'kmaq Nation. She has a background in nutrition, health policy and Indigenous health research. She is the Director of the Atlantic Aboriginal Health Research Program and National Coordinator of the Poverty Action Research Project at Dalhousie University.

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 policy analyst for the Department of Canadian Heritage, international affairs team. Prior to starting her career as a public servant, Ms. McPhail was an instructor at Western University in the Faculty of Health Sciences where she taught 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 a Clinical Investigator and Methodologist at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute and Affiliate Investigator 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' research interests include public health ethics, genetics, population screening, research using routinely-collected data, and empirical bioethics.

He has published widely on the topic of informed consent for population screening, and was a member of the Newborn Screening Ontario Advisory Committee on the storage and secondary use of dried bloodspots. He is also co-author of the Oxford University Press book "Childhood Obesity: Ethical and Policy Issues". Dr. Nicholls was a member of the Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre (CCTCC)/Health Canada working group on developing a pan-Canadian accreditation system for Research Ethics Boards reviewing clinical trials and is Associate Editor for the journal "Research Ethics" and Section Editor for the journal "BMC Medical Ethics" (section: Ethics in Public Health, Medical Law, and Health Policy). He is a member of the Reporting of studies Conducted using Observational Routinely-Collected Data (RECORD) Steering Committee, and has published on the ethical issues pertaining to reporting transparency of studies using routinely-collected health data.

Health Canada Researcher

Hanan Abramovici, Ph.D.

Dr. Hanan Abramovici is Senior Scientific Officer in the Office of Medical Cannabis, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch, Health Canada. In this role, he is responsible for all scientific matters pertaining to the harms and potential therapeutic uses of cannabis and the cannabinoids. He is also the author of Health Canada's "Information for Healthcare Professionals: Cannabis and the Cannabinoids" document which is one of the most comprehensive peer-reviewed literature reviews of the potential therapeutic uses and adverse effects associated with the use of cannabis and cannabinoids for therapeutic purposes. Prior to joining the Office of Medical Cannabis, he was Senior Scientific Information Officer in the Office of Research and Surveillance, Controlled Substances and Tobacco Directorate, Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch at Health Canada. In that role, he managed scientific information on psychoactive substances. Dr. Abramovici is also a three-time recipient of the Assistant Deputy Minister's (HECSB) Award for Excellence. Prior to joining Health Canada in 2010, Dr. Abramovici was a postdoctoral fellow and doctoral student in the Department of Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Ottawa. While at the University of Ottawa, he studied specific molecular pathways involved in nervous system and muscle development and in diseases such as cancer and muscular dystrophy. Before he attended the University of Ottawa, he worked as a scientist for a U.S. biotechnology company and prior to that, obtained a graduate degree in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto, where he explored the role of specific drug-metabolizing enzymes in carcinogenesis.

Public Health Agency of Canada Researcher

Guillaume Poliquin, M.D.

Public Health Community Member



Ghislaine Cleret de Langavant, Ph.D.

Ghislaine Cleret de Langavant has been the Director of the Bureau de la conduite responsable en recherche [Office for the Responsible Conduct of Research] at the Université de Montréal since January 2017. Her duties include ensuring that research, knowledge transfer, training, and research promotion activities are planned and conducted in accordance with the highest standards for responsible conduct. She supports the Vice-Rector, Research, in maintaining a research environment that supports a positive, constructive culture of integrity and ethical research practices.

For the preceding ten years, she held the position of Deputy Commissioner, Ethics and Appraisal, in the office of the Quebec Health and Welfare Commissioner. She oversaw the work involved in assessing the performance of the Quebec health and social services system, ensured that ethical reflection was an integral part of the process, and held public consultations on ethical and social issues.
Prior to that, beginning in December 1999, she was a consultant/researcher in bioethics at the Agence d'évaluation des technologies et des modes d'intervention en santé [Quebec Health Technology Assessment Agency], where she applied her reflections on bioethics methodology to the activities of the AETMIS genetics unit.

Ghislaine Cleret de Langavant holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences, a master's degree in nutrition and a bachelor's degree in biochemistry. Her varied interests include responsible conduct of research, bioethics methodology, knowledge transfer, and citizen participation in decision making. She is a sought-after speaker and the author of numerous articles, thematic reports and book chapters, in addition to a book.

Since 2004, Ghislaine de Langavant has been an associate professor in the department of health management, assessment and policy at the Université de Montréal's school of public health. She has been an alternate member with expertise in ethics of the Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) research ethics board since 2014. She was a member of the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal (IRCM)'s research ethics board from 1999 to 2007 and chaired that of Procréa Biosciences Inc. from 1999 to 2001. Most recently, she was a member of the board of the Canadian Bioethics Society from 2008 to 2016 and served as its president from 2013 to 2015.

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 - Aboriginal 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.

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