Investigators

Valerie TarasukValerie Tarasuk is a Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, and the Principal Investigator on this research program. Val’s research extends to Canadian food policy and population-level dietary assessment, but her primary focus is food insecurity. She has worked to elucidate the scope and nature of this problem in Canada, and examine policy and programmatic responses. Her recent work includes studies on food charity, community programs, and analyses of population survey data to elucidate the health, nutritional, and socio-demographic correlates of household food insecurity in Canada.

Craig GundersenCraig Gundersen is the Soybean Industry Endowed Professor in Agricultural Strategy in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, and is the Co-Principal Investigator on this research program. Craig’s research is primarily focused on the causes and consequences of food insecurity and on evaluations of food assistance programs, with a particular emphasis on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly known as the Food Stamp Program). His recent work includes examinations of the impact of the National School Lunch Program on U.S. children’s health, modelling the impact of US food programs (National School Lunch Program and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) in Canada, and the relationship between food insecurity, and healthcare costs and mortality.

Herbert EmeryHerb Emery is a Professor and the Vaughan Chair in Regional Economics in the Department of Economics at the University of New Brunswick, and a PROOF co-investigator. Herb’s research interests focus on the sustainability and reform of public health care in Canada, Canadian economic development and Canadian labour markets. His recent work includes examinations of the relationship between household food insecurity and heating costs, the impact of Canada’s Old Age Security program on food insecurity and health among seniors, and the potential for a Guaranteed Annual Income to replace Social Assistance to reduce the prevalence of food insecurity.​

Paul KurdyakPaul Kurdyak is the Director of Health Systems Research at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Lead of the Mental Health and Addictions Research Program at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and a PROOF co-investigator. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. His research is primarily focused on mental health epidemiology, interaction between mental and medical illnesses and outcomes, and health human resources issues. Paul is engaged in research using health administrative data to evaluate population-based outcomes.

Lynn McIntyreLynn McIntyre is Professor Emerita of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, and a PROOF co-investigator. Lynn’s research is focused on influencing policy that will reduce household level food insecurity in Canada. She is particularly interested in women and uses both quantitative and qualitative means to address food insecurity and to advance policy that will reduce food insecurity at the population level. Her recent work has examined the framing of food insecurity in public discourse and policy arenas.

Catherine MahCatherine L. Mah is Assistant Professor of Health Policy at Memorial University and a PROOF co-investigator. She leads a multidisciplinary program of research in the policy and practice of public health, with a focus on health-promoting innovations in the food system. Her work integrates population health intervention research and policy analysis on environmental contexts for consumption. Her recent work with PROOF looks at policy rhetoric and framing in interventions to strengthen economic participation among underserved populations.

Jurgen RehmJurgen Rehm is the Director of the Social and Epidemiological Research (SER) Department at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and a PROOF co-investigator. He is also Scientist and Head of the Population Health Research Group within SER, and a Professor and Chair of Addiction Policy in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Jurgen is a leader in generating and analyzing the scientific data needed to inform policy makers of strategies to reduce alcohol- and tobacco-related harm. His recent research is focused on estimating avoidable burden and costs of alcohol in Canada, and on conducting Comparative Risk Assessments on the burden of different risk factors in different countries.