Scientific Steering Committee

The Scientific Steering Committee provides scientific oversight and advice to the Network and the Network’s Executive Director and guides the Network research program and activities.

Executive Director

Lorraine Lipscombe

Lorraine Lipscombe, MDCM, MSc, FRCPC

Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe is a Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, as well as a clinician scientist and endocrinologist at Women’s College Hospital. Dr. Lipscombe is also the Executive Director of the University of Toronto’s Novo Nordisk Network for Healthy Populations, which is a cross-disciplinary research network that aims to address the burden of diabetes and other chronic diseases with a focus on the Ontario Region of Peel.

Dr. Lipscombe received her MD from McGill University, followed by training in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology and a Master’s in Clinical Epidemiology, at University of Toronto. Dr. Lipscombe leads an internationally recognized research program in diabetes epidemiology and health services, with a particular focus on health services for the management and prevention of diabetes in women. She has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles, and has held numerous grants and career awards from CIHR and Diabetes Canada, where she currently serves on the Board of Directors.


Novo Nordisk Research Chair in Equitable Care of Diabetes and Related Conditions

Baiju Shah

Baiju Shah, MD, PhD

Dr. Baiju Shah is a health services researcher and clinician-scientist in endocrinology. He is a staff physician and Head of the Division of Endocrinology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and a Scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute. He is a Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto, and a Senior Core Scientist at ICES. His research seeks to understand and improve the quality of care and long-term outcomes of people with diabetes. He has national and international leadership in several areas of research, including diabetes care in immigrant, indigenous and other disadvantaged populations; long-term cardiometabolic consequences for women following gestational diabetes; and novel models of healthcare delivery to improve outcomes.

Family and Community Health & Engagement Lead

Ian Zenlea

Ian Zenlea, MD, MPH

Dr. Ian Zenlea is a Pediatric Endocrinologist and Clinician Scientist at Trillium Health Partners and the Institute for Better Health, a part-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and Lead, Family and Community Health and Engagement for the University of Toronto's Novo Nordisk Network for Healthy Populations. At the Institute for Better Health, Ian leads the Family and Child Initiative, a community-based participatory research program aimed at co-designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions alongside community partners to improve the health and wellness of children and families in the communities where they live.

Training and Education Lead

Ghazal Fazli

Ghazal Fazli, PhD

Dr. Ghazal Fazli is teaching as an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga and the Lead in Education and Training for the Network for Healthy Populations. Her research explores the impact of social, community, and environmental determinants of prediabetes and diabetes. As an epidemiologist, Ghazal has deep interests for research and policy initiatives that promote action on the social and environmental determinants of health to improve wellbeing and quality of life across the lifespan.

Nutrition Lead

Photo of Mavra

Dr. Mavra Ahmed, PhD

Dr. Mavra Ahmed, is a Research Associate at the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Joannah and Brian Lawson Centre for Child Nutrition at the University of Toronto and an Adjunct Professor at Ontario Tech University. With expertise in food and nutrition policy, Mavra’s research looks at driving equity-focused policy shifts by examining the relationships between the determinants of health, dietary patterns and nutrition-related behaviours to improve the health of vulnerable populations—in particular children and adolescents. She is leading the Feeding Kids, Nourishing Minds school nutrition research initiative, which aims to provide a comprehensive overview of school food programs in Canada and identify best practices in the design, delivery, and measurement of these programs. Mavra has a passion for assessing the impact of digital technology for promotion of healthier dietary behaviours, including how apps can encourage healthy eating. She holds a CIHR Fellowship in the Strategic Training Program in Public Health Policy and a CIHR Fellowship in Artificial Intelligence for Public Health from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.