Research Faculty

Dugald Seely, B.Sc., ND, M.Sc.
Executive Director of Research

Dugald Seely is a naturopathic doctor and director of research at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). Dugald completed his masters of science in cancer research from the University of Toronto with a focus on interactions between chemotherapy and natural health products. In his current role as director of research, Dugald is the principal investigator for a number of clinical trials, and is actively pursuing relevant synthesis research in the production of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Ongoing projects including three multi-centred randomized clinical trials and a comprehensive CIHR synthesis review of natural health products used for cancer. Dugald has published and presented widely and is dedicated to helping build the research capacity of the naturopathic profession. His main interests lie in conducting primary research on complementary therapies used by naturopathic doctors with a focus on integrative cancer care. Dugald is currently a member of Health Canada’s Expert Advisory Committee for the Vigilance of Health Products and is a peer reviewer for the Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter.

Kieran Cooley, B.Sc., ND
Director of Research

Kieran’s experience in CCNM's department of research and clinical epidemiology includes conducting pragmatic, whole-practice clinical trials on naturopathic care, evaluating the quality and impact of both naturopathic and integrative medicine, as well as collaborations with various institutions to evaluate natural health products. Currently, he is investigating the effect of a natural health product in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and use of a topical agent for osteoarthritis of the knee. His qualitative research has explored experiences with adverse reaction reporting as well as practitioner and patient experiences with naturopathic medicine and Aboriginal health issues. He also has contributed to systematic reviews and cost-effectiveness studies on complementary and alternative medicines. Kieran is committed to fostering an evidence-based approach to naturopathic medicine. As director, he mentors and assists both faculty and students in research endeavors. To follow updates from the department on Facebook and Twitter, follow @myCCNMResearch.

Deborah Kennedy, B.Sc., MBA, ND
SickKids Research Fellow
Deborah Kennedy works in the research department  to help collect and analyze data to build the evidence base of naturopathic medicine through high quality synthesis work, and where needed to help coordinate clinical research. Deborah’s interests include understanding the efficacy, and safety of natural health products and their interactions with pharmaceutical drugs as determined through clinical and epidemiological evidence. Deborah is currently working on project funded by Health Canada to conduct a systematic review on the interactions between specific natural health products and pharmaceutical drugs used in cancer treatment.

Gillian Flower, ND
Research Associate

Gillian Flower, ND, is a graduate of the University of Toronto and CCNM.  Her recent work has involved a collaborative project with the Complementary Medicine Education and Outcomes (CAMEO) Program in Vancouver, BC in the development of an online decision aid. This joint initiative will enable women surviving breast cancer to assess and select natural therapies addressing hot flashes. In 2012, Gillian joinsed the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre in the role of Oncology Research Fellow where she will continue to pursue research in integrative oncology while developing a cancer-focused clinical practice.

Heidi Fritz HBSc., ND, MA
Research Fellow

Heidi is a naturopathic doctor and research fellow, and is currently involved in both primary research as well as synthesis work at the department. Heidi has conducted a series of systematic reviews of 12 natural health products (NHPs) for the treatment and prevention of lung cancer and breast cancer, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Heidi has co-ordinated clinical trials of natural medicines/ naturopathic medicine for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and cardiovascular disease. Heidi is a regular contributor to Integrated Healthcare Practitioners (IHP) magazine and maintains a private practice at Bolton Naturopathic Clinic in Bolton, Ontario.

Heidi is a graduate of the University of Toronto (HBSc, MA), Humber College (nursing certificate), and CCNM (ND). Heidi is a recent recipient of the Early Investigator Award from the Society of Integrative Oncology (SIO). She is very excited to be contributing to the body of evidence around naturopathic medicine. Heidi also has a private practice in Bolton Ontario, using evidence-informed therapies to treat a range on health conditions including digestive, autoimmune, mood and mental health conditions, as well as women's and children's health. For more information please visit

Ping Wu, B.Sc., MD (China), M.Sc.
Research Scientist

Dr. Wu joined the department of Research and Clinical Epidemiology in 2003. Her previous experience – practicing as an MD specializing in neurological diseases – and master’s degree in epidemiology contribute greatly to her present role. She has performed systematic reviews on topics such as herb-drug interactions, acupuncture therapy in cocaine addiction, post stroke rehabilitation, smoking cessation, the role of statins in cardiovascular disease, quality analyses of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), and the role of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) on HIV treatment and cancer care. As a research scientist and epidemiologist consultant, Dr. Wu contributes to data acquisition and analysis and is a valuable member of the research team.

Rishma Walji, B.Sc., ND, PhD
Rishma Walji currently holds a Post Doctoral fellowship at McMaster University in Health Sciences.  Previously she completed a her PhD training in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toronto, her Naturopathic Medicine training at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, a Graduate Diploma in Health Services and Policy Research and a BSc at McGill University.  Her research interests include a broad range of public health and health policy issues related to complementary and alternative medicines including: patient safety, regulatory policy, health promotion and prevention of disease. She is also very interested in women’s and children’s health research.

Jason Clifford, B.Sc. (Eng.), ND
Research Resident

Jason graduated with an environmental engineering degree from the University of Guelph in 1999. After working in that field for a short time, he realized something was missing: he wasn’t contributing to the Earth and society the way he’d intended. He returned to the University of Guelph to further his studies in biomedical science and plant biology, and re-discovering his purpose and his passion. He left that program early in order to pursue a career in naturopathic medicine at CCNM.

In May, 2014, Jason earned his degree from CCNM, and began a research residency that August, merging his interests in plant research and plant medicine with his passion for helping others. He has committed himself to discovering and sharing new knowledge, and strongly encourages his students and patients to ask lots of questions. If he doesn’t know the answers, he will help you find them.

Jason will be starting a private practice in the near future, focusing on cancer care and pain management. His clinic name and location will remain closely guarded secrets until they have been finalized.

Monique Aucoin, BMSc., ND
Research Fellow 
Monique Aucoin is a naturopathic doctor and Research Fellow at CCNM. She is currently involved in primary and synthesis research of naturopathic treatments.  Monique has been involved in the design, implementation and analysis of studies investigating the efficacy and safety of natural health products in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, depression, osteoarthritis and ADHD.  She has completed systematic reviews on the efficacy and safety of treatments for digestive disorders and cancer.  In addition to her research work, Monique has a private practice in Brampton with a special interest in mental health, mindfulness and stress management. For more information, visit or follow Monique on Twitter @MoniqueAucoinND.

Christopher Knee, ND, MSc., BSc.
Research Associate
Chris is a licensed naturopathic doctor and a research associate with CCNM. He graduated from CCNM in 2013, and has previously completed both Master (Human Biology and Nutrition) and Bachelor (Human Kinetics) of Science degrees from the University of Guelph. He has also held previous scientific research and medical advisory roles for a number of organizations in academia, health care, research, and in both pharmaceutical and natural health product industries.

Chris is currently the naturopathic doctor and nutrition director for the Ottawa Police Real You Wellness Program, located in Ottawa, Ontario. However, he remains involved with several research projects with both CCNM and the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC), in areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic conditions.

For more information about Chris, visit or follow him on Twitter @drcknee.

Maria Shapoval HBSc, ND
Clinical Trial Coordinator 

Dr. Maria Shapoval, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor and clinical trial coordinator at CCNM. She is currently involved in implementing the study on arthritis knee pain. Her previous work focused on Parkinson’s disease and exercise, circadian rhythms and women’s health and treatments for iron overdose. She is a regular contributor of the Integrated Healthcare Practitioner magazine, and is part of the magazine’s peer-review board.

Maria has graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honors Bachelor of Science majoring in physiology and psychology and completed the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She went on to complete the 2-year accredited Research Residency program at CCNM. She is part of the academic faculty at CCNM where she is involved in clinical medicine, primary care and physiology courses. Dr. Shapoval practices in Keswick Ontario and is a member of the Ontario and Canadian Associations of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND/CAND), and Movement Disorder Society. For more information please visit or follow on twitter @MariaShapovalND.