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Executive Team

Dr. Vipul Jairath, BSc, MBChB, PhD, MRCP (UK), FRCPC, President, CIRC

Associate Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division of Gastroenterology, University of Western Ontario London Health Sciences Centre, London, ON

Vipul Jairath is Associate Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University and his clinical practice is based at University Hospital, London Ontario. His research interests are in clinical trials, endpoint development and methodology. Prior to moving to Canada, he was a consultant gastroenterologist at Oxford University hospitals and a lecturer at Oxford University, with career funding from the National Institute for Health Research. He is a principal or co-investigator for several randomized trials.

Dr. Neeraj Narula BSc, MD, FRCPC, MPH, Vice-President, CIRC

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, McMaster University Staff Gastroenterologist, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, ON

Dr. Neeraj Narula is the director of the IBD clinic at McMaster University and staff gastroenterologist in Hamilton Health Sciences. He completed the Present-Levison advanced IBD fellowship in Mount Sinai Medical Centre in New York, NY, in 2015. He trained to be a Chartered Accountant at the University of Waterloo and has worked at Ernst & Young and KPMG. He subsequently attended medical school at the University of Alberta. He completed internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at McMaster University. He obtained a Masters of Public Health at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. His research interests are predominantly in clinical epidemiology, nutrition, and pharmaceutical trials in IBD.

Dr. Christopher Ma, BSc, MD, MPH, FRCPC, Treasurer, CIRC

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Community Health Sciences. Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB

Christopher Ma is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. He received his MD from the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary and completed residency in internal medicine at the University of Alberta. He trained in gastroenterology and advanced clinical IBD in Calgary and then completed the Robarts Clinical Trials IBD Fellowship at Western University. He also completed his Masters of Public Health at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. His primary interests are in research methods in IBD, endpoint evaluation, and clinical epidemiology.

Dr. Sanjay Murthy, MD, MSc, FRCPC, Director of Research, CIRC

Assistant Professor of Medicine and a Clinician-Investigator

Dr. Murthy is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and a Clinician-Investigator in the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Ottawa. He is a member of The Ottawa Hospital IBD Centre and Director of the home parenteral nutrition program. He completed his medical degree at the University of Ottawa, Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Manitoba and Gastroenterology Residency at the University of Toronto. He has completed advanced fellowships in IBD (Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto), clinical nutrition (Toronto General Hospital) and endoscopy (Mainz, Germany), and a M.Sc. in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research (University of Toronto). His research program uses clinical and health administrative data to study the quality and effectiveness of current practice and to develop models for personalized medicine, which he applies to the study of IBD and colorectal cancer prevention.

Dr. Talat Bessissow, MDCM MSc FRCPC, Member at Large, CIRC

Associate Professor of Medicine Division of Gastroenterology

Talat Bessissow earned his medical degree at McGill University where he then completed post-graduate training in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. In 2012, he trained in inflammatory bowel disease and advanced endoscopic imaging at the Gasthuisberg University Hospital, Leuven, Belgium under the supervision of professor Severine Vermeire. He also competed a Master in experimental medicine and epidemiology from McGill University in 2016. Since 2012, He is a full time Associate Professor to the Division of Gastroenterology and Attending Staff at the McGill University Health Center. He is member of the McGill IBD group as well as the McGill small bowel program.

His current research focuses on the role and outcomes of mucosal healing in inflammatory

bowel disease as well as early detection of neoplastic lesions in ulcerative colitis. His researched has led him publish over 30 peer-reviewed full papers. He has served as a review for multiple national and international journal and is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Brian Bressler MD, MS, FRCPC, Past President, CIRC

Director, Advanced IBD Training Program Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of British Columbia

Dr. Brian Bressler is a practicing gastroenterologist and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, in the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Medicine.

Dr. Bressler received his MD from the University of British Columbia and completed his residency in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the University of Toronto. He received an MS in Epidemiology from the Harvard Public School of Health and completed an advanced fellowship in Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Bressler is a recognized expert in inflammatory bowel disease. His research interests include population-based studies, classic clinical epidemiology studies and clinical trials in inflammatory bowel disease.

Mina Mawani, President and Chief Executive Officer, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

Mina Mawani joined Crohn’s and Colitis Canada as President and CEO in April 2015. With over 15 years of experience in non-profit, the private sector, hospital, and government roles, Mina is now turning her attention to making Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis stop. For life.

Mina is an experienced leader and change navigator, guiding non-profits from vision to strategy to results. Applying her passion and enthusiasm to the Crohn’s and colitis community, Mina is deeply engaged with the issues that matter most to her constituents – finding cures and improving lives for the nearly 250,000 Canadians affected by these chronic diseases.

Mina currently serves on the Boards of Seneca College and Pine River Institute and served on the Boards of Women’s College Hospital (where she chaired the Governance and Nominating Committee), and Research Canada. Mina is a member of the International Women’s Forum Canada (IWFC).

Mina has held a number of leadership roles, including President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Chief Development Officer and Executive Committee member at Civic Action, and CEO of the Aga Khan Council for Canada. Earlier in her career, she held key roles at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. In 2016, Mina received the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award for her achievements and contributions to Canada, and most recently received the “2017 Humanitarian of the Year Award” from the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce.


Kate Lee, Vice President of Research and Patient Programs, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

Kate Lee joined Crohn’s and Colitis Canada in April 2017. Before joining our organization, Kate held the role of Vice-President of Research and Career Development at The Arthritis Society. Areas of focus during her tenure at The Society were operational efficiency, patient engagement in research and developing a knowledge translation and exchange program. Prior to joining The Arthritis Society, Kate held the roles of Director of Research and Managing Director at the Canadian Arthritis Network – a Network of Centre of Excellence funded by the tri-council funding agencies of CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.

Kate holds a PhD in biology from McGill University and an MBA from Rotman School of Management University of Toronto. When not at work, Kate enjoys gardening and researching restaurants to try in the Greater Toronto Area. She also has an amateur appreciation of art and loves attending art fairs. Kate is driven by her passion to make a difference in health and is looking forward to working with the IBD community to make a difference in the lives of those affected by Crohn’s or colitis.