CPS 2022-2024 Board of Directors 

PRESIDENT (2022-2024)

John Xavier Pereira MD CM CCFP

Dr. John Xavier Pereira is the Immediate Past President of the Pain Society of Alberta and was a Founding Co-Chair of the Alberta Pain Strategy. He is a past Ronald Melzack Fellow of the McGill Pain Center and has spoken on the topic of chronic pain both nationally and internationally, including at the Centers for Disease Control, ANZCA Auckland, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Mayo Clinic. He represented Western Canada on the committee of physicians who wrote our country’s National Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia. Dr. John Pereira was the physician lead of FibroFOCUS, an interdisciplinary chronic pain program that won a 2016 Patient Experience Award from the Health Quality Council of Alberta. He is a member of the Canadian Pain Task Force's External Advisory Panel and has personally visited more than fifty pain clinics worldwide to learn best practices.

TREASURER (2022-2024)

Nivez Rasic, MD

Dr. Nivez Rasic, MD,is a dually-trained FRCPC pediatric anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist and a Clinical Associate Professor with the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative & Pain Medicine at the University of Calgary. She has the privilege of serving as the Medical Lead of the Vi Riddell Pediatric Pain Program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital (Calgary, Canada), which received the prestigious international ChildKind designation for its excellence in pediatric pain management in 2019.  The Vi Riddell pain program is recognized as a leader in pediatric pain, involving a partnership with clinical care and pediatric pain research, as well as specialized programming such as the intensive pain rehabilitation program (IIPT) for adolescents, which was the first to launch in Canada in 2014.  

Dr. Rasic is a researcher and educator and has the privilege of serving as the Acute Pain Lead on the Alberta Pain Strategy. Her clinical work involves providing anesthesia for children and managing acute, complex and chronic pain in youth.  Dr. Rasic was a 2020-21 US Mayday Pain Fellow. 


Mike Hildebrand, PhD.

Dr. Mike Hildebrand completed his PhD in cellular neuroscience in Terry Snutch’s lab at UBC. Following this, Dr. Hildebrand pursued an industrial R&D fellowship at Zalicus Pharmaceuticals in Vancouver, where he developed a rodent spinal cord recording assay for Zalicus’ preclinical pain research program. To further expand his expertise in spinal pain processing, Dr. Hildebrand then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Mike Salter’s lab at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Hildebrand is now leading a translational pain research program as an Associate Professor at Carleton University, where his team is studying both acute and chronic pain processing using animal and human tissue pain models.


Hance Clarke, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Dr. Hance Clarke is the Director of Pain Services and the Pain Research Unit at the Toronto General Hospital (TGH). He is the Knowledge Translation Chair for the University of Toronto Centre For the Study of Pain and an Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of Toronto. As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Clarke has played a leading role in educating the public about pain control, alternatives to opioids, and the need for further studies on the beneficial and adverse effects of cannabis. He is a champion of evidence-based solutions for the opioid crisis and an advocate for a national pain and addictions strategy. He has authored over 100 peer reviewed publications and has been invited to speak on pain control, cannabis and the opioid crisis to the House of Commons in Ottawa, Canada and elsewhere around the world. He has won numerous awards including the 2016 Early Career Award from the Canadian Pain Society and the 2019 US Mayday Pain and Society Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding research and commitment to improving pain care.

SECRETARY (2020-2023)

G. Allen Finley, MD FRCPC FAAP

Dr. Allen Finley is a pediatric anesthesiologist who has worked for 30 years in pain research and management. He is Professor of Anesthesia, Pain Management, & Perioperative Medicine at Dalhousie University, and is cross-appointed as Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience. He also holds the inaugural Dr. Stewart Wenning Chair in Pediatric Pain Management at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax and is Director of the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research. He has published over 140 papers in peer-reviewed journals (http://tinyurl.com/gaf-cits) and has lectured widely, with more than 300 invited presentations on six continents. He started the PEDIATRIC-PAIN e-mail discussion list in 1993, bringing together pain researchers and clinicians from over 40 countries. His own research and educational projects have taken him to Jordan, Thailand, China, Brazil, and elsewhere, with a primary focus on pain service development and advocacy for improved pain care for children around the world. To facilitate that, he is co-founder and Board Chair of the ChildKind International Initiative.

From 2016-2020 he served as Treasurer on the Executive of the International Association for the Study of Pain, an exciting opportunity to be part of the promotion of pain science and pain care around the world.

His current research work includes collaborations with colleagues at Dalhousie, U. of Ottawa, and elsewhere, including as co-PI of the CIHR SPOR Chronic Pain Network and SKIP (Solutions for Kids in Pain – kidsinpain.ca) Hub Lead for Atlantic Canada.

Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Journal of Pain 

Joel Katz, PhD

Dr. Joel Katz is a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology and Canada Research Chair in Health Psychology at York University. He is the Research Director of the Pain Research Unit and Research Lead at the Transitional Pain Service in the Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management at the Toronto General Hospital, and a Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Pain, the official journal of the Canadian Pain Society. He has received many awards for research excellence including the Distinguished Career Award from the Canadian Pain Society and the Donald O. Hebb Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Science from the Canadian Psychological Association. He has published more than 300 articles and book chapters and has more than 32,000 citations and an h-index of 84.

Dr. Katz has made scholarly contributions to the field of phantom limb pain, pre-emptive and preventive analgesia, and, along with Dr. Hance Clarke established the world’s first Transitional Pain Service.  Dr. Katz’s research program is aimed, broadly, at understanding the psychological, emotional, and biomedical risk/protective factors involved in acute and chronic pain with an emphasis on the transition of acute, time-limited pain to chronic, pathological pain after surgery, accidents, and spinal cord injury.


Lynn Gauthier, PhD

Dr. Lynn Gauthier is Assistant Professor of Palliative Care in the Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University. She is also a regular researcher in the oncology axis of the CHU of Quebec-Laval University Research Centre, as well as in the Michel-Sarrazin Research Team in Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care (ERMOS). She is also co-director of the Axis 1 of the Quebec Research Network in Palliative and End-of-Life Care (RQSPAL) and a regular member of the Quebec Pain Research Network. She completed her PhD at the School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences at York University in Toronto in 2013 and her postdoctoral at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in 2016. Her research goals are at the intersection of pain and aging. Her main objective is to improve the assessment and management of pain during adulthood, particularly in the elderly population. Lynn aims to deepen our understanding of pain, its management, as well as to identify ways to improve it in order to reduce patients’ suffering.

2021-2022 Leadership Team


Anna Taylor, PhD

Dr. Anna Taylor is a Canada Research Chair in Pain and Addiction and an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology. She completed her doctoral degree at the McGill Pain Center in 2011, followed by postdoctoral training at the University of California, Los Angeles in the NIH-funded Opioid Research Center. Her expertise spans the fields of opioid addiction and chronic pain.

Dr. Taylor’s research program engages a broad range of disciplines including pharmacology, microbiology, genetics, and animal behaviour to provide mechanistic insight into how affective circuitry contributes to pain and addiction. Her research strives to understand how chronic pain changes affective brain circuits and whether these changes alter the effects of opioids. She explores strategies to improve opioid efficacy while minimizing addiction risk. Finally, she is developing novel, non-addicting opioid agonists to treat pain without abuse liability. This research comes at a critical juncture when safe and effective chronic pain management is increasingly challenging amidst the opioid overdose epidemic.

Dr. Taylor’s research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes for Health, the American Pain Society, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Pain Society, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Co - Chair CPS+ Webinars

Nader Ghasemlou

Nader is an Associate Professor at Queen’s University, where he leads the Pain Chronobiology & Neuroimmunology Lab (ghasemloulab.ca) and serves as Director of Translational Pain Research at the Hotel-Dieu Hospital Chronic Pain Clinic. His research team works at the intersection of neuroimmunology, pain physiology, and circadian biology. Using various animal models of tissue injury and disease, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, postoperative wounds, and neuropathic nerve injury, the team seeks to better understand the molecular, cellular, and systems responses underlying human disease. The group is particularly focused on dissecting mechanisms underlying the generation and maintenance of inflammation in the central and peripheral nervous system. All projects in the lab include bioinformatics component to identify genes/pathways regulating cell function, and patient cohort studies which provide a translational component to our work. 

Nader completed his PhD at McGill University and was a CIHR Banting Fellow at Harvard Medical School. He is recipient of a CPS/Pfizer Early Career Award, a Brain Canada Future Leaders in Canadian Brain Research Award, and the Canadian Anesthesiology Society’s New Investigator Award. Projects in the Pain Chronobiology & Neuroimmunology Lab are currently funded by grants from CIHR, NSERC, the MS Society of Canada, and the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. Nader also serves on the CPS Scientific Program and Membership & Engagement Committees; is co-chair of the Knowledge Translation Committee and sits on the Executive of the CIHR-SPOR Chronic Pain Network; and is a member of the Education & Training Committee of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada’s endMS Training Program.


Gabrielle Page

Dr. Pagé is a clinical psychologist and pain researcher in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the Université de Montréal. She is also a scientist at the Research Center of the Centre hospitalier du Université de Montréal. She is a Junior 1 research scholar from the Fonds de recherche du Québec en santé. She is a member of the scientific committee of the strategic initiative on low back pain and co-leads the strategic initiative on the judicious use of opioids of the Quebec Pain Research Network.  

Her line of research examines the bidirectional associations between stress and pain, the trajectories from acute to chronic pain, and the impact of mental and physical comorbidities on chronic pain treatment response.  She has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific articles and 6 book chapters. She is the recipient of the 2018 Early Career Investigator Pain Research Grant from the Canadian Pain Society. 

Chair, Neuropathic Pain Management Special Interest Group


Dr. Bhatia is an Associate Professor at University of Toronto and Clinical Director, Acute and Chronic Pain Services at Toronto Western Hospital (TWH). He is also the Chair of the Neuropathic Pain SIG of the CPS, Treasurer of the Canadian Neuromodulation Society, and one of five voting members of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons’ Pain Medicine Specialty committee. His clinical and research interests include use of wearable technology and epidemiological tools for assessing outcomes of treatments for pain, fluoroscopy and ultrasound-guided procedures for chronic neuropathic, musculoskeletal, and cancer pain, and neuromodulation. He has published over 50 papers, six book chapters, and co-authored two books on ultrasound-guided interventional pain procedures. Dr. Bhatia a member of the Editorial Board of Anesthesia & Analgesia, the European Journal of Pain, and Pain Medicine. He is also an Examiner for certification examinations of the World Institute of Pain and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine.

Chair, Interventional Pain Management Special Interest Group

Harsha Shanthanna, MBBS, MD, MSc, PhD, FRCPC (Anesthesiology and Pain), DNB, FIPP, EDRA

Dr. Harsha Shanthanna is an anesthesiologist and chronic pain physician working at St. Joseph’s hospital, Hamilton and an Associate Professor in Anesthesia, at McMaster University. He is also the Associate Chair, Research, Department of Anesthesia, and Research Director for the Pain Residency program at McMaster University. He is the present Chair, Interventional SIG, for the CPS, and has served in this role for the last five years. Harsha’s pain practice includes both interventional and non-interventional approaches, including neurostimulation. His research areas include optimizing perioperative pain, chronic pain management, persisting post-surgical pain, and the use of cannabis for pain. Harsha has been the recipient of many research awards including the Trainee Research Award, Canadian Pain Society (CPS-2011), Carl Koller Memorial Research Grant by American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA- 2016), and the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society (CAS) Career Scientist Award-2018. Harsha has published more than 70 peer reviewed publications, one i-book and seven book chapters.

Co-Chair, Interprofessional Special Interest Group

Timothy Wideman, PhD

Associate Professor, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill                                                                    University

Dr. Wideman is a physiotherapist and associate professor at McGill University. The overarching goal of his work as a clinician, educator and researcher has been to improve the clinical care offered to people living with persistent pain. He has aimed to cultivate a comprehensive perspective on pain throughout his training and clinical experience. He completed his entry-level physiotherapy training in 2003 and has practiced across a range of clinical settings, including homecare, private clinics and multi-disciplinary pain management programs. Driven by his interest in better understanding how psychological and neurophysiological factors relate to pain and disability, he completed his doctoral training in McGill’s experimental psychology program and focused his post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins on the clinical assessment of pain sensitization. He joined McGill faculty in 2014 and his recent work has focused on understanding pain-related suffering and working to improve entry-level pain education for physiotherapy students across Canada. Dr. Wideman has received several national awards for excellence in research and clinical education, including a New Investigator Award from CIHR, as well Knowledge Translation and Mentor Awards from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.  


Mike Wong, MD FRCPC

Dr. Mike Wong completed his Anesthesiology residency at Dalhousie University, followed by an Obstetric Anesthesiology fellowship at the University of Maryland. He is now undertaking further training in Pain Medicine at Western University and plans to practice in Atlantic Canada as a chronic pain physician and anesthesiologist. His interests include opioid-sparing anesthesia, acute postoperative and transitional pain, and interventional pain medicine. Mike is a recipient of the Detweiler Travelling Fellowship from the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons.

His other pursuits include scientific communication, design, medical humanities, and history of medicine. He is also an active member of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society, having served on its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Working Group as well as its Standards Committee, and currently is Chair of its Archives and Artifacts Committee.


Giulia Mesaroli, MScPT BASc

Giulia Mesaroli is a Physiotherapist at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and MSc student in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto. Her clinical focus has been in the pediatric pain clinic at SickKids since 2015. Her graduate research is in the iOuch Lab at SickKids under the supervision of Dr Jennifer Stinson. Giulia’s research and clinical interest include pediatric neuropathic pain, complex regional pain syndrome, measurement, and virtual reality. She has had several leadership positions including acting as the past co-chair of the Clinical Care Committee of the Pediatric Chronic Pain Network at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), co-lead Project ECHO for Pediatric Pain (core curriculum), and executive committee member of the Global Health Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. Giulia is currently supported by the SickKids Clinician Scientist Training Program Scholarship and Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS-M) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. 

(2022 - 2024)

Rebecca Pillai Riddell

Chair, PWLE Committee

(2022 - 2024)

Virginia McIntyre 

Virginia McIntyre is the President and Executive Director of the People In Pain Network (PIPN). She developed persistent pain in 2009 after a shoulder surgery. 

Virginia holds a BA in Community Studies, a diploma in Radiological and Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and completed multiple courses in leadership development

She works extensively as lived experience partner on research projects and is a proud member on several other committees which include; Pain Canada National Advisory Committee, Canadian Pain Society Communication committee, Atlantic Mentorship Network Advisory Committee and other pain related initiatives

Virginia is a public presenter focusing on pain related topics with a committed diligence to increase awareness on chronic pain.

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