Dr. Karen Goodman


Department of Medicine

Division of Gastroenterology
    Contact details are for academic matters only.

About Me

I was born in Los Angeles, California, USA and grew up in Detroit, Michigan, USA, returning to California to complete a BA degree in Latin American Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, including a year at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City. My graduate training consisted of degree work in Epidemiology (MPH, PhD) and Latin American Studies (MA) at the University of California at Los Angeles, with fieldwork in Colombia. In 1994, I initiated a postdoctoral fellowship in preventive oncology at the University of Southern California. In 1995, I became an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, where I was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2003. In 2005, I was appointed as an associate professor with tenure in the Division of Gastroenterology of the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta, where I currently hold the position of professor, with an adjunct appointment in the University of Alberta School of Public Health.  


Teaching Philosophy

My background in educational theory and practice has oriented me to strive to embody the view that great teachers have the ability to stimulate active learning and encourage students to be critical, creative thinkers. To this end, in my courses I minimize the amount of time devoted to lecturing and maximize activities that allow learning-by-doing, foster critical thinking, and put students in charge of their own intellectual growth as scholars and practitioners. 

Teaching Areas

I have developed and taught courses in epidemiologic methods and related special topics. 


My research has focused on the epidemiology of H pylori infection. I’ve directed research projects in Colombia, the US/Mexico border region, and Arctic Canada. My published research on H pylori infection has been cited in over 500 publications catalogued by the Science Citation Index. Upon joining the Centre for Excellence in Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research (CEGIIR) at the University of Alberta in 2005, I united colleagues to conduct research aimed at answering questions about health risks from H pylori infection posed by residents of lndigenous communities in northern Canada and their health care providers. This team includes scientists from various disciplines (epidemiology, anthropology, policy sciences, microbiology, pathology, gastroenterology), clinicians, health officials and community leaders. As a starting point, we initiated the Aklavik H pylori Project. This community-driven research led to the formation of the Canadian North Helicobacter pylori (CANHelp) Working Group (canhelpworkinggroup.ca), which I direct, and which links scientists and clinicians with northern Canadian health officials and community leaders to pursue the following goals: 1) Obtain representative data from northern Canadian communities for informing regional public health strategies aimed at reducing health risks from H pylori infection; 2) Conduct policy analysis to identify cost-effective and culturally appropriate H pylori management strategies; 3) Develop knowledge exchange strategies that help community members and their health care providers understand H pylori health risks as well as currently available solutions and unsolved challenges for reducing these health risks. The CANHelp research program has completed comprehensive community H pylori projects in Aklavik, Tuktoyaktuk, Fort McPherson and Inuvik in the Northwest Territories, and Old Crow, Ross River, Teslin, Carmacks and Pelly Crossing in Yukon, with funding from various sources (mainly, ArcticNET Networks of Centres of Excellence, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and Alberta Innovates Health Solutions). We continue investigating H pylori genomics in participating CANHelp communities with funding from the Societal Impacts of Genomics program sponsored jointly by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Genome Canada.   

I have led the CANHelp Working Group team of academic health researchers and community partners in the development of effective methods for supporting community self-autonomy in health research. At present, I seek opportunities to apply these methods to support communities in pursuing research aimed at addressing any health challenges that concern them. As a start, I have partnered with the Metis Nation of Alberta on research focused on access to cancer care, and I have obtained a Network Environments in Indigenous Health Research development grant from the Institute for Indigenous Peoples Health.