Dan Werb

PhD (University of British Columbia)
Msc (University of British Columbia)


Dan Werb, PhD, is an epidemiologist and policy analyst with expertise in HIV, addictions, and drug policy. Dr. Werb is a Research Scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and holds a dual appointment as Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto in the Institute for Health Policy, Management & Evaluation, and in the Division of Global Public Health at the University of California San Diego. He is an inaugural winner of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse Avenir Award (2015), which recognizes creative new investigators proposing highly innovative research at the intersection of HIV and substance use. This award supports his work as Principal Investigator of PRIMER: Preventing Injecting by Modifying Existing Responses, a five-year multi-site cohort study tasked with developing interventions to preventing entry into injection drug use. Dr. Werb is also Director of the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation (www.cdpe.org), which conducts high-impact research to support the optimization of drug policy evaluation and outcomes. He is also Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Division of AIDS at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Werb has published dozens of studies on issues related to addictions, drug policy, and HIV, with a focus on preventing the transition of street youth into injection drug use, as well as on identifying the impact of policy and public health interventions on marginalized drug-using populations. Dr. Werb is a sought after source of expertise on drug policy, meets regularly with decision makers, and has been featured in media stories related to his work in every global hemisphere. He has also helped oversee international knowledge translation strategies around such high profile projects as the Vienna Declaration (www.viennadeclaration.com) and publishes widely on global drug policy.

Dr. Werb is the recipient of a Traiblazer Award (2017) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He conducts extensive knowledge translation on drug policy and public health, through print and radio journalism, and is the winner of a 2014 Canadian National Magazine Award for his popular science writing. Finally, he was profiled in April 2017 as one of 13 young Canadians making a difference as part of the CBC series ‘We Are Canada’ (http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/925251139650). His general interest non-fiction book about Tijuana’s femicide, City of Omens: A Search for the Missing Women of the Borderlands, was published in June 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing and selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of six true crime books to read in 2019.


Other Affiliations

  • Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital
  • Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases & Global Public Health, University of California San Diego
  • Executive Director, Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation.