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Why working at PHO is important to me

"Public Health Ontario enables an incredible breadth of scientific inquiry and collaboration with colleagues, motivated by challenges faced by our public health partners. The ability to investigate the microbiological, clinical, and public health dimensions of sexually transmitted infections and foodborne outbreaks, and to develop knowledge and tools to enhance our provincial capacity establishes a firm foundation for our role as an internationally recognized institution of public health research."

Vanessa Allen, Chief, Medical Microbiology
New: Scientist Profile 
Watch Dr. Vanessa Allen talk about:
  • What excites her about her work
  • The impact of her research
  • Why she chose PHO

Trouble viewing? Watch on YouTube.



    Academic degrees and accreditations

    • Doctor of medicine and Master of surgery (MDCM), McGill University
    • Master of public health, Johns Hopkins University
    • Fellowship in medical microbiology, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto
    • Fellowship in infectious diseases, University Health Network, University of Toronto
    • Residency in internal medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto

    Areas of expertise

    • Sexually transmitted infections
    • Antimicrobial resistance
    • Molecular epidemiology
    • Food- and water-borne infections
    • Clostridium difficile

    PHO research interests

    • Sexually transmitted infections, particularly Neisseria gonorrhoeae, syphilis, and Chlamydia trachomatis.
    • Molecular epidemiology and outbreak response for foodborne infections and Clostridium difficile.
    • Infectious diseases during pregnancy.

    Current PHO research activities

    • Sexually transmitted infections.
    • Examining the development of antibiotic resistance in N. gonorrhoeae in the pharyngeal tract using whole genome sequencing.
    • Applying molecular epidemiological tools to understand the patterns of development of multi-drug resistance in N. gonorrhoeae in Ontario.
    • Exploring the prevalence and disease spectrum of Mycoplasma genitalium.
    • Collaborating on the role on increased screening of syphilis to reduce the current epidemic.
    • Enhanced detection and molecular epidemiology and foodborne and enteric infections including C. difficile.
    • Developing and evaluating the role of new methodologies of molecular epidemiology of Salmonella Enteritidis.
    • Comparison of MLVA, SNP typing, optical mapping, and whole genome sequencing.
    • Assessment of the impact of community transmission of C. difficile in Ontario.

    Other publications

    1. Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (Public Health Ontario). Guidelines for testing and treatment of gonorrhea in Ontario. Toronto, ON: Queen's Printer for Ontario; 2013.
    2. Public Health Inspector’s Guide To the Principles and Practices of Environmental Microbiology. 3rd and 4th edition. Public Health Ontario 2013
    3. Sunnybrook Antimicrobial Handbook, July 2013. (chapter on antimicrobials in pregnancy)


    View more researchers »

    Page last reviewed:  
    Page last updated: 2017-08-18 11:07 AM
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