Ross Upshur



Sinai Health System
1 Bridgepoint Dr, AM-33, Toronto, Ontario Canada M4M 2B5
Research Interests
Environmental Health, Health Policy, Health Service Delivery, Infectious Diseases, Knowledge Translation, Alzheimer's/Dementia, Medications, Multimorbidity, Palliative Care, Public Health, Quality of Life/Satisfaction, Screening, Social Accountability, Social Determinants of Health, Electronic Medical Records, Administrative Databases, Disadvantaged Populations, Phenomenology, Case Studies, Generic Qualitative, Mixed Methods, Survey Methods, Quantitative Data Analysis, Qualitative Data Analysis, Bioethics, Family Caregivers, Chronic Diseases, Observational Studies, , ,
CREMS Students, Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Fellows, Summer Students, Volunteers

Dr. Ross Upshur is currently the Dalla Lana Chair in Clinical Public Health and Head of the Division of Clinical Public Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Scientific Director, Bridgepoint Collaboratory for Research and Innovation and Associate Director of the Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sinai Health. At the University of Toronto, he is a Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM), affiliate member of the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, Member of the Centre for Environment and Adjunct Senior Scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. At DFCM, he is also the Head of the Division of Public Health. He is a Staff Physician at Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, Sinai Health.


•    Scientific Director, Bridgepoint Collaboratory for Research and Innovation, Bridgepoint Health (2014-)
•    Head, Division of Clinical Public Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health (2013-)
•    Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, with Cross-Appointment to the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (2009-)
•    Full Member, Graduate Faculty, Centre for Environment, University of Toronto (2007-)
•    Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University (2006-)
•    Affiliate Member, Institute of History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto (2005-)

•    Adjunct Scientist, Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences, University of Toronto (2003-) 


Research Synopsis

His research focuses on the intersection of primary care and public health particularly with respect to the interrelationship between ethics and evidence. His current interests include managing complex chronic disease in aging adults, clinical measurement,  the concept of evidence in health care, philosophy of medicine including medical epistemology and the integration of ethics and clinical reasoning, public health ethics, global health ethics, empirical approaches in bioethics, primary care research methods, time series applications in health services research, communicable disease and environmental epidemiology.  He has held grants as PI from the CIHR and NIH. He has trained numerous undergraduate, graduate and post graduate students in clinical medicine and research as well as taught and designed courses in research methods, bioethics and philosophy of medicine. He has over 350 publications including more than 200 peer reviewed publications spanning these domains. 


Recent Publications

Upshur RE.  Ebola Virus in West Africa: Waiting for the Owl of Minerva.  Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. 2014 Oct 8. doi: 10.1007/s11673-014-9580-x. 

Benatar S, Upshur R.  Virtues and values in medicine revisited: individual and global health. Clinical Medicine. 2014 Oct;14(5):495-9. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.14-5:495.

Upshur R. Why am I here? HealthcarePapers, 14(1) April 2014: 32-37.

Degeling C, Mayes C, Lipworth W, Kerridge I, Upshur R. The political and
ethical challenge of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. 2015 Mar;12(1):107-13. doi: 10.1007/s11673-014-9595-3. Epub 2015 Jan 29. 

Crowcroft NS, Deeks SL, Upshur RE. Do we need a new approach to making vaccine
recommendations? BMJ. 2015 Jan 30;350:h308. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h308. 

Loughlin M, Bluhm R, Fuller J, Buetow S, Upshur RE, Borgerson K, Goldenberg MJ, Kingma E. Philosophy, medicine and health care - where we have come from and where we are going. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. 2014 Dec;20(6):902-7. doi:10.1111/jep.12275. Review. 

Chin-Yee BH, Upshur RE. Historical thinking in clinical medicine: lessons from R.G. Collingwood's philosophy of history. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. 2015 Jun;21(3):448-54. doi: 10.1111/jep.12344. Epub 2015 Apr 7. 

Schopper D, Dawson A, Upshur R, Ahmad A, Jesani A, Ravinetto R, Segelid MJ, Sheel S, Singh J. Innovations in research ethics governance in humanitarian settings. BMC Medical Ethics. 2015 Feb 26;16:10. doi: 10.1186/s12910-015-0002-3.

Kuluski K, Tracy CS, Upshur RE. Perceived risk factors of health decline: a qualitative study of hospitalized patients with multimorbidity. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy. 2015 Apr 22;8:63-72. doi: 10.2147/RMHP.S79720. eCollection 2015. 

Livingstone SG, Smith MJ, Silva DS, Upshur RE. Much ado about omics: welcome to 'the permutome'. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. 2015 Jul 6. doi: 10.1111/jep.12406. 

Gershon A, Campitelli MA, Hwee J, Croxford R, To T, Stanbrook MB, Upshur R, Stephenson A, Stukel TA. Socioeconomic Status, Sex, Age and Access to Medications
for COPD in Ontario, Canada. COPD. 2015 Dec;12(6):668-79. 

Webster F, Christian J, Mansfield E, Bhattacharyya O, Hawker G, Levinson W,
Naglie G, Pham TN, Rose L, Schull M, Sinha S, Stergiopoulos V, Upshur R, Wilson L; BRIDGES Collaborative. Capturing the experiences of patients across multiple complex interventions: a meta-qualitative approach. BMJ Open. 2015 Sep 8;5(9):e007664. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-007664. 

Webster F, Bhattacharyya O, Davis A, Glazier R, Katz J, Krueger P, Upshur R, Yee A, Wilson L. An institutional ethnography of chronic pain management in family medicine (COPE) study protocol. BMC Health Services Research. 2015 Nov 5;15:494.doi: 10.1186/s12913-015-1078-7. 

Guta A, Murray S, Strike C, Flicker S, Upshur R, Myers T. Governing Well in Community-Based Research: Lessons from Canada’s HIV Research Sector on Ethics, Publics and the Care of the Self. 

Upshur R, Fuller J. Randomized controlled trials in the West African Ebola virus outbreak. Clin Trials. 2016 Feb;13(1):10-2. doi: 10.1177/1740774515617754. Epub 2016 Jan 14.

Silva DS, Dawson A, Upshur R. Reciprocity and Ethical Tuberculosis Treatment and Control. J Bioeth Inq. 2016 Mar;13(1):75-86. doi: 10.1007/s11673-015-9691-z. Epub 2016 Jan 21.

Grudniewicz A, Nelson M, Kuluski K, Lui V, Cunningham HV, X Nie J, Colquhoun H, Wodchis WP, Taylor S, Loganathan M, Upshur RE. Treatment goal setting for complex patients: protocol for a scoping review. BMJ Open. 2016 May 25;6(5):e011869. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011869.

Upshur R., Unresolved issues in Canada's law on physician-assisted dying.
Lancet. 2016 Aug 6;388(10044):545-7.

Upshur R.,  Understanding Clinical Complexity the Hard Way: A Primary Care Journey Healthcare Quarterly, 19(2) July 2016: 24- 28.doi:10.12927/hcq.2016.24695


Honours and Awards

•    Family Medicine Researcher of the Year Award, College of Family Physicians of Canada (2015)    
•    Named one of 20 Pioneers in Family Medicine Research, College of Family Physicians of Canada (2015)    
•    Canada Research Chair in Primary Care Research (2005, renewed 2011)
•    Department of Family and Community Medicine Award for Excellence in Social Responsibility (2010)
•    Department of Family and Community Medicine Award for Outstanding Contribution to Family Medicine Research (2009-10)
•    Department of Family and Community Medicine Academic Family Physician of the Year (2008)
•    John Hastings Award for Excellence in Service to the University and the Community, Department of Public Health Sciences (2008)
•    Department of Family and Community Medicine Award for Research Excellence (2007, awarded in 2008)
•    Department of Family and Community Medicine Award for ‘Excellence in Leadership’ (2007)
•    Department of Family and Community Medicine Award for Excellence in Teaching (2003)
•    Research Scholar, Department of Family and Community Medicine (2002)
•    Department of Family and Community Medicine Award for Excellence in Research (2001)
•    Department of Family and Community Medicine Award for Excellence in Post-Graduate Teaching (2000)



Principal Investigator
2014-2016 MOHLTC Development of a Risk Screening Tool for Primary Care Providers in Health Links to screen and triage at-risk community dwelling seniors.        
2016-2018 PSI Validation of the FAVES tool

Co-investigator on many grants