Dr. Evan Wood, MD, PhD, ABIM, FRCPC is a lead researcher at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) and Director of the BC-CfE’s Urban Health Research Initiative (UHRI), whose mission is to improve the health of individuals and communities through research to inform policy.
In addition, he is the founder of the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, which is dedicated to public education and supporting an evidence-based approach to policy for illicit drugs. He is an internal medicine physician specialized in inner city medicine, a clinical epidemiologist and internationally recognized expert in drug addiction and related policies.
Early in his career, Dr. Wood focused on the development of HIV treatment strategies, and he made several discoveries that contributed to the revision of guidelines for the initiation of antiretroviral therapy among HIV-positive adults. He has taken special interest in HIV treatment strategies among HIV-positive injection drug users. He is the founding principal investigator of Insite, North America's first and only medically supervised safer injecting facility, and has been widely involved in evaluating illicit drug policies with a special focus on injection drug use.
Dr. Wood’s clinical and current research focuses inner city medicine issues as well as policies as they relate to treatment and prevention issues facing injection drug users, as well as public health and HIV prevention strategies for street-involved youth.
He has co-authored over 350 scientific papers and has received international recognition for his research. He was selected for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Peter Lougheed Award Award as the nation’s top New Investigator applicant in 2003, received the Ron Ghitter Award in Human Rights in 2006, was the recipient of a leadership award from the Canadian Medical Association in 2007, and in 2010 received a physician of the year award from the British Medical Journal for his groundbreaking research in HIV, public health, illicit drug policy and addiction. In 2011, he received a Distinguished International Scientist Award from the U.S. National Institutes on Drug Abuse to support research collaborations with addiction researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.
Dr. Wood helped establish the UHRI in 2007 based on peer-reviewed funding obtained from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the US National Institutes of Health. UHRI research programs are based on a network of studies that have been developed to help identify and understand the many factors that affect the health of urban populations, with a focus on substance use, infectious diseases, the urban environment and homelessness.
Dr. Wood is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Drug Policy and serves on the editorial boards of a host of addiction and infectious disease journals. He has been widely quoted in Canadian and international media including over 300 times in the last 5 years, and has contributed columns to top newspapers in Canada and abroad including the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Vancouver Sun, the Los Angeles Times, and CNN online.