Nancy Lightfoot

Nancy Lightfoot

Full Professor

School of Rural and Northern Health
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. 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, and a previous Director and Graduate Coordinator of the School of Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian University. Currently, she is a Full Professor in the School of Rural and Northern Health, where the Master's Program in Interdisciplinary Health and the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Rural and Northern Health and  are offered.  She is the instructor for a graduate critical appraisal, a master's research methods course, and a doctoral research methods course. She supervises master's students in Interdisciplinary Health and doctoral students in Rural and Northern Health. She conducts mixed methods research and her research interests include: identification of risk factors for various cancers; the impact of cancer on patients and caregivers; the impact of wildfires and evacuations on communities; congenital heart disease impact, patient satisfaction, and survival; occupational cohort studies of mortality and incidence; Indigenous occupational and environmental health; and factors associated with quality of worklife, job satisfaction, and job retention of health care workers. When not undertaking her 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 Rural and Northern Health, Laurentian University


Research interests include:

  • a) occupational cancer (surveillance, aetiology, impact on patients and caregivers),
  • b) other chronic diseases (surveillance, aetiology, impact on patients and caregivers),
  • 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, recruitment and retention of health care professionals, and program evaluation).
  • e) Indigenous occupational and environmental health