Our Team

Dr. Irena Buka FRCPC

Dr. Buka is an academic general paediatrician in the Department of Paediatrics University of Alberta. She developed an interest in Paediatric Environmental Health as she started to identify environmental links to common childhood disorders. Her training in Scotland, England, South Africa and Canada gave her a very broad and global perspective of paediatrics. Dr. Buka is particularly interested in identifying causative risk factors for common illnesses and disorders in children. She addresses reasons behind symptom recurrence. Dr. Buka believes that many common childhood conditions may be prevented if modifiable risk factors are addressed appropriately. In addition to clinical practice her work includes educating medical students, physicians and the community in child health related issues.Dr. Buka takes problems she sees in clinical practice and follows up by researching best available evidence to better inform not only the patient but also others. She participates in new research to advance knowledge in Child Health and the Environment. Dr. Buka is a strong advocate for children and understands the collective teamwork necessary to advance issues of Child Health and the Environment. She contributes to the larger issues by serving on local, national and international committees. Dr. Buka is a recognized policy adviser using her experiences from many years of clinical practice for better protection of children from environmental hazards. Dr. Buka retired from practice in 2019, but remains involved in the operation and activities of ChEHC.

Dr. Anne Hicks MD MSc PhD FRCPC

Dr. Hicks is ChEHC's Director and Clinical Lead. She is a pediatric pulmonary specialist with an interest in the impact of environmental exposures on children's health. Dr. Hicks sees patients at ChEHC and works to develop original research studies.


Dr. Alvaro Osornio-Vargas MD PhD

Dr. Osornio-Vargas is ChEHC's Research Lead. He is a physician trained in Pathology with a Master’s Degree in Medical Sciences and a PhD in Biomedical Research from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He is a Member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences. He studies in vitro effects of air pollution particulate matter and develop interdisciplinary research on Children’s Environmental Health. He has over 100 publications, including six children books on Health Education. He is currently developing a program at University of Alberta to investigate links between local environmental issues and children's health outcomes, like cancer.

Dr. Alexander Doroshenko MD MPH FRCPC

Dr. Doroshenko is a pediatrician and public health physician. Dr. Doroshenko brings a unique perspective to ChEHC, where he sees patients and participates in clinical research.

Dr. Abbeir Hussein MD FRCPC

Dr. Hussein is a pediatrician with a special interest in children's environmental health. She cares for patients at ChEHC and engages in research and community education projects.

Dr. Donald Spady MD MSc FRCPC

Dr. Spady was a long standing member of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta and currently is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Paediatrics there. He is the Chair of the Medical Advisory Board of the Children’s Environmental Health Centre. His current professional interests include environmental health, environmental law, ecological integrity, climate change and resource depletion, chemicals pollution, and how these will affect human health, especially public health and health care delivery and also the health of our environment. Dr. Spady is a member of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Canadian Public Health Association, the Alberta Public Health Association and the Canadian Pediatric Society. He also sits on the Strategic Advisory Council of the Chemicals Management Plan of Health Canada and Environment & Climate Change Canada. He formerly sat on the Pest Management Advisory Council of Health Canada.

Lesley Brennan PhD MPH

Lesley earned her PhD in Cell Physiology at the University of Alberta in 2011. She then studied the impact of pregnancy complications on mother and child as a postdoctoral fellow before joining the Children’s Environmental Health Clinic in 2014. She earned her MPH in in 2015 and has a strong interest in environmental health, particularly exposures that may threaten the health and well-being of children. At ChEHC, Lesley investigates potential exposures, and helps families identify and mitigate them. She is also actively involved in developing and carrying out clinical research studies and conducting data analysis.

Dr. Anna Gunz, MD FRCPC

Dr. Gunz is a paediatric intensive care doctor at Children's Hospital, London Health Sciences Center and Assistant Professor at Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University. She completed her medical degree and paediatric residency at McMaster University, before doing additional training in critical care medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. One of her areas of expertise is the impact of climate change on child health. She works closely with ChEHC as she works to build CEH resources in Eastern Canada.