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Svetlana Popova

Assistant Professor (Status Only)

Dr. Svetlana (Lana) Popova, is a Senior Scientist in the Social and Epidemiological Research (SER) Department at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre. She is also an Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Epidemiology Division and the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. She has an appointment as a Graduate Faculty Associate Member with the Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto.

Areas of Research

Dr. Popova’s research focuses on substance abuse and disease burden, and evidence-based policy development. She also has a particular interest in the epidemiology, economic cost, prevention and intervention strategies related to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Currently, Dr. Popova is co-leading one of the largest studies – funded by the WHO and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) – on determining the global prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders (with focus on FASD) among children in more than 10 low- and middle-income countries of Eastern and Central Europe, Africa, as well as Canada (with more countries to join within the next five years). Dr. Popova is a principal investigator of the Canadian component of this study, which is part of the National Strategic Projects Fund in Canada. She is also a principal investigator of the study on estimating the burden and economic cost associated with FASD in Canada, supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Dr. Popova has been published in high-impact journals such as the Lancet, International Journal of Epidemiology, American Journal of Epidemiology, International Journal of Cancer, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and Addiction. Her research is widely read and cited, and her publications have received over 350 citations per year over the last five years.

Dr. Popova is an associated editor of several peer-reviewed journals including BioMed Central Public Health, The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, and Journal of Addiction Research and Therapy.

Dr. Popova collaborated on the WHO Global Burden of Disease studies on alcohol consumption as a risk factor for burden of disease. She was also one of the conductors of the second Canadian Cost Study on Substance Abuse and Avoidable Cost of Alcohol Abuse in Canada.

Teaching interests include methods for informing evidence-based social work practice with emphasis on the development of research questions, critical appraisal of the literature and strategies and techniques for conducting practice relevance research.

Please see PubMed for peer-reviewed publications

Recent Media Coverage of Dr. Popova’s research:

Public Health Agency of Canada

Parliamentary Secretary Dr. Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament for Oshawa, announced on behalf of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, investments in two projects to address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), a lifelong disorder caused by prenatal alcohol exposure.

Public Health Agency of Canada
Fact Sheet. Government of Canada invests to promote health, well-being and safety of Canadians. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in Canada

Canada FASD Research Network
Harper Government invests in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder projects

The Vancouver Sun
Worldwide cost of drinking alcohol during pregnancy could be far higher than expected

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: How widespread are they in Canada?

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Scientists at Work: CAMH-WHO study takes on the world

The Lancet
Global Burden of Disease Study 2010

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)
Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010 (GBD 2010)

Health Data Innovation
Launch of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 results

The Guardian
Global Burden of Disease: the key data

Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
The Lancet publishes Global Burden of Disease 2010 study

Science Watch
The Global Burden of Alcohol Use on Death & Disease
A 2009 study in the Lancet by CAMH’s Drs. Jürgen Rehm, Svetlana Popova and Jayadeep Patra, “Global Burden of Disease and Injury and Economic Cost Attributable to Alcohol Use and Alcohol-use Disorders” was the most-cited paper in its area, according to the 2012 Thomson Reuters’ Essential Science Indicators. This ranking represents the top 1% of authors in terms of total citations in each discipline over 10 years.