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While WHIWH has an extensive research portfolio we are primarily a Community Health Centre on the frontlines of women’s health needs. To conduct solid research and base our programs on good data we rely on academic partners and research institutes for their unique expertise. 


We are grateful to have developed strong partnerships and are happy to profile some of the valuable academic collaborators and researchers we work with. If you are interested in research collaborations with WHIHW we are happy to explore the possibilities. 

Get in touch to explore partnership opportunities!



Charmaine C. Williams is an Associate Professor in Social Work and the Factor-Inwentash Chair in Health and Mental Health. Her research bridges practice and access and equity issues that affect various populations including racial minority women, LGBTQ individuals in local and international context, and individuals and families affected by serious and persistent mental illnesses. The majority of her practice experience has been in the mental health care system where she worked in inpatient and outpatient services, providing interventions for individuals, families and groups. She has also been involved in organizational change initiatives in the health care sector, and has extensive experience developing and delivering professional education in the areas of anti-racism, cultural competence, mental health and addictions.


It has been my privilege to work with the WHIWH research program for many reasons. It is meaningful to be doing research that is directed at improving the lives and experiences of Black women and women of colour. It is rewarding to work with an agency that is so committed to integrity and quality in its research, partnerships and work with service users. It is gratifying to know that work I have done with WHIWH has had an impact in the healthcare system and has had a role in building the research capacity of so many individuals and agencies. As a social worker, I look to WHIWH as an example of how commitments to social justice, feminism, anti-racism and anti-oppression commitment manifests in everyday practice and policy. I love that WHIWH continues to grow and adapt to meet new challenges in research and practice, always seeing it as a way to do better work.

I love that WHIWH continues to grow and adapt to meet new challenges in research and practice, always seeing it as a way to do better work.


Winston Husbands is a Senior Scientist at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, working on research and related initiatives to strengthen the response to HIV among Black communities. Previously (2001-2016) he was Director of Research at the AIDS Committee of Toronto. From 2003 to 2010 he served the African and Caribbean Council on HIV/AIDS in Ontario (ACCHO) in various capacities including co-chair, interim director, and a member of the research committee. He is also an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Health at York University.


His current research includes: (a) Black PRAISE (developing and testing an HIV stigma-reduction intervention among Black churches in Ontario); (b) weSpeak, a 5-year program of research with heterosexual Black men in Ontario to understand vulnerability to HIV, promote resilience, and meaningfully engage them in community responses to HIV; and (c) A/C Study to monitor HIV prevalence and associated individual, social and structural determinants among Black communities in Toronto and Ottawa. He also has extensive experience in knowledge translation and community engagement. Winston is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, Jamaica (BA. MPhil) and Western University (PhD). He has taught at the University of Zambia and Ryerson University. Winston has collaborated with WHIWH 2003 to 2010 to develop ACCHO, implement the first Strategy on HIV for Black communities in Ontario, and promote research in support of the Strategy. More recently, he has collaborated with WHIWH on other research, knowledge translation and community engagement initiatives.



Dr. Mona Loutfy is a Full Professor, Infectious Diseases Specialist and Clinician Scientist at Women’s College Hospital and the University of Toronto. She launched the Women and HIV Research Program at the Women’s College Research Institute in 2006 to carry out research focusing on reproductive and women’s health and HIV and stigma and quality of care of women living with HIV. Her main clinical practice is at the Maple Leaf Medical Clinic, which cares for 2,700 HIV-positive patients in inner city Toronto. She is recognized as a national and international leader in the areas of women, reproductive health, and HIV. Mona works from a community-based research model and adopts GIPA and MIWA in all her work, involving the people that her research affects at all stages.


I have many shared values with WHIWH and I also strive to improve the holistic health and wellbeing of women living with HIV. WHIWH has been a leader in the field of HIV research for women and, as an agency, they admirably follow the principles of MIPA/GIPA that I believe in and support. When working with WHIWH, I know that women living with HIV are being meaningfully engaged with the work and that the scope of the work is not only intended to improve the lives of women, but that there will be actionable outcomes that lead to real change.

I have been a proud supporter and partner of Women’s Health in Women’s Hands for 12 years.


Dr. Charu Kaushic was recently appointed as the Scientific Director of the Institute of Infection and Immunity, starting July 1, 2018. Dr. Kaushic is a full Professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine.  She is a member of the McMaster Immunology Research Centre (MIRC) and the Michael De Groote Institute of Infectious Disease Research (IIDR) and an Associate Faculty in Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences. She is also the current director of the McMaster Biosafety Level 3 facility.

Dr. Kaushic obtained her PhD at National Institute of Immunology in New Delhi, India followed by post-doctoral work in the area of mucosal immunity at Dartmouth Medical School with Dr. Charles Wira. She joined as faculty in McMaster University in 2002, where she has done extensive teaching and training and built an interdisciplinary research program for last 15 years. Her research interest is women’s reproductive health, specifically basic, clinical and translational research examining susceptibility and immune responses to sexually transmitted viruses, HIV-1 and HSV-2. Areas of special focus in her research are effect of female sex hormones, co-infections and microbiome on mucosal immunity to viral STIs. Charu has special interest in public education, especially on women’s reproductive health issues and has long term collaborations with community research organizations. Dr. Kaushic’s research has been funded by CIHR, CFI, CANFAR and OHTN. Charu has also received numerous national and international awards including a Rockefeller post-doctoral fellowship, CIHR New Investigator Award,

OHTN Research Scholar award, OHTN Research Chair award and recently an American Journal of Reproductive Immunology Research Excellence Award. She has served on a number of scientific panels including CIHR, NIH and is a member of CIHR College of Reviewers, was a research representative on OHTN Board of Directors and Secretary of the American Society of Reproductive Immunology.


Dr. Carmen Logie is the Canada Research Chair in Global Health Equity and Social Justice with Marginalized Populations (2018-2023), Associate Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, and Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation Early Researcher (2016-2021). She is also an Adjunct Scientist at Women’s College Hospital.


Dr. Logie has been awarded funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada, Grand Challenges Canada, and Canada Foundation for Innovation, to lead national and international research focused on sexual health and rights. She is particularly interested in understanding and addressing intersectional stigma and its sexual and reproductive health impacts, with a focus on HIV and other sexually transmissible and blood borne infections.


Dr. Logie has worked with Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre since 2006. She was immediately impressed by the commitment to anti-racism and anti-oppression as well as community-based research. The work with WHIWH CHC fundamentally changed Dr. Logie’s program of research. While she was working with WHIWH CHC to implement focus groups with women living with HIV across Ontario in her doctoral degree, she began understanding and conceptualizing the role of intersectionality in shaping stigma processes and responses. She further applied this understanding to quantitative intersectionality research with African, Caribbean and Black women living with HIV to document the nexus of racism, sexism and HIV stigma in her postdoctoral research.


Now Dr. Logie’s continued work on intersectional stigma has led to consultations on HIV-related and intersectional stigma at the White House with the Office of National AIDS Policy, National Institute of Health (NIH) Office of AIDS Research, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH Fogarty International Centre, U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), World Health Organization (WHO), and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).  

I love partnering with WHIWH because they are grounded in community partnerships and values, are forward thinking, and are at the cutting edge of research and practice.


Dr. Rupert Kaul completed his clinical training in Infectious Diseases at the University of Toronto, and was then a research fellow at the Universities of Nairobi and Oxford for several years. He completed an immunology PhD and returned to the University of Toronto and University Health Network in 2002, where he currently serves as the director of the clinical division of Infectious Disease.


He also heads a research lab focused on interactions between HIV transmission, genital and rectal immunology, sexually transmitted infections and the microbiome. He has worked with Wangari Tharao and the WHIWH team on many clinical research projects over the past ten years, and also works extensively in Kenya and Uganda.

Director of the clinical division of Infectious Disease, University Health Network


Dr. Liviana Calzavara is a sociologist and Professor Emerita at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Working the field of HIV since 1984, Liviana is considered a Canadian pioneer in HIV research, teaching and advocacy. She is a founding member and past Deputy-Director of the Social, Behavioural and Epidemiological Studies Unit; and past Director of the CIHR Social Research Centre in HIV Prevention (SRC).

Liviana has led numerous large-scale, multi-disciplinary, mixed-methods studies in Canada, Russia and China examining predictors of risk, vulnerability, and incident infections and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions. Since 2004, she has partnered with ACB communities, community-based researchers and NGOs to undertake a comprehensive program of research, mentorship and capacity building. ACB-engaged research projects include: Understanding HIV transmission in the African and Caribbean community following their arrival in Canada (2013-2018); HIV stigma reduction intervention with African, Caribbean and Black faith communities in Ontario (2014-2018); Systematic review to support development of an intervention to reduce stigma experienced by HIV-positive diasporic Black, African, Caribbean and Canadian Women in Canada (2012-2013); A consultation with ACB religious leaders in the GTA: toward developing and testing an intervention to reduce stigma among faith communities (2011-2013); HIV/AIDS stigma, denial, fear and discrimination: Experiences & responses of people from African and Caribbean Communities living in Toronto (2004-2007).

She has also played a leadership role in policy and planning, having served as Co-Chair of the Scientific Committee for Toronto 2006 AIDS Conference, President of CAHR, Co-Chair of the Ministerial Council on AIDS, and on the first CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Advisory Committee 

I love working with WHIWH because of their commitment to excellence in research and ability to rapidly implement research findings to directly  impact the lives of those living with HIV in the community.


LaRon E. Nelson, PhD, RN, FNP, FNAP, FAAN, is the Inaugural Associate Dean for Global Health & Equity at the Yale School of Nursing. He is also the Independence Foundation Professor and Associate Professor of Nursing. Dr. Nelson’s life and career are characterized by “firsts”. Dr. Nelson is a trailblazer whose history includes becoming the first Black man to receive a PhD in Nursing from the University of Rochester and being the first Black man to receive a tenure-track academic appointment in nursing at the University of Toronto in Canada.  Dr. Nelson’s investigates the use of mobile technologies as innovative mechanisms for public health nurses to support the implementation of multi-level interventions to improve HIV prevention and treatment outcomes in African and African diaspora communities. His current work across the United States, Canada and Ghana is focused on studying the implementation and effectiveness of a mobile app-based care coordination intervention on HIV risk reduction, HIV testing, linkage retention, viral suppression and quality of life among Black men who have sex with men. In another first, Dr. Nelson was named the Inaugural Ontario HIV Treatment Network Research Chair in HIV Implementation at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto Canada where he also serves as a staff scientist in the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solution. Dr. Nelson’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, Grand Challenges Canada and the Canadian Institute of Health Research. 

Dr. Nelson has been working with WHIWH on research-related projects since 2010. Our most recent collaboration is on a randomized controlled trial of web-based decision support for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis among Black patients in the greater Toronto area.  We are also working together on a project focused on the analysis of large datasets and rapid dissemination of evidence to inform clinical practice approaches and optimize health impacts among patients from Black communities in Ontario. The core of our research is driven by the sociocultural assets of Black communities and grounded in evidence generated through systematic scientific inquiry.


Why I work with WHIWHs?

Because it is an environment that supports Black-centered research and continues to be a leader in contributing to the development of evidence that addresses clinical and social determinants of health among Black communities. I continue to partner with WHIWH because it allows me to contribute to their ongoing investment in the development of emerging Black researchers, including their role in embracing and supporting me when I was an emerging researcher newly graduated with my PhD and starting as an assistant professor at the University of Toronto Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing.

Working with WHIWH has shaped how I situate my research, from conceptualization to implementation. Their model is what led me to be more deliberate in centering my work in applied community and clinical settings and engaging with Black communities as capable defining, designing and conducting research that has the most relevance to them. It taught me early in my career to not focus myopically on the assets that exist on university campuses, but to also appreciate the rich assets within the communities that have continued to be resilient despite generations of structural violence and inequities.

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