403.698.8139twitter facebook


Dr. Lynda Balneaves

University of Manitoba

Study Role

  • Protocol Development
  • Manuscript preparation and dissemination


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

University of Calgary, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Study Role

  • Protocol Development
  • Manuscript preparation and dissemination



Dr. Beattie’s lab focuses on telomere integrity and the enzyme telomerase as a critical factor in the progression of age-related diseases. Telomeres are specialized structures that form the protective ends of linear chromosomes. Telomeres confer stability of our DNA and therefore, telomere structure needs to be maintained in cells, since changes in DNA integrity can lead to multiple disease states. Activation of the enzyme telomerase, which maintains telomere length in dividing cells, is essential for the unregulated growth of many cancer cells. However, in addition there are at least four three disease states that arise from mutations in telomerase, stressing the importance of the delicate balance that must be preserved between telomerase activation and telomerase inhibition – either too much, or too little of the enzyme can be bad for the cell.

Since cellular and organismal aging are influenced by numerous factors including telomere length, telomerase activity and the DNA damage response, it will be critical to understand the interplay between each of these processes in healthy aging and how these processes go awry in age-related diseases. We are aiming to understand the interplay between telomere length maintenance, cell growth, the DNA damage response and checkpoint activation to understand how telomere dysfunction/telomerase mutations might contribute to disease states and aging. 

Dr. Tavis Campbell

University of Calgary, Department of Psychology

Study Role

  • Lead of Psychophysiology measurement and interpretation


Tavis Campbell is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Oncology at the University of Calgary, where he also holds the position of Director of Clinical training. He obtained his Ph.D from McGill University and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Duke University Medical Centre. His research interests involve identifying and understanding the bio-behavioral mechanisms involved in the development, progression, and management of chronic diseases, such as hypertension, cancer and insomnia. Dr. Campbell has published results from several behavior-based RCTs in the areas of cancer, pain, and chronic disease management. In addition, he is actively involved in the Health Section of the Canadian Psychological Association and is Chair of the Adherence Committee for Hypertension Canada.

Dr. Peter Faris

Alberta Health Services

Study Role

  • Sample size determination, randomization
  • Data management, analysis and interpretation


Peter Faris is the Director of Research Facilitation in Alberta Health Services and an Adjunct Associate Professor in Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. He has 25 years of experience in providing statistical support for research in Cardiology, Psychology, Neurology, Nephrology, Cancer and Orthopedics. He has a Master’s degree in Psychology and a PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Calgary.

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

University of Calgary, Department of Oncology

Study Role

  • Study Design, Data analysis
  • Psychophysiology data analysis and interpretation


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. Jill Nation
Jill Nation 8X11-9645

Alberta Health Services, Cancer Control, Medical Oncologist

Study Role

  • Patient referral
  • Access to tumour groups


Dr. Nation is  a professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Oncology at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine . She is also Medical Director of the Colposcopy Clinics in the  Calgary Zone of  Alberta Health Services and is in active clinical practice in gynecologic oncology.

. She received her medical degree from the University of Alberta in 1977 and her Fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1983 followed by subspecialty training in Gynecologic Oncology at the Universities of British Columbia and Manitoba.

She has been actively involved in medical education at all levels of the continuum but particularly in post graduate medical education and teaches at the Cumming School of Medicine. Her clinical and research interests include management of gynaecologic malignancies, preinvasive cervical abnormalities and medical education.

Dr. Kamala Patel

University of Calgary, Department of Immunology

Study Role

  • Conducting/overseeing Cytokine assays
  • Data management and interpretation


Discovery comes from disruptive thinking and for Dr. Kamala D. Patel, PhD, this approach has guided her work in the area of inflammation and chronic disease for the last 25 years. She is a Professor in the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Dr. Patel studies the human immune system, namely how endothelial cells lining the blood vessels regulate leukocyte trafficking in chronic diseases. Dr. Patel’s work in this area has received more than 6000 citations.

She is the Director of the Optical Imaging and Synergy (OPTIS) Laboratories that provide both Canadian and international researchers with cutting edge microscopy tools to study acute and chronic diseases. Dr. Patel is the Co-Director for Research and Infrastructure at the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases. She is also a member of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research Team on Chronic Inflammation in the Lung.

Dr. Michael Speca

Alberta Health Services Cancer Control, Tom Baker Cancer Centre

Study Role

  • Study Design
  • Training MBCR facilitators
  • Fidelity assurance, publications


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

University of Calgary

Study Role

  • Collect and Analyze psychophysiological measures


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

University of Alberta Integrative Health Institute

Study Role

  • Oversight of cohort development and recruitment


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

Harvard University

Study Role

  • Tai Chi and Qigong protocol development and training of facilitators
  • Manuscript preparation


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

University of Calgary Department of Economics

Study Role

  • Protocol Development, measurement
  • Interpretation of health economic outcomes


Dr. Jennifer Zwicker is Manager of the Neurodevelopmental Disability Policy Research program in health policy at the University of Calgary, School of Public Policy.

Supported by NeuroDevNet and the Sinneave Family Foundation, her research focuses on the socioeconomic impact of neurodevelopmental disability research and interventions as a means for informing evidence based policy development. Dr. Zwicker is also part of a recently successful CIHR funded Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research network on childhood disability called CHILD-BRIGHT: Child Health Initiatives Limiting Disability – Brain Research Improving Growth and Health Trajectories.

Dr. Zwicker received her PhD in neurophysiology from the University of Alberta and her Masters of Public Policy from the University of Calgary, supported with generous funding from CIHR and AIHS throughout her graduate training. She is a 2014/2015 Action Canada Fellow, an Action Canada Alumni board member, a public member on the council of the Alberta College of Optometrists and a co-chair for the Canadian Science Policy Centre.