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Nancy Lightfoot

Nancy Lightfoot

Full Professor, School of Kinesiology & Health Sciences
School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences
Faculty of Education and Health
SE 205-F, Education Building


Dr. Lightfoot grew up in Toronto and spent many childhood summers with her grandparents enjoying rural life in Bruce County. She studied at the University of Toronto (B.Sc. (Microbiology) at Trinity College), M.Sc. (Microbiology), and Ph.D (Community Health , Epidemiology)). She was a Resident Junior Fellow at Massey College in the University of Toronto. She was the Epidemiologist and Head of the Cardiac Data Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. She moved to Sudbury in 1992, with her geologist husband, daughter, and dog. In Sudbury, she was the Senior Epidemiologist at the Northeastern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre, a Division Head of Human Sciences at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and a previous Director of, and Graduate Coordinator in, the School of Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian University. Currently, she is a Full Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, where the master's program in Interdisciplinary Health and the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Rural and Northern Health are offered and in which she teaches critical appraisal, research methods, and preparing for the doctoral comprehensive examination.  She enjoys working with doctoral students who wish to write paper-based theses utilizing qualitative or mixed methods approaches and masters students who aim to write major papers. She is delighted to work with graduate students who write really well and aim to complete their graduate degrees in a timely fashion. She conducts quantitative, qualitative (her passion), and mixed methods health research. Her research interests include: studies of patient, health care provider, and caregiver experiences, and satisfaction with treatment for autoimmune conditions, hip, knee, and shoulder replacements, osteoporosis, various cancers, congenital heart diseases, other chronic diseases, and infectious diseases, in addition to occupationally-related compensation and return to work experiences. She is also interested in research about: the impact of congenital heart disease, the impact of wildfires and evacuations on communities, experiences with travel for health care, and occupational cohort studies.  When not undertaking professional duties, much time is spent with her family, including her cats and dog, enjoying the Killarney area, and reading biographies and mysteries. 


  • B.Sc. (Microbiology)
  • M.Sc. (Microbiology)
  • Ph.D. (Community Health , Epidemiology)

Academic Appointments

Full Professor, School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, Laurentian University


Research interests include:

  • a) health services research (e.g., client and caregiver experience and satisfaction with treatment; impact of long distance travel for care; and program evaluation).
  • b) occupational cancer (impact on patients and caregivers and compensation and return to work experiences; mortality and incidence in occupational cohorts; risk factors for occupational cancers; predictors of survival),
  • c) other chronic diseases (impact on patients and caregivers, surveillance, aetiology, predictors of survival), especially pediatric and adult cardiology, and
  • d) emergency preparedness (especially community and occupational impact of wildfires).


  • 2012-13             Certificate of Appreciation (for tireless contribution and dedication to student success), Laurentian University

    2015, 2016        One of Top Ten Researchers, Faculty of Health, Laurentian University

    2017-                 Fellow, American College Epidemiology (F.A.C.E.)

    2008-2018           Impact Award, Laurentian University Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health​



IRNH 6206, IRNH 6056, INDH 5206, IRNH 6216


  • Selected examples below:
  • Lightfoot N, Conlon M, Kreiger N, Sass-Kortsak A, Purdham J, Darlington G.  2004.  Sexual, medical history, and maturational factors and prostate cancer risk. Ann Epidemiol 14:655-662.Lightfoot N, Gross G, Russell J, Berriault C, Barbosa N, Belanger-Gardner D.  2015.
  • Lightfoot N, Strasser R, Maar M, and Jacklin K. 2008. Challenges and rewards of conducting research with northern, rural, and remote communities. Annals of Epidemiology 18: 507-514.
  • Maar M, Lightfoot N, Sutherland M, Strasser R, Wilson KJ, Lidstone-Jones CM, Graham DG, Beaudin R, Daybutch GA, Dokis BR, Kinoshameg RM, Lesage MT, Raymond M, Williamson P.  2011. Thinking Outside the Box: Aboriginal Peoples’ Suggestions for Conducting Health Studies with Aboriginal Communities.  J Pub Health 125: 747-753.
  • Lightfoot N, Berriault C. 2012. Mortality and cancer incidence in a copper-zinc cohort. Workplace Health & Safety. 60:223-233.
  • Closer to home: client satisfaction with a northern Canadian satellite paediatric cardiology clinic. In Sheppard, G., & Tremblay, L., (Eds).  Diversity in Research - La diversité dans la recherche - Nooch Gegoo Ndagkendma-daa 2015. Laurentian University, Sudbury. ISBN  978-0-88667-091-7 (PDF). retrieved from pp. 39-53.
  • Kulig JC, Edge DS, Townshend I, Lightfoot N, Reimer W.  2013. Community resiliency: emerging theorectical insights. J Comm Psychol 41(6):758-775.
  • Kulig, JC, Lightfoot N, Edge D, Townshend I, Reimer W.  2013. Impacts of wildfires: the aftermath at individual and community level? Aust J Emerg Management 28 (3):23-28.
  • Sritharan J, Demers PA, Harris S, Cole DC, Krieger N, Sass-Kortsak A, Lightfoot N. 2016. Natural resource based industries and prostate cancer risk in northeastern Ontario: a case-control study. Occup Environ Med . doi: 10.1136/03med-2016-103573.
  • Grundy A, Cotterchio M, Kirsch VA, Nadalin V, Lightfoot N, Kreiger, N.  Rotating shift work associated with obesity in men from northeastern Ontario. Health Promotion and Chronic Diseases in Canada 2017; 37(8). .
  • Lightfoot NE, Berriault CJ, Seilkop SK, Conard BR. 2017. Non-respiratory mortality and cancer incidence in a cohort of Canadian nickel workers. Arch Environ Occup Health 72(4):187-203.
  • Seilkop SK, Lightfoot NE, Berriault CJ, Conard BR. 2017. Respiratory cancer mortality and incidence in an updated cohort of Canadian nickel production workers. 2017. Arch Environ Occup Health 72(4):204-219.
  • Berriault CJ, Lightfoot NE, Seilkop Sk, Conard BR. 2017. Injury mortality in a cohort of mining, smelting, and refining workers in Ontario. Arch Environ Occup Health 72(4):220-230.
  • Kramer DM, Holness DL, Haynes E, McMillan K, Berriault C, Kalenge S, Lightfoot N. 2017. From awareness to action: Sudbury, mining and occupational disease in a time of change. Work 58:149-162.

  • Kramer DM, Haynes E, McMillan K, Lightfoot N, Holness DL. 2018. Iterative method of analysis of 90 interviews from two communities: Understanding how Sudbury and Sarnia reduced occupational exposures and industrial pollution. Sage Res Methods Cases. doi:10.4135/978152644779, ISBN: 9781526443779.
  •  Kramer DM, Haynes E, McMillan K, Lightfoot N, Holness DL. 2018. Dimensions of community change. How the community of Sudbury responded to industrial exposures and cleaned up its environment. J Community Engagement and Scholarship 10(2):81-94. 
  • Lightfoot N, MacEwan L, Tufford L, Holness DK, Mayer C, Kramer DM. 2019. Who cares? The impact on caregivers of suspected mining-related lung cancer. Curr Oncol 26(4):e494-e502. .
  • Lightfoot N, Manitowabi D, Barnett N, Nootchtai C, Odjig ML, Fongemy J, Lariviere M, Kerekes Z, Arrandale V, Holness L, MacEwan L, Eger, T, Warry W. 2022. Workers’ compensation experience in some Indigenous Northern Ontario communities and the role for nurses. Work 73(2):707-717. Doi: 10.3233/WRO-210895.