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Nancy Lightfoot

Nancy Lightfoot

Full Professor

School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences
SE 205-F, Education Building Sudbury Campus


Dr. Lightfoot grew up in Toronto and spent many childhood summers with her grandparents in Bruce County. She obtained her degrees 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. After graduation, she was the Epidemiologist and Head of the Cardiac Data Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. In 1992, her family relocated to Sudbury. In Sudbury, she was the Senior Epidemiologist at the Northeastern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre, Division Head of Human Sciences at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, a previous Director of the School of Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian University, and a previous Graduate Coordinator of the doctoral program in Rural and Northern Health and Master's program in Interdisciplinary Health. 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. in Rural and Northern Health are offered.  She is interested in working with doctoral students who wish to write paper-based theses, particularly using qualitative or mixed methods, and master's students who wish to write a major paper, with a view to publishing their results. She has taught graduate critical appraisal and research methods courses. She supervises master's students in Interdisciplinary Health and doctoral students in Rural and Northern Health. She loves to work with graduate students who write really well - that is a top priority! She conducts quantitative, qualitative (her passion), and mixed methods health research. Her research interests include: studies of the impact (physical, emotional, occupational, social, and financial) of, and experiences with, various cancers, cardiovascular, other chronic diseases, autoimmune, injuries in seniors, and infectious diseases (including COVID-19) on patients, various types of northern workers, and their caregivers, as well as their compensation and return to work experiences; occupational health and safety experience in Indigenous communities; occupational cohort studies of mortality and incidence;  congenital heart disease impact, patient satisfaction, and survival; identification of risk factors for various cancers; predictors of cancer survival; the impact of wildfires and evacuations on communities; and factors associated with, and the impact of, travel for health care.  When not undertaking professional duties, much time is spent with her family, including her cats and dog, enjoying the Killarney area, walking, 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) 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),
  • b) other chronic diseases (impact on patients and caregivers, surveillance, aetiology, predictors of survival), especially pediatric and adult cardiology
  • c) emergency preparedness (especially community and occupational impact of wildfires),
  • d) health services research (e.g., impact of long distance travel for care; client satisfaction; and program evaluation).


  • 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

    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.