Experts available to comment on International Harm Reduction Day, May 7

published on May 7, 2015

May 7 is International Harm Reduction Day. The following BC-CfE experts are available to discuss research and policy on harm reduction, needle exchange programs, drug policy, sex work, and other related topics.

Contact Caroline Dobuzinskis, Communications Coordinator, for interview requests.

Email: [email protected]
Office: (604) 682-2344 ext. 66536
Cell: (604) 366-6540

Urban Health Research Initiative (UHRI)


Dr. Thomas Kerr

Dr. Thomas Kerr is the co-director of the Addiction and Urban Health Research Initiative at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE), Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (Division of AIDS), as well as Associate Faculty, School of Population & Public Health, University of British Columbia.

In his role at the BC-CfE, Dr. Kerr is a principal investigator of several large cohort studies involving people who inject drugs and individuals living with HIV/AIDS, including the Vancouver Injection Drug Users Study (VIDUS).

Dr. Kerr’s primary research interests are HIV/AIDS, injection drug use, health policy and service evaluation, and community-based research methods. A key focus of Dr. Kerr’s work has been the scientific evaluation of Insite, North America’s first safer injecting facility, and his research in this area has contributed significantly to academic, public, and government discussion, both nationally and internationally.

More information on Dr. Kerr >>

Dr. Evan Wood

Evan Wood, MD, PhD, ABIM, FRCPC, is Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and an attending physician on the Clinical Teaching Unit at St. Paul’s Hospital, where he is also the co-Director of the Urban Health Research Initiative. Dr. Wood is a general internal medicine specialist and diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine whose clinical, research and educational focus has been on improving systems of care for patients with alcohol and drug addiction. Dr. Wood is the Medical Director for Addiction Services at Vancouver Coastal Health and was the Founding Director of the St. Paul’s Hospital Goldcorp Fellowship in Addiction Medicine, Western Canada’s only American Board of Addiction Medicine accredited training program for addiction medicine physicians. He is also the Principal Investigator and Director of the Canada Addiction Medicine Research Fellowship, a US National Institute on Drug Abuse funded research training program for physicians with a background in addiction medicine based out of UBC and St. Paul’s.

Early in his career, Prof. Wood focused on the development of HIV treatment strategies for patients with addiction and made several important discoveries that contributed to the revision of international guidelines for the initiation of antiretroviral therapy among this population. He has taken a special interest in HIV treatment and prevention strategies for injection drug users, and was the lead author of the first study to show that HIV treatment could prevent the transmission of HIV infection among those who inject drugs. Prof. Wood was the founding principal investigator of Insite, North America’s first and only medically supervised safer injecting facility, and has been widely involved in evaluating illicit drug policies, with special emphasis on injection drug use and street-involved youth. He is the founder of the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy and has co-authored more than 350 scientific papers, and chaired the writing committee of the Vienna Declaration, the official declaration of the 2010 International AIDS Conference. Prof. Wood’s research has been consistently funded through the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

More information on Dr. Wood >>


Gender and Sexual Health Initiative (GSHI)


Dr. Kate Shannon

Dr. Shannon is Director of the Gender & Sexual Health Initiative at the BC-CfE and an Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Faculty in the School of Population and Public Health at University of British Columbia. She leads a large program of NIH and CIHR-funded research on social determinants of sexual health, HIV/AIDS and access to care among marginalized populations, particularly youth, sex workers, and women at-risk and living with HIV.

She is currently PI of longitudinal cohorts of street and off-street sex workers (AESHA), an ethnographic-qualitative program of the HIV risk environment of SW, and the Gender, Violence and HIV Team. She sits on the CIHR HIV/AIDS Advisory Board and is Associate Editor with the International Journal of Drug Policy and BMC International Health and Human Rights. She has consulted with the departments of reproductive health and HIV with the World Health Organization, and was a member of the WHO 2012 Guidelines Group for HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care among Sex Workers in LMIC.

More information on Dr. Shannon >>