Scott Venners

Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences

CIHR New Investigator, MSFHR Scholar



  • BS, Purdue University, Electrical Engineering
  • MPH, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
  • PhD, Tulane University, Environmental Epidemiology
  • Postdoctoral Research, Harvard School of Public Health


After completing his bachelor’s degree, Scott joined the United States Peace Corps and taught physics in a public high school in Liberia, West Africa.  Later, he moved to Taiwan for five years where he taught English, mathematics and computer science.  He then obtained a Master’s of Public Health from Tulane University in the Department of International Health and Development with a concentration in quantitative epidemiology and biostatistics.  Scott received fellowship support to pursue his Ph.D. from the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research and collaborated with the Harvard School of Public Health for his dissertation research, which utilized quantitative epidemiological methods to investigate the effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution in China on respiratory health and rates of daily mortality.

Scott did post-doctoral research for four years at the Harvard School of Public Health.  His research utilized molecular epidemiological methods to study environmental endocrine disruptors and human reproduction.  During these four years, he was the executive director of a large, prospective study that was funded by the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to investigate the effects of pesticide exposures on fertility and pregnancies of young couples living in agricultural communities in China.  While a post-doc, Scott won a four-year K01 grant from the US National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences to investigate genetic susceptibilities to the effects of pesticides in the Chinese cohort (gene-environment interactions).  In 2005, Scott was appointed as Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Population Genetics in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health.  He joined the Simon Fraser Faculty of Health Sciences as an Assistant Professor in 2008.

Research Interests

Scott is interested in the application of biomonitoring and molecular epidemiology in environmental population and public health policy research.  Biomonitoring is the assessment of human exposures to environmental chemicals by measuring them (or their breakdown products) directly in human specimens such as blood or urine.  Molecular epidemiology uses statistical methods to quantify the associations between biomonitoring results and health or disease in human populations.

The goal of his research is to promote public policy that prevents chronic disease and reduces health inequalities in Canada.  He is investigating common, low-level chemical exposures in the general population and their influences on the development of diabetes and cardiovascular disease over the life course.  He is also investigating whether higher pollution exposures contribute to higher risks of chronic disease in areas with lower socioeconomic conditions.