Ian Spencer Zenlea

Faculty Member

Research Interests

Dr. Zenlea is a Pediatric Endocrinologist, Clinician Scientist, and Lead for the Family and Child Health Initiative at Trillium Health Partners and the Institute for Better Health. He is a Part-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto.  As a parent of young children and a clinician working alongside children with chronic disease and their families, Dr. Zenlea appreciates the everyday challenges that families face when navigating our healthcare system and in promoting health and wellness within their families and communities.  Dr. Zenlea believes in health for all children and families and is committed to building a system that is co-created with people with lived experience and supports health beyond healthcare in the communities where people live.

Professional Interests

  • Family and Child Health
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Patient and Caregiver Experience
  • Patient and Caregiver Engagement
  • Co-design
  • Health Equity
  • Health Systems Research
  • Community Health
  • Population Health
  • Childhood Obesity
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes


  • Zenlea lead the co-design of the KidFit Health and Wellness Clinic, a paediatric weight management program at Trillium Health Partners, and is actively engaged in research to reduce drop-out from and understand the long-term outcomes for children who are treated in paediatric weight management programs.
  • Zenlea is engaged in numerous research projects related to paediatric type 1 diabetes including developing a national registry for children with diabetes mellitus, using quality improvement methods including audit and feedback to improve the transitions from paediatric to adult care, and using community-based participatory research methods to co-design peer support programming for adolescents with type 1 diabetes and their caregivers. At Trillium Health Partners, Dr. Zenlea co-lead the design of an integrated collaborative care model for adolescents with type 1 diabetes and depression in the pediatric diabetes clinic. The model adapted a stepped, collaborative care approach from screening through integrated and embedded treatment of identified psychosocial and mental health problems.
  • Zenlea is working alongside South Asian community organizations in Peel on a project to understand the influence of social and cultural factors on health behaviours related to Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) prevention and management within intergenerational South Asian families. This information will be used to co-design new services and supports, for advocacy, and to shape public policy.
  • Dr. Zenlea’s community-based research includes working with the Peel Family Support Network, a collective of over 20 cross sector community agencies in Peel to understand the needs of families during recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic and an integrated knowledge translation project using community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods and population health analytics to explore how healthcare and community organizations can collectively and safely collect and integrate individual-level data that capture the social determinants of health from across sectors (e.g. health and community organizations) to close critical data gaps needed to address persistent and growing health inequities in the Region of Peel.

Other Affiliations

Clinician Scientist, Institute for Better Health, Trillium Health Partners
Part-Time Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto