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Project Leads

OTRU is home to some 30 full-time researchers, including scientists and research associates at the PhD level who act as our project leads. Our Project Leads sit on our Research and Evaluation Management Committee, contribute to our annual work planning, oversee many of our work plan projects and take a lead in other grants and contracts.

Current Project Leads

Dr. Alexey Babayan

Alexey Babayan is a Senior Research Associate with the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit. Dr. Babayan has considerable practical and methodological experience in conducting evaluation of tobacco control interventions, particularly in the area of smoking cessation. He has conducted various evaluation studies, including needs assessment, program performance monitoring, formative and outcome evaluation. At OTRU, he leads the evaluation of cessation programming and policy. Read more…

Dr. Michael Chaiton

Dr. Michael Chaiton is a Scientist at the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit and Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. He has a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto. He has been active in tobacco control since 2000 when he started working for Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada and the International Non-Governmental Coalition against Tobacco. He is interested broadly in tobacco research and is the co-instructor of the graduate level course “Tobacco and Health: From Cells to Society”. His main areas of research include unravelling the relationship between depression and smoking in adolescents and understanding the impact of widespread retail availability of tobacco. Michael is Co-Head of the Population Research Initiative in Mental Health and Addictions (PRIMHA) at the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit. Read more…

Dr. Pamela Kaufman

Dr. Pamela Kaufman is a Scientist with the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit and the Social and Epidemiological Research Department at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and Assistant Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Her program of research addresses physical and social environment factors that affect the development and implementation of public health policies, and the beneficial effects and unintended consequences of such policies. At OTRU, Pam leads studies in the area of protection, including smoking behaviour and physical and social exposure to smoking in outdoor spaces. Read more…

Dr. Catherine L. Mah

Dr. Catherine L. Mah is Scientist and Head of the Food Policy Research Initiative in CAMH’s Social and Epidemiological Research Department and with the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit. She is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Public Health Policy at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and affiliated faculty at the School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto. Read more…

Dr. Shawn O’Connor

Dr. Shawn O’Connor is a recognized expert in the surveillance of tobacco control outcomes. At OTRU, Shawn leads the Strategy Evaluation working group, which produces an annual report detailing progress of the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy. Shawn has also led the development of the Tobacco Informatics Monitoring System (TIMS) and its sister site, the Chronic Disease Informatics Monitoring System (CDIMS), innovative web-based data portals designed to enhance the use and adoption of risk-factor indicators by public-health stakeholders. Read more…