B.S.Ch.E. Chemical Engineering (University of Michigan) 1978
M.Sc. Biomedical Engineering (Northwestern University)1979
Ph.D. Physiology & Biophysics (University Southern California) 1984

Phone: (778) 782-6707
(778) 782-3055


Professional Background:

Dr. Finegood has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the pathogenesis of diabetes through the use of mathematical modeling. Her contributions have supported the widespread use of mathematical models for the assessment of insulin resistance and have enhanced our understanding of the role of beta cell turnover in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. More recently she has focused her efforts on the complex biological, social, cultural and environmental systems involved in regulation of body weight in individuals and populations.

As a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Physiology & Kinesiology, Dr. Finegood leads the Chronic Disease Systems Modeling Lab (CDSM) which houses staff and students working to build maps, models, and solution-orientated frameworks to help address the problem of obesity. The CDSM lab uses both qualitative and quantitative data analysis, conceptual, mathematical and computer models, including system dynamics, agent based and social network methods to suggest innovative solutions to improving health and preventing chronic disease. The range of expertise and academic backgrounds at work in the CDSM Lab spans diverse fields, including engineering, computing science, mathematics, physiology, nutrition, population health, public health and health promotion.

Dr. Finegood also serves as Executive Director of the CAPTURE Project (CAnadian Platform To increase Usage of Real-world Evidence) ( This strategic initiative, funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (, will build a system to support the collection and use of practice and policy-relevant, "real world" evidence.

In December 2008, Dr. Finegood completed her eight year tenure as Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (INMD). During her appointment, she guided Canada's health research agenda across INMD's mandate and within its strategic priority on obesity and healthy body weight. Dr. Finegood's efforts helped to grow Canada's obesity research and knowledge transfer efforts through support for research, development of innovative research programs (including intervention research on natural experiments), development of key partnerships (with public and private sector organizations including the Public Health Agency of Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and Kraft Foods) and innovative projects like Canada on the Move ( and the Building Trust workshop series.

Dr. Finegood draws international recognition as a researcher, lecturer and contributor to the efforts of many organizations. She has written numerous book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals. She has contributed to public awareness by way of print, radio, and television media and serves the broader health community as a member of many committees, including the Advisory Board for Community Interventions for Health (, the Expert Advisory Committee for the Canadian Health Measures Survey and the Board of Directors for the Canadian Obesity Network ( and the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute ( She has received a range of honours and awards for both her academic and leadership contributions, including the Inaugural Distinguished Lecturer of the Canadian Obesity Network (2009), the Frederick G. Banting Award of the Canadian Diabetes Association (2008), Canada's Top 100 Women Award (Trailblazers & Trendsetters Category) (2006) the Distinguished Nutrition Leadership Award from Danone Institute Canada (2006); and the George Bray Founder's Award from NAASO, the Obesity Society (2005).

Recent Publications:

  • Finegood, D.T. The Complex Systems Science of Obesity. In: The Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Obesity, Ed. Cawley, J.H., Oxford University Press, 208-236, 2011.
  • O'Connor Duffany, K., Finegood, D.T., Matthews, D., McKee, M., Narayan, K.M.V., Puska, P., Siegel, K., Stevens, D., Wong, F., Woodward, M., Yach, D. Community Interventions for Health (CIH): A novel approach to tackling the worldwide epidemic of chronic diseases. CVD Prevention and Control 6(2): 47-56, 2011.
  • Swinburn, B.A., Sacks, G., Hall, K.D., McPherson, K., Finegood, D.T., Moodie, M.L., Gortmaker, S.L. The global obesity pandemic: shaped by global drivers and local environments. Lancet 378: 804-14, 2011.
  • Gortmaker, S.L., Swinburn, B.A., Levy, D., Carter, R., Mabry, P.L., Finegood, D.T., Huang, T., Marsh, T., Moodie, M.L. Changing the future of obesity: science, policy, and action. Lancet 378: 838-47, 2011.
  • Finegood, D.T. The 'Patients' Perspective: A Lifelong Struggle with Weight. In: Fat Matters: From Sociology to Science. Tsichlia, G., Johnstone, A., eds. M&K Update Ltd, 85-92, 2010.
  • Finegood, D.T., Merth, T., Rutter, H. Implications of the Foresight Obesity System Map for Solutions to Childhood Obesity. Obesity 18 (Suppl. 1): S13-S16, 2010.
  • Malhi, L., Karanfil, Ö., Merth, T., Acheson, M., Palmer, A., Finegood, D.T. Places to Intervene to Make Complex Food Systems More Healthy, Green, Fair, and Affordable. J Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 4 (3 & 4): 466- 476, 2009.
  • Bauman, A., Finegood, D.T., Matsudo, M. International perspectives on the physical inactivity crisis – structural solutions over evidence generation? Preventive Medicine 49: 309-12, 2009.
  • Finegood, D.T., Karanfil, Ö., and Matteson, C.L. Getting from Analysis to Action: Framing Obesity Research, Policy and Practice with a Solution-Oriented Complex Systems Lens. Healthcare Papers 9(1): 36-41, 2008.
  • Daar, A.S., Singer, P.A., Persad, D.L., Pramming, S.K., Matthews, D.R., Beaglehole, Alan Bernstein, R., Borysiewicz, L.K., Colagiuri, S., Ganguly, N., Glass, R.I., Finegood, D.T., Koplan, J., Nabel, N.G., Sarna, G., Sarrafzadegan, N., Smith, R., Yach, D.,and Bell, J. Grand Challenges in Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases: The top 20 policy and research priorities for conditions such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Nature 450(7169): 494-496, 2007.
  • Finegood, D.T. Can We Improve Nutritional Health at an Affordable Price? Canadian Issues Journal: 46-52, Winter 2006.
  • Rose, A., Finegood, D.T. Postscript: Learning from the Experience of Developing and Running Canada on the Move. Can J Pub Health. 97(Suppl 1): S41-S42, 2005.

Selected Earlier Publications:

  • O'Brien, B.A., Fieldus, W., Field, C., Finegood, D.T. Clearance of apoptotic beta cells is reduced in neonatal autoimmune diabetes prone rats. Cell Death Diff. 9: 457-464, 2002.
  • Finegood, D.T., McArthur, M.D., Kojwang, D., Thomas, M.J., Topp, B.G., Leonard, T., Buckingham, R.E. β-cell mass dynamics in Zucker diabetic fatty rats: Rosiglitazone prevents the rise in net cell death. Diabetes 50: 1021-1029, 2001.
  • Topp, B., Promislow, K., deVries, G., Miura, R.M., Finegood, D.T. A model of beta-cell mass, insulin, & glucose kinetics: Pathways to diabetes. J. Theor Biol 206: 605-19, 2000.
  • Trudeau, J.D., Dutz, J.D., Arany, E., Hill, D.J., Fieldus, W.E., Finegood, D.T. Perspectives in Diabetes. Neonatal β-cell apoptosis: A trigger for autoimmune diabetes? Diabetes 49: 1-7, 2000.
  • Finegood, D.T., Scaglia, L., Bonner-Weir, S. Dynamics of beta-cell mass in the growing rat pancreas: estimation with a simple mathematical model. Diabetes 44: 249-256, 1995.
  • Finegood, D.T., Tobin, B.W., Lewis, J.T. Dynamics of glycemic normalization following transplantation of a suboptimal islet mass in streptozotocin diabetic rats. Transplantation 53: 1033-1037, 1992.
  • Finegood, D.T., Bergman, R.N., Vranic, M. Estimation of endogenous glucose production during hyperinsulinemic euglycemic glucose clamps: Comparison of unlabelled and labelled glucose infusates. Diabetes 36: 914-924, 1987.
  • Bergman, R.N., Finegood, D.T., Ader, M. Assessment of insulin sensitivity in vivo. Endocrine Reviews 6: 45-86, 1985.