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Health Canada

Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch

Research and Radiation Directorate

Fields of Research

The former Product Safety Directorate assists in the reduction of risks to the health of Canadians by identifying, assessing, and managing the health and safety hazards associated with consumer products, workplace chemicals, new chemical substances, products of biotechnology, radiation emitting devices, environmental noise, and solar UV radiation. The program helps consumers and workers make informed choices about the products they buy or use. The areas listed below would welcome interested visiting fellows.

Consumer and Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau

Fields of Research

The Consumer and Clinical Radiation Protection Bureau (CCRPB) assesses, monitors and assists in the reduction of the health and safety risks associated with radiation emitting devices and other sources of radiation, including:

  • medical and diagnostic equipment (i.e., lasers, mammography, ultrasound, X-rays);
  • industrial and commercial equipment (i.e., aircraft, baggage X-ray systems, base stations, power lines, radio and TV transmitters, wireless technologies);
  • household appliances and personal equipment (i.e., cellular technologies, laser pointers, microwave ovens, personal stereo systems, power tools, road vehicles, tanning equipment, television and computer monitors); and
  • environmental and workplace sources (i.e., nuclear research facilities, solar ultraviolet radiation).

As part of Health Canada, the CCRPB:

  • conducts research into the biological effects of occupational and environmental radiation;
  • develops better methods for radiation dosimetry;
  • provides radiation safety inspections of federally regulated facilities containing radiation emitting devices, the devices themselves, as well as training on the proper operation of devices;
  • develops regulations, guidelines, standards, and safety codes;
  • provides advice to and collaborates with other government departments, agencies, industry, and the general public; and
  • ensures that Canadians are protected under the provisions of the Radiation Emitting Devices Act, Canada Labour Code, Food and Drugs Act, Treasury Board Standards, and other related government undertakings.

Contact

Robert P. Bradley
Director
Tel.: 613-954-6701
Fax: 613-952-7584
E-mail: robert_p_bradley@hc-sc.gc.ca

Consumer and Clinical Research Bureau
AL 6302C
2nd Floor, Room 244, Radiation Protection Building
775 Brookfield Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Radiation Protection Bureau

Fields of Research

The Radiation Protection Bureau's mandate is to promote and protect the health of Canadians by assessing and managing the risks posed by radiation exposure in living, working and recreational environments.

Specifically, the Bureau is responsible for:

Collaborative research with a wide variety of partners in the investigation of health risks from radiation and radioactivity in natural environments, homes, and the workplace; development, assessment, and deployment of field monitoring equipment to detect nuclear/radiological accidents, nuclear weapons tests, and illicit transportation/use of radiation sources; research into source identification and atmospheric transport from isotopic ratios; development of rapid, sensitive, and accurate measurement techniques for radionuclides in the environment and people; research into human uptake and metabolism of radionuclides and models of radiation damage at the cellular level; epidemiological studies and delivery of quality assurance programs.

Contact

Jack Cornett
Director
Tel.: 613-954-6647
Fax: 613-952-9071
E-mail: jack_cornett@hc-sc.gc.ca

Radiation Protection Bureau
AL 6302A
2nd Floor, Radiation Protection Bureau
775 Brookfield Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau

Fields of Research

The mandate of the Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau is to reduce the negative impacts of environmental exposures on the health of Canadians through research, surveillance, monitoring, epidemiological investigations, and emergency planning.

Specifically, the Bureau is responsible for:

  • Operationalizing the Safe Environments research framework, generating data in support of regulatory programs and translating and transferring scientific knowledge from research to policy.
  • Characterizing human exposure to harmful substances through direct measurement and the application of biomarkers to identify environmental contaminants, measure their amounts, elucidate the mechanism of formation and exposure, identify sources of exposure and to validate remedial strategies.
  • Identifying potential hazards posed by environmental contaminants through toxicological and mechanistic studies.
  • Conducting population studies to investigate the association between exposure to environmental contaminants and human health effects, to link results obtained experimentally in the laboratory to human disease.
  • Identifying vulnerable populations and the genetic, physiological, and environmental factors that make them susceptible.
  • Developing more accurate and efficient testing and research tools for hazard identification by assessing and refining existing methods, and exploiting new technologies.
  • Providing expert advice Nationally and Internationally on the conduct and interpretation of research and testing related to environmental health.
  • Providing chemical emergency preparedness and response capacity in the Safe Environments Programme and coordinating related activities across the Department, Nationally, and Internationally.

Contact

Dr. David Blakey
Director
Tel.: 613-957-3966
Fax: 613-957-3952
E-mail: david_blakey@hc-sc.gc.ca

Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau
AL 0801 B3
1st Floor, Environmental Health Centre
50 Colombine Drive
Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Health Products and Food Branch

Food Directorate

The Food Directorate is Canada’s primary food safety regulator and policy maker. It establishes policies, regulations, and standards related to the safety and nutritional quality of food, which are enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The Food Directorate has a clear mandate stemming from the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act and the Department of Health Act. More than 400 employees across Canada perform a variety of activities aimed at ensuring the safety and nutritional quality of food in Canada, including:

  • conducting scientific research;
  • conducting health risk and benefit assessments;
  • developing policies, standards, and guidelines;
  • evaluating submissions from the food industry;
  • providing information to support Canadians in their decisions about food and diet;
  • supporting and managing all directorate activities; and
  • assessing the effectiveness of the activities of the CFIA related to food safety.

The Food Directorate’s focus is on the following program areas:

  • enhancing the Canadian food safety system;
  • nutritional quality and safety of foods;
  • foodborne pathogens;
  • emerging pathogens and prion diseases;
  • health implications of foodborne environmental contaminants and agrochemicals;
  • food surveillance and monitoring program;
  • food allergens;
  • natural toxicants in foods;
  • nutrition labelling and claims;
  • health implications of food additives, packaging, and processing-induced chemicals;
  • novel foods/processes and innovations; and
  • sole source foods for vulnerable groups.

All Food Directorate research is part of an integrated program of interventions and information to Canadians. Research supports public health policies, standard-setting, surveillance, and risk assessment. Research and related scientific activities are carried out in several areas of the Food Directorate across Canada. A description of their activities follows.

Bureau of Chemical Safety

Food Research Division

Fields of Research

The Food Research Division of the Bureau of Chemical Safety engages in a range of research activities related to the identification, determination, distribution, and sources of, and the effects of processing on, potentially hazardous chemicals in the food supply.

Major activities of the Division are the development of methods of analysis for such chemicals, the conduct of surveys to determine the levels and extent of contamination of food; as well as National Surveys to determine human exposure to these chemicals. The main National Surveys include the Total Diet Study, and the Human Breast Milk Survey.

The Division program is conducted in close collaboration with the Chemical Health Hazard Assessment Division, Health Products and Food Branch Regional Food Laboratories, the Toxicology Research Division, as well as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Contact

Dr. Don Forsyth
Chief
Tel.: 613-946-9680
Fax: 613-941-4775
E-mail: don_forsyth@hc-sc.gc.ca

Food Research Division
AL 2203C
3rd Floor, Room C303
Sir Frederick G. Banting Building
251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway
Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Toxicology Research Division

Fields of Research

The Toxicology Research Division is responsible for the identification and investigation of potential health hazards associated with chemical contaminants, including natural food toxicants as well as chemicals of environmental origin entering the food chain and food additives. Research is carried out on the carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, and other potentially toxic effects of these chemicals, including effects on behaviour and the immune system.

Contact

Dr. Rekha Mehta
Chief
Tel.: 613-957-0988
Fax: 613-941-6959
E-mail: rekha_mehta@hc-sc.gc.ca

Toxicology Research Division
AL 2202D1
2nd Floor, Sir Frederick G. Banting Building
251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway
Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Bureau of Nutritional Sciences

Fields of Research

The Bureau of Nutritional Sciences comprises two divisions: The Nutrition Evaluation Division and the Nutrition Research Division work in concert in four main program areas: Nutrition Labelling and Claims, Nutrition Quality and Safety, Special Purpose Foods for Vulnerable Groups, and Food Surveillance and Monitoring.

Work is carried out through: nutritional and metabolic This link will take you to another Web site research; the development of nutritional policies, guidelines and regulations; This link will take you to another Web site analytical method development and evaluation; the collection and assessment of This link will take you to another Web site information on nutrients; and the collection and assessment of This link will take you to another Web site food consumption and the nutritional status of Canadians.

Scientific advice on nutrition is provided to other Federal and Provincial government agencies, non-government health and educational organizations, the food industry and consumers. Close liaison is maintained with provincial and international nutritional authorities.

Contact

Nutrition Research Division
Chief’s Office
c/o Alleya Marson
Tel.: 613-957-0919
Fax: 613-941-6182
E-mail: BNS-BSN@hc-sc.gc.ca

Nutrition Research Division
AL 2203E
3rd Floor, Room E325
Sir Frederick G. Banting Building
251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway
Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Bureau of Microbial Hazards

Microbiology Research Division

Fields of Research

The primary objective of the Bureau is to minimize public health risks from the consumption of foods contaminated with bacterial, parasitic, viral and prion-disease agents.

The Microbiology Research Division (MRD) contributes to the microbiological safety of the Canadian food supply by providing research data and expert advice to support the development of federal policies, guidelines, standards and regulations.

The Division focuses on high-risk foodborne bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens. Foodborne bacteria include Salmonella, Clostridium botulinum, Listeria monocytogenes, Vibrio, Shigella, Escherichia coli and Campylobacter,as well as  Aeromonasand Enterobacter sakazakii. Viral agents such as  norovirus, Hepatitis A virus and other enteric viruses, as well as parasitic agents such as Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora and Giardia.

Technologies used in current research include microscopy, classical techniques and state-of-the-art molecular technologies such as real-time PCR and microarrays.

Research and surveillance data from the MRD figure prominently in the development of new food policies, standards, qualitative and quantitative risk assessments, and the promulgation of regulations to ensure the microbial safety of the Canadian food supply.

Research interests of MRD include the detection, growth, survival, inactivation, toxigenesis, and molecular characterization of bacterial, viral and parasitic pathogens in raw and processed foods. The group enjoys an enviable international reputation in the development/validation of methods for the timely and reliable detection of human foodborne pathogens and toxins in foods and for the validation of food processing technologies. MRD also provides training for university undergraduate and graduate students and visiting microbiologists from Canada and abroad. The Division is a major advisor to national and foreign government agencies and food industries on the dynamics and detection of pathogens in foods and food processing.

The MRD develops official methods and laboratory procedures that are published in the Health Canada This link will take you to another Web site Compendium of Analytical Methods. These reference methods are used by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the food industry in Canada to determine product compliance with the Canadian Food and Drugs Act and Food and Drug Regulations. Human resources within MRD currently include research scientists, biologists, and technologists. In the last decade, the group has generated over 300 peer-reviewed research articles, book chapters and presentations at national and international conferences.

MRD houses the Botulism Reference Service Centre for Canada and Listeriosis Reference Service, which play leading roles in the investigation and timely reporting of human incidents of botulism and listeriosis in Canada.  Additionally, MRD also houses the Food Virology Reference Centre, the Food and Environmental Virology Network and the newly established Food and Environmental Parisitology Network.

The MRD transmission and scanning electron microscopy unit also offers scanning confocal light microscopy services to the Health Products and Food Branch and to external clients and collaborators.

Just recently MRD has also established a new laboratory for Emerging Technologies such as Microfluidics.

Contact

Dr. Sabah Bidawid
Chief
Tel.: 613-957-0908
Fax: 613-941-0280
E-mail: sabah_bidawid@hc-sc.gc.ca

Microbiology Research Division
4th Floor, Room E405
AL 2204E
Sir Frederick G. Banting Building
251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway
Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Scientific Services Division

Fields of Research

The Scientific Services Division (SSD) provides services and professional veterinary advice to the Food Directorate and other groups in Health Canada, primarily related to the provision, care, and management of laboratory animals. The division procures and supplies laboratory animals; provides a central animal care facility for use by branch scientists; provides specialized and conventional housing systems for a variety of laboratory animals species; provides containment facilities for potentially infectious and potentially hazardous chemical work with laboratory animals; provides other animal care services, e.g., laboratory animal housing, care, and handling, assistance with technical manipulations in accordance with experimental protocol, laboratory animal breeding for project requirements, and supplying in house strains of laboratory animals from SSD breeding colonies; and provides veterinary support and select diagnostic services.

Contact

Dr. Martha Navarro
Acting Divison Chief
Tel.: 613-952-8296
Fax: 613-941-6625
E-mail: martha_navarr0@hc-sc.gc.ca

Scientific Services Division
AL 2203B
3rd Floor, Sir Frederick G. Banting Building
251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway
Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate

The Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate (BGTD) is the Canadian federal authority that regulates biological drugs (products derived from living sources) and radiopharmaceuticals for human use. Within BGTD, the Centre for Vaccine Evaluation’s Research Divisions perform scientific research in support of the regulatory responsibilities of BGTD as well as evidence-based decision making within Health Canada.

The Centre for Vaccine Evaluation

Fields of Research

The Centre for Vaccine Evaluation (CVE)’s team of scientific researchers integrates physico-chemical and biological research to address key health and regulatory issues regarding biological therapeutics manufactured in Canada or elsewhere. Research expertise reflects ongoing BGTD priorities in areas such as virology, proteomics and mass spectrometry, separation sciences, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, glycobiology, stem cells, and nanotechnology. The research is applied to vaccines, hormones, cytokines, enzymes, blood and blood products, monoclonal antibodies, stem cell therapies and other therapeutic products derived from biotechnology. CVE draws on its own scientific expertise as well as on internal and external collaborations, using a strategic and multidisciplinary approach to research. Current thematic areas include quality assessment methods for biologics, adverse events associated with biologics, shelf-life and stability of biologics, subsequent entry (generic) biologics, stem cell therapies, and nano-scale drug delivery systems.

Contact

Dr. Lindsay Elmgren
Director
Tel.: 613-957-1061
Fax: 613-941-8933
E-mail: lindsay.elmgren@hc-sc.gc.ca

Centre for Vaccine Evaluation
AL 2201E
1st Floor, Sir Frederick G. Banting Building
251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway
Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Regional Laboratories

Fields of Research

The Food Directorate’s Regional Offices are a geographical extension of the Food Directorate and function as part of its National Food Laboratory Network. As well as supporting the national program by participating in the development of policy, standard setting, and risk evaluation, they also respond to regional needs and address regional issues through liaison with provincial and regional partners.

The focus of the regional food laboratories is primarily the national food chemistry program, working hand-in-hand with Food Directorate’s science based bureaux in the areas of Food Chemical Safety and Nutrition. In the area of Food Chemical Safety, Regional labs conduct analytical surveillance of selected food products and develop methods for analysing chemicals at the trace and ultra trace levels in food. They also participate in national surveys such as the Total Diet Study to determine human exposure to these chemicals. In the area of Nutrtion, the region labs support national surveys such as the Canadian Nutrient File, trans-fat monitoring, and support research on nutrtional quality and health effects.

The Quebec Regional Laboratory is also involved in the development, evaluation and validation of microbiological methods, working in collaboration with the Microbiology Research Division.  Increasingly, the regional laboratory is becoming more involved with emerging pathogens.

Contacts

British Columbia and Yukon Region

Dr. Helen Nicolidakis
Manager
Tel.: 604-666-3581
Fax: 604-666-0626
E-mail: helen_nicolidakis@hc-sc.gc.ca

Laboratory Operations
2nd Floor, 3155 Willingdon Green
Burnaby, British Columbia
V5G 4P2

Manitoba/Saskatchewan Region

Gary Lombaert
Manager
Tel.: 204-984-2088
Fax: 204-983-5547
E-mail: gary_lombaert@hc-sc.gc.ca

Laboratory Operations
1st Floor, Room 113-1
510 Lagimodière Boulevard
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R2J 3Y1

Ontario Region

Peter Pantazopoulos
Acting Chief, Organic Residues Laboratory,
Tel.: 416-973-1558
Fax: 416-973-1559
E-mail: peter_pantazopoulos@hc-sc.gc.ca

Food Laboratories Division
2nd Floor
2301 Midland Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M1P 4R7

Quebec Region

André Fouquet
Regional Chief
Tel.: 450-928-4205
Fax: 450-928-4424
E-mail: andre_fouquet@hc-sc.gc.ca

Food Directorate
1st Floor
1001 St-Laurent Street West
Longueuil, Quebec
J4K 1C7

Public Health Agency of Canada

Infectious Disease and Emergency Preparedness Branch

The Branch is structured as follows:

  • Policy Integration, Planning, Reporting and International Directorate
  • Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response
  • Centre for Food-borne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
  • Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control
  • Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Infectious Diseases
  • National Microbiology Laboratory
  • Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses

Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control

The Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control's objectives are to decrease transmission of infectious diseases and to improve the health status of those infected. To achieve its objectives, the Centre provides national leadership, and conducts, supports, and coordinates public health actions on surveillance and epidemiology, infectious disease outbreak investigations, risk management, research, health promotion, public health policy development, and prevention and care programs. The Centre works in close partnership with Canada's provinces and territories, clinicians, laboratories and non-government organizations and performs liaison work with international organizations and agencies to actively support global disease eradication initiatives.

The Centre's program areas include community-acquired infections including Hepatitis C, sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis, health-care-acquired infections, blood safety surveillance, HIV/AIDS policy/coordination/programs, and HIV and retrovirology laboratories. The development of national infectious disease guidelines is also a major activity of this Centre.

The Centre is structured as follows:

  • Office of the Director General
  • Blood Safety Surveillance and Health Care Acquired Infections Division
  • Community Acquired Infections Division
  • HIV/AIDS Policy, Coordination and Programs Division
  • Immunization and Respiratory Infections Division
  • Surveillance and Risk Assessment Division

Office of the Director General

Fields of Research

The Office of the Director General provides overall strategic direction and coordination to the various divisions and program areas. There are three main strategic functions within the Office of the Director General: Business Planning, Information and Communications Management, and Program Policy and Analysis. The Office of the Director General also oversees overall Centre coordination of Cabinet business.

Contact

Dr. Howard Njoo
Director General
Tel.: 613-948-6799
Fax: 613-946-7528
E-mail: howard_njoo@phac-aspc.gc.ca

Public Health Agency of Canada
Rm 211D
100 Colonnade Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Blood Safety Surveillance and Health Care Acquired Infections Division

Fields of Research

Through surveillance, risk assessment, and targeted research, the Blood Safety Surveillance and Health Care Acquired Infections Division provides national leadership in the development and promotion of a national management/policy structure to reduce the risk of bloodborne pathogen infections (including hepatitis, prions, and emerging pathogens), transfusion transmitted injuries, and infections resulting from the transplantation of tissues and organs.

The Nosocomial and Occupational Infections (NOI) Section implements enhanced infection control and prevention programs in health care facilities by collecting, analysing, interpreting, and disseminating epidemiological information on nosocomial and occupational infections in the Canadian population such as NOI surveillance, infection control guidelines, antimicrobial resistance, and needle stick surveillance.

The Bloodborne Pathogens Section undertakes and supports the surveillance of bloodborne pathogens, including viral hepatitis, and parasitic and emerging or re-emerging bloodborne pathogens. This surveillance is performed in collaboration with the National Microbiology Lab (NML). The Section further conducts risk assessment, prevention, and control of infectious agents transmitted through the use of blood, blood products, tissues, cells and organs, including gene and stem cell therapies. The Section is active in developing and supporting national networks, databases, and research studies, many of which are relevant to new and emerging bloodborne pathogens. Data resulting from surveillance is translated into health intelligence to inform policy decisions and support the development and evaluation of targeted intervention strategies.

The Section also covers xenotransplantation-related surveillance and policy development. It develops new methods to identify animal viruses capable of transmission to human hosts, relevant to xenotransplantation. Surveillance for exposure to these agents is conducted and potential intervention measures are assessed, culminating in policy recommendations.

Contact

Dr. Jun Wu
Acting Director
Tel.: 613-941-8575
Fax: 613-952-6668
E-mail: jun_wu@phac-aspc.gc.ca

Blood Safety Surveillance
AL 0601E2
1st Floor, Building 6, Room 1442
100 Eglantine Driveway
Tunney’s Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Dr. Tom Wong
Director
Tel.: 613-946-5700
Fax: 613-946-3902
E-mail: tom_wong@phac-aspc.gc.ca

AL 0603B
3rd Floor, Room 3444, Building 6
100 Eglantine Driveway
Tunney’s Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Community Acquired Infections Division

Fields of Research

The Division provides national leadership and coordination of surveillance, targeted research studies, development of policy, evidence based national guidelines and consensus statements, as well as knowledge generation, dissemination and exchange activities. It supports a comprehensive view of sexual and reproductive health and works to ensure equal access to services and programs, including sexual health education, that help Canadians improve and maintain their sexual, reproductive and personal health. The Division also works with provinces, territories, non governmental organizations, and health care providers to improve and maintain the sexual health of the Canadian population by preventing and controlling sexually transmitted infections and their complications, including infertility and cancer.

The Division administers the Hepatitis C Prevention, Support and Research Program (the Hepatitis C Program). The Hepatitis C Program designs, develops, and implements projects that will contribute to the prevention of hepatitis C virus (HCV), support people infected with, and affected by the virus. It provides a stronger evidence base for policy and programming decisions, strengthens partners’ capacity to address the HCV epidemic, and increases public awareness about HCV, both domestically and in the international community. Moreover, the Division is the focal point for a population health approach to HCV. It strives to reduce the associated burden on the health system through initiatives that address the risks associated with certain behaviours and issues of co-infection with related sexually transmitted infections, bloodborne viruses and tuberculosis. In addition, the Division provides policy support and expertise on hepatitis C compensation issues, and oversees the transfer of funds to the provinces and territories for hepatitis C health care services.

Finally, the Division provides leadership and coordination in the prevention and control of tuberculosis in collaboration with partners at the regional, provincial/territorial, national, and international levels. Key activities include development of a Canadian Strategy for Tuberculosis Prevention and Control, funding and coordination of the advisory Canadian Tuberculosis Committee, TB surveillance reports, and TB drug resistance reports. In addition, it co-produces the Canadian Tuberculosis Standards, in conjunction with the Canadian Lung Association/Canadian Thoracic Society, coordinates assessment for international airline passengers in contact with a TB case during flight, sponsors targeted evaluations of TB prevention and control activities, provides policy and program advice as well as training to other government departments, and supports the STOP TB initiative to control TB in developing countries.

Contact

Dr. Tom Wong
Director
Tel.: 613-946-5700
Fax: 613-946-3902
E-mail: tom_wong@phac-aspc.gc.ca

Community Acquired Infections Division
AL 1906B
3rd Floor, Room 3444, Building 6
100 Eglantine Driveway
Tunney’s Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Centre for Food-borne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases

Fields of Research

The Centre implements an enhanced national capacity to conduct surveillance (data collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination) and investigation of (a) food and waterborne diseases, and (b) zoonotic diseases (diseases in domestic and wild animals relevant to human health, e.g., West Nile virus). The activities include maintaining and developing a national food and water safety surveillance system and providing national leadership to improve enteric disease surveillance and participate in international surveillance.

The Centre investigates and coordinates investigations of foodborne and waterborne disease outbreaks across Canada and provides guidance and direction, as requested, to provincial health authorities; facilitates and coordinates risk analysis and risk management activities with international, federal, provincial/territorial, and local partner organizations; conducts, supports, and coordinates targeted research in critical areas; and identifies emerging threats to the health and safety of Canadians including those linked to climate change. The Centre is currently supporting coordination of response to environmental influences on infectious disease risk.

Contact

Dr. Mark Raizenne
Director General
Tel.: 613-948-6883
Fax: 613-946-5070
E-mail: mark_raizenne@phac-aspc.gc.ca

Centre for Food-borne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
AL 6201D
Rm 034A
100 Colonnade Rd
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

HIV/AIDS Policy, Coordination and Programs Division

The HIV/AIDS Policy, Coordination and Programs Division is responsible for leading joint work planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting with other federal departments and agencies involved in the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada, and for HIV/AIDS-related communications and social marketing; national community-funding programs; policy development; and co-ordination and global engagement focusing on policy advice.

Fields of Research

The HIV/AIDS Division is responsible for national research planning and knowledge exchange activities, and for administering the National HIV/AIDS Knowledge Exchange Fund, which contributes to strengthening the responses of front-line organizations by incorporating an active and continuous exchange of HIV/AIDS-related knowledge. The Division is also developing the National HIV/AIDS Demonstration Fund, which will support the demonstration of the effectiveness of select innovative front-line interventions.

The HIV/AIDS Division also supports various initiatives and/or activities pertaining to public opinion research, vaccine research, microbicides research and development, the identification of Canadian HIV/AIDS research priorities, and HIV testing and counseling approaches, such as point-of-care rapid HIV testing.

Contact

Nina Arron
Director
Tel.: 613-957-1345
Fax: 613-952-3556
E-mail: nina_arron@phac-aspc.gc.ca

HIV Policy, Coordination and Programs Division
AL 0601A
1st Floor, Building 6
100 Eglantine Driveway
Tunney’s Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Infectious Diseases

Fields of Research

The Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Infectious Diseases is a Centre of expertise and coordination for Pandemic preparedness and response, seasonal (annual) influenza, Immunization (e.g., vaccine safety, vaccine supply, research, public and professional education, program planning, monitoring, and evaluation), vaccine preventable diseases and other respiratory infectious diseases; and emerging respiratory infections (e.g., SARS, human avian influenza).

The Centre works with stakeholders and partners for effective issues management and response. One of the goals of the Centre is to coordinate efforts to reduce or eliminate vaccine-preventable and infectious respiratory diseases in Canada. In partnership with provinces and territories, the Centre is responsible for the national surveillance of vaccine-preventable and infectious respiratory diseases, including influenza and SARS, surveillance of vaccine-associated adverse events, and monitoring of immunization status, including the development of an immunization registry network. It provides scientific and administrative support to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, the Canadian Immunization Committee and the Pandemic Influenza Committee.

The Centre also initiates and coordinates investigations of vaccine-preventable and infectious respiratory disease outbreaks across Canada, and provides guidance and direction, when requested, to provincial or territorial public health authorities when outbreaks of vaccine-preventable or infectious respiratory diseases occur in individual jurisdictions. In addition, the Centre conducts, supports, and coordinates applied public health research in the areas of immunization and infectious respiratory disease, and identifies and communicates emerging vaccine-preventable and infectious respiratory disease threats to Canadians. Moreover, the Centre collaborates with other national governments and international organizations to prevent and control vaccine-preventable and infectious respiratory diseases.

The Centre is also responsible for pandemic preparedness and response to help ensure the health and safety of Canadians to assist in mitigating potential social and economic disruption, and to support large-scale improvements to the Canadian public health system. Activities include the maintenance of the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector, maintaining domestic pandemic vaccine production capacity, production and testing of a prototype pandemic vaccine, establishing an adequate reserve of antiviral medication, monitoring, detecting and reporting unusual respiratory illnesses, strengthening collaboration with P/T and international governments, pandemic influenza research activities, providing technical support and expertise on human health issues related to avian influenza and partnership with national and international organizations to strengthen surveillance, laboratory capacity, emergency preparedness and communications.

Contact

Arlene King
Director General
Tel.: 613-948-7929
Fax: 613-946-3135
E-mail: arlene_king@phac-aspc.gc.ca

Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Infectious Diseases
AL 6502A
2nd Floor, Room 203A
130 Colonnade Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

National HIV and Retrovirology Laboratories

Fields of Research

The National HIV and Retrovirology Laboratories provide comprehensive expertise to national and international partners in human and emerging retrovirus testing and research. These partners include laboratories associated with the provincial ministry of health, the Canadian HIV Clinical Laboratory Specialists (CAHCLS), the Surveillance Risk Assessment Division (SRAD) of PHAC, academic researchers (epidemiologists, behavioural scientists, clinicians and laboratory scientists), hospital and blood screening labs, the World Health Organization (WHO) and HIV testing laboratories abroad. The laboratory provides expertise in HIV/HTLV reference service testing and national and international quality assurance programs for HIV and HTLV serology, HIV, viral load testing, and lymphocyte enumeration.

The National HIV and Retrovirology Laboratories also develop, evaluate, and transfer related technologies to national and international partners. In addition, the National HIV and Retrovirology Laboratories provide laboratory support for HIV and STD surveillance programs through the provision of the specialized laboratory testing necessary for national HIV incidence estimates as well as laboratory support of the Canadian HIV Strain and Drug Resistance Surveillance Program (CHSDRSP).

Contact

Dr. Paul Sandstrom
Director
Tel.: 613-957-0172
Fax: 613-957-7258
E-mail: paul_sandstrom@phac-aspc.gc.ca

National HIV and Retrovirology Laboratories
AL 0603B3
3rd Floor, Building 6
100 Eglantine Driveway
Tunney’s Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Surveillance and Risk Assessment Division

Fields of Research

The Division conducts national HIV and AIDS surveillance and assesses the temporal, geographical and demographic trends in the HIV epidemic. The Division also provides public health intelligence on the size and dynamics of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Canada and provides technical and financial support for extramural, targeted research and analysis (including outbreak investigations), performs intramural research and analysis, and hosts national meetings on issues of importance to HIV epidemiology and surveillance.

In addition, the Division conducts national surveillance of notifiable diseases, undertakes risk assessments, and carries out modelling and projections for infectious diseases, with particular attention being paid to newly emerging threats. The Division also manages a regionally based network of field surveillance officers who work with provincial and territorial authorities to improve the timeliness and completeness of surveillance data on HIV/AIDS and related diseases.

Contact

Dr. Chris Archibald
Director
Tel.: 613-941-3155
Fax: 613-946-8695
E-mail: chris_archibald@phac-aspc.gc.ca

Surveillance and Risk Assessment Division
AL 0602B
2nd Floor, Room 2354, Building 6
100 Eglantine Driveway
Tunney’s Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

The Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses

Fields of Research

The Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses (LFZ) generates, synthesizes and communicates science-based information and advice using innovative tools and applications. The LFZ information helps mitigate "upstream" public health risks that are associated with infectious diseases arising from the interface between humans, animals, and the environment, and the laboratory also helps mitigate "upstream" adverse chronic and infectious disease outcomes that are influenced by host genetic predisposition and gene-environment interactions. The LFZ uses multi-disciplinary programs with expertise in traditional and molecular microbiology, microbial genomics, surveillance, immunology, risk assessment, predictive modelling, advanced epidemiological techniques, medical geography, veterinary sciences and veterinary public health, health policy and bioethics, and medicine.

Located in Guelph, Ontario, with satellite units in Lethbridge, Alberta, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, and the Office of Biotechnology, Genomics and Population Health in Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario, these locations provide opportunities for collaborative projects with universities, government agencies (federal and provincial), and public health and industry partners in delivery of the program objectives. The Reference Laboratories of LFZ are accredited by the Standards Council of Canada. The Salmonella Typing Laboratory is designated as an Office International des Epizooties (OIE) Reference Laboratory for Salmonellosis.

The Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses consists of the following programs:

  • Population and Environmental Determinants of Zoonotic Infections and St. Hyacinthe Unit
  • Antimicrobial Resistance in Agri-Food and Aquaculture and Impact on Human Health
  • Integrated Enteric Pathogen Surveillance
  • Policy Advice and Effectiveness
  • Health Risk Modelling
  • Biotechnology, Genomics and Population Health
  • Host and Pathogen Determinants

Contact

Dr. Mohamed Karmali
Director General
Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses
Tel.: 519-822-5300, ext. 235
Fax: 519-822-2280
E-mail: mohamed_karmali@phac-aspc.gc.ca

Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses
110 Stone Road
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 3W4

National Microbiology Laboratory (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

The National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) is the main infectious disease laboratory within the Public Health Agency of Canada. It is co-located in the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health, a state-of-the-art laboratory facility in Winnipeg, with the National Centre for Foreign Animal Diseases, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The NML consists of four national laboratories supported by a division of core services which includes DNA sequencing, animal resources, and a central laboratory for decontamination and wash up services.

The four national laboratories are:

  • the National Laboratory for Zoonotic Diseases and Special Pathogens
  • the National Laboratory for Bacteriology and Enterics
  • the National Laboratory for Viral Diseases
  • the National Laboratory for Host Genetics and Prion Diseases

These laboratories provide expert microbiological reference testing, surveillance, and outbreak investigation support to the public health network in Canada. The National Microbiology Laboratory is a key element in Canada’s preparedness for biological terrorism and other infectious disease emergencies.

In addition, the National Microbiology Laboratory operates two external national reference centres on a cost-sharing basis with the provinces. These centres are responsible for parasitology (serology) and streptococcus.

National Laboratory for Zoonotic Diseases and Special Pathogens

Fields of Research

The Laboratory for Zoonotic Diseases and Special Pathogens consists of multi-complex laboratory research and surveillance programs for the diagnosis, surveillance, prevention, and control of zoologic diseases in humans.

The Laboratory performs serological and genetic analysis of pathogenic organisms which are transmitted from animals to humans. Such organisms include hantaviruses, which cause pulmonary syndrome and haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome; arboviruses, which cause encephalitis; rickettsia, which cause Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, endemic typhus fever, Q fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Leptospira; Borrelia burgdorferi which causes Lyme disease; and Bartonella which causes Bartonellosis, cat scratch disease, angiomatosis, and other syndromes. Diagnostics for biocontainment Level 4 haemorrhagic fever viruses (including ones such as Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa fever viruses which, if imported via travellers into Canada, could constitute a potential public health emergency) are being set up, and research and surveillance programs established in collaboration with the World Health Organization and other partners.

Contact

Dr. Harvey Artsob
Chief
Tel.: 204-789-2134
Fax: 204-789-2082
E-mail: harvey_artsob@phac-aspc.gc.ca

National Laboratory for Zoonotic Diseases and Special Pathogens
1st Floor, Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health
1015 Arlington Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3E 3R2

National Laboratory for Bacteriology and Enterics Diseases

Fields of Research

The National Laboratory for Bacteriology and Enterics Diseases consists of multi-complex laboratory research and surveillance programs for the diagnosis, surveillance, prevention, and control of human bacterial (non-enteric and non-STD) diseases such as meningococcal disease, tuberculosis, pneumococcal disease, tetanus, diphtheria, meningitis, and a wide variety of diseases caused by aerobic and anaerobic infections. It is responsible for the identification and characterization of these bacterial pathogens which cause life threatening diseases. It also has a responsibility for monitoring the development of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, a serious emerging global issue, particularly in hospital environments.

The Enterics Diseases Program ensures the health and safety of the Canadian public with respect to the prevention and control of enteric foodborne pathogens causing disease. Activities are targeted to reduce the risk of outbreaks of human foodborne disease and to ensure that enteric endemic disease is a priority health issue in Canada.

The Program embraces four key activities:

  1. National Laboratory Reference Services: Provision of laboratory technology for hazard identification and characterization of enteric foodborne pathogens and emerging infectious enteric diseases affecting humans, which include Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli, E. coli O157:H7 (associated with “hamburger disease”), Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Listeria, Campylobacter, Helicobacter, and Aeromonas;
  2. Laboratory Based Surveillance: collection, collation and dissemination of data nationally and internationally on enteric pathogens associated with sporadic cases and outbreaks of foodborne disease in Canada;
  3. Training/Technology Transfer/International Collaboration: Training health care professionals both nationally and internationally to meet the needs of the public health system, provision of technical and professional expert advice and collaborative support to laboratories during outbreak investigations; and
  4. Targeted Applied Research and Development: Provision of this component strongly supports national reference capabilities for identification and surveillance activities for tracking infectious disease by developing new technologies and methodologies. The program addresses challenges which include: emerging and re emerging enteric pathogens, antimicrobial resistance, contamination of imported products, globalization, and travel. These activities ensure that food safety is a priority health concern in Canada.

Contact

Dr. Lai King Ng
Director of Bacteriology and Enteric Diseases
Tel.: 204-789-2131
Fax: 204-789-2142
E-mail: lai_king_ng@phac-aspc.gc.ca

National Laboratory for Bacteriology and Enterics Diseases
1st Floor, Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health
1015 Arlington Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3E 3R2

National Laboratory for Viral Diseases

Fields of Research

The Viral Diseases Division is a centre of excellence which provides advanced reference services and research in this field. It is the National reference laboratory for a number of viral diseases, including hepatitis viruses A-E, respiratory viruses and influenza, viral exanthemata (rash causing viruses such as chickenpox and measles) viral STDs (including herpes simplex viruses and human papilloma viruses) and enteroviruses (including polio virus, coxsackie viruses, and echo viruses, that can cause diseases such as flaccid paralysis, cardiomyopathy, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, and aseptic meningitis). The Division also diagnoses disease due viral gastroenteritis agents, such as norovirus. Among these are some of the most widespread, numerous and life-threatening viral infections which affect the health of Canadians. Diagnosis and surveillance of these diseases is essential for prevention and treatment strategies in patients (e.g., vaccination strategies), and in order to reduce illness, hospitalizations and deaths from these diseases. The Viral Diseases Division carries out research into the molecular biology and epidemiology of these viral agents. It undertakes applied research to develop improved diagnostic tests and also basic research of a fundamental nature, to understand the pathogenesis of these viruses.

The Division consists of the following sections:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens and Hepatitis
  • Influenza and Respiratory Viruses
  • Viral Exanthemata-rash causing viruses (chickenpox, measles, etc.)
  • Diagnostic microscopy and imaging
  • Viral Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Enteroviruses, polio viruses and enteric viruses

Contact

Dr. Tim Booth
Director
Tel.: 204-789-2022
Fax: 204-789-7049
E-mail: tim_booth@phac-aspc.gc.ca

Viral Diseases Division
5th Floor, Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health
1015 Arlington Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3E 3R2

National Laboratory for Host Genetics and Prion Diseases

Fields of Research

The National Laboratory for Host Genetics and Prion Diseases is responsible for the diagnosis, surveillance, prevention and control of human and neurological and genetic diseases such as Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease, prion disease and other associated diseases. Assistance is provided to laboratories in the application of genetically based patient diagnostics including routine applications as well as more sophisticated methodologies such as 16S rRNA sequencing. The Laboratory has established a database of all known 16S rRNA sequences including several hundred atypical pathogenic organisms. This approach is highly successful in identifying and characterizing organisms that cannot be identified by standard procedures. Sophisticated genetic technologies are used to support outbreak investigations and population genetics, using genetically based typing and subtyping techniques. It also houses a DNA repository which is available to internal and external researchers and public health authorities. Applied research is carried out to develop/enhance methodologies for the improved genetic analysis of life threatening organisms.

The National Microbiology Laboratory has created a Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network (CPHLN) Secretariat to facilitate day-to-day activities of the network and assist in ongoing public health initiatives.

Contact

Dr. Michael Coulthart
Director
Tel.: 204-789-6026
Fax: 204-789-5021
E-mail: mike_coulthart@phac-aspc.gc.ca

National Laboratory for Host Genetics and Prion Diseases
1st Floor, Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health
1015 Arlington Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3E 3R2

Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network

Fields of Research

The Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network (CPHLN) is one of the six expert groups that belongs to the Pan Canadian Public Health Network. CPHLN was established in 2001, partly in response to the terrorism events of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent anthrax threats. In addition to addressing concerns about the increased frequency and potential lethality of bioterrorism agents, the scope of the network was expanded to include other aspects of public health such as water and food safety response to water-borne outbreaks in Walkerton, Ontario and North Battleford, Saskatchewan.

The Network’s current mandate is to develop and implement strategies to coordinate pathogen detection, infectious disease prevention and control; conduct laboratory-based surveillance, including the development of early warning systems to monitor and detect emerging pathogens, antibiotic-resistant organisms and outbreak; and counter bioterrorism threats. The CPHLN has taken on the responsibility to preparing laboratories for pandemic response as well as to provide expertise in ongoing revisions of the Laboratory Annex of the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan. Moreover, the CPHLN works with its laboratory program stakeholders at the National Microbiology Laboratory as well as other federal and provincial public health stakeholders to develop national diagnostic standards and algorithms for Canada’s National Notifiable Diseases in addition to other infectious agents such as Norovirus.

The CPHLN is the vehicle through which public health laboratory issues in Canada are brought to the Minister’s attention for information purposes and for decision-making.

The CPHLN Secretariat is housed at and CPHLN Secretariat activities are funded by the National Microbiology Laboratory.

Contact

Dr. Theodore Kuschak
Manager
Tel.: 204-789-7045
Fax: 204-789-7039
E-mail: theodore_kuschak@phac-aspc.gc.ca

Canadian Public Health Laboratory Network
Ground-Room E1029
820 Elgin Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3E 3P6