Dr. Gillian Hawker

2011 Distinguished Investigator

Dr. Hawker is a Rheumatologist/Clinical Epidemiologist and Physician-in-Chief of Medicine at Women’s College Hospital, where she is the Director of the Canadian Osteoarthritis Research Program (CORP). Dr. Hawker’s internationally recognized research focuses on common musculoskeletal diseases of aging, in particular osteoarthritis (OA). Her OA research has been focused on evaluating the appropriateness of provision of healthcare to, and the associated outcomes in community-living individuals with OA, with particular attention to the use of total joint arthroplasty of the hip and knee (TJA). Her research findings have had important policy implications and established her as a preeminent health services researcher.

More recently, Dr. Hawker was successful in establishing a CIHR New Emerging Team in OA pain and fatigue that has led to the following important outcomes:

A new OA pain measure—The Intermittent and Constant OA Pain measure (ICOAP)— has been developed, validated, and translated into more than a dozen languages;
Longitudinal study of the interrelationships among OA pain, fatigue, disability, and depressed mood has shown that the pain-depression link in OA may be fully explained by the impact of pain on fatigue and disability; and
A multi-step patient decision aid has been developed in collaboration with researchers at the University of Ottawa to address gaps in OA care that have been identified through her research.

Dr. Hawker also has a lengthy career as a leading international rheumatology researcher and mentor. In particular, as Chair of the American College of Rheumatology Subcommittee on Classification & Response Criteria, she co-led the recent international efforts to update the rheumatoid arthritis classification criteria and finally, as the Director of the Clinical Epidemiology Program at the University of Toronto from 2000 to 2006, she contributed significantly to research training and has shown more than a decade of research mentorship.