PhD (Math & Stats), 1994
MSc (Math), 1981
BSc (Psyc, Math), 1979
SFU OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AWARD RECIPIENT, 2012
Dr. John Spinelli is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading cancer epidemiologists and biostatisticians. He has spent much of his life working towards reducing the burden of cancer in Canada. His passion for population health led him to direct his efforts to identifying modifiable risk factors for cancer with the ultimate goal of prevention. He has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the etiology of cancer, including key findings on occupational and environmental causes. Dr. Spinelli was one of the first researchers to identify an increased risk of cancer in aluminum workers, and was a leader in demonstrating a link between PCB exposure and lymphoma. His work has been used worldwide by industry and workers’ organizations to reduce exposures and determine compensation for those exposed in the past. He actively shares his knowledge by teaching and mentoring junior scientists and graduate students at UBC and SFU. Currently, Dr. Spinelli is the Head of Cancer Control Research at the BC Cancer Agency, and his work investigates the effects of the interactions between genes and environmental exposures on the risk cancer. He is also the principal investigator of the BC Generations Project, part of a national prospective cohort study which will enable researchers to examine risks of cancer and other chronic diseases that would not be identifiable in any other way. The cohort will be an invaluable resource for researchers like Dr. Spinelli who envision a cancer-free future for Canadians.