Conference Speakers

Day 1 – Trainee/Young Investigators Forum: Wednesday, September 14th, 11am – 12pm EST:

Dr. Joy MacDermid is a clinical epidemiologist, physiotherapist, and Distinguished Professor of Physical Therapy at Western University.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, holds a Canada Research Chair in MSK Health Outcomes and Knowledge Translation, and the Dr. James Roth Chair in Musculoskeletal Measurement and Knowledge Translation. Dr. MacDermid’s research focuses on musculoskeletal health, implementation science, orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation interventions, sex and gender as determinants of musculoskeletal and work health, and high-risk populations (e.g., firefighters). Her research integrates a biopsychosocial perspective on the determinants of health, design of interventions, and measurement of outcomes.


Day 2 – Keynote: Thursday, September 15th, 11am – 12pm EST:

Karen Messing is an ergonomics researcher at the CINBIOSE research centre and professor emerita in the Department of Biological Sciences at the Université du Québec à Montréal.  Her research concerns the impact of gender on work activity in low-paid professions and the interface between interface between gender, biology and occupational health.  She is the author of over 150 peer-reviewed articles and of Bent Out of Shape: Shame, Solidarity and Women’s Bodies at Work (BTL, 2021, Écosociété (in French) 2021, Narumbooks (in Korean) 2022), Pain and Prejudice: What Science Can Learn About Work from the People Who Do It, translated into French, Korean and German, and One-eyed Science: Occupational Health and Working Women  (translated into French and Korean). She has received various awards such as Officer status in the Order of Canada (2019), the Governor General of Canada award for contributions to women’s well-being (2009) and the William P. Yant Award (2014) from the American Industrial Hygiene Association for contributions to industrial hygiene. Bent out of Shape won the 2022 Leo Panitch Award of the Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies and the Foreword Indies Prize in Women’s Studies for 2021, and was a finalist or runner-up for several other prizes.


Dr. Karen Messing of the Université du Québec à Montréal will be giving one of our keynote lectures this year, based on her prizewinning  2021 book Bent Out of Shape: Shame, Solidarity and Women’s Bodies at Work.  The book presents results from Karen’s 40 years of research on gender, sex, work and health. The publisher, Between the Lines, has offered us a 25% discount on copies of the book, which can be ordered at using the discount code BENT2022. (The book has been translated into French and is published by Écosociété as Le deuxième corps: de la honte à la solidarité des femmes au travail.)


Day 2 – Keynote: Thursday, September 15th, 4.15pm – 5.15pm EST:

Anya Keefe is an occupational and public health consultant with over 35 years of experience in occupational disease prevention, policy and research. Prior to launching her consulting practice in 2006, Anya was the Director of the Research Secretariat at WorkSafeBC, where she created and superintended a systematic process for research, knowledge transfer and strategic initiatives. Her initial career was with the BC Cancer Agency, where she performed exposure assessments for occupational epidemiological studies. During her time at WorkSafeBC, she gained considerable policy experience developing occupational health and safety regulations as well as occupational disease compensation policy. Anya bridged her research and policy backgrounds to develop BC’s policy for bladder cancer in aluminum smelter workers, integrating research evidence and scientific uncertainty with workplace specific exposure measurements and explicitly addressing the synergistic relationship between smoking and the causative exposure. She is a co-author, with Dr. Sean Tucker, of an annual report on Work Fatality and Injury Rates in Canada and contributed her expertise on the intersection of science and policy to Dr. Paul Demers’ recent report on the use of scientific evidence and principles to determine the work-relatedness of cancer. Since 2014, she has provided pro bono assistance to workers diagnosed with occupational diseases (or their surviving spouses), helping to identify possible sources of exposure and working with them to create comprehensive occupational histories to support their claim for workers compensation.


Day 3 – Dr. Katherine Lippel Memorial Lecture: 11am – 12pm EST: 

Dr. Stephanie Premji is an associate professor at the School of Labour Studies at McMaster University, Ontario. Her research focuses on health and safety at the intersection of gender, racialization, immigration, and disability with an emphasis on systemic root causes of illness and injury. Dr. Premji edited the collection “Sick and Tired: Health and Safety Inequalities” published by Fernwood Publishing (2018). For the past few years, she has worked with the Toronto Bangladeshi community in partnership with the South Asian Women’s Rights Organization to document experiences of precarious work, health, and return-to-work.


past Conferences

Vancouver 2018

Toronto 2016

Saskatoon 2014