Profile: James Dunn

James (Jim) Dunn, Scientist, CIHR-PHAC Chair in Applied Public Health; Associate Professor, Department of Health, Aging Society, McMaster University, and Scientist, Centre for Research on Inner City Health, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto Canada. Jim’s research interests revolve around health inequities and population health.

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Jim Dunn did his undergraduate and master s level training at McMaster University in his hometown, under the supervision of S. Martin Taylor. In the last semester of his undergraduate degree, Jim read the Black Report on Health Inequalities, the 1980 UK government white paper demonstrating large class inequalities in mortality that had persisted in that country since the post-war years. In 1993, Jim left McMaster for Simon Fraser University, where he completed a Ph.D. in 1998 under the supervision of Michael Hayes.

Jim holds a Chair in Applied Public Health from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) for his research on Interventions in Residential Neighbourhoods and Population Health. He has held the post at CRICH since 2004. He is also a Scholar in the Successful Societies Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR).

Jim has over 60 scholarly publications, most of them focused in three main areas. First, he studies the relationship between income distribution and population health in North American metropolitan areas in collaboration with Nancy Ross of McGill University. Second, he is interested in quasi-experimental studies of the relationship between the social and economic dimensions of housing and health, with a focus on low-income families and people with severe mental illness. He is currently investigating the effects of the redevelopment of Canada’s oldest and largest public housing development, Regent Park, on residents’ mental health and child development. Finally, he also has interests in interventions in residential neighbourhoods and their effects on population health. He is a co-lead on an Ontario provincial research network on population health interventions known as PHIRN — Population Health Improvement Research Network.

Contact Jim at, or for more information, see,,, and

Updated: January 2010