Dr. Angela Mailis-Gagnon, MD
Director, Comprehensive Pain Program
Toronto Western Hospital
Bill Daya, BSc Pharm
Independent pharmacist, Pickering
Dr. James Henry, PhD
Scientific Director, DeGroote Institute
for Pain Research, McMaster University, Hamilton
Executive Committee member
Lisa Hooper, Chair, ACTION PNP, Aurora
Dr. Judith Hunter, PhD
Department of Physical Therapy
University of Toronto
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
University of Alberta
Dr. Tara Jeji, MD, MBA
Program Director Spinal Cord Injury
Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation
Dr. Meldon Kahan, MD, CCFP, FRCPC, FCFP
Medical Director, Substance Use Services
Women's College Hospital
Dr. Brian Kirsh, MD, FRCPC
Comprehensive Pain Program
Department of Psychiatry
University Health Network
Dr. Barry Sessle, MDS, PhD
Professor, Faculty of Dentistry
University of Toronto
Canada Research Chair Secretary & Executive Committee member
Dr. Jennifer Stinson, RN, PhD, CPNP
Scientist, Child Health Evaluative Sciences
Nurse Practitioner, Chronic Pain Program
The Hospital for Sick Children
Dr. Paul Taenzer, PhD
Clinical researcher in pain
Treasurer & Executive Committee member
Dr. Ramesh Zacharias
Chronic Pain Management Unit
Chedoke Hospital, Hamilton Health Services
Dr. Angela Mailis-Gagnon was born in Athens, Greece, where she obtained her medical degree. She received specialty training in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as a Master degree from the University of Toronto, Canada. She specializes in chronic pain and she is the founder and director of the Comprehensive Pain Program of the Toronto Western Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. She is also a senior investigator with the Krembil Neuroscience Centre, full Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto and Chair of ACTION Ontario, as well as a popular science writer (has published a book BEYOND PAIN highlighting her experience with chronic pain patients and writes regularly for CARP Advocacy electronic letter). She has published and lectured extensively around the world in the field of Chronic Pain.
Dr. James Henry is Emeritus Professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. While at McGill University (1976-2002) Dr. Henry became internationally known for his pioneering discovery that the peptide, substance P, is a regulator of synaptic transmission in pain pathways, opening a new field of research in understanding pain mechanisms. He was Chair of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Western Ontario (2002-2004) and moved to McMaster University as the Inaugural Scientific Director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care, and Chair in Central Pain in 2005. His research career has focussed on mechanisms generating acute and chronic pain using electrophysiological, behavioral and imaging techniques, applied to animal models of neuropathic, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back, cancer and central post-stroke pain, and focuses upon translational research with clinicians on chronic pain in humans. For the past eight years he has also run a chronic pain support group in the Burlington/Hamilton area and also runs an annual professional development course on management of chronic pain for family physicians.
Dr. Judith Hunter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, a physical therapist, and the Canadian Paraplegic Association Ontario Research Fellow at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, where she focuses on chronic pain after spinal cord injury. She is Associate Scientific Staff at Mount Sinai Hospital, Wasser Pain Management Centre and a founding member of the University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Pain. Her research aims to understand individual differences in chronic pain patients after neurological injury to provide targeted, tailored, comprehensive pain management. During her PhD studies, Dr. Hunter received a fellowship from the PFC-CIHR Collaboration, and CIHR Strategic Training Program in Cell Signaling and Mucosal Inflammation fellowship. She was also a multiple recipient of the Clinician-Scientist Award from the UT Centre for the Study of Pain (UTCSP). Dr. Hunter is Chair of the innovative “Interfaculty Pain Curriculum,” which won the Northrop Frye Award for linking research to education and instructs 800 students from six health science faculties at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Tara Jeji is currently the Program Director for Spinal Cord Injury Program at Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Wayne State University, Detroit, Department of PM & R. Tara serves on several service and advocacy boards to facilitate service delivery and enhance community participation and quality of life for individuals with a spinal cord injury. Tara has a personal insight of living with neuropathic pain and works towards developing a coordinated neuropathic pain strategy for those suffering with neuropathic pain.
Dr. Brian Kirsh first developed his interest in pain medicine as a family doctor and then retrained as a psychiatrist to specialize in this area. After graduation in 1998, Dr. Kirsh became the Medical Director of the multidisciplinary pain program at Hamilton Health Sciences. In 2010, Dr. Kirsh returned to his hometown of Toronto and joined the team at the Comprehensive Pain Program at Toronto Western hospital under the direction of Dr. Angela Mailis. He is also on staff in the Department of Psychiatry at University Health Network. He has a private practice in downtown Toronto where he continues his work in pain medicine and general psychiatry.
Dr. Barry Sessle is Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry and Faculty of Medicine, a member of the Centre for the Study of Pain, and is the holder of a Canada Research Chair. He is also an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and member of the Canadian Academy of Science. He is a Past- President of the Canadian Pain Society and a Past-President of the International Association for the Study of Pain.
Dr. Jennifer Stinson is an Assistant Professor in the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, at the University of Toronto. She is a Clinician Scientist in Child Health Evaluative Sciences and an Advanced Practice Nurse in the Chronic Pain Program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. She helped to develop one of the first multidisciplinary chronic pain programs for children in Canada in 1998. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Western Ontario, Masters of Science from the University of Toronto, a Post-Master’s Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Certificate from the State University at Sunny Buffalo, and a PhD in Nursing from University of Toronto. Her major clinical research interests are in the area of pain and symptom management and the use of e-health technologies to improve the assessment and management of pain and other symptoms in children with chronic illnesses. She is the current recipient of a Ministry of Health and Long-term Care Career Scientist Award.
Dr. Paul Taenzer has a PhD in clinical psychology from McGill University. He has been an active clinician, researcher and administrator in the area of pain management over the past 35 years. He and a colleague were the prime movers in starting the Calgary Chronic Pain Centre. He has recently moved to the Kingston area and continues to be active in pain research. He is particularly interested in exploring options for clinicians to learn and use the results of the latest advances in clinical pain research.
Dr. Ramesh Zacharias graduated with his Doctorate in Medicine in 1980 from the University of Western Ontario. He subsequently did a Rotating Internship at St Michael's Hospital in Toronto. From 1981-1985 he did his Fellowship in General Surgery at the University of Western Ontario. Subsequent to his surgical residency he was the Senior Research Fellow at the University of Washington in the Department of Vascular Surgery from 1985-1987. His clinical practice was Emergency Medicine from 1981-2005. Since 2005 he has worked in a community based clinic with a focus on Chronic Pain Management. Dr Zacharias has a special area of interest in Pain Management in Older Persons. He published an article in the Journal of Diagnosis in April 2010 addressing that issue. He has been a Medical Director and attending physician in 4 LTC facilities since 2001. He is currently the Medical Director at the Village of Erin Meadows, a 180 bed LTC facility in Mississauga, Ontario. He has developed an inter-disciplinary pain program at the LTC facility involving over 10 different disciplines providing a coordinated approach to managing pain of the residents. In May 2009 Dr Zacharias received his Diplomate from the American Academy of Pain Management and received the designation of Certified Medical Director (CMD) of Long Term Care facilities from the American Medical Directors Association in December 2009. He is currently the Director of Clinical Services of Schlegel Villages which manages 2500 LTC and Retirement Home beds. In June 2010 he received an appointment in the Faculty of Health Sciences, as an Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct), Department of Anesthesia McMaster University. In January 2012 he was appointed as Medical Director of the Chronic Pain Management Unit at Hamilton Health Sciences Chedoke site.