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Executive Team

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

Associate 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.  He has published over 90 peer reviewed publications and 4 book chapters in the field of IBD.

Dr. Vipul Jairath MBChB DPhil MRCP FRCPC, CIRC Past President

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. Talat Bessissow, MDCM MSc FRCPC, CIRC Vice President

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

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, CIRC Director of Research

Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Ottawa Associate Scientist, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute Staff Gastroenterologist, The Ottawa Hospital IBD Centre

Dr. Murthy is an Associate Professor, Department of Medicine and School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa, 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. Cathy Lu, MSc, MD, FRCPC, CIRC Member at Large

Cathy Lu is a clinical assistant professor of medicine. She completed her internal medicine and gastroenterology residency at the University of Alberta. Dr. Lu completed a joint advanced IBD fellowship with specialization in intestinal ultrasound at the University of Alberta and University of Calgary. She is a member of the STAR (Stenosis, Therapy, and Anti-Fibrotic Research) Consortium and IBUS (International Bowel Ultrasound) scientific committee. Her primary research interests are in fibrostenotic Crohn’s disease, intestinal ultrasound, and biomarkers in diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment response in IBD.

Dr. Farhad Peerani, BA, MD, FRCPC, CIRC Member at Large

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Alberta

Farhad Peerani graduated from the University of British Columbia’s medical program and completed residencies in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the University of Alberta. He pursued an advanced two-year clinical research Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Fellowship at both the University of Alberta and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He was subsequently appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta on July 1, 2016 and leads the IBD clinical trials unit. His primary research interests are in real-world effectiveness of biologic therapies, IBD in the elderly and the primary sclerosing cholangitis-IBD phenotype.

Dr. Harminder Singh, MD MPH, Member at Large

Associate Professor of Medicine, Dept. of Internal Medicine and Community Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba

Dr. Harminder Singh received his MBBS and MD from All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Masters of Public Health from the University of Manitoba. He received training in gastroenterology, IBD, gastrointestinal oncology and health outcomes research at University of Manitoba. He is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine, Dept. of Internal Medicine and Community Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba. He is a former member of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care, an organization developing and disseminating clinical practice guidelines for primary care. He is a clinician scientist, epidemiologist and practicing gastroenterologist.

Dr Singh is a member of the Canadian Gastro-Intestinal Epidemiology Consortium (CanGIEC), and a co-author on the Steering Committee of the 2018 Burden of IBD Report for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada (Journal of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology 2019). He has expertise in using administrative health care datasets to answer a variety of questions, including assessment of outcomes among individuals with inflammatory bowel disease.

Dr. Singh’s research interests have been varied and include clinical epidemiology, pharmaco-epidemiology and health services research. Dr. Singh has lead studies on epidemiology and prevention of colorectal cancer. He has lead studies assessing health care outcomes among individuals with IBD, including skin cancers, cervical cancer precursors, colorectal cancer, screening for cancers, risk of clostridium difficile infections, educational outcomes among those with IBD and care of elderly with IBD. He has lead knowledge translation studies to improve processes around colonoscopy, an essential test to diagnosis and manage those with IBD.

Lori Radke, President & CEO, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

Lori joined Crohn’s and Colitis Canada as President & CEO in May 2021. Lori’s background includes twenty-five years of progressive leadership experience in business development, marketing, and partnership activation across the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Most recently at Wilfrid Laurier University where she led the campus-wide development strategy and in executive roles at the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

Lori served as the National Vice President of Development and Marketing at the MS Society of Canada, after joining the organization in 2014. She was also the Executive Director of the MS Scientific Research Foundation, where she worked closely with the foundation chair, board members, and others to lead cultivation and solicitation of the current $75 million Acts of Greatness campaign. In addition to her work at the MS Society of Canada, Lori’s career involves leadership roles in corporate strategy, corporate partnerships, marketing and events at organizations such as Baycrest Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and IMG Canada.

Lori resides in Stratford, Ontario and she is an avid fan of the arts and sports. Like many Canadians, Lori is personally impacted by the disease and shares a deep connection to this cause.

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.