Participants’ Biographies click on thumbnails to view large images
Jesper Alvaer is a Norwegian artist based in Oslo and Prague. From 2013 to 2017 he was a research fellow at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts with the project Work, work: Staging dislocation in artistic and non-artistic labour. He holds a MFA in from the Academy of Fine Art in Prague (2004) and CAGS from the Arts, Health and Society Division of the European Graduate School, EGS (2014). In addition to showing his art at a number of international exhibitions, Alvaer has also participated in numerous study, residence, and research programmes both in Norway and abroad.
Sean Caulfield was named a Canada Research Chair in Fine Arts (Tier 2) from 2000 – 2010, and is a Centennial Professor in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta, living and working in Treaty Six territory. He has exhibited his prints, drawings and artist’s books extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and Japan. Recent exhibitions include: Perceptions of Promise, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, USA/Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta; The New World, The Centre for Modern and Contemporary Art, Debrecen, Hungary; Imagining Science, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta. Caulfield has received numerous grants and awards for his work including: Triennial Prize at the 2nd Bangkok Triennial International Print and Drawing Exhibition, Bangkok, Thailand; SSHRC Dissemination Grant: Canadian Stem Cell Network Impact Grant; SSHRC Fine Arts Creation Grant; Canada Council Travel Grant; and a Visual Arts Fellowship, Illinois Arts Council, Illinois, USA. Caulfield’s work is in various public and private collections including: Houghton Library, Harvard University, USA; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England; Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA. In 2017 Caulfield was elected to the Arts Division of the Academy of the Arts and Humanities of the Royal Society of Canada.
Patrick Fafard is Full Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. His lengthy career spans both government and academe. He has served in senior management positions with the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan. He has published extensively in several policy fields including health, trade, the environment, and Canadian intergovernmental relations. His current research includes the governance of organ donation and transplantation, a comparative study of public health leadership, and developing public health political science. Patrick serves as the co-editor of the monograph series, Palgrave Studies in Public Health Policy Research and Associate Director of the Global Strategy Lab (York University and University of Ottawa).
Dr. Steven Hoffman is the Dahdaleh Distinguished Chair in Global Governance & Legal Epidemiology and a Professor of Global Health, Law, and Political Science at York University, the Director of the Global Strategy Lab, the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance, and the Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Population & Public Health at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He holds a courtesy appointment as a Professor of Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact (Part-Time) at McMaster University. He is an international lawyer licensed in both Ontario and New York who specializes in global health law, global governance and institutional design. His research leverages various methodological approaches to craft global strategies that better address transnational health threats and social inequalities. Past studies have focused on access to medicines, antimicrobial resistance, health misinformation, pandemics and tobacco control.
Dr. Kaisu Koski is a cross-disciplinary artist and humanities scholar with a background in performance and screen-based media. She is an Associate Professor of Art and Design at Lab4Living at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. Kaisu's work explores climate crisis, human-nonhuman relationships, and empathy, and it involves collaboration with scientists, clinicians, and engineers. She has conducted research fellowships in various medical schools and created films for medical curricula on topics such as vaccine-hesitancy and breaking bad news. Kaisu's work has been exhibited and performed in multiple gallery shows and theaters and received awards in the film festival circuit. The venues include Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Hasselt Triennial, Lawndale Art Center in Houston, Estonian Museum of Applied Arts, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art, and Helsinki International Film Festival. She has also received several research grants, including organizations such as the Academy of Finland and the Portuguese National Science Foundation. In 2020, Kaisu co-founded the emergent, Art-Science research entity Germini with Dr. Peter Lloyd Jones.
Alison Humphrey plays with story across drama, digital media, and education. After starting her career as an intern at Marvel Comics, she joined science fiction author Douglas Adams’s company The Digital Village, producing one of the first ever web-based alternate reality games for Starship Titanic, whose community-created storyworld has continued to evolve for nearly two decades, as featured in a 2011 article in The Economist, “Emergent systems: The forum at the end of the universe.” She wrote on 115 episodes of Global TV’s Train 48, initiating one of the earliest transmedia in-fiction blogs in a TV series; assistant directed at the Royal Court Theatre, English Touring Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, and Stratford Shakespeare Festival; directed at the Old Red Lion Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company Fringe Festival; and most recently co-wrote and directed two interactive, live-animated sci-fi theatre projects: Faster than Night, for Harbourfront Centre HATCH in Toronto, and The Augmentalist for Augmented World Expo in Silicon Valley. Alison earned a BA in American studies and studio art from Wellesley College, an MA in interactive multimedia from the Royal College of Art, and an MFA in theatre directing from York University, where her thesis production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream used motion-capture technology to weave real-time 3D computer animation and digital effects into live performance. Shadowpox (shadowpox.org) forms part of her research-creation PhD in Cinema and Media Studies at York University, where she is a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar. www.alisonhumphrey.com
Natalie S. Loveless is Associate Professor, Contemporary Art and Theory, in the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture division of the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta, located in Amiskwacîwâskahikan on Treaty Six territory, where she also directs the Research-Creation and Social Justice CoLABoratory, and co-leads the Faculty of Arts’ Signature Area in Research-Creation. Loveless is author of How to Make Art at the End of the World: A Manifesto for Research-Creation (Duke UP 2019), editor of Knowings and Knots: Methodologies and Ecologies in Research-Creation (University of Alberta Press 2019), and co-editor of Responding to Site: The Performance Work of Marilyn Arsem (Intellect Press 2020). Loveless has held fellowships and visiting positions in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC) at Concordia University in Montreal, the Center for the Humanities at the University of Utrecht, and Western University. In 2017 she was awarded the Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Teaching Award (Early Achievement), and in 2020 was elected to the Royal Society of Canada (College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists) for her scholarship at the intersection of research-creation and social and ecological justice.
Mkrtich Tonoyan is an Armenian artist, cultural manager and current president of the AKOS Cultural NGO, founder of the “Art Centre of Social Studies” (ACOSS) international artists-in-residence program (2006), and co-founder of “Microresidence ” worldwide network of Artists residencies, based in Japan and current vice chairman of Youth4Media Network, and NGO based in Germany. In early 90s Tonoyan participated in the Karabakh War, an event that had profound impact on the direction of his creative and social practice. He works in a new direction of conceptual art, called “Military Art”, founded by Alexander Melkonyan. Active in the professional realm of contemporary art Tonoyan has regularly presented his work, projects and lectures on Armenian culture and had talks at numerous national and international art events, galleries and universities. As president of the AKOS Cultural NGO, Tonoyan collaborates with organizations internationally to develop cultural exchange opportunities, and locally to develop socially engaged projects in the peripheries of Armenia.
Lathika Sritharan is a Research Manager at the Global Strategy Lab, where she oversees the day to day operations of the lab. She has completed her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of Saskatchewan and her Hon. Bachelor of Science (HBSc) degree from the University of Toronto. Her research interests include immigrant health, health policy and chronic disease research. Her passion for public health has led her to be actively involved in the Tamil Health Association (a not for profit organization in the Greater Toronto Area) as Director of Community Research and a Board member of the Human Rights Internet (an organization dedicated to providing accessible information on human rights in Canada and beyond).
Julia Belluz is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist covering medicine and public health for Vox.com. She was a 2013-14 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. Her writing has appeared in Maclean’s, the British Medical Journal, the Medical Post, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Slate, the Times (of London), the Economist, and other publications. Outside of reporting, Julia speaks regularly at health care and journalism conferences the world over. She holds an MSc. from the London School of Economics and a B.A. from Ryerson University’s School of Journalism.
Timothy Caulfield is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta. His interdisciplinary research on topics like stem cells, genetics, research ethics, the public representations of science and public health policy has allowed him to publish over 350 academic articles. He has won numerous academic and writing awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He contributes frequently to the popular press and is the author of two national bestsellers: The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness (Penguin 2012) and Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash (Penguin 2015). His most recent book is Relax, Dammit!: A User’s Guide to the Age of Anxiety (Penguin Random House, 2020). Caulfield is also the host and co-producer of the award winning documentary TV show, A User’s Guide to Cheating Death, which has been shown in over 60 countries, including streaming on Netflix in North America.
Caitlin Fisher directs the Augmented Reality Lab at York University and York's Immersive Storytelling Lab at Cinespace Studios. A co-founder the Future Cinema Lab and a 2013 Fulbright Research Chair, Fisher is the recipient of many international awards for digital storytelling. She serves as Vice-President of the Electronic Literature Organization and on the Board of Directors of HASTAC - the Humanities, Arts, Science, Alliance and Collaboratory. She is currently engaged in a SSHRC-funded New Frontiers project investigating “Immersive digital environments and indigenous knowledges: co-creation in virtual reality environments to advance artmaking, digital poetics and reconciliation.”
Annemarie Hou is the Acting Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships. She also serves as the Senior Communications Adviser in Executive Office of the Secretary-General at United Nations, focused on advocacy and strategic communications for sustainable development. Most recently she served as Chief of Staff and Director of the Executive Office for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Previously, she oversaw the communications and advocacy portfolio at UNAIDS where she was responsible for positioning HIV and development issues in the global landscape. Prior to joining UNAIDS, Ms Hou worked in the philanthropic field—with a focus on health and children’s issues. She was the Communications Director at Casey Family Programmes, an operating foundation dedicated to child welfare issues started by the founder of UPS. Ms Hou served as the first Global Health Communications Manager at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as the family’s spokesperson. An award-winning writer, she started her career as a television journalist.
Johan Holst is a Senior Scientist with basic academic training as a pharmacist from the University of Oslo, and research experience in the field of development, characterization and evaluation of vaccines. He works at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) in Oslo and has in the past seven years mainly been involved in a collaborative project with Novartis Vaccines (now gsk) dealing with evaluation of vaccines against serogroup B meningococcal disease. The collaboration between NIPH and Novartis grew out of relationships founded during an earlier public health intervention in New Zealand. Dr. Holst’s career in vaccinology began in the area of Bordetella pertussis research where he characterized pili and their potential use in modern vaccine development. From 1988 to 1998 he was Head of Control at the Department of Vaccinology at NIPH, with a primary focus on the characterization, Quality Control and Quality Assurance for the Norwegian vaccine against serogroup B meningococcal disease, MenBvac®. He has participated in numerous clinical trials, including the pivotal placebo-controlled double-blind efficacy trial of MenBvac® in 180.000 teenagers from 1989 to 1991. His clinical trial experience also includes investigations of mucosal vaccines. Since the early 1990s Dr. Holst served as an advisor to various WHO research programs, PAHO and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, he worked as a consultant for different vaccine companies such as Chiron, Novartis and Wyeth; as well as giving assistance to several biotechnology groups. His list of publications includes about 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals, a couple of book chapters and being a co-inventor of three various patents. In August 2016 Johan Holst joined the Secretariat of CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) with Headquarter in Oslo; where he serves as a Vaccine Expert.
Vicki Sung-yeon Kwon is an art historian and curator. Kwon is a PhD candidate in the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture at the University of Alberta, where she also teaches Art as Social Practice and Twentieth-century Art in East Asia. Kwon’s doctoral research explores socially engaged art in East Asia that addresses transnational issues, focusing on representation of migrant workers, victims of wartime sexual violence, and post-disaster communities. Kwon published her research in peer-reviewed journals Korean Studies, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Asian Studies Review, and Imaginations. She curated exhibitions Designing Connection in Friction at Harcourt House in Edmonton (2018) and Mass and Individual: The Archive of the Guyanese Mass Games at the Arko Art Centre in Seoul (2016). Her research was supported by the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, Kyujanggak Institute’s Junior Fellowship at Seoul National University, and researcher residency program at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea. Kwon is participating in Immune Nations as a project manager and artist/researcher. www.vickiskwon.ca.
Patrick Mahon is an artist, a writer/curator, and a Professor of Visual Arts at Western University, in London, Canada. Currently, he is Director of the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts & Humanities at Western. Mahon’s artwork has been exhibited widely: in Canada at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Museum London, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, and The Art Gallery of Hamilton; internationally in exhibitions in China, France, Norway, and Switzerland; and in numerous print biennales since the early 1990’s. Patrick’s collaborative project, Immersion Emergencies and Possible Worlds, resulted in a ten-artist group exhibition, The Source: Rethinking Water through Contemporary Art, presented at Rodman Hall, Brock University, Canada, in 2014, with a second iteration, The Living River Project, at the Art Gallery of Windsor in 2019. Among his current collaborative initiatives, GardenShip and State, co-curated with Jeff Thomas and involving twenty artists and scholars, will premiere at Museum London in September 2021. Current and forthcoming solo and group exhibitions include: Patrick Mahon: Messagers’ Forum, Thames Art Gallery Chatham, On (2020-21); Written on the Earth, McIntosh Gallery, London, ON, curated by Helen Gregory, (group exhibition, 2021). Patrick’s work was included in the recent exhibitions, Realisms, Museum London, curated by Andrew Kear (2020); and In Place: Reflections from Manitoba, Winnipeg Art Gallery, curated by Riva Symko (2020-2021). Patrick’s work is held in numerous private, corporate, and museum collections, including Canada House, London, UK; UNAIDS, Geneva; Canada Council Art Bank; Winnipeg Art Gallery; Museum London; Art Gallery of Windsor; McMaster Museum of Art; the AIMIA Collection; TD Bank; and Ernst and Young, Toronto.
Rachelle Viader Knowles is an artist, researcher and educator. She is Head of International for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK, where her role supports the development of international initiatives and partnerships for education, research and knowledge exchange. Rachelle has eleven years’ experience in academic leadership roles in higher education. Prior to joining Manchester Met, she was Associate Head International for the School of Art and Design at Coventry University, UK, and Head of Visual Arts at the University of Regina in Canada where she taught media arts practice for twelve years. She is a dual UK and Canadian citizen. Her practice-led research investigates translocality, dialogue as art, and artistic practices/methods developed through participation, collaboration and networks. Her works have been performed, published, screened, found or encountered in numerous international venues and publications. Exhibitions include: MilaKunst Gallery in Berlin; Conflux, and the Experimental Text Festivals in New York; Three Walls Gallery in Chicago; the MacKenzie, Mendel, Neutral Ground and YYZ galleries in Canada; Residencia Corazon Gallery in La Plata, Argentina; Chapter Gallery in Cardiff, Wales; the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea; the Gyumri Biennale in Armenia; and the Can Gelabert Cultural Centre in Mallorca. She is an active member of the international advisory board for the Armenian Art Centre of Social Studies based in Yerevan, Armenia. Rachelle holds a PhD in Art+Media from Plymouth University, an MFA in Visual Arts from the University of Windsor.