Principal Investigators

Parminder Raina
Lead Principal Investigator

Dr. Parminder Raina is a Professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics at McMaster University and an Associate Member, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences. He specializes in in the epidemiology of aging with emphasis on developing the interdisciplinary field of geroscience to understand the processes of aging from cell to society. He has expertise in epidemiologic modeling, systematic review methodology, injury, and knowledge transfer. He holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Geroscience and the Raymond and Margaret Labarge Chair in Research and Knowledge Application for Optimal Aging. He is the lead investigator of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. He has served as a Hamilton site lead investigator for the Canadian Study of Health and Aging (population study of Dementia).

He is one of the founding members of the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal for citizens and decision-makers, and was the Director of the internationally recognized McMaster Evidence-based Practice Center which was funded by the U.S based Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He is also the Director of the recently established McMaster Institute of Geroscience.

Dr. Raina is one of the founding members of the Ontario Research Coalition of Aging Institutes/Centres funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Dr. Raina has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and reports, and has held several national and international peer-reviewed grants. Dr. Raina has served on several national and international advisory committees including: the Big Data Initiative in Ontario; WHO-EVIPNet in Asia; Ontario Minister's Advisory Group on Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementia Research; Surveillance Committee of Public Health Agency of Canada and Panel for the Public Dialogue on Privacy and Health Research in Canada; Teams Advancing Patient Experience: Strengthening Quality (TAPESTRY) and Data for Healthcare, Research, Policy and Innovation; and the Ontario Personalized Medicine Network (OPMN). He is also a member of the External Scientific and Ethics Advisory Board of European Union funded projects "Consortium on Health and Ageing Network of Cohorts in Europe and the United States (CHANCES)", and SiforAGE: Science for Ageing Society.

He is actively involved in the supervision of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, and has served as an advisor to several provincial, federal, and international agencies.

Susan Kirkland
Co-principal Investigator

Dr. Susan Kirkland is a Professor in the Departments of Community Health & Epidemiology and Medicine, Dalhousie University Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is the Associate Director (Population Studies) of the Geriatric Medicine Research Unit at Dalhousie, Affiliate Scientist at the QEII Health Sciences Centre, and the Director of the Atlantic Interdisciplinary Research Network. She is trained as an epidemiologist, with expertise in aging, chronic disease epidemiology, health services utilization, and women’s health. Her research relates to the epidemiological examination of health outcomes that are prevalent in older populations, including cardiovasular disease (CVD) and osteoporosis, hepatitis C and cognitive impairment, and the exploration of underlying determinants of health, particularly the interplay between gender and the genetic, social, cultural and economic determinants of health. She is an investigator on numerous population-based epidemiologic studies including the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos), and the Nova Scotia Health Survey Follow Up Studies, and has been a member of the Canadian Health Measures Survey Expert Advisory Committee since its inception. She is currently leading studies in the areas of healthy aging, HIV and aging, frailty, physical activity and obesity, and technologies to support aging in place. She is also a member of the board of the Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Northwood Group of Companies, a non-profit continuing care organization serving residents of Nova Scotia.

Dr. Kirkland has been involved in the CLSA since its inception, and has co-led with Drs. Raina and Wolfson the development of the study design, content, measures, governance structure, and implementations plans. She brings to the team a wealth of knowledge not only in epidemiologic methods relevant to longitudinal studies, but substantive expertise in chronic disease epidemiology, especially as it relates to osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and obesity in vulnerable populations. Dr. Kirkland leads the Halifax DCS and is the director of the CLSA CATI network. She is the CLSA ex-officio representative on the CIHR Ethical Legal and Social Issues Committee that is advisory to the CLSA. She is responsible for the annual REB ethics submissions and the development of protocols that address ethical, legal and social issues. Dr. Kirkland also co-chairs the Training and Research Capacity Committee of the CLSA.

Christina Wolfson
Co-principal Investigator

Dr. Christina Wolfson is a Professor in the departments of Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Occupational Health, and Medicine, at McGill University, and is a senior scientist in the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience Program at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. She is trained as a biostatistician and epidemiologist and is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology. Her program of research lies in the epidemiology of neurodegenerative disorders and she has conducted research in dementia, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. She maintains a methodological and statistical research program, the goals of which are to improve both the design and analysis of observational studies. As a co-principal investigator on the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging she leads the Neurological Conditions Initiative and the Veterans Health Initiative. She is also the director of the CLSA Statistical Analysis Centre and was the inaugural chair of the CLSA Interim Data and Sample Access Committee.

Dr. Wolfson has served on both national and international advisory and research review committees including the Medical Advisory Committee of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, the Neurological Disease Surveillance Advisory Committee of the Public Health Agency of Canada, and four Institute of Medicine Committees of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences charged with examination of various aspects of the neurological health of veterans. She is currently the chair of the steering committee for the EnvIMS (Environmental Risk Factors for Multiple Sclerosis) study, a case control study of MS risk factors carried out in Canada, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Serbia. In addition, Dr. Wolfson is the program director for the endMS National Education and Training Program.

At the university level, as of June 1, 2016, Dr. Wolfson is the McGill University Research Integrity Officer.

She supervises undergraduate students, graduate students and clinical fellows in the departments of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, Neurology and Neurosurgery, and Mathematics and Statistics at McGill University.