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Jim Dunn

Jim Dunn

Jim Dunn


Department of Health, Aging & Society

Department Chair, Department of Health, Aging & Society

Chair in Applied Public Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Public Health Agency of Canada


Areas of Interest


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Dr. Jim Dunn holds a Chair in Applied Public Health from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) for his program of research on Interventions in Residential Neighbourhoods and Population Health. He is also a Fellow in the Successful Societies Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR - He is Deputy Editor of the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Housing, Theory & Society, Social Science and Medicine and Health Reports. He has been a scientific advisor to a number of policy-related bodies, including the Privy Council Office of Canada, Health Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care, the National Housing Research Committee of Canada and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe.

Dr. Dunn's research program focuses on socio-economic inequalities in health in urban areas. Current research includes:

  • an international study of the relationship between income distribution (or income inequality) and population health in North American metropolitan areas from 1990-present;
  • a study of the effects of the Regent Park redevelopment on adult mental health and children's healthy development. Regent Park is a 69-acre public housing development in Toronto - one of Canada's oldest and largest - which will be demolished and re-built into a mixed income community over the next 10-12 years;
  • a large study of the effects of receiving rent-geared-to-income social housing adult mental health and children's healthy development in Hamilton, Halton, Peel and Toronto;
  • a demonstration project funded by the Mental Health Commission of Canada examining the effects of supported housing for people with mental illness on health, quality of life and health care utilization studies of the relationship between the built environment and physical activity, obesity and diabetes in Canadian urban areas;

Selected Publications

Parsons, J.A., Singh, G., Scott, A.N., Nisenbaum, R., Balasubramaniam, P., Jabbar, A., Zaidi, Q., Sheppard, A., Ramsay, J., O'Campo, P. and Dunn, J.R. (2010). Standardized observation of neighbourhood disorder: does it work in Canada? International Journal of Health Geographics, 2010, 9(6). doi:10.1186/1476-072X-9-6

Dunn, J.R. (2009). Neighbourhoods, housing and health. In: Kitchen, R. and Thrift, N. (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Vol. 5. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 201-206.

Dunn, J.R., Schaefer-McDaniel, N. and Ramsay, J. (2009). Neighborhood chaos and children's development: Questions and contradictions. In: Evans, G.W. and Wachs, T. (eds). Chaos and its influence on children's development: An ecological perspective. APA Press.

Dunn, J.R. and Ross, N.A. 2009. 'Public goods', metropolitan inequality and population health in comparative perspective: Policy & theory. In: Babones, S. (ed.) The New Public Health of Social Inequality: Pathways and Evidence. Bristol: Policy Press.

Bush, K. R., E. A. Henderson, J. R. Dunn, R. R. Read and A. Singh. 2008. Mapping the core: Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections in Calgary, Alberta. Sexually Transmitted Diseases 35(3): 291-297.

Kyle, T. and J. R. Dunn. 2008. Effects of housing circumstances on health, quality of life and health care use for people with severe mental illness: A review. Health & Social Care in the Community 16(1): 1-15.

Leaver, C., G. Bargh, J. R. Dunn and S. W. Hwang. 2007. The effects of housing status on health-related outcomes in people living with HIV: A systematic review of the literature. AIDS & Behavior 11(S2): 85-100.

Lewis, S. Southern, D.A., Maxwell, C.J., Dunn, J.R., Noseworthy, T.W., Ghali, W. 2007. What Americans living in Canada think of the Canadian and American health care systems. Open Medicine, 1(2).

Dunn, J. R., P. Schaub and N. A. Ross. 2007. Unpacking income inequality and population health in North American Cities: The peculiar absence of geography. Canadian Journal of Public Health 98(S1): S10-S17.

Schuurman, N., N. Bell, J. R. Dunn and L. N. Oliver. 2007. Deprivation indices, population health and geography: Evaluation of the spatial effectiveness of indices at multiple scales. Journal of Urban Health 84(4): 591-603.

Oliver, L., J. R. Dunn, D. Kohen and C. Hertzman. 2007. Do neighbourhoods influence the readiness to learn of kindergarten children in Vancouver? A multilevel analysis of neighbourhood effects. Environment & Planning A 39(4): 848-868.

Frohlich, K., J. R. Dunn, L. McLaren, A. Sheill, L. Potvin, P. Hawe, C. Dassa and W. E. Thurston. 2007. Understanding place and health: A heuristic for using administrative data. Health & Place 13(2): 299-309.

Dunn, J. R., M. V. Hayes, J. D. Hulchanski, S. W. Hwang, and L. Potvin. 2006. Housing as a socio-economic determinant of health: Findings of a national needs, gaps and opportunities assessment. Canadian Journal of Public Health 97 (Suppl. 3): S11-S15.

Dunn, J. R. 2006. Speaking theoretically about population health: Commentary on Carpiano, R. M. and Daley, D. M. "A guide and glossary on theory-building for population health." Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 60: 572-573.

Matheson, F. I., R. Moineddin, J. R. Dunn, M. I. Creatore, P. Gozdyra and R. Glazier. 2006. Urban neighbourhood, stress, gender and depression: A factorial ecology. Social Science and Medicine 63(10): 2604-2616.

Dunn, J. R., G. Veenstra and N. A. Ross. 2006. Relations between self-perceived relative social position and self-rated health: Results from a nationally representative survey of the Canadian population. Social Science & Medicine 62(6): 1465-1473.

Dunn, J. R., B. Burgess and N. A. Ross. 2005. Income distribution, public services expenditures, and all-cause mortality in U.S. states. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 59(9): 768-774.

Ross, N. A., D. Dorling, J. R. Dunn, G. Henriksson, J. Glover, J. W. Lynch and G. Ringback Weitoft. 2005. Metropolitan income inequality and working age mortality: A cross-sectional analysis using comparable data from five countries. Journal of Urban Health 82(1): 101-110.

Other Activities

1. Deputy Editor, Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 2009-present

2. Editorial Advisory Board, Housing, Theory & Society, 2008-present

3. Editorial Advisory Board, Health Reports, 2007-present

4. Editorial Advisory Board, Social Science & Medicine, 2005-present

5. Institute Advisory Board, Institute of Population and Public Health (IPPH), CIHR, 2005-present


  • PhD, Geography, Simon Fraser University, 1998
  • MA, Geography, McMaster University, 1993
  • B.ArtsSc. (Hon), Arts & Science, McMaster University, 1991


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