Postdoctoral fellows and affiliates

Ute Bültmann


Dr. Ute Bültmann is Professor of Work and Health in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. She was a PWHS visiting scientist in 2019, co-supervised and hosted PWHS student Anita Minh for two years of her PhD studies, and is currently a co-investigator on our CIHR Work, Immigration, and Disability grant.

Paul Demers


Dr. Paul Demers is Director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre in Ontario and a Professor at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He is internationally recognized for his expertise on the health effects of workplace exposures and sits on many expert panels, including the International Agency for Research on Cancer working groups that evaluated carcinogens such as dusts and fibres, firefighting and formaldehyde. He has extensive research experience and accomplishments, including his leadership of CAREX Canada, a workplace and environmental exposure database.

Esther Maas


Dr. Esther Maas is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Science at VU University in Amsterdam. A a PWHS postdoctoral fellow she worked on a program of research on gender and the evaluation of workers’ compensation policies and programs, with a particular focus on identifying effective and cost-effective approaches in facilitating early and sustained return-to-work after work injury. She completed her doctoral research at the VU University in the field of Health Sciences, in which she mainly focused on the cost-effectiveness of radiofrequency denervation for chronic low back pain. Her primary research interests include health technology assessment, economic evaluations, gender and health, and epidemiology, mostly related to musculoskeletal health.

Sonja Senthanar

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Dr. Sonja Senthanar is working on a program of research that examines the return to work outcomes/trajectories, following a work injury or illness, of immigrant workers when compared to Canadian-born workers within British Columbia. Sonja completed her doctoral studies in the School of Public Health & Health Systems at the University of Waterloo in 2019. Her dissertation used a qualitative feminist approach to explore the employment integration experiences of refugee women. Her primary research interests include employment outcomes, gender, and work disability relating primarily to immigrant and refugee populations as well as how these relationships change within the context of new forms of work such as precarious employment.

France St-Hilaire


Dr. France St-Hilaire is a professor in the Université de Sherbrooke School of Management in Quebec. She was a PWHS visiting scientist in 2018, and remains involved in PWHS projects on early and sustainable RTW in the construction sector and the role of workplace policies and practices in RTW after injury in the health care sector.

Kate Weinberger


Dr. Kate Weinberger is an assistant professor in the UBC School of Population and Public Health, and an environmental epidemiologist with a background in climate science and environmental health. Her research focuses on the links between climate change and human health, especially changes in extreme weather events and aeroallergens. Her recent work examines the health impacts of extreme heat and the effectiveness of strategies to protect public health during extreme heat events.

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