About Us

Partners Holly Longstaff and Alice Virani come from the diverse backgrounds of policy analysis, ethics, and clinical genetics. We share a similar enthusiasm for addressing and resolving ethical issues in the health care arena.

Our breadth of experience and unique skills and background complement the diversity in questions and issues that arise in health care ethics and are the foundation of our inventive research approach. Drawing on our academic, clinical, research, and corporate experience enables us to rapidly and accurately contextualize the issue at hand, and devise creative and innovative approaches to considering, investigating, analysing, and resolving our client’s needs.

Holly Longstaff

Holly Longstaff

PhD

Expertise

Dr. Holly Longstaff specializes in applied ethics and policy analysis from a social science perspective and has over 10 years’ experience in this field. Holly has served as the Communications Officer for the national board of the Canadian Bioethics Society (CBS) and as the Interim Associate Director for the Office of Research Ethics at Simon Fraser University. Holly is a former board Member of both the BC and Manitoba Chapters of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) and is a current member of the International Society for Environmental Information Sciences. She is the Ethicist for the BC Cancer Agency Research Ethics Board, an Ethicist for Schulman IRB (US), and Director at Large for the Animals in Science Policy Institute. Holly is currently employed as the Research Privacy Advisor for the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA).

Background

Holly received her doctorate from The W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics at UBC in 2009. Her graduate work in ethics and health research was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) through their Ethics of Health Research and Policy Training Program and the CIHR Institute of Genetics. Holly has presented her research at conferences across North America and has published her work in a variety of peer-reviewed journals such as Nature Reports Stem Cells, Cell Stem Cell, Global Environmental Change, Public Understanding of Science, and Trends in Neurosciences.

Projects

Some of Holly’s clients include the Canadian Clinical Trials Coordinating Centre, Health Canada, CIHR, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. As an academic, she has worked for projects funded by the Canadian Stem Cell Network, the National Science Foundation, Infrastructure Canada, and the Climate Decision Making Centre at Carnegie Mellon University.

Alice Hawkins Virani

Alice Hawkins Virani

MA (Oxon), MS, MPH, PhD

Expertise

Dr. Alice Hawkins Virani specialises in: the social, ethical and cultural implications of new genomic technologies; clinical, public health and research ethics; the development, implementation and analysis of public and expert engagement events; and health care service delivery strategies. Alice is also adept in communicating complex scientific information to the public and healthcare community. Finally, she has considerable skills and experience in clinical and research ethics and procedures, and has served on the Research Ethics Board (behavioural and clinical) at the University of British Columbia since 2008.

Background

Dr. Hawkins Virani brings both practical and credible health care experience to her consulting roles, informed by her clinical background as a genetic counselor and current role as a clinical ethicist at the Provincial Health Service Authority and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at UBC. She holds a MPH (policy and management) from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, an MS (Genetic Counselling) from Sarah Lawrence College, and an MA Oxon (Human Sciences) from Oxford University. She completed her PhD research at the University of British Columbia in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program (medical genetics and applied ethics) where she was awarded traineeships in both the Ethics of Health Policy and Research Training Program and the Child and Family Research Institute Graduate Studentship Program. She is also an active member of the Canadian Bioethics Society, the National Society of Genetic Counselors, the Canadian Society of Genetic Counselors and the American Board of Medical Genetics.

Projects

Dr. Hawkins Virani has acted as a successful project organizer and facilitator for a wide variety of stakeholder engagement events including biobanking, salmon genomics, and health care initiatives. In addition, she has worked as an independent consultant for a variety of clients across North America including Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Genome Canada, and the Genetic Alliance. Other consulting projects have included updating and re-writing ethics policy documents, providing ethics training and awareness across a variety of sectors, constructing patient education materials, conducting literature reviews and developing website content.

Research Associates

Brittney LaPietra

Brittney received a Bachelor of Health Sciences with Honors in Health and Society from the University of Calgary in 2010 and a J.D. from the University of Victoria in 2014. She was called to the Alberta Bar in 2015 and is a member of the Law Society of Alberta. She has expertise in qualitative research methods, health policy, regulatory and contract law, and research ethics.