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Board of Directors

Chairperson
Meg Sears (PhD)

Meg Sears (PhD) has advanced environmental health for decades, and as Chair of Prevent Cancer Now she works to “make least-toxic the norm.” She was trained in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry (University of Toronto) and biochemical engineering (PhD, McGill), and has diverse laboratory experience including energy research. With skills in scientific analysis and writing, she later gained associations with medical researchers. Some highlights include: the “Medical Perspective on Environmental Sensitivities” for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, leading to a policy under the Canadian Human Rights Act; a CIHR and SSHRC funded review of environmental, public health and medical approaches for toxic elements; three guidance documents addressing toxicants, indoor environments, and COVID-19 with the Canadian Committee on Indoor Air Quality; and rich collaborations with Canadian environmental health and policy organizations. When she is not working, you’ll probably find Meg roaming the outdoors, or “playing in the mud,” gardening.

Members
Ellen Sweeney (PhD)

Ellen Sweeney (PhD) is a health researcher and policy analyst, interested in environmental health, women’s health, and primary prevention of disease. She completed a PhD in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University and an MA in Social Anthropology at Dalhousie University. Her doctoral research analyzed the laws, policies and practices that encompass Canada’s regulatory regime for toxic substances in order to determine if they are inherently precautionary, and if they enact a primary prevention approach. This research identified gaps in law, policy and practice and in doing so, concludes that women’s health is not adequately protected from detrimental health outcomes, including breast cancer. Ellen currently works as a Research Scientist at the Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow Project (Atlantic PATH) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has also worked with the National Network on Environments and Women’s Health, Canadian Women’s Health Network, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, Dalhousie University, and on CIHR team grants on environmental contaminants and reproductive health.

Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg (PhD, MES)

Dorothy Goldin Rosenberg (PhD, MES) holds a Masters in Environmental Studies (York University) and a PhD (University of Toronto). An education and film consultant, she researches, writes and speaks on environmental health, equality, social, economic and environmental justice, peace and energy issues. She has worked with the National Film Board, school boards, non-governmental organizations, health professional and policy groups on these issues. She was principal research consultant and associate producer of the documentary video, Exposure: Environmental Links to Breast Cancer and researcher/writer of the accompanying guidebook Taking Action for a Healthy Future. She then researched and produced Toxic Trespass, a documentary on children’s health and the environment as a co-production with the National Film Board of Canada, and co-wrote the accompanying educational resource guide, Taking Action on Children’s Health and the Environment. She also teaches Environmental Health at the University of Toronto. As a grandmother, she stresses the importance of our work for future generations on a healthy, peaceful planet.

Michelle Meyer (ND)

Michelle Meyer (ND) has practiced naturopathic medicine in Ottawa since 2000, having graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Her practice embraces her belief in food as medicine, and the vital importance of food quality including the need for organically grown crops as essential for optimal health, and reducing the likelihood of cancers and many other health disorders and illnesses. With post-graduate training in counselling, Michelle’s practice is distinct in its integration of naturopathic medicine with psychotherapy techniques to support patients with acute and chronic physical and/or mental health challenges. Michelle is a well-established public speaker, writer and workshop facilitator. She created the radio program The Well Street Journal, pioneering broader media coverage of natural and holistic health care approaches. Michelle is a long-time community activist, having worked with indigenous communities, community health, environment and co-operative organizations. Her passions include canoe tripping, biking and hiking, storytelling and singing.

Richard van der Jagt (MD, FRCP)

Richard van der Jagt (MD, FRCP Internal Medicine and Hematology) was a staff hematologist at the General Hospital in Ottawa for 28 years. He achieved a BSc (Hon) majoring in pharmacology and physiology at the University of Toronto, and worked in neuroscience prior to medical school. At McMaster University, Dr. van der Jagt studied Medicine and Internal Medicine, as well as Clinical Epidemiology. Dr. van der Jagt’s education was completed with a hematology fellowship at University of Toronto and a stem cell transplant fellowship in Seattle. Dr. van der Jagt founded and chaired the Canadian Leukemia Studies Group, efficiently completing the largest Canadian clinical trial to date, and which served as the model for today’s Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre. Since 2002, his clinical practice and research efforts focused largely on lymphoma and myeloma — diseases that have been linked to environmental toxicants. Richard is working with others to develop a national registry to enable scientific linkage of environmental exposures to adverse health effects.

Jay Branch

Julian (Jay) Branch comes from a background in journalism and strategic communications. His interests in these areas led him to take a close look at the millions of kilometres of old asbestos cement (AC) water pipes around the world, and the issue of ingested asbestos. There has been a gradual, grudging acceptance that drinking asbestos from deteriorated water pipes is likely not the best thing for humans. Asbestos is regulated in water in the United States. It is not regulated in water in Canada, and in several other countries around the globe. That needs to change. Jay strongly believes that persistence pays off, and democracy dies in darkness.  When he isn’t busy with the asbestos file, he can be found enjoying the great outdoors, and time with his family.

Vijay Bhosekar (PhD)

Vijay Bhosekar (PhD) has more than 30 years of experience as Faculty and Research Scientist in India, Canada and the US. Following mid-career attainment of a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Sciences Dr. Bhosekar joined the University of Guelph to coordinate agricultural research funding across South Asia, in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. He has authored more than 100 peer reviewed scientific publications, as well as outreach literature and seminars. Dr. Bhosekar has also served as Director of Scientific Communications at the Rodale Institute, a US organization dedicated to research, farmer training and consumer education, advancing regenerative organic agriculture for over 70 years.  Vijay’s philosophy is, Learning is a journey from Cradle to Grave.

Kartik Gupta (BMSc)

Kartik Gupta (BMSc) is a medical student at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. He completed his degree in Pharmacology at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) and went on to work at EVERSANA. Here he helped to put together systematic reviews to generate evidence for drugs, alongside experienced researchers and corporate leaders in the pharmaceutical industry. He has cancer research experience at UWO, and now conducts machine learning research for healthcare problems at UWO in London. He believes that technology and preventative medicine are crucial opportunities for achieving broad and scalable solutions in healthcare. His interests also include student advocacy, as he founded Student Career Hub, an online platform for students and industry professionals to discuss career paths to better inform the next generation of workers.

Our Honourary Directors

Sharon Batt
Dr. Warren Bell, MD
Mae Burrows
Dr. Graham Chance
Michael Gilbertson, PhD
Ruth Grier
Dr. Trevor Hancock
Henry Lickers
Elizabeth May
Ann Phillips, PhD
Larry Stoffman
Dr. David Swann