Policy & systems research

Our research

Admin lead: Stuart Peacock

The policies and systems that govern human life have a direct impact on our health. In this research challenge area, we look at how policy, governing systems, and their implementations affect health in different communities, with particular interest in the disproportionate impact on Indigenous populations and marginalized people. Through academic research and an applied approach that engages stakeholders at all levels of our health care system, we aim to improve overall population health, and close the care gap between different communities.

Our two key focus areas are Indigenous health governance, and implementation science. We strongly believe in addressing health inequity, and in ensuring that evidence-based policy functions not just in theory, but in practice. We work closely with Indigenous communities, in a sincere partnership that aims to close social and economic gaps and advance Indigenous self-support. Responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations, we assess the long-term impacts of colonization on Indigenous communities, including disparities in education, infrastructure, and political economy, developing an understanding of how systems shape lives, and in turn impact health. We analyse complex systems in terms of community impact, with the aim to challenge systemic inequity, and address the problems systems founded on colonization necessarily inherit. We are led by the community, to ensure a patient-oriented approach to evidence-based care.



  • Nicole Berry Global health, gender & reproductive health, maternal/child health, participatory methods
  • Tania Bubela Health and biotechnology law and policy, knowledge translation in health
  • Susan Erikson Medical anthropology; ethnographic research; global political economy of health; global health financialization; digital health technologies; financialization of nature; desirable health futures
  • Maya Gislason Social inequities in health, eco-social health, planetary health, ecosystem approaches to health, climate change, intergenerational climate equity, cumulative impacts of intensive resource extraction, Indigenous health and wellness, community participation, Patient-Oriented Research, critical pedagogy, public health, equity informed mixed methods evidence building, interplay between human, animal and ecosystem health, governance, structural and epistemic justice.
  • Kelley Lee Global infectious disease governance, globalization and health, cross-border measures and pandemic response, commercial determinants of health
  • Anne-Marie Nicol Health communication; toxicology; social marketing; risk perception; risk assessment
  • Bohdan Nosyk Economic evalation and mathematical modelling; substance abuse; HIV/AIDS; illicit drug dependence and treatment
  • John O'Neil Global health, medical anthropology, Aboriginal health systems, HIV/AIDS & participatory research
  • Stuart Peacock Cancer survivorship, health economics and cancer, health services and policy, research in cancer, and ethics and public engagement
  • William Small Ethno-spatial epidemiological methods, illicit drug use, HIV prevention
  • Jeremy Snyder Public health ethics, medical tourism, vulnerable populations, health worker migration
  • Julian M. Somers Clinical psychology, substance use & mental health, primary health care reform, homelessness
  • Kate Tairyan Preventive medicine, global health, computer-assisted technology, knowledge translation
  • Scott Venners Epidemiology, Indigenous health, environmental health
  • Charlotte Waddell Child and youth mental health, health policy, determinants of health, and children’s rights.
  • David Whitehurst Health economics, outcomes measurement and valuation, economic evaluation, patient-oriented research
  • Meghan Winters Epidemiology, GIS applications, built environment & health, transportation & city design

Recent theses

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Coming soon.