Cannabis Guidelines Task Force Members

[accordion title=”List of members”]
[accordionitem title=”Dr. Alan Bell”]

Dr. Alan Bell, MD, is a family physician and clinical researcher in Toronto, Canada. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto and on the active staff of the Humber River Hospital. He is a recipient of the College of Family Physicians of Canada Award of Excellence.

His activities include:

  • Primary Panel and Past Chair – Canadian Cardiovascular Society Antiplatelet Guideline Committee.
  • Primary Panel – Canadian Cardiovascular Society Atrial Fibrillation Guideline Committee
  • Thrombosis Canada – Board of Directors
  • Hypertension Canada – Board of Directors
  • Canadian Stroke Network Professional Development Committee

Dr. Bell’s involvement in continuing medical education includes the development and presentation of many national projects. He has served as faculty and chair of countless committees and advisory boards dedicated to serving the common interests of the medical profession and the public. His research, commentaries and letters have been presented and published internationally.

[accordionitem title=”Patrick Wright”]

Patrick Wright is the National Harm Reduction Manager at the Canadian AIDS Society.

Patrick holds a BHK from the University of Ottawa and a MA in Health Promotion from Dalhousie University. His research-based master’s program explored social determinants of health and advanced research methods. During this time, Patrick also worked as a research assistant at the university.




[accordionitem title=”Dr. Paul Daeninck”]

Dr. Paul Daeninck, MD, has worked as a medical oncologist and palliative medicine consultant with CancerCare Manitoba since 1998.

He is the Chair of the Symptom Management and Palliative Care Disease Site Group at CancerCare Manitoba, and an Assistant Professor at the Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba.

Dr. Daeninck serves with national organizations, including the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, and the DeSouza Institute.

He is active in medical student and resident education as well as involved in research of several aspects of palliative medicine, including the role of medical cannabis in cancer therapy.

[accordionitem title=”Dr. Marilou Gagnon”]

Dr. Marilou Gagnon, RN, PhD is Associate Professor at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Human and Social Development at UVic. Her program of research seeks to address gaps in knowledge that have the potential to inform public debate and policies, while also advancing the rights and the health of marginalized communities. She recently received CIHR funding to conduct a longitudinal qualitative study on cannabis use and symptom management among people living with HIV. She served on the board of directors of the Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (CANAC) (09–13) and was Expert Advisor Research, Policy and Advocacy for CANAC from 2013-16. She also served on the board of the Bureau Régional d’Action Sida (BRAS) in Gatineau (12-14) and joined the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network’s board of directors in 2013 for a first mandate and a second mandate in 2015. She was the founder of the Coalition of Nurses for Supervised Injection Services. The Coalition played a key role in advocating for supervised injection services between 2015-2017. She is creator and manager of the Facebook campaign Harm Reduction = Nursing Care, founder and editor of the blog The Radical Nurse, and co-president of the Nursing Observatory. She is the current President of the Harm Reduction Nurses Association. She sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Mental Health and Addiction Nursing and the International Journal of Drug Policy.

[accordionitem title=”Gary Lacasse”]

In November 2015, Gary Lacasse became the Executive Director of the Canadian AIDS Society with the goal of meeting the ever-changing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. After serving as the Executive Director of Maison Plein Coeur, one of Quebec’s largest AIDS service organizations, he joined CAS at a pivotal moment: when we needed a new and engaging leadership to fulfill the needs of our community.

Before working in non-profits, Gary spent over two decades in the private sector and was Strategic Director in sales and marketing at the end of his career there. But after deciding to shift his professional priorities entirely, he redirected his focus to the not-for-profit sector. By guiding organizations with his financial and communications experience, Gary was able to lend his knowledge to a number of groups, including COCQ-sida, The Council for Quebec Gays & Lesbians, the Tremblant Chamber of Commerce, Fondation Tremblant.

Gary also served as a member on CAS’ board of directors, a role that would ultimately allow him to understand the internal workings of CAS. This insight needed to pivot our focus and once again engage Canadians in the conversation about HIV/AIDS.

With Gary comes transparency, humility and direct acknowledgement of our valued board members in all our direction and decision making process. “I want to talk about real things.” he says, adding “We have to own it and work it and keep people talking about it at a high level. How are we going to have zero infections without an open and dynamic discussion about it? Our foundation is there. It’s intact. Right now we are just building our walls back up.”

[accordionitem title=”Dr. Caroline MacCallum”]

Photo of Dr. Caroline MacCallum

Dr. MacCallum completed her undergraduate degree in pharmacy and medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland , where she was born and raised. She graduated from the University of British Columbia Internal Medicine Residency Program in 2013. Upon graduation, she practiced pain & addiction medicine at Vancouver General Hospital and Heartwood Addiction Program at BC Women’s Hospital. In addition she also practiced complex pain medicine at the CHANGEpain Clinic and BC Women’s Complex Chronic Disease Program.

Currently she is a clinical instructor in the UBC Department of Medicine at where she provides inpatient care on the Internal Medicine Ward at UBC Hospital, and Bone Marrow Transplant Ward at VGH. She is also guest lecturer and preceptor for UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Program.

She is the Medical director at Greenleaf Medical Clinic. Dr. MacCallum has a passion for cannabis education and curriculum.  She has done a number of CME presentations and preceptorships for physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other allied health care professionals. 

Her research interest include: cannabis to help taper prescription medications to reduce overall polypharmacy burden;  cannabis in complex diseases; cannabis impairment and cannabis use in the workplace.

[accordionitem title=”Enrico Mandarino”]

Enrico Mandarino has over 25 years of experience as a healthcare professional within the hospital, educational and pharmaceutical industries. His breadth of experience in healthcare includes progressive positions in diagnostic and clinical research, health policy, stakeholder relations, patient assistance, education and quality assurance.

Enrico holds an associates degree in Medical Laboratory Science and a postgraduate certificate as a Clinical Research Associate from the Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences. He is also completing a Bachelor of Health Administration, from Ryerson University. As a Regulated Health Professional, he maintains an active practicing registration with the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario. Enrico has contributed to numerous public policy and clinical research initiatives and co-authored several published clinical and public policy papers.

Enrico has served on several national health related boards and was recently appointed to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Community Advisory Committee and the Scientific Review Committee. Enrico is passionate about engaging diverse stakeholders across all sectors in basic and clinical science research and integrated knowledge translation; to ensure strategic directions on emerging health issues are impact driven.

In 2012, Enrico was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal, by the Governor General, for significant contributions to Canada.

[accordionitem title=”Shari Margolese”]

Shari Margolese has been an active voice for people living with HIV since her own diagnosis in 1992. Shari began using cannabis to fight the side effects of HIV medication and progressing illness including advanced arthritis. Her advocacy for access to medical cannabis includes conference abstract presentations nationally and internationally spanning almost 20 years.

Additionally, Shari served on the Health Canada Advisory Committee for the Medical Marijuana Access Regulations. Most recently Shari contributed to the Task force on Marijuana report as a member of the community panel.

As a community research consultant and writer, Shari has many publications including Canadian Clinical Guidelines for HIV Pregnancy Planning. Currently, Shari chairs the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network Community Advisory Committee. Shari is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal for her service to community.

[accordionitem title=”Dr. Zachary Walsh”]

Dr. Zach Walsh, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, where he directs the Therapeutic Recreational and Problematic Substance Use lab.

He has published more than 50 research articles and chapters, and has presented and consulted to diverse governmental, professional, and public audiences on topics related to cannabis, mental health, and public health.

He is the lead investigator for several ongoing studies of the therapeutic use of cannabis including a clinical trial of cannabis for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

His work has been supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the American Psychological Association, and others.

[accordionitem title=”Dr. Cecilia Costiniuk”]

Dr. Cecilia Costiniuk received her medical degree from McMaster University followed by residency training in internal medicine and infectious diseases from the University of Ottawa. This was followed by a Master’s in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Ottawa and then an HIV/Tuberculosis research followship at the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV in Durban, South Africa.

Following her return to Canada in 2014, Dr Costiniuk joined McGill University’s Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases/Chronic Viral Illness Service as assistant professor of medicine.  A clinician investigator, she leads a research program funded by the CIHR and Fonds de recherche du Québec—Santé (FRQ-S) focused on chronic lung disease, pulmonary immunity and inflammation in the context of HIV infection.   She also holds a Chercheur-boursier-clinicien Junior 1 salary award from the FRQ-S.

Dr Costiniuk is interested in exploring the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for various conditions affecting people living with HIV in the context of well-designed clinical studies. She is especially interested in examining the role of cannabinoids as anti-inflammatory agents in the context of chronic HIV.  She is the lead investigator on an upcoming pilot study supported by the CIHR-CTN (PT028) which will investigate the safety, tolerability and effects on inflammation of cannabinoids in the context of HIV infection.


For more information on the ongoing Cannabis Guidelines Project, please go to our Research page.

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