CISUR scientists

Dr. Jaime Arredondo


Dr. Jaime Arredondo Sanchez Lira is the new Canada Research Chair in Substance Use and Health Policy Research. He is an assistant professor at the School of Public Health and Social Policy and scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research. He holds a PhD in Global Public Health from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and San Diego State University and a Masters in Latin American Studies from UCSD.

His CRC research at UVic will look to modify and implement innovative harm reduction interventions that can be undertaken in diverse settings, like community drug checking, safe consumption services and overdose prevention programs. 

Dr. Cecilia Benoit


Cecilia Benoit is a scientist at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (formerly CARBC). Apart from research focused on the occupation of midwifery and the organization of maternity care in Canada and internationally, she is involved in a variety of projects that employ mixed methodologies to investigate the health of different vulnerable groups, including Aboriginal women in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, young people confronting health stigmas linked to obesity and asthma, street-involved youth in transition to adulthood, workers in lower-prestige service occupations, adults in the sex industry, and pregnant and early parenting women dealing with addiction and other challenges.

Dr. Russell Callaghan

Scientist; Site Director, UNBC

Over the last several years, a major line of my research program has focused on estimating the impacts of cannabis use on human health.

This line of research has produced a series of studies assessing the relation between cannabis use (or cannabis-use disorders) and a range of health outcomes, including persistent psychotic syndromes, mortality patterns, fatal and non-fatal motor vehicle collisions, lung cancer, testicular cancer, and a systematic review of cannabis use and development of cancer in humans. Ongoing and future work will assess the relation between cannabis use and the following outcomes: non-traffic injury (e.g., falls, assaults, suicide), all-cause mortality, and workplace injury.

Dr. Marilou Gagnon

Dr. Marilou Gagnon is a Professor in the UVic School of Nursing and a scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research. Her program of research seeks to address gaps in knowledge that have the potential to inform public debate and policies, while also advancing the rights and the health of marginalized communities, including communities of people who use drugs, people at risk or living with sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI), and people who are unstably housed or experiencing homelessness.
Dr. Mikael Jansson


Dr. Mikael Jansson is a scientist at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (formerly CARBC) and an adjunct professor in the Department of Sociology. His current research uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches to understand marginalized populations and low-prestige occupations. His current research focus is on intimate partnerships. He has recently completed a longitudinal study of street-involved youth to see how their lives, and in particular their health status, change as a result of their street involvement.

Dr. Marjorie MacDonald


Marjorie MacDonald is a professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Victoria, a scientist in the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (formerly CARBC) and she teaches in the School of Public Health and Social Policy. She is co-director of the Research in Public Health Systems and Services Initiative (BC) (formerly CPHFRI), which is leading an initiative to develop a Public Health Services and Systems Research (PHSSR) agenda for Canada. Research interests include public health systems renewal, health equity, public health and primary care collaboration, adolescent health promotion and substance use prevention, and public health ethics.

Dr. Scott Macdonald


Scott Macdonald is a professor emeritus in the School of Health Information Science and a scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (formerly CARBC) at the University of Victoria, and was CISUR's Assistant Director of Research from 2005 to 2018. He previously worked as a scientist for 25 years at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, formerly the Addiction Research Foundation in Ontario. His educational background includes a PhD in epidemiology and biostatistics from the University of Western Ontario, a MA in criminology from the University of Toronto, and a BSc in psychology from the University of Victoria.

Dr. Macdonald has focused his career on research issues in the substance use and abuse field, with empirical studies in a variety of areas, such as the role of substance use in injuries, program evaluation, and alcohol policy. He recently published Cannabis Crashes: Myths and Truths, which examines whether Canada's new cannabis-impaired driving laws are rooted in solid science.

Dr. Tim Naimi


Timothy Naimi M.D., M.P.H is the director of the University of Victoria’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research and professor at UVic’s School of Public Health and Social Policy. He is a physician and alcohol epidemiologist from Boston Medical Center (BMC), and was a Professor with the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Tim’s research interests mostly lie in substance-use epidemiology, particularly binge drinking and the health effects of moderate drinking, with a recent focus on prevention and effective public policies for reducing substance-use-related problems for alcohol and cannabis.

“My public-health approach to substance use, and alcohol more specifically, really dovetails well with a lot of the work at CISUR,” says Naimi. “I think CISUR is one of the few research institutions in the world that focusses on a public-health, population-level approaches to dealing with substance use and substance-use problems, as opposed to most of the work that is done, which is more clinically oriented.”

Office: HWB 273B
Dr. Bernie Pauly

Dr. Bernie Pauly is a professor in the School of Nursing, a scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (formerly CARBC), a member of the Renewal of Public Health Services Research Team, and a priority lead for the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. The primary focus of her research is reducing health inequities associated with substance use, poverty, and homelessness.
Dr. Adam Sherk


Adam is a Scientist with CISUR and a Researcher with our WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre for Alcohol and Public Health Policy. His research focuses on substance use epidemiology and alcohol policy research. He created the International Model of Alcohol Harms and Policy, an alcohol research platform used by countries worldwide to estimate alcohol-caused harms. He has created or consulted on national alcohol harms monitoring projects in Australia, Finland, Sweden, New Zealand and the US, in addition to Canada.

Dr. Tim Stockwell

Tim held the position of director of the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR, formerly the Centre for Addictions Research of BC) since its inception in 2004 until 2020. He has also been a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Victoria since 2004. He has published over 400 research papers, book chapters and monographs, plus several books on prevention and treatment issues.
Dr. Karen Urbanoski

Scientist, Canada Research Chair in Substance Use, Addictions and Health Services Research

Karen is the Canada Research Chair in Substance Use, Addictions and Health Services, scientist at CISUR, and associate professor in Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria. As a social epidemiologist, her research focuses on the social-structural determinants of substance-related harms, the organization of service systems, and population health equity. She leverages large population-based datasets coupled with targeted community-based studies to explore the connections between people’s perceived needs for services of different kinds, their experiences of care, and health outcomes.

Dr. Bruce Wallace


Bruce Wallace is a scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research and a professor with UVic's School of Social Work. His research focuses on substance use and harm reduction, poverty and homelessness and access to health care, including dental care. He is an engaged scholar with many years of community-based research in Victoria employing health equity and social justice approaches to his projects.

Dr. Jinhui Zhao

Scientist and senior data analyst

Dr. Jinhui Zhao received his medical degree from Harbin Medical University, China, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Demography from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, a MSc degree in Epidemiology and Diploma in Addiction Studies from University of Toronto and his PhD in Community Health and Epidemiology from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. He is currently working as scientist and senior data analyst at the University of Victoria Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR). His research interests include epidemiology and statistics of substance use (including alcohol, nicotine, illicit drugs and gambling).

In Memoriam: Dan Reist

Assistant director, Knowledge Exchange (retired)
Dan Reist, who retired in 2022, led a Vancouver-based team that focuses on communicating current evidence in a way that supports the evolution of effective policy and practice. With a background in continental philosophy and hermeneutics, Dan was quick to acknowledge that evidence is far more than statistics about patterns of use and harm and includes attention to the ways we experience and talk about drugs and drug use in our cultures and communities. Sadly, Dan passed away in September 2023.