MCIBD Advisory Committee:

Dr. Vivian Huang


Gastroenterologist, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Specialist
Mount Sinai Hospital
Associate Professor, Clinician Investigator, University of Toronto
Director, Preconception and Pregnancy in IBD
Clinical Research Program

Program Chair and Moderator

Dr. Vivian Huang is an Associate Professor and Clinician investigator in the Division of Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto.  Dr. Huang completed medical school and Internal Medicine residency at Queen’s University, followed by a gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Toronto, and an Advanced IBD fellowship at the University of Alberta. She practices P4 (predictive, preventive, personalized, participatory) medicine to optimize maternal, fetal and neonatal outcomes in IBD through clinical innovations in patient and physician education, and e-health strategies.  She developed the Northern Alberta Preconception and Pregnancy in IBD clinical research program and the Mount Sinai Hospital Preconception and Pregnancy in IBD clinical research program in Ontario.  She also created the Multidisciplinary Care in IBD (MCIBD) CME program for clinicians who care for people with IBD.  She received the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and Pfizer Canada Women in IBD: Emerging Researchers Award in 2020 and the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology Young Scholar in Quality Innovation Award in 2023 for her work in Pregnancy and IBD management and education.  She is lead author or co-author of over 60 research articles and 2 book chapters, and is one of 2 Canadian committee members of the upcoming Global Consensus Conference: Pregnancy and IBD.

Dr. Cynthia Maxwell


Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, Obesity Medicine Specialist
Division Head, Mount Sinai Hospital
Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toronto

Speaker, MCIBD 2018 / 2020

Cindy Maxwell MD FRCSC DABOM (Obesity Medicine) is a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist and Division Head at Mount Sinai Hospital and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University of Toronto. Her clinical and research interests center on medical disorders of pregnancy, with a focus on pregnancy affected by Inflammatory bowel disease and gastrointestinal conditions. Dr. Maxwell is a member of the Provincial Council on Maternal and Child Health – serving on the Maternal and Neonatal Committee (MNC – MFM Lead) and the Maternal-Child Transport Advisory Committee (M-CTAC – MFM ex officio member). She is a Member of the Interim Leadership Council for the newly-formed South Central Ontario Maternal Neonatal Regional Network, encompassing 8 regional LHINs. She serves as a Member of the Executive Committee of the Southern Ontario Obstetrical Network (SOON), representing Sinai Health System. She is an active Executive Member and past-President of the Black Physicians Association of Ontario.

Dr. Natalie Morson


Family Medicine Site Program Director
Mount Sinai Hospital
Academic Family Health Team

Dr. Natalie Morson is a staff physician practicing comprehensive family medicine including low risk obstetrics at the Mount Sinai Academic Family Health Team. Dr. Morson earned her medical degree from the University of Western Ontario in 2006 and then completed her Family Medicine residency, followed by a Low Risk Obstetrics Fellowship, at the University of Toronto in 2008. Dr. Morson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto and is the Family Medicine Residency Site Program Director at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Dr. Parul Tandon


Advanced Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Fellow
Mount Sinai Hospital

Moderator and Workshop Facilitator, MCIBD 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024

Dr. Parul Tandon is an advanced inflammatory bowel diseases fellow at Mount Sinai Hospital. He completed his internal medicine training at the University of Ottawa and adult gastroenterology residency at the University of Toronto.  Dr. Tandon is currently an Elliot Philipson clinician scientist trainee scholar, clinician investigator trainee, and a PhD student in clinical epidemiology at the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, University of Toronto. His PhD studies involve identifying disparities in access to care for women with IBD during preconception and pregnancy, and for infants born to women with IBD in the first years of life. 

Dr. Vipul Jairath


John and Susan McDonald Endowed Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Clinical Research
Professor of Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University

Dr. Jairath is Professor of Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, and holder of the John and Susan McDonald Endowed Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Clinical Research at Western University. He trained at the University of Leeds, has a PhD from Oxford University and a post graduate diploma in clinical trials from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

He established and is Program Director of the Advanced IBD fellowship program at Western University. His research interests include the design, conduct and implementation of randomized controlled trials, index development and outcomes research.

He is principal investigator for several investigator initiated randomized controlled trials. He has over 200 peer reviewed publications and supervises a number of post-graduate students at PhD and Masters level.

Brenda O’Connor


Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator
Department of Surgery
Mount Sinai Hospital

Speaker, MCIBD 2020

Brenda O’Connor is a Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator in the Department of Surgery, within the Zane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. She is a member of Mount Sinai Hospital’s IBD Centre of Excellence, and involved in Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s Got to Go, as well as the annual Gutsy Walk. Brenda is also a Community Outreach Coordinator responsible for organizing and participating in peer-led support groups.

Luxin Ye


Clinical Pharmacist
Mount Sinai Hospital

Speaker, MCIBD 2020

Luxin Ye is a pharmacist at Mount Sinai Hospital, providing clinical care to GI and general surgery inpatients. She graduated from University of Toronto Faculty of Pharmacy in 2007 and has been practicing since 2009. Luxin’s passion and goals include optimizing medication therapies in IBD patients and providing seamless care to transition patients from hospital to community.

Montana Skurka


Research Associate & Integrative Wellness Educator
SickKids Hospital

Speaker, MCIBD 2020

Montana Skurka works at SickKids hospital as a research associate in supportive care for oncology patients. She also works in the community as an Integrative Wellness Educator with a focus on providing individuals with a holistic approach to mental health and wellbeing. As a passionate chronic illness and cancer advocate with lived experience, Montana is dedicated to helping others navigate their journey to health and wellness through somatic and embodiment-based healing modalities.

Past Speakers and Moderators:

Dr. Stephen Aung


Speaker, MCIBD 2017

Dr. Steven K.H. Aung is a pioneer in the integration of western, traditional Chinese and complementary medicine. His efforts have helped to make Alberta and Canada an active centre in the field of integrated and complementary medicine. His unique approach to medicine, combined with the remarkable compassion he brings to all that he does, has made him a highly respected teacher, researcher and physician.

Shelley Bouchard


Speaker, MCIBD 2018

Shelley Bouchard is a registered nurse and coordinator in the PACE Telemedicine Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto.

Lisa Brooke

Patient Advocate and Podcast Host

Speaker, MCIBD 2018

Julie Cepo


Speaker, MCIBD 2020

Julie Cepo is a Registered Dietitian working with the IBD Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario. She began her studies in Biology and later completed a second degree in Applied Human Nutrition. After her dietetic internship at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, her career focused on both critical care and GI nutrition. Since 1999 she has worked exclusively as the inpatient clinical dietitian with the GI Program at Mt. Sinai. Julie specializes in parenteral and enteral nutrition support, as well as in perioperative therapeutic diet education. In addition to regularly speaking to the public at support groups, conferences, and on television; Julie also educates students, interns, and staff from allied health and medical backgrounds. She is co-author of the “Crohn’s & Colitis Diet Guide.”

Sabine Finkenauer


Speaker, MCIBD 2020

Sabine Finkenauer is a registered social worker in the Department of Social Work at Mount Sinai Hospital working in gastroenterology, inflammatory bowel disease, surgical oncology and internal general medicine. As part of her role with the Zane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases, at Mount Sinai Hospital, Sabine co-facilitates an IBD daytime support group with Brenda O’Connor, RN, and participates in the IBD Support Network meetings.

Dr. Flavio Habal


Speaker & Workshop Facilitator, MCIBD 2018 / 2020

Dr. Habal received his MD and his PhD in Pathology from the University of Toronto. He subsequently trained in Internal Medicine and in Gastroenterology at the University of Toronto, following which he joined the faculty full-time. Dr. Habal is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine and staff physician at Toronto General Hospital. Dr. Habal’s clinical interests are in the areas of acid related disorders and inflammatory bowel disease in pregnancy. He also has interest in hepatitis C and liver disease.

Peter Habashi


Speaker, MCIBD 2020

Peter Habashi is a registered nurse in the IBD Clinic at Mt Sinai Hospital, Toronto, where he is also a research coordinator. He pioneered the PACE Telemedicine Program with the intent to promote access and care for patients with IBD in Ontario.

Bonnie Huang


Speaker, MCIBD 2021

Bonnie Huang is a Registered Dietitian in the General Internal Medicine program at Toronto Western Hospital and in the Acquired Brain Injury Neurological Rehabilitation and Palliative Care programs at Bridgepoint Active Healthcare. She completed her Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Applied Human Nutrition at the University of Guelph and then went on to complete her dietetic internship with Hamilton Health Sciences. Bonnie brings with her experience working in a mosaic of specialties including Bariatrics, Primary Care, Obstetrics, Cardiology, and Psychiatry. 

Dr. Shinya Ito


Speaker, MCIBD 2018 / 2021

As a Clinician-Scientist, Dr. Ito directs a widely recognized research program of drug safety in breastfeeding mother and child. Currently, his clinical and research scope expands into pharmacogenomics-based drug safety. His contribution to education is extensive, including the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and European Union-funded network of excellence in paediatric drug trials. He is also a SickKids site director of a national network of genetic projects to uncover individual factors for severe drug side effects.

Dr. Erin Kennedy


Speaker, MCIBD 2020

Dr. Erin Kennedy is a colorectal surgeon at Sinai Health and was recently appointed to Head of the Division of General Surgery. She is an Associate Professor, Department of Surgery and Associate Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She is also a member of the Department of Surgical Oncology at Princess Margaret Hospital and the Ontario GI Cancers Lead, Disease Pathway Management Program at Cancer Care Ontario.

Dr. Dawn Kingston


Speaker, MCIBD 2017

Dr. Dawn Kingston is an associate professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary. She and her team are passionate about helping women and their families have the best start to life by improving maternal mental health, especially during pregnancy. She is the Lois Hole Hospital for Women Cross-Provincial Chair in Perinatal Mental Health, funded by The Royal Alexandra Foundation in Edmonton and the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary and holds a national New Investigator Award from Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Her research focuses on improving perinatal mental health as one of the strongest, modifiable influences of child mental health and development.

Dr. Karen Kroeker


Speaker, MCIBD 2017

Dr. Karen I. Kroeker is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta. After receiving her BSc (Zoology and Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology) from the University of Calgary, she worked in a medical research laboratory for 2 years. She subsequently received her medical degree from the University of Calgary in 2004. She completed 3 years of internal medicine residency at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. Following the completion of her gastroenterology residency at the University of Alberta (2009), she completed an Advanced Clinical & Research Fellowship in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). She received her Masters of Experimental Medicine at the University of Alberta in 2012.

Dr. Kimberly Liu


Speaker, MCIBD 2021

Dr. Kimberly Liu is the Medical Director at Mount Sinai Fertility in Toronto, Ontario. She completed residency training at the University of Alberta in ObGyn and a fellowship in REI at the University of Toronto. Dr. Liu also holds a Masters in Studies in Law (MSL). Dr. Liu is currently an Associate Professor at the University Of Toronto Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the former Program Director for the U of T Gynecologic Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (GREI) Fellowship Program.

Dr. Glenda MacQueen


Speaker, MCIBD 2017

Dr. MacQueen earned her PhD in Psychology and her medical degree from McMaster University, where she also completed her residency in psychiatry. In 2008 she moved from McMaster to the University of Calgary where she is currently Vice Dean in the Cumming School of Medicine and a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education. Her research interests have focused on mood disorders. Dr. MacQueen is an associate editor of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry and the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Palix Foundation and the Calgary Drop In and Rehab Centre. She was the 2011 recipient of the Douglas Utting award for studies in depression and is the 2014 recipient of the Heinz Lehmann award from the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology. 

Dr. Helen MacRae


Speaker, MCIBD 2018 / 2021 / 2022

Dr. MacRae received a B.Sc. and M.D. from the University of Alberta. She did her General Surgery training in Alberta, as well. Following this, she spent two years in the Colorectal Surgery Program at the University of Toronto, before joining the faculty in January 1997. Dr. MacRae’s clinical interests are in the areas of inflammatory bowel disease, and laproscopic colon surgery. Her research interests are in the field of surgical education. She is Director for the Colorectal Surgery Residency Program.

Dr. Karen Madsen

MSc, PhD

Speaker, MCIBD 2017

Dr. Madsen completed a BSc (Hon) and MSc in biochemistry at the University of Manitoba followed by a PhD in the gastrointestinal physiology at the University of Calgary. She is a leading researcher in intestinal permeability and gut microbiota and their effects on disease and health.

Dr. Geoffrey Nguyen


Speaker, MCIBD 2021

Dr. Nguyen is Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and the Institute for Health Policy Management and Evaluation.  The main focus of his research is the impact of IBD specialty care on health outcomes at the population level. Dr. Nguyen’s research focuses on using administrative health data to monitor patterns of IBD-related healthcare utilization, its determinants, effect on health quality of life and morbidity, and economic impact.  He also has a special interest in special IBD populations including pregnant persons and the elderly.  He is the national lead for the Promoting Access and Care through Centres of Excellence (PACE) a national network dedicated to improving access and quality of care for patients with IBD.  His is a recipient of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology’s Young Investigator Award and the University of Toronto Department of Medicine Award for Quality and Innovation.  As part of the PACE program, he and his research team have pioneered the use of telemedicine to improve access to IBD care to underserviced regions of Ontario.

Dr. Daniel Sadowski


Speaker, MCIBD 2017

Dr. Daniel Sadowski is Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta and also Physician Lead for Quality in the Alberta Colorectal Cancer Screening Program. He received his MD from the University of Saskatchewan in 1984 and completed his Gastroenterology Fellowship at the University of Calgary in 1992. During his career, Dr. Sadowski has been an advocate for organized colon cancer screening programs at the national, provincial, and regional levels. From 1998-2000 he served as a member of the National Committee on Colorectal Cancer Screening sponsored by Health Canada. He participated in the development of Clinical Practice Guidelines on Colon Cancer Screening guidelines for the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology in 2004 with an update in 2010. Provincially, he served as Co-Chair of the Alberta Colorectal Cancer Screening Program Screening Protocols Working group, which laid the foundation for a provincial screening program. From 2005-2007 he served on the Digestive Health Program for Colon Cancer Prevention, which was the forerunner of the SCOPE Program now responsible for delivering colorectal cancer screening to the Edmonton zone.

Montana Skurka

Patient Advocate & Integrative Wellness Educator

Speaker, MCIBD 2020

Montana Skurka is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach and renowned IBD patient advocate who coaches clients to better manage the emotional, mental and physical challenges of chronic health issues. She is a passionate integrative wellness educator who holds a Master of Teaching degree, with research focused on best practice techniques to serve students affected by illness. Learn more and get in touch at

Dr. John Snelgrove


Speaker & Moderator, MCIBD 2021

Assistant Professor and Clinician investigator, University of Toronto Maternal-Fetal Medicine obstetrician at Mount Sinai Hospital. Clinical areas of interest include maternal disorders in pregnancy and obstetrical care provision for the infertility/subfertility population.

Dr. Hillary Steinhart


Speaker & Workshop Facilitator, MCIBD 2021 / 2020

Dr. Hillary Steinhart is Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto and holds a faculty appointment at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. From 2000 to 2015 he was Head of the Combined Division of Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network in Toronto.

Dr. Steinhart has a longstanding research interest in IBD and has been an active clinical trialist and has published over 120 research papers and two books on Inflammatory Bowel Disease for patients and families.

Dr. Steinhart is a past chair of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee and is Associate Editor for the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Dr. Jackie Thomas


Speaker & Workshop Facilitator, MCIBD 2018 / 2022

Dr. Thomas has a special interest in treating patients with IBD during pregnancy. She has been instrumental the development of services and standards related to care in early pregnancy. In 2003, she opened Canada’s first early pregnancy complications clinic, through which she has influenced the development of similar services in many Canadian centres. She is widely known for her skills in promoting excellence in clinical practice through many highly regarded Continuing Medical Education courses. As an example, her “Everyday Gynaecology” course, held annually now for 10 years, attracts over 350 participants.

Dr. C. J. van der Woude


Speaker, MCIBD 2018

Dr. van der Woude heads the IBD clinic at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and initiated the IBD outpatient clinic, which has grown to seven clinics serving over 2,500 patients. From 2011 to 2012, Dr. van der Woude was the Director of the Clinical Technology program and supervised national and international trainees. Furthermore, she co-founded the ECCO e-learning platform and continues to pioneer advancements in IBD through the IBD Delta Research Group.

Dr. Simone Vigod


Speaker, MCIBD 2021

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto. Chief, Department of Psychiatry, Women’s College Hospital. Dr. Simone Vigod is a leading expert in perinatal mood disorders and has conducted some of the largest studies worldwide on maternal mental illness around the time of pregnancy.

Dallis Westin

MA, RPsych

Speaker, MCIBD 2017

Dallis Westin is an experienced and compassionate therapist specializing in the treatment of depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship issues, addiction, grief, and issues of purpose and meaning, with more than 7 years of experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. 

Lisa Westin


Speaker, MCIBD 2017

Lisa Westin is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease Nurse Specialist in collaborative practice working with five Gastroenterologists in an acute care Regional Hospital setting.

Chantel Wicks

Patient Advocate and Podcast Host

Speaker, MCIBD 2018

Chantel Wicks is an #IBDWarrior, Science teacher, and host of the podcast Guts and Glory. Chantel is on a mission to share everything and anything that should be shared about living with IBD.

Dr. Rhonda Zwingerman


Speaker, MCIBD 2020

Rhonda Zwingerman a full-time REI physician at Mount Sinai Fertility. She is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada in obstetrics and gynaecology and in gynaecologic reproductive endocrinology and infertility. She is an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Toronto and a member of the department of OBGYN at Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Zwingerman is an active member of the CFAS and the SOGC, where she sits on both the Genetics and REI committees.

Past Workshop Facilitators:

Dr. Mantaj Brar


Dr. Robert Gryfe


Dr. Shannon Moore


Dr. Matthew Sermer