About hhe

HHE research group

The humanitarian health ethics (hhe) research group is a multidisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners collaborating since 2009. We conduct research investigating how ethical features of humanitarian health initiatives are experienced by different groups, and inquiries seeking to clarify ethical issues that are present in humanitarian healthcare practice and policy. Beginning in 2009 with a cluster of qualitative research studies, our team began to see that these endeavours would benefit from being drawn together and a programme of research began to grow. Four years later, we hosted the hhe forum meeting in November 2012. This event sparked several initiatives, including the launch of the Reflections Newsletter, this website, and the compilation of a set of research priorities for this domain of research. Since then, the hhe research group has worked with diverse collaborators and partners to conduct studies on a wide set of topics related to humanitarian health ethics, ranging from ethics oversight of research in disasters, palliative care in humanitarian crises, experiences of participation in Ebola clinical trials, and ethical dimensions of humanitarian innovation. 

Short bios of  hhe research group team members are included below. Over the years the research group has also benefited from the involvement of  former HHE students. Projects have also engaged the collaboration of local researchers broadening the scope and perspective of the research and permitting greater co-design of the overall research program.  


Lisa Schwartz

Photo of Lisa SchwartzLisa Schwartz is the Arnold L. Johnson Chair in Health Care Ethics, Professor in the department of Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact (formerly Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics), and associate member of the Department of Philosophy McMaster University. Between 2012-2017, Prof Schwartz was the Director of the PhD in Health Policy, and co-Associate Director of the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA), at McMaster University. She completed her PhD in Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, where she then held the position of Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Medicine in the Department of General Practice, Faculty of Medicine.

Matthew Hunt

Photo of Matthew HuntMatthew Hunt is an Associate Professor and the Director of Research in the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University, as well as a researcher at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and an affiliate member of the McGill Biomedical Ethics Unit, Department of Family Medicine, and Institute for Health and Social Policy. Previously, he has worked as a physiotherapist in Montreal, the Canadian arctic, North Africa and the Balkans.

Lynda Redwood-Campbell

Photo of Lynda Redwood-CampbellLynda Redwood-Campbell has research and scholarly interests in the areas of global health, immigrant/refugee health and humanitarian response. After completing her medical degree (MD) and residency, she earned a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from The London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, (UK). She also completed her Masters in Public Health (International Health) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and was elected into the Delta Omega Honorary Society in the USA.

Laurie Elit

Photo of Laurie ElitLaurie Elit is a Full Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, cross-appointed to the Departments of Oncology and Clinic Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University. She is a gynecologic oncologist at the Hamilton Health Sciences Centre and Juravinski Cancer Centre.

Elysée Nouvet

img_4267.jpgElysée Nouvet is an Assistant Professor in Global Health at Western University in London, Ontario, and member of the Humanitarian Health Ethics research group. Trained as a cultural and medical anthropologist, her work explores how cultural norms, values, and power relations shape definitions and responses to need, disease and suffering.

John Pringle

John Pringle - Photo - smlJohn Pringle is Assistant Professor at the Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University. He is a nurse and epidemiologist with a BScN (McMaster University), an MSc in Community Health & Epidemiology (Queen’s University) and a PhD in Public Health and Bioethics (University of Toronto). He is a member of the Humanitarian Health Ethics Research Group, with research at the intersection of global health, humanitarian action, and bioethics.

Carrie Bernard

photo_CarrieCarrie Bernard is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University. She completed her MPH in Community Health and Epidemiology with a focus in Global Health in 2012. She was the first family physician to sit on Public Health Ontario’s Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committee for Communicable Diseases and did so from 2012-2018.

Kevin Bezanson

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Kevin Bezanson is an Assistant Professor, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Lakehead University campus, and works as a ‎Palliative Care physician based at the ‎Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He completed a Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, University of Liverpool, in 2006, and Masters in Public Health, University of Toronto, 2013. 

Lisa Eckenwiler

Lisa ELisa Eckenwiler is Associate Professor of Philosophy at George Mason University and faculty director of the Global Health Ethics Fellows program. Prior to this position, she held appointments at Old Dominion University and Duke University. She has held fellowships at the Center for American Progress and le Centre de Recherche en Ethique at the University of Montreal.

Sonya de Laat

Sonya de Laat (PhD Media Studies, MA Anthropology) is currently the Academic Advisor and Curriculum Coordinator in the Global Health graduate program at McMaster University. She previously held a position as Postdoctoral Fellow in Humanitarian Health Ethics with the HHERG. Her research interests span visual theory, cultural history and medical anthropology. Her current research interests include the moral, political and historical dimensions of humanitarian visual culture. She co-led on a case study part of the project “Aid when there is nothing left to offer” exploring moral and practical experiences of palliative care in protracted refugee/conflict settings

Rachel Yantzi

IMG_7026Rachel Yantzi holds a master’s degree in community health nursing and public health from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Goshen College.  In addition to her work with the Humanitarian Health Ethics Research Group, Rachel is pediatric critical care nurse at McMaster Children’s Hospital and coordinates a study related to ethics during pediatric resuscitation research.  Rachel worked with MSF in the Central African Republic in 2009 as supervisor of an inpatient department and therapeutic feeding program.

Leigh-Anne Gillespie

Photo of Leigh Anne GillespieLeigh-Anne Gillespie earned an MSc in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University before joining the Health Policy PhD program in September 2011. She has a keen interest in policy and international health. Supervised by Dr Lisa Schwartz, her research will focus on better understanding policy development in aid organizations, and ethical issues in disaster response and complex humanitarian emergencies in low-income countries.

Julia Pemberton

65b9206b-9305-46f6-81b6-7bfedb4842be@fhsadmin_csu_mcmaster_caJulia Pemberton, B.H.Sc., M.Sc., intends for her doctoral research to develop new ways to think about global health research governance. Governance is the way political, ethical, administrative, and financial authority applies to a health research system, and is an important part of how these systems are organized and managed, and how they perform.

Catherine Tansey

Photo of Catherine TanseyCatherine Tansey is a research associate at McGill University.  She recently completed her doctorate at the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto.  Her thesis explored research ethics review of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)-related protocols during the outbreak in Toronto.

Anushree Dave

Photo of Anushree DaveAnushree Dave is currently pursuing an MSc in Bioethics at McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Matthew Hunt.  She completed her undergraduate work in Health Science (with a focus on Health Policy) at Western University and has experience working in the pharmaceutical industry doing subject recruitment and clinical trial marketing. During her time as an undergraduate, as well as in the industry, she developed a keen interest in learning about the ethics that guide research involving humans. Her current research focuses on ethical transparency and reproducibility of disaster research and humanitarian aid.

Gautham Krishnaraj

Gautham Krishnaraj is a PhD Health Policy Candidate with the Humanitarian Health Ethics Research Group and Michael G. DeGroote Doctoral Scholarship of Excellence recipient. His research focuses on ethical innovation in humanitarian contexts, and is funded by the UK-based Humanitarian Innovation Fund.

Valentina Antonipillai


Valentina Antonipillai is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Health, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. Her research interests span examining complex health systems and policies and improving equitable health outcomes for vulnerable populations. She employs mixed methodological approaches in her work, with an emphasis on social epidemiology and intersectionality theory. Her current research focuses on the COVID-19 crisis in Long-Term Care, investigating the social, political, ethical and economic dimensions of resident care in Canada. 

Takhliq Amir


Takhliq Amir is a current MD student at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University. She previously completed her bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences (Honours) with a Global Health Specialization, also at McMaster University.

Isabel Muñoz Beaulieu

Isabel Muñoz Beaulieu is an MSc candidate in Family Medicine and Global Health at McGill University, where she also graduated from a joint BA Honours in International Development and Philosophy. She has been supporting the HHE research group with the project on “The Ethics of Humanitarian Project Closure in the Philippines” by helping develop the conceptual framework under supervision of Dr. Matthew Hunt. She is really interested in issues in global health, migration, and humanitarianism, especially how they intertwine with ethics and policy.

Ilja Ormel

Ilja is a post-doctoral fellow in Mc Master’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact (HEI), working with the Humanitarian Health Ethics research group. Her research interests include illness narratives, participatory research, humanitarian health response, disease outbreaks in disaster settings and health promotion. She has experience in setting up and conducting participatory research in humanitarian disease outbreak responses, evaluating the implementation of participatory health promotion strategies as well as using applied social science research to understand patent and staff experiences.