Participants’ Biographies click on thumbnails to view large images
Jesper Alvaer is a Norwegian artist based in Oslo and Prague. From 2013 to 2017 he was a research fellow at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts with the project Work, work: Staging dislocation in artistic and non-artistic labour. He holds a MFA in from the Academy of Fine Art in Prague (2004) and CAGS from the Arts, Health and Society Division of the European Graduate School, EGS (2014). In addition to showing his art at a number of international exhibitions, Alvaer has also participated in numerous study, residence, and research programmes both in Norway and abroad.
Sean Caulfield was named a Canada Research Chair in Fine Arts (Tier 2) from 2000 – 2010, and is a Centennial Professor in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta, living and working in Treaty Six territory. He has exhibited his prints, drawings and artist’s books extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and Japan. Recent exhibitions include: Perceptions of Promise, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, USA/Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta; The New World, The Centre for Modern and Contemporary Art, Debrecen, Hungary; Imagining Science, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta. Caulfield has received numerous grants and awards for his work including: Triennial Prize at the 2nd Bangkok Triennial International Print and Drawing Exhibition, Bangkok, Thailand; SSHRC Dissemination Grant: Canadian Stem Cell Network Impact Grant; SSHRC Fine Arts Creation Grant; Canada Council Travel Grant; and a Visual Arts Fellowship, Illinois Arts Council, Illinois, USA. Caulfield’s work is in various public and private collections including: Houghton Library, Harvard University, USA; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England; Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA. In 2017 Caulfield was elected to the Arts Division of the Academy of the Arts and Humanities of the Royal Society of Canada.
Patrick Fafard is an Associate Professor of Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. He has had an extensive career in both academia and government. His public service career includes several years as an executive with the Government of Canada and work for three provincial governments including serving as Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Commission on Medicare (2000-2001). Patrick is the author, co-author and editor of several publications dealing with health, trade and environmental policy as well as a series of studies on federalism in Canada. His work has appeared in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, International Journal, Canadian Public Administration, and the Journal of Urban Health. His current health-related research includes work on the role of science and advocacy in public health agencies in Canada and other countries; the merits of conceiving of public health as a social movement; and the possibility of using art to foster policy change for global public health.
Steven Hoffman s a Professor of Global Health, Law, and Political Science at York University, the Director of the Global Strategy Lab, the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance,and the Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Population & Public Health at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He holds courtesy appointments as a Professor of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics (Part-Time) at McMaster University and as an Adjunct Professor of Global Health & Population at Harvard University. He is an international lawyer licensed in both Ontario and New York who specializes in global health law, global governance and institutional design. His research leverages various methodological approaches to craft global strategies that better address transnational health threats and social inequalities. Past studies have focused on access to medicines, antimicrobial resistance, health misinformation, pandemics and tobacco control.
Steven previously worked as a Project Manager for the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and as a Fellow in the Executive Office of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York City, where he offered strategic and technical input on a range of global health issues. He also previously worked for a Toronto law firm specializing in cross-border intellectual property litigation, health product regulation, and government relations. Steven recently advised the World Health Organization on development of a global strategy for health systems research and was lead author on the background paper that provided the strategy's conceptual underpinnings. For three years he convened an academic advisory committee on science reporting for Canada's only national weekly current affairs magazine. He was previously an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa (2014-2017) and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford (2018-2019).
Steven holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences from McMaster University, an MA in Political Science and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto, a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University, and a doctorate in law from Sciences Po Paris.
Kaisu Koski is Reader in Art and Design in Lab4Living at Sheffield Hallam University. She is an artist-researcher with a background in media arts and performance. Kaisu collaborates with scientists, clinicians and engineers, focusing on the human body and its simulations, as well as human-machine interactions in clinical contexts. She has conducted research fellowships in various medical schools, and developed films for medical curricula internationally. Kaisu’s work has been exhibited internationally, and received multiple official selections in the film festival circuit. Her scholarly publications address methodology of arts-based research, medical education, simulation and bioethics.
Alison Humphrey plays with story across drama, digital media, and education. After starting her career as an intern at Marvel Comics, she joined science fiction author Douglas Adams’s company The Digital Village, producing one of the first ever web-based alternate reality games for Starship Titanic, whose community-created storyworld has continued to evolve for nearly two decades, as featured in a 2011 article in The Economist, “Emergent systems: The forum at the end of the universe.” She wrote on 115 episodes of Global TV’s Train 48, initiating one of the earliest transmedia in-fiction blogs in a TV series; assistant directed at the Royal Court Theatre, English Touring Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, and Stratford Shakespeare Festival; directed at the Old Red Lion Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company Fringe Festival; and most recently co-wrote and directed two interactive, live-animated sci-fi theatre projects: Faster than Night, for Harbourfront Centre HATCH in Toronto, and The Augmentalist for Augmented World Expo in Silicon Valley. Alison earned a BA in American studies and studio art from Wellesley College, an MA in interactive multimedia from the Royal College of Art, and an MFA in theatre directing from York University, where her thesis production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream used motion-capture technology to weave real-time 3D computer animation and digital effects into live performance. Shadowpox (shadowpox.org) forms part of her research-creation PhD in Cinema and Media Studies at York University, where she is a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar. www.alisonhumphrey.com
Natalie S. Loveless is an associate professor located at the University of Alberta’s Department of Art and Design, where she teaches in the History of Art, Design and Visual Culture. Natalie is the Interim Director of the Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS), director of the U of A Research-Creation and Social Justice CoLABoratory, and co-leads the Faculty of Arts’ Signature Area in Research-Creation. Her recent books, How to Make Art at the End of the World: A Manifesto for Research-Creation and Knowings and Knots: Methodologies and Ecologies in Research-Creation examine debates surrounding research-creation and its institutionalization, paying particular attention to what it means – and why it matters – to make and teach art research-creationally in the North American university today. Forthcoming books include Responding to Site: The Performance Work of Marilyn Arsem and The Routledge Companion to Performance Art. She recently completed New Maternalisms, a project bringing together feminist art practice, theory and curation, and an interdisciplinary collaborative project on global vaccination called Immune Nations that culminated in a high-profile exhibition at UNAIDS in Geneva during the 2017 World Health Assembly. During the 2018-19 academic year, Loveless was in residence as a visiting scholar in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC) at Concordia University in Montreal, working on a new book and curatorial project, Sensing the Anthropocene: Aesthetic Attunement in an age of Urgency and a new collaborative interdisciplinary curatorial project, Speculative Energy Futures, as part of the Just Powers initiative funded by the Future Energy Systems Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF).
Mkrtich Tonoyan is an Armenian artist, co-founder and current president of the AKOS Cultural NGO, founder of the “Art Centre of Social Studies” (ACOSS) international artists-in-residence program (2006), and co-founder of the ACSL NGO’s artists-in-residence program “Art Commune” (2008) and co-founder of “Microresidence ” worldwide network of Artists residencies, based in Japan. In early 90s Tonoyan participated in the Karabakh War, experiencing all the horrors and suffering of death, destruction, injury and despair, events that continue to have profound impact on the direction of his creative and social practice. Tonoyan turned to contemporary art as a space of possibility to address crisis and change in all its dimensions: personal, political, ideological and social. He works in a new direction of conceptual art, called “Military Art”, founded by Alexander Melkonyan. Active in the professional realm of contemporary art since graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Yerevan in 2002, Tonoyan has regularly presented his work, projects and lectures on Armenian contemporary art and had talks at numerous national and international art events, galleries and universities. As president of the AKOS Cultural NGO, Tonoyan collaborates with organizations internationally to develop cultural exchange opportunities, and locally to develop socially engaged projects in the peripheries of Armenia. In 2010, Tonoyan was awarded a mobility grant from the Euro Cultural Foundation to research models of artist residencies in the UK; in 2011 he was awarded professional development funding from the Open Society Foundation to research artist residencies management practice in the USA; and 2014 was awarded research residency from Youkobo Art Space to continue research on the theme of “Microresidence” and participate in the Microresidence Forum 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. In 2015 he was awarded a grant from Cleveland Foundation to be in Cleveland Ohio as an artist of Creative Fusion residency for research and community engaged projects. In 2019, Tonoyan was awarded an artist residency grant of Rikuzentakata City, which was affected by the Great Tsunami in 2011.
Julia Belluz is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist covering medicine and public health for Vox.com. She was a 2013-14 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. Her writing has appeared in Maclean’s, the British Medical Journal, the Medical Post, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Slate, the Times (of London), the Economist, and other publications. Outside of reporting, Julia speaks regularly at health care and journalism conferences the world over. She holds an MSc. from the London School of Economics and a B.A. from Ryerson University’s School of Journalism.
Timothy Caulfield is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta. His interdisciplinary research on topics like stem cells, genetics, research ethics, the public representations of science and public health policy has allowed him to publish over 350 academic articles. He has won numerous academic and writing awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He contributes frequently to the popular press and is the author of two national bestsellers: The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness (Penguin 2012) and Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash (Penguin 2015). His most recent book is Relax, Dammit!: A User’s Guide to the Age of Anxiety (Penguin Random House, 2020). Caulfield is also the host and co-producer of the award winning documentary TV show, A User’s Guide to Cheating Death, which has been shown in over 60 countries, including streaming on Netflix in North America.
Caitlin Fisher directs the Augmented Reality Lab at York University and York's Immersive Storytelling Lab at Cinespace Studios. A co-founder the Future Cinema Lab and a 2013 Fulbright Research Chair, Fisher is the recipient of many international awards for digital storytelling. She serves as Vice-President of the Electronic Literature Organization and on the Board of Directors of HASTAC - the Humanities, Arts, Science, Alliance and Collaboratory. She is currently engaged in a SSHRC-funded New Frontiers project investigating “Immersive digital environments and indigenous knowledges: co-creation in virtual reality environments to advance artmaking, digital poetics and reconciliation.”
Annemarie Hou is a Senior Communications Adviser with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General at United Nations, focused on advocacy and strategic communications for sustainable development. Most recently she served as Chief of Staff and Director of the Executive Office for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Previously, she oversaw the communications and advocacy portfolio at UNAIDS where she was responsible for positioning HIV and development issues in the global landscape. Prior to joining UNAIDS, Ms Hou worked in the philanthropic field—with a focus on health and children’s issues. She was the Communications Director at Casey Family Programmes, an operating foundation dedicated to child welfare issues started by the founder of UPS. Ms Hou served as the first Global Health Communications Manager at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as the family’s spokesperson. An award-winning writer she started her career as a television journalist. She serves on the Alumni Advisory Board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Johan Holst is a Senior Scientist with basic academic training as a pharmacist from the University of Oslo, and research experience in the field of development, characterization and evaluation of vaccines. He works at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) in Oslo and has in the past seven years mainly been involved in a collaborative project with Novartis Vaccines (now gsk) dealing with evaluation of vaccines against serogroup B meningococcal disease. The collaboration between NIPH and Novartis grew out of relationships founded during an earlier public health intervention in New Zealand. Dr. Holst’s career in vaccinology began in the area of Bordetella pertussis research where he characterized pili and their potential use in modern vaccine development. From 1988 to 1998 he was Head of Control at the Department of Vaccinology at NIPH, with a primary focus on the characterization, Quality Control and Quality Assurance for the Norwegian vaccine against serogroup B meningococcal disease, MenBvac®. He has participated in numerous clinical trials, including the pivotal placebo-controlled double-blind efficacy trial of MenBvac® in 180.000 teenagers from 1989 to 1991. His clinical trial experience also includes investigations of mucosal vaccines. Since the early 1990s Dr. Holst served as an advisor to various WHO research programs, PAHO and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, he worked as a consultant for different vaccine companies such as Chiron, Novartis and Wyeth; as well as giving assistance to several biotechnology groups. His list of publications includes about 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals, a couple of book chapters and being a co-inventor of three various patents. In August 2016 Johan Holst joined the Secretariat of CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) with Head Quarter in Oslo; where he serves as a Vaccine Expert.
Vicki S. Kwon is an art historian and curator. Kwon is currently a PhD candidate in the History of Art, Design and Visual Culture and a lecturer of modern and contemporary East Asian art history at the University of Alberta. Her doctoral research explores socially engaged art in transnational contact zones facilitated by artists from East Asia, funded by SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, International Researcher Residency Program of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea (MMCA), Junior Fellowship of Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies at the Seoul National University, etc. Having completed her BA in Art History and Semiotics and Communication Theories and MA in Art History at the University of Toronto, she worked as an administrator, curator, project manager, and researcher for art, education, and cultural organizations. Her curated exhibitions include “Designing Connection in Friction” at Harcourt House in Edmonton (2018) and “Mass and Individual: The Archive of the Guyanese Mass Games” at the Arko Art Centre in Seoul (2016), which garnered the largest of the 2016 Korea Arts Council’s exhibition grants. Kwon has published research papers in the journals Korean Studies and Inter-Asian Cultural Studies. Kwon is participating in <Immune Nations> as an artist and project manager. For more information, please see www.vickiskwon.ca.
Patrick Mahon is an artist, writer, and a Professor of Visual Arts at Western University, in London, ON. He is also the current Director of the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts & Humanities at Western. Mahon’s artwork has been exhibited widely in Canada at: Museum London, The Hamilton Art Gallery, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and Kamloops Art Gallery; and The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; in recent exhibitions in China, France, Ecuador, and Japan in 2017; and at numerous print biennales. Patrick was in residence at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, (New York); Frans Masereel Centrum (Belgium); and at La Maison Patrimoniale Barthète, in France. The SSHRC-funded project, Art and Cold Cash, which involved Mahon and other artists from southern Canada and Baker Lake, Nunavut, was produced and exhibited between 2004 and 2010 (MOCCA, Toronto; McLaren Arts Centre, Barrie; Platform, Winnipeg: Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina), and a book was published by YYZ in 2010. Patrick’s collaborative SSHRC project, Immersion Emergencies and Possible Worlds, on the theme of water, began in 2010 and included a residency in Niagara Falls and at the Banff Centre. A related group exhibition, The Source: Reconsidering Water through Contemporary Art, presented at Rodman Hall Art Centre, opened in May 2014. A follow-up exhibition, co-curated with Stuart Reid, The Living River Project, was presented at the Art Gallery of Windsor in 2019. Patrick lives in London, Ontario.
Rachelle Viader Knowles is an artist, researcher and educator. She is Head of International for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK, where her role supports the development of international initiatives and partnerships for education, research and knowledge exchange. Rachelle has eleven years’ experience in academic leadership roles in higher education. Prior to joining Manchester Met, she was Associate Head International for the School of Art and Design at Coventry University, UK, and Head of Visual Arts at the University of Regina in Canada where she taught media arts practice for twelve years. She is a dual UK and Canadian citizen. Her practice-led research investigates translocality, dialogue as art, and artistic practices/methods developed through participation, collaboration and networks. Her works have been performed, published, screened, found or encountered in numerous international venues and publications. Exhibitions include: MilaKunst Gallery in Berlin; Conflux, and the Experimental Text Festivals in New York; Three Walls Gallery in Chicago; the MacKenzie, Mendel, Neutral Ground and YYZ galleries in Canada; Residencia Corazon Gallery in La Plata, Argentina; Chapter Gallery in Cardiff, Wales; the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea; the Gyumri Biennale in Armenia; and the Can Gelabert Cultural Centre in Mallorca. She is an active member of the international advisory board for the Armenian Art Centre of Social Studies based in Yerevan, Armenia. Rachelle holds a PhD in Art+Media from Plymouth University, an MFA in Visual Arts from the University of Windsor.
Lathika Sritharan is a Research Manager at the Global Strategy Lab, where she oversees the day to day operations of the lab. She has completed her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of Saskatchewan and her Hon. Bachelor of Science (HBSc) degree from the University of Toronto. Her research interests include immigrant health, health policy and chronic disease research. Her passion for public health has led her to be actively involved in the Tamil Health Association (a not for profit organization in the Greater Toronto Area) as Director of Community Research and a Board member of the Human Rights Internet (an organization dedicated to providing accessible information on human rights in Canada and beyond).