Camilla Zimmermann

Faculty Member

Accepting Students

Research Interests

Palliative Care; Clinical Epidemiology; Health Systems Research; Clinical Trials; Complex Intervention Design; Survey Methods; Mixed Methods Research; Qualitative Research

Professional Interests

My broad interests include measuring the effectiveness of palliative care, determining barriers that prevent access to primary and specialized palliative care, and assessing ways to improve equitable access among patients with advanced cancer. This involves longitudinal research to demonstrate the need for palliative care, developing and testing potential models for the provision of palliative care, as well as validating existing measures of palliative care effectiveness and creating new ones. We are also assessing attitudes and opinions on palliative care among patients, caregivers, health care workers, and the public. We use both quantitative methods (e.g. randomized controlled trials, longitudinal observational studies, surveys) and qualitative methods (e.g. grounded theory), and often use mixed method designs.


Published several high-impact papers about the benefits of early palliative care in journals such as The Lancet, Journal of Clinical Oncology and JAMA; trial on early palliative care published in The Lancet has been cited >1300 times.

Member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Palliative Care Guideline Panel. Commissioner on several Lancet and Lancet Oncology commissions on palliative care and cancer care.

Co-chair for Supportive Care Committee, Cancer Clinical Trials Network, which designs and vets clinical supportive care cancer trials across Canada; Faculty, International Collaboration for Research methods Development in Oncology (CReDO) workshop, Lonavla, India.

Member of the International Advisory Board for The Lancet Oncology. Editorial board member for four palliative care journals; Associate Editor for BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care. Advisor on palliative care for several organizations including the Auditor General of British Columbia, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance. Board member of the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer; Scientific Advisory Board Member for the European Palliative Care Research Centre.

Developed an internationally leading clinical and academic program in palliative care as Division Head of Palliative Care, University Health Network. Inaugural Division Director for Division of Palliative Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto. Currently Head of the Department of Supportive Care at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, which includes Palliative Care, Psychosocial Oncology, and Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship.

Validated several measures of satisfaction with care, quality of life, and symptom control, which are being adopted internationally.

Other Affiliations

Head, Department of Supportive Care, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

Harold and Shirley Lederman Chair in Palliative Care and Psychosocial Oncology

Head, Division of Palliative Care, University Health Network

Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto