Kate Shannon


Dr. Kate Shannon, PhD, MPH, Director of the Gender and Sexual Health Initiative (GSHI), BC-CfE

As Director of the Gender and Sexual Health Initiative (gshi.cfenet.ubc.ca), Dr. Shannon oversees a large NIH and CIHR-funded research program of over 50 staff focused on evaluating and addressing sexual health and HIV inequities and social justice among marginalized women and gender and sexual minority populations. She is a Canada Research Chair in Global Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS at UBC and an Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Faculty in the School of Population and Public Health. Over more than a decade, Dr. Shannon has worked closely with community, policy and academic experts to evaluate the impact of laws, policies and structural interventions that impact health and social inequities among sex workers, women living with HIV, and migrant/ refugee women in conflict-affected settings.

She regularly acts as a consultant on international sexual health and human rights guidelines, including first ever WHO/UNAIDS/ NSWP guidelines on sex work and HIV, women and HIV guidelines with International Physicians for AIDS Care, and Global Commission on HIV and the Law. Under her direction, GSHI consulted and drafted together with community the first ever Vancouver Coastal Health Women’s Health and Safety DTES Strategy in 2016. She currently services on CIHR HIV/AIDS Research Advisory Committee (CHARAC, 2012-2017), CIHR Institute of Gender and Health Advisory Board (2013-2017), the UBC President’s Strategic Planning Committee, and previously served on International AIDS Society Key Populations Advisory Board. Her work has been cited in over 400 media stories and contributed to evidence-based policy guidelines and expert evidence, including GSHI legal intervention in the Bedford case in the Supreme Court of Canada and expert testimony at the BC Missing Women’s Commission Inquiry. In 2016, she led a key paper in the Lancet on decriminalization of sex work and HIV that has contributed to major international policy discussions, including Amnesty International policy on decriminalization. She has received a number of awards in recognition of her dedication to community-based research and evidence-based policy for HIV affected communities, including an AccolAIDS Award in Community/ Political/ Social Action from Positive Living BC, the CAHR-CANFAR Research Excellence Award for Canadian research leaders in HIV movement, and most recently the 2017 Distinguished Achievement Award in Applied Research from UBC. She currently serves on the AIDS 2018 Social/ Political Research, Human Rights and Law Track Committee, as joint lead on key populations and human rights

Academic Institution Affiliation: University of British Columbia (UBC)
Academic Institution Position/Title: Associate Professor
Academic Affiliation Faculty: Faculty of Medicine
Hospital/Health Centre Affiliation Position: Director of the Gender & Sexual Health Initiative, BC Centre for Excellence
Degree(s): PhD, MPH
Research areas of interest:
Research Themes:
Sexual and Reproductive Health
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