403.698.8139twitter facebook

The Study Team

Dr. Linda Carlson (Principal Investigator)

University of Calgary, Department of Oncology


  • Mind-body intervention
  • MBCR
  • Clinical Trials
  • Clinical Psychologist.
Dr. Linda Carlson holds the Enbridge Research Chair in Psychosocial Oncology, is an Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions Health Scholar, Full Professor in Psychosocial Oncology in the Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology. She is the Director of Research and works as a Clinical Psychologist at the Department of Psychosocial Resources at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.

Dr. Carlson trained as a Clinical Health Psychologist at McGill University in Montreal, researching the area of psychoneuroendocrinology. She worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, sponsored by a Terry Fox Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the National Cancer Institute of Canada/Canadian Cancer Society and subsequently received a Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator award from 2002-2007.

Dr. Carlson received the Kawano New Investigator Award from the International Psycho-Oncology Society in 2006; the William E. Rawls Prize in cancer control from the National Cancer Institute of Canada/Canadian Cancer Society in 2007; a New Investigator Award from the Canadian Psychological Association Health Section in 2009, the inaugural Research Excellence award from the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology in 2010, the Arete Award for Research Excellence from the Department of Oncology at the University of Calgary in 2012, and was shortlisted for the Dr. Rogers Prize in Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2013.

She is a fellow of the Society for Behavioral Medicine and the Mind and Life Institute.

Dr. Carlson’s research in Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery has been published in many high-impact journals and book chapters, and she published a patient manual in 2010 with Michael Speca entitled: Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery: A step-by-step MBSR approach to help you cope with treatment and reclaim your life, in addition to a professional training manual in 2009 with Shauna Shapiro entitled The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating mindfulness into psychology and the helping professions. She has published over 150 research papers and book chapters in the area of psycho-oncology, holds several millions of dollars in grant funding and is regularly invited to present her work at international conferences.

Dr. Devesh Oberoi (Study Coordinator)

Dr. Devesh Oberoi is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar in Psychosocial Oncology in the Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary. The fellowship is sponsored through the TRACTION (Training in Research and Clinical Trials in Integrative Oncology) program, a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Initiative. Dr Oberoi completed his early medical training at Manipal University, India followed by a Ph.D. from Curtin University, Australia. He was awarded three highly competitive international scholarships, viz. International Post-Graduate Research Scholarship (IPRS), the Australian Post Graduate Award (APA) and the ‘DATACOM- Strike a chord for cancer’ top up scholarship for his doctoral studies. His doctoral research, a mixed –methods study, focused on the public and behavioral health aspects of cancer, focusing on colorectal cancer in Australian men. Following his Ph.D., Dr. Oberoi worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Behavioral Research in Cancer (Cancer Council Victoria, Australia) on the IMPROVE (Improving Management through Participatory Research in Oncology) study under the mentorship of Professor Victoria White. He has also worked as a Senior Research fellow at the George Institute for Global Health, India. Dr. Oberoi has published his research in several high impact journals. He was won several travel awards and has presented his research in various national and international conferences across Australia, India, Canada and United States. He is currently a member of the American Psychosomatic Association.


He has first hand experience in running observational studies ( cross sectional and longitudinal study designs) as well as intervention based research ( randomized controlled trials). He enjoys managing mid to large scale research projects and health programs, working across inter disciplinary teams , as well as mentoring junior researchers and students. Dr Oberoi’s overarching goal is to unify his passion for research and his experience in program management  to create an environment that facilitates improved population health outcomes.

Dr. Erin Zelinski (Previous Study Coordinator)
Dr. Erin Zelinski is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Calgary and has been a part of the MATCH study since January of 2016. Erin was awarded her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Lethbridge and is currently working toward achieving her registered psychology designation. Erin is interested in the link between physical health, inflammation, and brain function as well as how perception can influence illness expression.



Dr. Lynda Balneaves


Dr. Balneaves received her Bachelor’s (1994) and Master’s (1996) degree in Nursing from the University of Manitoba and her PhD (2002) in Nursing from the University of British Columbia (UBC). From 2002 to 2014, Dr. Balneaves was on faculty in the UBC School of Nursing and was the acting Associate Director of Research in the School from 2013-2014. Since 2007, she has been the Principal Investigator of the Complementary Medicine Education and Outcomes (CAMEO) Research Program, which is one of the first knowledge translation and decision support programs focused on cancer and complementary therapies.

In September 2014, Dr. Balneaves joined the University of Toronto to become the inaugural Director of the Centre for Integrative Medicine. She also holds the Kwok Yuen and Betty Ho Chair in Integrative Medicine and is a Scientist II in Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care (POPC) at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Dr. Balneaves is on the board of the International Society of Complementary Medicine Research (ISCMR) and is the Secretary of the Society for Integrative Medicine (SIO).

Dr. Balneaves is interested in the use of complementary therapies in the context of cancer. Her specific research focus has been on the development and evaluation of knowledge translation and decision support interventions for individuals living with cancer and oncology health professionals. She has also engaged in clinical trials of specific complementary therapies, including natural health products. Dr. Balneaves has been active in health services research related to the use and access to medical marijuana in Canada.

Dr. Tara Beattie
Dr. Tara Beattie is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Oncology. She obtained her PhD from the University of Toronto in 1997 and completed her post-doctoral training with Dr. Lea Harrington and the Ontario Cancer Institute from 1997-2000.

In 2001, she became an independent investigator at the University of Calgary in the Cumming School of Medicine.




Dr. Tavis Campbell
In addition to his role as an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Calgary and Director of the Behavioral Medicine Laboratory, Dr. Tavis Campbell is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. He maintains a private practice conveniently located adjacent to the University of Calgary specializing in individual and couple counselling. Dr. Campbell is a member of the College of Alberta Psychologists.
Dr. Campbell received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from McGill University, in Montreal, PQ, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. He has been a professor at the University of Calgary since 2003 and is heavily involved in teaching and training a variety of health care professionals including family physicians and specialists, psychologists, nurses, exercise physiologists and pharmacists in motivating behaviour change in their patients.
Dr. Campbell is committed to using evidence-based approaches in his practice that have been rigorously evaluated and demonstrated effective through scientific research, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • Solution-Focused Therapy

Dr. Campbell’s areas of expertise include:

  • stress management
  • job stress
  • treatment of anxiety (including panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder) and depression
  • relationships
  • coping with chronic illness
  • weight loss
  • management of insomnia and related sleep disturbances
Mihaela Dirlea
Bio Coming Soon








Dr. Peter Faris
Peter advises the ABJHI analysis team, whose work is critical for continuously improving bone and joint health care, on best practices in analytic methodology, statistical processing, and information visualization.

The team utilizes data collected across continuums of patient care and compiles this information into benchmarking reports that are released at regular time intervals. These reports compare results from a provider to benchmarks – or desired levels of performance – in critical areas such as patient outcomes, efficiency, acceptability and appropriateness of care, cost effectiveness, and safety. The reports can identify where performance needs to be addressed and where performance is meeting or exceeding benchmarks. These anonymous and confidential reports are provided to clinicians and administrators.

Peter has consulted as a biostatistician and methodologist on hundreds of research projects across areas of care ranging from cancer and cardiology to musculoskeletal care.

Dr. Janine Giese-Davis
Janine Giese-Davis received her B.A. in English Literature and B.S. in Psychology from Colorado State University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology, Division of Psychosocial Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She is also affiliated with the Department of Psychosocial Resources at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary, Alberta. And she also holds an Adjunct Associate Professorship in the Department of Psychology, University of Calgary.

In Calgary, she leads the research effort on Cancer Survivorship on behalf of the provincial CancerBRIDGES team, an effort that is part of the Enbridge Research Chair in Psychosocial Oncology. The goal of this research program is to provide evidence-based clinical programs for cancer survivors throughout Alberta.

Her research has focused on mind/body interactions that affect psychological, physiological, and survival outcomes for people with cancer. In her past research, she has specifically focused on women with breast cancer and particularly on emotion regulation and expression in group therapy and peer counseling interventions. Her research spans both basic and applied settings.

She created the Emotion Coding Lab–Stanford in 1996 in which we code emotional expression from videotape using the Specific Affect Coding System-Cancer (SPAFF for Breast Cancer), Specific Affect Coding-Text (SPAFF for Text), and facial coding using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS).

In addition, the lab created coding schemes for and coded types of Topic discussions in support groups, Narratives (types of stories) in support groups, and Face, Body, Voice, and Content in a study of self-conscious emotions in breast cancer recovery. We have coded behavior for a broad array of research and industry projects. Over 230 students have completed internships in this coding lab, most of them have gone on to graduate or medical school. Her studies have included brain wave (ERP) and autonomic psychophysiology, endocrine, immune, metabolic function, and sleep measures.
She has also emphasized the importance of community/research collaborations throughout her career, working with The Wellness Community–National; The Cancer Support Community, San Francisco, CA; WomenCARE, Santa Cruz, CA; and the Kozmetsky Global Collaboratory-Stanford. Her work includes mentoring undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows.

Dr. Jennifer Jones
Dr. Jennifer Jones is the Director of Research for the Cancer Survivorship Program, Associate Director of the Centre for Health Wellness and Cancer Survivorship (ELLICSR) and a Research Associate in the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at Princess Margaret Hospital. In addition, she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Della Lana School of Public Health, at University of Toronto.

Dr. Jones’ research program has primarily focused on psychosocial factors among the medically ill. This has included the assessment of symptoms and quality of life at the end of life and the use of proxy assessments. More recently, through her work within the Cancer Survivorship Program at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH),her research interests have included: 1) assessing the prevalence and impact of long-term and late effects of cancer and its treatment (i.e. fatigue, bone loss) and psychosocial distress in cancer survivors; 2) the development and evaluation of group and individual psychoeducational interventions to promote patient engagement in self-management activities and to support families affected by cancer; 3) evaluation of new innovative models of care delivery. She has also developed expertise in the area of continuing education and professional development and knowledge translation.

Dr. Jill Nation
Bio Coming Soon
Dr. Kamala Patel
Bio Coming Soon
Dr. Daniel Santa Mina
Dr. Daniel Santa Mina completed his PhD at York University and Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. He is a Registered Kinesiologist and Certified Exercise Physiologist with specialization in oncology.

Dr. Daniel Santa Mina is a Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre where he leads the Wellness and Exercise for Cancer Survivors Program (WE-Can) and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto. His main areas of clinical-research focus are on the physiological, functional, and psychosocial effects of exercise for cancer survivors.

Dr. Michael Speca
Adjunct associate professor of psychosocial oncology at the University of Calgary and a former Canadian Cancer Society post-doctoral fellow at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.

As a clinical psychologist at the Centre, he counsels cancer patients and their families, facilitates a range of group support programs, and cofounded the Centre’s popular Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery program.

Kirsti Toivonen
Kirsti worked as a research assistant while completing her undergraduate degree in psychology at Lakehead University.

She joined the Clinical Psychology graduate program at the University of Calgary in 2015 to pursue behavioural medicine research. As part of the MATCH study team, Kirsti will collect and examine psychophysiological data.

Dr. Sunita Vohra
Sunita Vohra, MD MSc FRCPC FCAHS – Co-Investigator; ‘Provincial Lead for IMPORTEN for Alberta’

A clinician scientist with dual specialties in pediatrics and clinical pharmacology, Dr. Vohra’s research program focuses on patient-centred evidence-based approaches to complementary medicine. She leads innovation in clinical research methods, including N-of-1 trials, active surveillance, and improved outcomes reporting. Her accomplishments have been recognized nationally with the Roger’s Prize for Excellence in CAM research, induction into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and internationally, as she has chaired the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Integrative Medicine and is a Co-Convenor for the Cochrane Collaboration Adverse Effects Methods Group.

A Centennial professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, and the founding Director of the Integrative Health Institute at the University of Alberta, Dr. Vohra has won over $17M in research funding and published over 160 peer-reviewed manuscripts.

Dr. Peter Wayne
Peter Wayne, Ph.D., is the founder and director of the Tree of Life Tai Chi Center, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Research Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine jointly based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Between 2000-2007, Peter was the Research Director of the New England School of Acupuncture, where he developed and oversaw studies evaluating all branches of Chinese medicine.

Peter has been trained and certified to teach by numerous internal arts masters including Robert Morningstar, Arthur Goodridge, Mantak Chia, and Michael Winn. During 2000 he studied in China and received certification from the World Academic Society of Medical Qigong. He has also completed a training course in Gesture of Awareness with Charles Genoud. An internationally recognized practitioner and teacher with more than 35 years of experience, Peter enjoys sharing his knowledge of the internal arts with all interested students. He particularly enjoys drawing on the principles of Western Science to help elucidate the ancient principles of traditional Asian healing arts.

Peter’s current research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School includes clinical and basic research evaluating the effectiveness of Tai Chi and related complementary and alternative medical therapies for numerous medical conditions including balance disorders, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular health, osteoporosis, chronic back pain, depression, and pulmonary disease. Peter has played a leading or collaborative role on more than 20 studies funded by the National Institutes of Health, and his research has been published in a number of leading medical journals.

He is also author of The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi.

Dr. Jennifer Zwicker
Bio Coming Soon