The CRISM Atlantic Team

Sherry Stewart, PH.D.

Principal Investigator, CRISM Atlantic Node

Sherry H. Stewart, Ph.D., is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Addictions and Mental Health and a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, and Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University, as well as a licensed clinical psychologist in the province of Nova Scotia. Dr. Stewart is a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada and the recipient of the 2023 Donald O. Hebb Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Science. She is well known for her research on psychological factors contributing to alcohol abuse, pathological gambling, and the comorbidity of emotional and addictive disorders. Dr. Stewart is a member of the Scientific Advisory to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, and Graduate Program Coordinator of the MSc. in Psychiatry Research Program. Dr. Stewart founded the Centre for Addiction Research at Dalhousie (CARD), a virtual centre at Dalhousie fostering collaborations among faculty members conducting research on addiction, and is on the steering committee of the Quebec-Maritimes node of the CIHR-funded Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM). She is Co-Director of Research in the Department of Psychiatry, and co-directs the new MSc program in psychiatry research at Dalhousie. Dr. Stewart receives funding from several research agencies including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF), the National Center for Responsible Gambling (NCRG), and the Manitoba Gambling Research Program (MGRP). (See Dalhousie Profile and MAAC Lab)

Mark Asbridge, PH.D.

Interim Principal Investigator, CRISM Atlantic Node

Dr. Asbridge is Professor and Interim Head of the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at Dalhousie University. Mark served as Interim Principal Investigator for the CRISM Atlantic Node (July 2022-June 2023) and we are pleased that Mark will continue to provide leadership, guidance and support to the Node’s Coordinating Core team going forward. His substantive interests are in the areas of addictions, public and population health, evaluation research, injury prevention, road safety and public policy. He is particularly interested in the intersection of substance use and various health outcomes, with a special emphasis on young people. (See Dalhousie Profile)

Jennifer Swansburg

Node Manager, CRISM Atlantic Node

Jennifer joined Dalhousie University in 2011 after completing a BSc in Psychology. She is interested in the impact efficacious treatment can have on youth and adults suffering with mental health and addictions concerns. Jennifer has worked with Dr. Stewart’s Mood Anxiety and Addiction Co-morbidity (MAAC) Lab on a number of research projects involving substance use, gambling, and anxiety. She joined the CRISM Quebec- Atlantic team in 2015. In her current role, Jennifer manages all aspects of the day-to-day activities of the Atlantic node and its collaboration with national CRISM initiatives.

Renato Molina

Research Coordinator, CRISM Atlantic Node

Renato joined the CRISM Atlantic node in June, 2022 and provides support to the many research and community engagement activities of the Node. Renato began his work in health research in Vancouver’s downtown east side back in 2018 whilst completing a dual degree at Simon Fraser University in the areas of biochemistry/molecular biology and human physiology. Renato’s diverse research experience has granted him a robust knowledge set of the research pipeline. It has motivated and inspired his involvement in community-based, participatory approaches to research, and made him a strong advocate for harm reduction and culturally relevant, inclusive research and clinical practices. In his free time, Renato enjoys reading, surfing, soccer, cooking, and chess.

Renee Masching

Indigenous Engagement Coordinator, CRISM Atlantic Node

We welcome Renee Masching to the role of Indigenous Engagement Coordinator (Interim). Renee is First Nations with bloodlines from Six Nations of the Grand River in Southern Ontario and Ireland. Adopted as an infant, Renee grew up in a family of Eastern and Western European descent and has lived in Mi’kma’ki for over 30 years. Renee’s research interests focus on community-based research frameworks, Indigenous knowledge and community health, with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS, HepC, and Sexually Transmitted Infections. Renee has been part of the CRISM Network and the Atlantic Node for four (4) years. In the past year, Renee has held the role of co-chair on the Node’s Indigenous Advisory Council. In her interim role as Indigenous Engagement Coordinator, Renee will focus on identifying and supporting initiatives with Indigenous members and communities with respect to substance use intervention related research. Pijila’si Renée!


CRISM Atlantic Alumni

Ed Kairiss

Knowledge Transfer Agent, CRISM Atlantic Node

Ed  joined the CRISM Atlantic Node as the CRISM Atlantic Knowledge Transfer Agent in November of 2022. Working with the Node’s Coordinating Core team, Ed helps to build the Node’s visibility and identity, and contributes to the Atlantic Node’s Knowledge Management initiatives.

Following undergraduate and graduate work in Physics (Waterloo) and Neuroscience (McMaster), Dr. Kairiss continued his faculty research on the biophysical mechanisms underlying learning and memory with research funding from federal grants and private foundations. He later shifted to a focus on faculty development and initiated Centers and programs designed to help University faculty enhance their teaching skills and grow their interdisciplinary research ambitions. Ed brings a strong understanding and appreciation of research methodologies and the importance of focused communication in achieving challenging research goals.

Nicole Augustine

Indigenous Research Assistant, CRISM Atlantic Node

Nicole joined the CRISM team in September, 2022 and supports the Node’s activities as they relate to research focused on the needs and priorities within Indigenous communities.
Nicole brings a wealth of experience to this role, including but not limited to her work with Indigenous organizations, including Jordan’s Principle where she developed a holistic framework to identify culturally supportive services; preparing jurisdiction in accordance with An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Metis families for a local First Nation, and her work with the Mi’kmaq Legal Support Network, preparing Gladue reports. Throughout her work and her educational journey, Nicole has practiced the resurgence of ceremony through Indigenous research methodologies, the foundation of OCAP, and First Nations principles of OCAP.

Nicole is a Mi’kmaq woman and mother from the Elsipogtoq First Nation. Nicole recently completed the Indigenous Policy and Administration Graduate Certificate Program (Carleton) and is an Indigenous social worker (Wilfred Laurier).

Nicole begins a new chapter in her academic path this Fall as she embarks on a PhD in Social Work at Wilfred Laurier. Nicole has offered to continue with CRISM Atlantic with limited involvement, to assist in transitioning efforts for this role.