Paula Robson

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


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. The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project: a Pan-Canadian platform for chronic disease prevention research. Canadian Medical Association Journal, in press; April 2018.

Ye M, Robson PJ, Eurich DT, Vena JE, Xu JY, Johnson JA. Systemic use of antibiotics and risk of diabetes in adults: A nested case-control study of Alberta's Tomorrow Project. Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism, 2018; 20(4):849-857. doi: 10.1111/dom.13163.

Kirkpatrick SI, Vanderlee L, Raffoul A, Stapleton J, Csizmadi I, Boucher BA, Massarelli I, Rondeau I, Robson PJ. Self-report dietary assessment tools used in Canadian research: A scoping review. Advances in Nutrition, 2017; 8: 276-289.

Jarman M, Yan Y, Paksehresht M, Robson PJ, Bell RC. Gestational weight gain is often excessive and early in pregnancy. CMAJ Open, 2016; 4(2): E338-E345. doi: 10.9778/cmajo.20150132. Csizmadi I, Kelemen LE, Speidel T, Yuan Y, Friedenreich CM, Dale L, Robson PJ. Are physical activity levels linked to nutrient adequacy? Nutrition and Cancer, 2014; 66(2): 214-224.

Current Projects

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

Determinants of cancer stage at diagnosis
Co-primary investigator
Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research project grant

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)