Bios of group members

Current members and associates:


Former members and associates:








Louise Bernier

Louise Bernier started her doctoral studies in law and bioethics at McGill University in September 2002. After becoming a registered member of the Quebec Bar and working for a private law firm for two years, she completed a master's degree in law, bioethics and genetics in July 2001. She then worked both for the UK Medical Research Council in Edinburgh and for the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

Her main academic interests are related to the legal and ethical issues associated with the develpment of genetic research, particularly the access and distribution of resources produced in this field.

lber1 [at] (Email)


Carolyn Ells

Carolyn Ells is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and Member of the Biomedical Ethics Unit at McGill University; and Clinical Ethicist at the Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital. She received her PhD in Philosophy with a Concentration in Medical Ethics from the University of Tennessee in 2000. From 1999 to 2002, she was on faculty at Dalhousie University as Coordinator of the Collaborative Venture in Health Care Ethics, Law and Policy between the Department of Bioethics and Health Law Institute at Dalhousie University and three affiliated teaching hospitals.

Dr Ells' research interests include the intersection of autonomy and chronic impairment, ethics and health policy, organizational ethics, and feminist ethics. Her research is supported by grants for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the American Medical Association. Under contract from Quebec’s Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux (MSSS), Dr Ells was a principle developer of an on-line training program in research ethics.

carolyn.ells [at] (Email)


Dean Fergusson

Dean Fergusson is a Ph.D student in McGill's Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He has a BA in Political Science from McGill University and an MHA from the University of Ottawa. He is currently a Doctoral Fellow at the Ottawa Health Institute and Canadian Blood Services. His current work for the CTRG concerns clinical equipoise, the ethics of placebo-controlled trials and issues related to establishing the efficacy of blinding in trials.

dafergusson [at] (Email)


Abraham Fuks

Dr Abraham Fuks is a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University where he obtained his M.D./C.M. in 1970. Following training in Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology in the McGill teaching hospital network, he proceeded to a 3 year period of postdoctoral training at Harvard University in the fields of immunogenetics and histocompatibility antigens. He received his initial faculty position at McGill in 1978. His research interests include the immunogenetics of diabetes, the biology of tumour-associated antigens and cell adhesion molecules and ethical aspects of the design of trials involving human subjects.

Dr Fuks is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Pathology and Oncology at McGill and a member of the Clinical Trials Research Group. He was Chairman of the Institutional Review Board at McGill for a number of years and has also had experience teaching immunology, molecular aspects of malignancy and research ethics.

dean [at] (Email) Abraham Fuks


Kathleen Cranley Glass

Kathleen Cranley Glass is a clinical ethicist and health care lawyer with the CTRG, an Associate Professor in the McGill Departments of Human Genetics and Paediatrics, and Clinical Ethicist at The Montreal Children's Hospital. She received an undergraduate degree in political science from Barat College and a Master of Arts degree in political science from the University of Chicago. Her undergraduate law degrees (LL.B., B.C.L.) and doctorate (D.C.L.) are from McGill University Faculty of Law. From 1993 to 1994 and again in 1996 she was the acting Director of the National Council on Bioethics in Human Research (now the National Council on Ethics in Human Research). She has served on the Excutive Committee of the Canadian Bioethics Society and has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Institute of Health Research/ Health Canada National Placebo Working Committee.

Professor Glass teaches ethics to medical students in the McGill University Faculty of Medicine and to graduate students in the Department of Human Genetics. She serves on the Research Ethics Board and the Pediatric Ethics Committee of The Montreal Children's Hospital. Professor Glass became Director of the Biomedical Ethics Unit at McGill's Faculty of Medicine in September, 2000. Her research interests include ethical and legal issues involving children, the elderly, psychiatric patients and research subjects as well as the design, review and implementation of clinical trials, in particular, genetics trials.

Professor Glass assumed leadership of the CTRG with the death of Benjamin Freedman in 1997. [at] (Email) Kathleen Cranley Glass


Jonathan Kimmelman

Jonathan Kimmelman holds a PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University. His research interests revolve around the ethical, social and policy dimensions of biotechnologies.

Kimmelman’s research divides into several overlapping areas. The first involves a series of studies examining various ethical questions raised in clinical trials of novel therapeutics like gene transfer. These range over concerns such as conflict of interest, description of benefits to trial participants, and the failure of investigators to publish of trial results. A second area of research involves ethical questions surrounding risk: how should ethics committees evaluate risks, what risks should be disclosed to prospective trial subjects, and how will the risk environment affect the likely application of novel therapeutics like gene transfer? A final area of research involves the application of insights drawn from science and technology studies to various bioethical problems.

Kimmelman’s research uses both analytical as well as empirical methods. An example of the former includes a study that argues that present research ethics policies are poorly suited for clinical trials that pose risks to persons other than research subjects (e.g. xenotransplantation trials). An example of his empirically oriented research includes a project that uses content analysis to study how investigators communicate risks to prospective research subjects in informed consent documents.

jonathan.kimmelman [at] (Email) Jonathan Kimmelman


Trudo Lemmens

Trudo Lemmens, born in Brugge (Belgium), obtained law degrees from the K.U. Leuven (Catholic University of Louvain) (Lic. Iur.) and McGill University (LL.M. Specialization Bioethics). He is currently associate professor at the Faculty of Law and the Department of Medical Genetics and Microbiology of the University of Toronto. From September 1997 to July 1999, he was assistant professor at the Department of Psychiatry and the Faculty of Law of the University of Toronto and ethicist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Joint Centre for Bioethics. Before moving to Toronto, he was a researcher with the Clinical Trials Research Group of McGill University's Biomedical Ethics Unit and with the Centre de Recherche en Droit Public of the Université de Montréal.

Trudo Lemmens has published and presented on ethical and legal issues related to genetics, research ethics, euthanasia, doping and conflict of interest. His research currently focuses on genetics (in particular behavioural genetics) and regulatory and ethical aspects of medical research.

He is co-principal investigator of a grant awarded by the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Initiative to study how breast cancer genetics could impact on and be used in insurance. This grant builds on a 1997 report on the use of genetics for insurance purposes, which he submitted to the Medical, Ethical and Legal Issues Committee of the Canadian Genome Analysis and Technology Programme. Professor Lemmens chairs the Genetics and Ethics Research Network of the Joint Centre for Bioethics, the Research Ethics Network and is co-chair of the Board Ethics Committee of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. He further serves as a member of the Registry Research Monitoring and Ethics Review Panel (US National Cancer Institute).

Professor Lemmens is married and the father of two children.

trudo.lemmens [at] (Email) Trudo Lemmens


Neil MacDonald

Neil MacDonald is a medical oncologist and former cancer centre administrator who is currently working at the Centre for Bioethics (Clinical Research Institute of Montreal) and at McGill University. He is developing a Cancer Ethics Programme, together with Dr David J. Roy. In addition, he works with the McGill Palliative Care Programme. He previously chaired the Canadian Palliative Care Education Group which is responsible for the development of The Canadian Palliative Care Curriculum and, more recently, a textbook titled Palliative Medicine: A Case-Based Manual, based on the Curriculum. He also serves as a co-editor of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine.

Dr MacDonald has been active in the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (President of the Founding Board-1993-1994), the Canadian Oncology Society (past-President), and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (Secretary-Treasurer 1979-1982).

macdonn [at] (Email) Neil MacDonald


Nicole Palmour

Nicole Palmour obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology form St. Edwards University, Austin, Texas, where she was on the Dean's Honour List. She went on to complete a Master's degree in Forensic Psychology with honours from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, New York. She is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University. In addition to her academic activities, Nicole Palmour spends part of her free time designing and making beaded jewellery, and teaching these skills to others.

npalmo1 [at] (Email) Nicole Palmour


Stanley Shapiro

Stanley Shapiro is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McGill University, and a consultant to the Randomized Clinical Trial Unit at the Jewish General Hospital. He received his PhD (1972) and MSc (1968) in statistics from Stanford University and BSc in mathematics (1967) from Bucknell University. In addition to McGill he has held positions at Acadia University (Asst Prof '71-'73), Harvard (Visiting Assoc Prof '80-'81) and Michigan (Visiting Prof '86-). He is the co-editor of Clinical Trials Issues Approaches. He currently serves on a number of trial Scientific Advisory Committees and Data Safety and Monitoring Boards, and recently completed extended service on the Medical Research Council (Canada) clinical trials grants committee and the data safety and monitoring committee of the Canadian HIV Clinical Trials Network. He is a member of the Biometric Society, the American Statistical Society, the Statistical Society of Canada, and the Society for Clinical Trials among others. His long-standing research interests centre on theoretical and applied aspects of clinical trials, and he publishes in both the statistical and health sciences literature. Current methodologic research interests include non-compliance in clinical trials, dissemination of clinical trial results, and operationalizational aspects of clinical equipoise.

stan.shapiro [at] (Email) Stanley Shapiro


Imre Szebik

Imre Szebik received his MD (1991)and PhD(2004) from Semmelweis University of Medicine,Budapest, Hungary and his M.Sc. Specialization in Bioethics from McGill University (1999). He worked as a research associate at the Institute of Behavioural Sciences of Semmelweis Medical University (1993-1997) and as a post-doctoral fellow in clinical ethics at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. He worked with the CTRG during his studies at McGill in 1997 to 1998 and as a post-doctoral fellow from 1999 to 2000. He has now returned to Semmelweis Medical University, but is still associated with the research group.

szebimre [at] (Email) Imre Szebik


Leigh Turner

Leigh Turner received his Ph.D. from the School of Religion and Social Ethics at the University of Southern California. Following his studies, he worked as a research associate at the Hastings Centre in New York State. He then became an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics. During this period, he served as clinical ethicist at the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care and Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Centre. Presently, he is an Assistant Professor at McGill with the Department of Social Studies of Medicine and with the Biomedical Ethics Unit. He additionally serves as a clinical ethicist at the Montreal General Hospital.

Leigh's current research interests involve conflict-of-interest issues, changing norms in the biomedical sciences, and the commercialization of biomedical research. He is also investigating the global emergence of bio-capitalism. In addition, he continues to address such topics as physician assisted suicide, cross-cultural differences and end-of-life care.

leigh.turner [at] (Email) Leigh Turner


Where are former members and researchers?

Visiting professors Karen Lebacqz and Dominique Sprumont returned to their home institutions of Pacific College of Theology in California and Universities of Fribourg and Neûchatel in Switzerland. James Robbins moved to the United States and is currently at the University of Arkansas. Our student researchers and post doctoral fellows have gone on tofurther studies or interesting faculty and clinical posts. Physiotherapy student Amina Raiz completed law studies at Osgoode Hall in Toronto. Physician Maria Sigurjonsdottir, who worked with the CTRG while studying for a master's degree specialization in bioethics, returned to Iceland to practice medicine and teach bioethics. In September 1996, Charles Weijer moved to Toronto and joined the staff at Mount Sinai Hospital, the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, and the University of Toronto. He took up a tenure-track appointment at Dalhousie University in September 1998. Post doctoral fellow Louis Charland left McGill to accept a joint appointment as Assistant Professor in the departments of Philosophy and Health Sciences at the University of Westerm Ontario. Chris Herrera is Associate Professor at Montclair University in New Jersey. Zita Kruskewski is currently the clinical ethics consultant for St. Mary's Hospital and the Shriner's Hospital. Damian König completed his doctorate in law at Université de Neûchatel in Switzerland and is currently the Juriste Responsable Pour l' Informatisation des Hôpitaux Valaisan et Observatoire Cantonal de la Santé. Imre Szibik has returned to Semmelweis Medical University. Rebecca Tittler is pursuing her PhD at Carleton University in Landscape Ecology and Conservation Biology. Duff Waring accepted a position of Research Associate with the Research Ethics and Regulation Group at University of Toronto's Faculty of Law. Myriam Skrutkowska continues her work as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Medicine and Oncology. Angela Campbell is presently an Assistant Professor at McGill University, Faculty of Law. Julie Comber has accepted a fellowship with the Canada Council on Animal Care. Terri Peterson is presently teaching at Salem State, and Wheelock Colleges as well as Northeastern University in Massachusetts. Miriam Brouillet is persuing a degree in Law at McGill and interning at a Montreal law firm. Jennifer Marshall is currently with the Health Law Institute at Dalhousie University.


In appreciation:

The CTRG continues to be inspired by its co-founder and co-director, Dr Benjamin Freedman, who passed away on March 20, 1997.

Benjamin Freedman was a Professor at McGill University's Biomedical Ethics Unit, and held appointments in the departments of Medicine, Philosophy, Social Sciences in Medicine, and the Division of Experimental Medicine. He also served as Clinical Ethicist at the Sir Mortimer B. Davis - Jewish General Hospital of Montreal.

Previously, he had worked at the Westminster Institute for Ethics and Human Values (London, Ontario) and at the University of Calgary, in the faculties Medicine and of Humanities. He had taught at a number of other institutions, including Yeshiva University and Bar-Ilan University; and he had served as inaugural visiting scholar at Ben Gurion University's Jakobovits Centre for Jewish Medical Ethics (Beersheba, Israel). He received a PhD in philosophy from Graduate Centre, City University of New York, in 1975.

He had published and lectured broadly, to professional and lay audiences, on a variety of issues in bioethics and the law, and regulation of medical technology. His most recent work focused on clinical ethics, issues in medical research, and Jewish sources in relation to bioethics. He had recently written a book on Jewish sources and bioethics that was published by Routledge Press in 1999.

His wife, Barbara, is a teacher of Jewish Studies students at all levels, from kindergarten through to University. They have four children: Ariela, Orit, Avidan and Menachem.

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