Faith Davis, PhD (Chronic Disease Epidemiology), MPH (Occupational and Environmental Health), MSc (Cancer Epidemiology), MPH (Public Administration)


School of Public Health




PhD (Chronic Disease Epidemiology), Yale University, 1984
MPH (Occupational and Environmental Health), Harvard University, 1980
MSc (Cancer Epidemiology), Harvard University, 1978
MPH (Public Administration), Harvard University, 1977
BSc (Household Economics), University of Alberta, 1970


I am interested in understanding factors that influence the occurrence and survival of cancer. My work focuses on rare cancers (including brain tumors and ovarian cancers) and environmental exposures, including ionizing radiation. This includes characterizing radiogenic cancer risks associated with low dose and low dose rate environmental exposures.

My work with brain tumours currently is creating an infrastructure to support brain tumour surveillance and research in Canada.

My work with ovarian cancers includes understanding why, given that survival rates for ovarian cancer have improved with new therapies, survival differences by demographic groups persist within stages of disease.

In addition, I am interested in surveillance-accurate patterns and exposure assessment to better evaluate known animal neurocarcinogens in the environment while developing collaborations to allow for testing environmental hypotheses related to brain tumors in humans.

These questions involve descriptive, case-control and cohort study approaches. The radiogenic risk estimates impact regulatory levels set for workers and population exposures. The brain tumor work has harmonized the regulations for surveillance data that are meaningful to the neurooncology and cancer registry community and the ovarian cancer work may impact health-care policy as it applies to this patient population.


brain tumors
ovarian cancer



Not currently accepting students.

Scholarly Activities

Research - American Disparities in Ovarian Cancer Survival

20130701 to 20160630

Project funded by the American Cancer Society ($720,000) to assess disparities in ovarian cancer survival using the National Cancer Database. 

Research - Evaluation of Data Quality and reporting of brain tumours in Canadian Cancer Registries

20121130 to 20150630

This effort will be a partnership with the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. The University of Alberta will be the scientific lead and the Brain Tumour Foundation will provide the collaborative connections and advocacy perspective regarding the utility of this work for brain tumour patients and researchers in Canada. 

1) The first goal of this project is to understand the definitions and processes of individual brain tumor data collected in the Canadian Provinces and Territories.

2) The second goal of this project is to assess the quality and comparability of individual brain tumor data collected in the Canadian Provinces and Territories. 

3) A tertiary goal of this project is to understand policies about the reporting and sharing of aggregated brain tumor surveillance data in the Canadian Provinces and Territories that will be valuable in making decisions about the feasibility of using past and future data in pan-Canadian reports.

It is anticipated that 1) a report will be made available to BTFC from the first goal of this project that will be used for dissemination at their discretion and 2) a manuscript will be developed from the second goal of the project for submission to an appropriate peer review journal. Acceptance in a peer review journal will be viewed as indication of contribution to the field. Finally, assisting BTFC in developing a successful plan for compilation of high quality and comparable data on brain tumors for as many regions as feasible in Canada will be the ultimate measure of effectiveness of this preliminary work.

Research - JCCRER Project 1.2b Stochastic Effects of Environmental Radiation Exposure in Populations Living near the Mayak Industrial Association: Radiation Effects on Cancer Incidence in the Chelyabinsk Subcohort of the Extended Techa River Cohort.

Principal Investigator
funded by the Department of Energy, US Government

Featured Publications

Yuan Y, Shi Q, Li M, Nagamuthu C, Andres E, Davis F

Canadian Journal of Public Health. 2016 January; 107 (1):37-42

Davis F, Nagamuthu c, Ross J, Megyesi J

Journal of Registry Management. 2015 January; 42 (4):139-145

Ostrom, QT, Bauchet L, Davis FG, et al.

Euro-Oncology. 16 (7):896-913

Peterson CE, Rauscher GH, Johnson TP, Kirschner CV, Barrett RE, Kim S, Fitzgibbon ML, Joslin C, Davis FG.

Cancer Causes Control. 25 (5):633-7

Davis FG, Krestinina L Yu, Preston D, Epifanova S, Degteva M, Akleyev AV

Radiation Research. 184 (1):56-65