COVID-19 Updates
IWK & COVID-19: Latest Updates
Hotline: 1-902-233-3495



Emergency: 911
Telecare: 811
Poison: 1-800-565-8161
5850/5980 University Ave., Halifax, NS B3K 6R8

Area Specific Research Profiles



Research at the IWK Health Centre is flourishing, thanks to the efforts of our exceptionally talented researchers. They include clinicians in a wide range of health professions, as well as basic scientists, epidemiologists and social scientists. Their work spans all four pillars of research: basic biomedical, clinical, health services and population health research. Together, IWK researchers are building a solid platform of knowledge that we can build upon to address all the key elements that influence health.

Many of our researchers have come to Halifax from other provinces and countries to join the IWK and Dalhousie University, our affiliated academic institution. The high calibre of our growing research community is attracting top people, to the benefit of the communities we serve.

Our researchers are noted for their academic credentials and high-impact publications. They are equally well known for their willingness to share knowledge and to work with colleagues toward common goals. Through their ideas, their energy, their dedication, and their teamwork, they are making a positive difference, every day, to the health and wellbeing of women, children, youth and families in the Maritimes.


Cancer Research

Cancer researchers at the IWK seek to learn more about the causes of cancer and how it develops, so ultimately it can be detected earlier or even prevented. At the same time, they are working to develop more effective treatments and improve the quality of life of children, youth and women with cancer.

Jason Berman, zebrafish studies for leukemia cures
Mark Bernstein, clinical trials in childhood cancers
Brent Johnston, immune response in cancer, infections and autoimmune disease
Peter MacDougall, preventing chronic pain after breast cancer surgery
Louise Parker, population health and cancer epidemiology
Chris Richardson, hepatitis in liver cancer and measles-based cancer therapy


Children's Health Research

Research in children’s health covers a wide spectrum at the IWK. For example, some IWK researchers are addressing the obesity epidemic, while others are working to improve the prevention and treatment of childhood cancers, infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders and neurological conditions. Yet others want to ease the pain for children who are coping with chronic illnesses, or who need to undergo a medical or surgical procedure.

Jason Berman, zebrafish studies for leukemia cures
Mark Bernstein, clinical trials in childhood cancers
Lynn Breau, assessment and treatment of pain in people with intellectual disabilities
Christine Chambers, understanding and easing children's pain
Ryan D'Arcy, brain research in the Biomedical MRI Research Laboratory
Sara Kirk, obesity and the obesogenic environment
Joanne Langley, preventing infectious diseases in children
Tony Otley, quality of life for young people with inflammatory bowel disease
Leah Walsh, clinical studies to optimize eye care


Drug Discovery Research

Dalhousie University and IWK Health Centre scientists are working together in two main laboratories at the IWK to discover effective new formulations for treating and preventing common diseases. Researchers in the Canadian Center for Vaccinology are developing novel vaccines to prevent viral and bacterial infections, while researchers in the Cheminformatics and Drug Discovery Laboratory (CDDL) use sophisticated software to design new drugs.

CDDL senior scientists (David Byers, Chris McMaster, Don Weaver), paving the way for the first new class of antibiotics in years.

CDDL staff scientists (Chris Barden, Annette Henneberry, Fan Wu), designing, creating and testing new compounds.

Chris Richardson, engineering a multi-purpose vaccine against HIV, malaria, avian flu and other lethal pathogens
Jun Wang, in pursuit of the first Chlyamydia vaccine


Immunology & Infectious Disease Research

The IWK is home to a large and productive group of immunology and infectious diseases researchers. They seek to understand and alleviate autoimmune and allergic diseases, and to prevent and treat infectious diseases.

Robert Anderson, pioneering vaccines against dengue and RSV
Bob Bortolussi, fostering the next generation of clinical vaccinology researchers
Scott Halperin, leader of the Canadian Center for Vaccinology
Brent Johnston, immune response in cancer, infections and autoimmune disease
Joanne Langley, testing new vaccines/strategies for children
Tong-Jun Lin, new approaches to cystic fibrosis and asthma
Shelly McNeil, applying scientific knowledge to vaccine policy
Chris Richardson, engineering a multi-purpose vaccine against HIV, malaria, avian flu and other lethal pathogens
Jun Wang, in pursuit of the first Chlyamydia vaccine

IWK infectious diseases research is concentrated in the Canadian Center for Vaccinology, where more than 20 investigators study the biology of infectious diseases, develop and evaluate new vaccines, and explore vaccine-related health policy, ethics and law in order to inform health care providers, administrators, and policymakers.
The Canadian Center for Vaccinology also manages the Clinical Research Unit and Sanofi Pasteur Vaccine Challenge Unit. This 10-bed, 5,400-square-foot unit can host any study that requires a secure, comfortable, well-equipped, professionally staffed facility where research participants can stay for hours or even weeks for interventions, tests and monitoring.


Mental Health Research

Mental health researchers at the IWK are working to support mental health from infancy through childhood and on into adolescence. Their approaches range from educational interventions, to genetic and imaging studies, to health services evaluations and clinical trials.

Alexa Bagnell, teen mental health literacy
Anne Duffy, early intervention in bipolar disorder
Stan Kutcher, effective mental health care for teens; suicide prevention
John LeBlanc, bulling prevention
Patrick McGrath / Strongest Families, helping families alleviate anxiety and behaviour disorders
Strong Starts, Healthier Futures Together, support for parents of at-risk infants


Women's Health Research

IWK women’s health researchers focus on safeguarding maternal health and wellbeing in pregnancy, labour and birth, as well as women’s comfort, safety and wellbeing following surgical procedures.

Vicky Allen, managing risk in labour and birth
Linda Dodds, impact of prenatal environment exposures
Ron George, controlling pain in labour and after surgery
Donna Gilmour, women's recovery from gynecologic surgery
Sara Kirk, impact of obesity on labour and delivery
Peter MacDougall, preventing chronic pain after breast cancer surgery
Dr. Dolores McKeen, protecting women's comfort and safety in labour and surgery
Heather Scott and Jo-Ann Brock, screening for pre-natal risk

Research Site Map


Contact Us

IWK Health Research Services
5850/5980 University Ave
PO Box 9700
Nova Scotia, B3K 6R8

If you have a general question about research, our services, facilities or programs please email us below.

If you are looking for a specific individual from one of our departments or facilities please select the button below to view the research services team (individual contact information is provided here).


Research E-Bulletin

If you would like to be added to our mailing list and receive our weekly E-Bulletin let us know. Our E-Bulletin is updated with upcoming educational opportunities and accomplishments. Be part of our research community.