Dr. Lynne Leonard

Dr. Lynne Leonard
Dr. Lynne Leonard
Adjunct Professor



Dr. Lynne Leonard is a social epidemiologist and Adjunct Professor in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health.

A social scientist by training, Dr. Leonard is particularly interested in the social determinants of health and in conducting community-based research to effect policy and programme change at the community, provincial and national level. She obtained her PhD in social policy and epidemiology and biostatistics from McGill University focusing her work in the area of HIV prevention.

An active research investigator in the HIV/AIDS field for many years, as Principal Investigator Dr. Leonard has directed several collaborative studies in HIV prevention research at the national, provincial and local level. In Ottawa, her HIV prevention research began some thirteen years ago with the community evaluation of the Site Needle Exchange Programme and has continued to focus on working with women at higher risk of HIV and with women and men who inject drugs. She has directed the Ottawa site of the interprovincial SurvIDU project for over six years. The widely disseminated results of this study have generated substantial programme and policy developments in response to the documented situation of an extremely high level of HIV infection among Ottawa injection drug users.

Dr. Leonard is currently Principal Investigator of two community-based cohort studies employing both qualitative and quantitative methods, to more fully understand, from the perspectives of injection drug users themselves, the individual and structural factors contributing to the unacceptably high level of HIV and HCV infection among women and men in Ottawa who inject drugs. With the support of funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and as Principal Investigator she will continue her work with this community to assess the need for a safer injection facility in Ottawa.

As a firm proponent of of the necessity to transfer research into programme and policy reformulation and development, Dr. Leonard is a member of many national, provincial and local committees and advisory boards focusing on policy and programme development to reduce the harm associated with injection drug use and serves as a member and Chair on a range of national and provincial Scientific Review Boards including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She has been nominated to the Ontario Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and to the Ontario Provincial Working Group on Hepatitis C - both groups provide advice and guidance to the Provincial Minister of Health who is a member of both groups.

Dr. Leonard holds competitive research funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, the Community-based Research Programme of the Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS and is a research scholar of the Ontario HIV Treatment Network. In 2002, Dr. Leonard received the New Investigator Award from the Canadian HIV/AIDS Research Association.

Research interests

  • Women's Health
  • Harm Reduction