Paula Robson

Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health
Scientific Director, Cancer Research, Cancer Control Alberta, Alberta Health Services


School of Public Health

Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health

Scientific Director, Cancer Research, Cancer Control Alberta, Alberta Health Services
(780) 643-4368


Area of Study / Keywords

cancer diet nutrition


My background is in the nutrition sciences. I have conducted research into the impact of diet on various aspects of health and have had a specific interest in methods used to assess diet in free-living human populations.

Between 2006 and 2017, I led Alberta's Tomorrow Project, a longitudinal cohort of adults aged 35-69 established to enable a broad range of studies into the etiology of cancer and chronic disease.

Since 2012, I have also worked closely with Rhonda Bell and her team at the University of Alberta on the ENRICH project exploring approaches to optimizing gestational weight management in pregnant and post-partum women in Alberta.

Since October 2017, I have been the scientific director (cancer research) at CancerControl Alberta and the Cancer Strategic Clinical Network (SCN) in Alberta Health Services. My role in these positions is to champion a broad provincial cancer research agenda with a focus on generating and applying research evidence to achieve the goals of Alberta's Cancer Plan to 2030. By 2030, Alberta will be a place where more cancers are prevented, more cases of cancer are cured and the suffering of people affected by cancer is greatly reduced.

I am currently developing a model based in a research-practice partnership paradigm that will engage researchers, clinicians and people/patients in identifying priority areas for research that will help optimize outcomes and experiences of people across the cancer continuum.

To date, much of my work has embraced the ideals of engaged scholarship, as I have attempted to bridge academia and practice in health services domains. I intend to continue using this approach in my role as scientific director with CancerControl Alberta and the Cancer SCN.


PhD, University of Ulster, 1995

BSc, (Hons), University of Ulster 1991

Scholarly Activities

Research - Determinants of cancer stage at diagnosis

Co-Primary Investigator

Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research project grant

Research - Investigating the role of dietary intakes of red and processed meat, vegetables and fruit and fibre on cancer incidence in a large cohort of adults in Alberta's Tomorrow Project


Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research operating grant

Research - Promoting appropriate maternal body weights in pregnancy and post-partum through healthy dietary intake


Funded by Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions; Collaborative Research Innovation Opportunity (CRIO)


The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project: a Pan-Canadian platform for chronic disease prevention research

Author(s): Dummer T, Awadalla P, Boileau C, Craig C, Fortier I, Goel V, Hicks J, Jacquemont S, Knoppers BM, Le H, McDonald T, McLaughlin J, Mes-Masson A-M, Nuyt A-M, Palmer L, Parker L, Purdue M, Robson PJ, Spinelli J, Thompson D, Zawati M
Publication Date: 4/1/2018
Publication: Canadian Medical Association Journal

Systemic use of antibiotics and risk of diabetes in adults: A nested case-control study of Alberta's Tomorrow Project

Author(s): Ye M, Robson PJ, Eurich DT, Vena JE, Xu JY, Johnson JA
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism
Volume: 20
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 849-857

Self-report dietary assessment tools used in Canadian research: A scoping review

Author(s): Kirkpatrick SI, Vanderlee L, Raffoul A, Stapleton J, Csizmadi I, Boucher BA, Massarelli I, Rondeau I, Robson PJ
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Advances in Nutrition
Volume: 8
Page Numbers: 276-289

Gestational weight gain is often excessive and early in pregnancy

Author(s): Jarman M, Yan Y, Paksehresht M, Robson PJ, Bell RC
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: CMAJ Open
Volume: 4
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: e338-e345

Are physical activity levels linked to nutrient adequacy?

Author(s): Csizmadi I, Kelemen LE, Speidel T, Yuan Y, Friedenreich CM, Dale L, Robson PJ
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: Nutrition and Cancer
Volume: 66
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 214-224