NCCMT Team Members


Scientific Director

Maureen Dobbins
Maureen Dobbins, RN, PhD

Maureen is a professor in the School of Nursing at McMaster University. Her research efforts seek to understand knowledge translation among public health decision makers in Canada. Her program of research has: identified barriers and facilitators to research use; explored the information needs of public health decision makers; and developed, implemented and evaluated a variety of knowledge translation strategies for public health decision makers. Since 2001, she has been the Director of Health Evidence (, a single source of high quality effectiveness evidence and one component of a comprehensive knowledge translation strategy for public health decision makers worldwide. Since, 2011, Maureen has been the Scientific Director of the National Collaborating Centre Methods and Tools, one of six National Collaborating Centres for Public Health in Canada. The NCCMT provides leadership and expertise in helping public health professionals put research evidence into policy and practice.

Acting Scientific Director


Colleen van Berkel
Colleen van Berkel, RN, MHSc

Colleen is the Acting Scientific Director for the NCCMT during the sabbatical of Dr. Maureen Dobbins.  She has held a clinical cross-appointment with the  McMaster University  School of Nursing and during that time , she collaborated with the Hamilton Public Health Research Education and Development (Teaching Health Unit and PHRED) program.    Colleen    also   sat  as a member of the NCCMT  Advisory Group.  Colleen  managed a variety of  public health programs during her thirty-one years  with the City of Hamilton Public Health Services, where she most recently  was  the manager of the Applied Research and Evaluation team.  Colleen completed her BScN from Queen’s University and her Master of Health Science from McMaster University.


Project Staff

Donna Ciliska
Donna Ciliska, RN, PhD
Senior Knowledge Translation Advisor

Donna is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Nursing at McMaster University and a Senior Knowledge Translation Advisor to the NCCMT. She was the inaugural Scientific Director of the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools, and was the Co-principal Investigator of the CIHR-funded McMaster Evidence Review and Synthesis Centre, a systematic review group supporting the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Services. For many years, she was a consultant with the Hamilton Public Health Research Education and Development (Teaching Health Unit and PHRED) program and led the Effective Public Health Practice Project. She has authored several papers on knowledge translation and evidence-based practice.

Emily Clark, MSc
Knowledge Broker

Emily’s role at NCCMT involves networking and outreach to public health decision makers and practitioners. This includes development of workshops and online learning modules, as well as helping deliver webinar series. In addition to a BSc in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Waterloo, Emily has earned MSc degrees in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University, and in Biology from McGill University. Most recently, Emily worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator for Hamilton Health Sciences.

Rawan Farran, MSc
Research Assistant

Rawan completed both her Master of Science in Global Health and Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences at McMaster University. Through these academic endeavors, she worked to develop an interdisciplinary skillset that allows her to apply a global outlook to her work in the public health sector. Rawan is interested in health education and promotion, and the ways in which we can disseminate engaging and accessible research knowledge to diverse populations.

Claire Howarth, MPH
Research Assistant

Claire completed her Master of Public Health degree at Memorial University of Newfoundland and her undergraduate degree in Psychology at McMaster University. She completed her Master’s practicum at the Canadian Cancer Society in Newfoundland and Labrador where she was involved in outreach and health promotion activities. Claire has most recently worked as a research assistant in the Psychology department at McMaster University and has previously been involved with research projects at McMaster University, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, and the Offord Centre for Child Studies.

Heather Husson

Heather Husson, BA
Administrative Director

Heather is responsible for oversight and direction of finance, human resources, and operations of the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT). Heather has completed an HonBA at the University of Toronto, as well as project management and executive management training at McMaster University.  Heather came to this role with 15 years of experience in research and project management, working within McMaster University since 2007 as the Manager of Health Evidence (

Jill Iannazzo
Jill Iannazzo
Administrative Assistant

Jill supports a variety of activities in the office, including arranging transportation and preparing and shipping materialsconferences and workshops. Prior to joining NCCMT in 2012, Jill worked in the fast pace of transportation and logistics. She has an Administrative Assistant, Executive, diploma from Centennial College. When the work day is over, Jill enjoys spending time with her family and participating in outdoor activities such as biking, camping and four wheeling.

Olivia Marquez

Research Coordinator

Olivia coordinates the monthly Spotlight on KT Methods and Tools webinar series and supports workshop facilitation. She completed her Master of Science in Human Health and Nutritional Science at the University of Guelph, sparking her interest in evidence-informed public health. Olivia was previously Research Coordinator for Health Evidence and coordinated a CIHR cancer prevention study. 

Kristin Read
Kristin Read, MPH
Research Coordinator

Kristin completed her Masters of Public Health at the University of Alberta. Kristin is responsible for implementing, monitoring, refining, analyzing, coordinating, and reporting on various research projects with NCCMT. She has contributed to the development and maintenance of Outbreak Help, a knowledge sharing platform about infectious disease prevention, management and control, and supports the promotion of evidence-informed decision making (EIDM) in public health through outreach to relevant stakeholders.

Susan Snelling
Susan Snelling, PhD
Senior Knowledge Translation Specialist

Susan works part-time with NCCMT as a Senior Knowledge Translation Specialist to link public health agencies across the country with methods and tools for using evidence in their organizations and deliver training related to evidence-informed decision making. Susan was part of a team that completed an Executive Training in Research Application (EXTRA) fellowship through the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, focusing on using evidence to improve health equity. She worked for 10 years at the Sudbury & District Health Unit where she was Manager, Research and Evaluation. She has also worked at Public Health Ontario, providing training and consulting on health promotion evaluation. Susan holds a PhD in Psychology and has the Credentialed Evaluator designation from the Canadian Evaluation Society.