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Health Sciences North Research Institute (HSNRI) welcomes two new Research Chairs

Health Sciences North Research Institute (HSNRI)  welcomes two new Research Chairs

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

HSNRI is proud to announce the successful recruitment of Dr. David Marsh as Research Chair, Mental Health and Addictions, and Dr. Stacey Santi as Research Chair, Cancer Solutions.

Currently the Vice Dean of Research, Innovation and International Relations at NOSM University and Adjunct Scientist at ICES North, Dr. Marsh is recognized internationally for his research on opioid use and addiction. He has previously held leadership positions with Vancouver Coastal Health, Providence Health Care, the Addiction Research Foundation, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Toronto), and Canadian Addiction Treatment Centres. Dr. Marsh has also received the Nyswander-Dole Award from the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence and Fellowships from the International and American Societies of Addiction Medicine in recognition of his contribution to this field.

“Over the past 20 years, deaths related to opioid use have increased steadily and constitute a crisis in public health across Canada which has hit Northern Ontario particularly hard. Increasing the availability, quality and effectiveness of evidence-based treatments for Opioid Use Disorder can save lives and dramatically improve quality of live for people impacted by opioid use. I look forward to driving improvements in care through research at HSNRI and ICES North,” said Dr. Marsh.

Dr. Santi has been a cancer researcher at HSN and HSNRI since 2014. She began her career in cancer research during her PhD studies in Biochemistry at the University of Ottawa and post-doctoral training at the Shirley and Jim Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre. Over the course of her career at HSN and HSNRI, she has published peer-reviewed articles in cancer research, participated in global research projects on head and neck cancer, and collaborated on research projects with clinicians at the cancer centre. Dr. Santi’s research interests include molecular epidemiology and biology, genetic regulation in cancer, as well as research that identifies gaps in cancer care for patients in Northern Ontario.

“I am honoured to be selected for this prestigious position in Cancer Solutions. Since the beginning of my career, I’ve been privileged to train and work with world class researchers, oncologists, and clinicians here at the Shirley and Jim Fielding Northeast Cancer Centre. I’m excited to be on this journey with our Cancer Solutions Leads Dr. Deborah Saunders and Dr. Lacey Pitre to continue to conduct cutting-edge research that will benefit cancer patients and families in the North,” said Dr. Santi.

In February 2022, HSNRI’s Board of Directors endorsed the continuation of the research chair program with the goal of recruiting four additional research chairs in areas that can impact the health of Northern Ontario communities.

Both Dr. Marsh and Dr. Santi will hold 5-year renewable positions and are generously supported by the Northern Cancer Foundation and the Health Sciences North Foundation. 



“HSN and HSNRI are committed to providing high quality health services, support learning and generate research that improves health outcomes for the people of Northeastern Ontario. We are proud of this announcement given the high rates of opioid addiction and cancer in our region. Dr. Marsh and Dr. Santi’s research will be valuable in helping to care for the patients of Northeastern Ontario.” – Dominic Giroux, President and CEO, HSN and HSNRI 

“HSNRI’s mission is to improve the health and quality of life of all Northern Ontario communities. The Research Chair program offers an incredible opportunity to support these exceptional individuals in the generation of research that will impact the health of Northern Ontario.”
Dr. Robert Ohle, Vice President, Academic and Research Impact

“Through collaborative partnerships we are strengthening research capacity in Northern Ontario and improving performance and measurable outcomes in health for Northern Ontarians. Congratulations to Dr. Marsh and Dr. Santi on being appointed to these critically important roles.” – Dr. Sarita Verma, President, Vice Chancellor, Dean and CEO, NOSM University