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Jim Dunn

Jim Dunn

Jim Dunn


Department of Health, Aging & Society

Department Chair, Department of Health, Aging & Society

Director, McMaster Institute for Healthier Environments


Areas of Interest


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James R. Dunn, Ph.D. (Jim) is Professor and Chair of the Department of Health, Aging and Society at McMaster University and a Scientist at the Centre for Research on Inner City Health at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. He is the Director of the McMaster Institute for Healthier Environments and holds adjunct appointments at the University of Toronto (Geography and Planning) and the University of Waterloo (Planning). From 2008-2015 he held a Chair in Applied Public Health from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada and in 2011-12 he was the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Chair in Canadian Studies at Harvard University. He has published widely in geography, public health, urban planning and epidemiology journals over his career, and co-edited Rethinking Social Epidemiology: Towards a Science of Change with Patricia O’Campo in 2012. Since 2011, he has been the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, and also sits on the Editorial Board of Housing, Theory & Society.

His current research program focuses on the social determinants of health and the influence of economic and social policies, especially urban policies, on inequalities in health and child development, concentrating on urban housing and neighbourhoods. Specifically, his work includes projects on the health and social impacts of public housing redevelopment, the impact of neighbourhood redevelopment initiatives on health and child development, and the development of cross-sectoral (between public health and urban planning) policy implementation solutions for urban health problem

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



Selected Publications

Rowe, D. J., Dunn, J. R., & Muntaner, C. (2015). The impact of job strain on smoking cessation and relapse in the Canadian population: a cohort study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. doi: 10.1136/jech-2014-205227

Rowe, D. J., & Dunn, J. R. (2015). Tenure-Mix in Toronto: Resident Attitudes and Experience in the Regent Park Community. Housing Studies, 1-24. doi: 10.1080/02673037.2015.1013091

Harris, R., Dunn, J. R., & Wakefield, S. (2015). A City on the Cusp: Neighbourhood Change in Hamilton (pp. 32). Hamilton, Ontario: Neighbourhood Change Research Partnership.

Dunn, J. R., Di Nello, A., Gibson-Wood, H., & Vasilevska, B. (2015). Recruitment and Retention of Survey Participants in Marginalized Neighbourhoods. . London, United Kingdom: SAGE Publications, Ltd.

Polsky, J. Y., Moineddin, R., Glazier, R. H., Dunn, J. R., & Booth, G. L. (2014). Foodscapes of southern Ontario: Neighbourhood deprivation and access to healthy and unhealthy food retail. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 105(5), e369-375.

Matheson, F. I., Smith, K. L. W., Fazli, G. S., Moineddin, R., Dunn, J. R., & Glazier, R. H. (2014). Physical health and gender as risk factors for usage of services for mental illness. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 68(10), 971-978. doi: 10.1136/jech-2014-203844

Dunn, J. R., Smith, P., Gibson-Wood, H., Di Nello, A., Dowbor, T., & Vasilevska, B. (2014). Institutional Ethics, Privacy, and Recruitment for a Multi-Site, Longitudinal Study on Social Housing. SAGE Research Methods Cases. doi: 10.4135/978144627305014539106

Weyman, J. T., Dunn, J. R., Gutmann, C., Sivanand, B., Bursey, G., & Mowat, D. L. (2013). Planning health-promoting development: creation and assessment of an evidence-based index in the Region of Peel, Canada. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 40(4), 707-722.

Dunn, J. R., van der Meulen, E., O’Campo, P., & Muntaner, C. (2013). Improving health equity through theory-informed evaluations: A look at housing first strategies, cross-sectoral health programs, and prostitution policy. Evaluation and Program Planning, 36(1), 184-190. doi:

Dunn, J. R. (2013). Security, Meaning and the Home: Conceptualizing Multiscalar Resilience in a Neoliberal Era. In P. A. Hall & M. Lamont (Eds.), Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era (pp. 183-205). Cambridge University Press.

Shankardass, K., & Dunn, J. R. (2012). How Goes the Neighbourhood? Rethinking Neighbourhoods and Health Research in Social Epidemiology Rethinking Social Epidemiology (pp. 137-156): Springer.

Montesanti, S., Abelson, J., Lavis, J. N., & Dunn, J. R. (2012). The Participation of Marginalized Communities in Local Health System Planning: The Development of a Conceptual Framework using Critical Interpretative Synthesis. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 11(5), 782-783.

Dunn, J. R. (2012). "Explanation," Philosophy and Theory in Health Inequalities Research: Towards a Critical Realist Approach. In P. O'Campo & J. R. Dunn (Eds.), Rethinking Social Epidemiology: Towards a Science of Change (pp. 23-42). New York: Springer.

Dunn, J. R. (2012). "Socially Mixed" Public Housing Redevelopment as a Destigmatization Strategy in Toronto's Regent Park. Du Bois Review, 9(1), 87-105. doi:

 White, H. L., Matheson, F. I., Moineddin, R., Dunn, J. R., & Glazier, R. H. (2011). Neighbourhood deprivation and regional inequalities in self-reported health among Canadians: Are we equally at risk? Health & Place, 17(1), 361-369. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.11.016

Matheson, F. I., LaFreniere, M. C., White, H. L., Moineddin, R., Dunn, J. R., & Glazier, R. H. (2011). Influence of neighborhood deprivation, gender and ethno-racial origin on smoking behavior of Canadian youth. Preventive Medicine, 52(5), 376-380. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.02.011

Hwang, S. W., Gogosis, E., Chambers, C., Dunn, J. R., Hoch, J. S., & Aubry, T. (2011). Health Status, Quality of Life, Residential Stability, Substance Use, and Health Care Utilization among Adults Applying to a Supportive Housing Program. Journal of Urban Health-Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 88(6), 1076-1090. doi: 10.1007/s11524-011-9592-3

Schaefer-McDaniel, N., Dunn, J. R., Minian, N., & Katz, D. (2010). Rethinking measurement of neighborhood in the context of health research. Social Science & Medicine, 71(4), 651-656. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.03.060

Matheson, F. I., White, H. L., Moineddin, R., Dunn, J. R., & Glazier, R. H. (2010). Neighbourhood chronic stress and gender inequalities in hypertension among Canadian adults: a multilevel analysis. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 64(8), 705-713. doi: 10.1136/jech.2008.083303

Dunn, J. R., Schaefer-McDaniel, N. J., & Ramsay, J. T. (2010). Neighborhood chaos and children's development: Questions and contradictions. In G. W. Evans & T. D. Wachs (Eds.), Chaos and its influence on children's development: An ecological perspective (pp. 173-189). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.

Dunn, J. R. (2010). Health Behavior vs the Stress of Low Socioeconomic Status and Health Outcomes. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(12), 1199-1200. doi: 10.1001/jama.2010.332

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