Scientific and Medical Advisory Council

The Scientific and Medical Advisory Council (SMAC) provides strategic advice to Crohn’s and Colitis Canada on scientific and medical matters relevant to the organization’s mission. The SMAC advises on medical and scientific policy and program issues, ensuring Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s work is evidence-based and reflects the best science. Read the SMAC Terms of Reference here
Icons representing the Scientific and Medical Advisory council (SMAC)

membership application

Crohn's and Colitis Canada is currently seeking qualified candidates to become a member of the SMAC. If you're interested in applying, please review the SMAC Terms of Reference. You must complete an online form.

The 2021 SMAC includes:


Members Institution
Eric Benchimol, MD, PhD
Professor, University of Toronto
Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Hospital for Sick Children
Gilaad Kaplan, MD, MPH (Past-Chair) Professor of Medicine
CIHR Embedded Clinician Research Chair
University of Calgary
Usha Chauhan, RN, NP Nurse Practitioner at McMaster University Medical Centre, GI clinic
CANIBD Co-founder and Steering Committee Member
Jean-Eric Ghia, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Immunology/ Internal Medicine,
University of Manitoba
Director, Gastrointestinal Basic Biology Research, IBD Clinical & Research Centre
Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba
Deanna Gibson, PhD
(Vice-Chair, Research)
Associate Professor, Biology, University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus)
Anne Griffiths, MD Professor, Paediatrics, University of Toronto
Chair, SickKids Research Institute
Northbridge Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Director of the IBD Program, The Hospital for Sick Children
Simon Hirota, PhD Associate Professor
Departments of Physiology & Pharmacology and Microbiology,
Immunology & Infectious Diseases
University of Calgary
Jennifer Jones, MD, MSc
(Vice-Chair, Clinical)
Associate Professor
Departments of Medicine & Clinical Health and Epidemiology
Team Lead, Multidisciplinary IBD Clinical & Research Program
Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre
Dalhousie University
Reena Khanna, MD, MSc Associate Professor of Medicine
Clinician Researcher, Program for Experimental Medicine
Western University
David Mack, MD Professor and Chief, Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa
Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute
Laura Targownik, MD Associate Professor of Medicine
Department al Division Director (Gastroenterology),
University of Toronto
Chair for Diversity and Equity, Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Staff Gastroenterologist, Mount Sinai Hospital
Bruce Vallance, PhD Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Pediatrics
Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
Investigator, BC Children's Hospital

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

Other Areas of Interest