Picture of Dr. Anne Leis

Dr. Anne Leis Department Head, Community Health and Epidemiology

Research Areas

  • Population Health
  • Language, Culture and Health
  • Integrative oncology
  • Cancer patients and their families’ quality of life
  • Health services utilization and self-care
  • Health of francophones living in minority situation
  • Cancer survivorship and chronic disease management
  • Community engagement

About Dr. Anne Leis

Dr. Louis Schulman Cancer Research Chair, Community Health & Epidemiology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan (2001-2011)

CCS Research Scientist Award from the National Cancer Institute of Canada (1999-2005) awarded on June 24, 1999. Named the 1999 Dr. Harold E. Johns’ co-winner as the highest ranked candidate for the Canadian Cancer Society Research Scientist award in the behavioural category.

Post-doctoral fellow 1992-94. Louis Schulman Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Department of Community Health & Epidemiology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

PhD (Health Psychology), 1992 Department of Psychology, University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg I, France)

MSc (Clinical and Child Psychology), 1982, Department of Psychology, University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg I, France)

Trained as a speech language pathologist and health psychologist, Dr Leis is a full professor and current head in the department of Community Health & Epidemiology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. Her research interests are related to cancer prevention, self-management of chronic diseases and the impact of minority status, culture and language on health more generally.

Anne is currently co-leading the research arm of Healthy Start-Départ Santé, a community-based, intersectoral, bilingual population health intervention designed to enhance physical activity and healthy eating among 3-5 years old children who attend Francophone or Anglophone childcare centres in Saskatchewan and New-Brunswick. Funding for this research comes from the Public Health Agency of Canada (2012-2017) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (2015-2018).  

In May 2012, she received the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal at a reception given by Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield in Regina. The medal recognizes outstanding volunteer service or exceptional community involvement.   

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

  • Gagnon-Arpin I, Bouchard L, Leis A, Bélanger M. Accès et utilisation des services en langue minoritaire. (chap5 : 193-219).  Monographie sous la direction R. Landry (Ed) sur l'Enquête sur la vitalité des minorités linguistiques (EVMLO). La vie dans une langue officielle minoritaire au Canada. Presses de l’Université Laval, 2013
  • Leis A, Sagar S, Verhoef M, Balneaves L, Seely D, Oneschuk D (chapter 13 pp 239-258) Shifting the Paradigm: From Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to Integrative Oncology. Sutcliffe S and Elwood M (eds) in Cancer Control. Oxford University Press, 2010.

Selected Papers in Refereed Journals

(Note: * Indicates students who completed their work under the supervision of A. Leis)


  • *Ahmed S, Leis A, Kanthan S, Fields A, Zaidi A, Abbas T, Le D, Reeder B, Pahwa P. Regional lymph nodes status and ratio of metastatic to examined lymph nodes correlate with survival in stage IV colorectal cancer. Annals of Surgical Oncology 2016 Jul; 23(7):2287-94.
  • *Ahmed S, Leis A, Kanthan S, Fields A, Reeder B, Iqbal N, Haider K, Le D, Pahwa P. Surgical management of the primary tumour in stage IV colorectal cancer: a confirmatory retrospective cohort study. Cancer 2016; 7(7): 837-845.
  • Bélanger  M, Humbert  L, Vatanparast H, Ward  S, Muhajarine  N, Froehlich Chow  A, Engler-Stringer  R, Donovan  D, Carrier  N, Leis  A. A multilevel intervention to increase physical activity and improve healthy eating and physical literacy among young children (ages 3-5) attending early childcare centres: the Healthy Start-Départ Santé, cluster randomised controlled trial study protocol. BMC Public Health.2016, 16:313. DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-2973-5          URL: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/16/313
  • *Alimezelli A, Leis A, Denis W, Karunanayake C.. Lost in Policy Translation: Canadian Minority Francophone Older Adults and Health Disparities. Canadian Public Policy/Analyse de politiques, 2015 (Nov):S44-S52. doi:10.3138/cpp.2014-073.
  • *Ahmed S, Fields A, Pahwa P, Chandra-Kanthan S, Zaidi A, Le D, Haider K, Reeder B, Leis A. Surgical Resection of Primary Tumor in Asymptomatic or Minimally Symptomatic Patients With Stage IV Colorectal Cancer: A Canadian Province Experience. Clinical Colorectal Cancer Vol. 14 (4): e41-e47, Dec 2015. Available online 6 June 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clcc.2015.05.008.
  • *Ahmed S, Pahwa P, Fields A, Chandra-Kanthan S, Iqbal N, Zaidi A, Reeder B, Plaza F, Zhu T, Leis A. Predictive Factors of the Use of Systemic Therapy in Stage IV Colorectal Cancer: Who Gets Chemotherapy? Oncology. 2015 Jan; 88:289–297.
  • Bouchard L, Leis A, Lorenzo P. Les programmes locaux et régionaux de santé : des artisans du changement. Editorial, Introduction  IUHPE – Global Health Promotion 2014; Vol. 21, Supp. 1:3-4; DOI: 10.1177/1757975913517854 http://ghp.sagepub.com
  • *Ahmed S, Leis A, Fields A, Chandra-Kanthan S, Haider K, Alvi R, Reeder B, Pahwa P. Survival impact of surgical resection of primary tumor in patients with stage IV colorectal cancer: results from a large population-based cohort study. Cancer. 2014 Mar 1;120(5):683-91. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28464. Epub 2013 Nov 12.
  • Leis A, Bouchard L. Editorial. La santé des populations de langue officielle en situation minoritaire-Supplément 1- Canadian Journal of Public Health 2013. Vol.104 (6): S3-S4. http://journal.cpha.ca/index.php/cjph/issue/view/303
  • * Puchala C, Leis A, Lim H, Tempier R. Official language minority communities in Canada: Is linguistic minority status a determinant of mental health? Vol. 104, No 6 (2013): Supplément 1: La santé des populations de langue officielle en situation minoritaire. Canadian Journal of Public Health. 2013: S5-S11.
  • Lacaze-Masmonteil T, Leis A, Lauriol E, Normandeau J, Moreau D, Bouchard L, Vaillancourt C.. Impact du contexte linguistique et culturel minoritaire sur le vécu de la grossesse. Canadian Journal of Public Health -Vol. 104, No 6 - Supplément 1: La santé des populations de langue officielle en situation minoritaire. 2013: S65-S70
  • *Alimezelli Tote H, Leis A, Karunanayake Chandima, Denis Wilfrid. Determinants of Self-rated Health of Francophone Seniors in Minority Situation in Canada. Linguistic Minorities and Society-Minorités linguistiques et société 2013; n° 3 : 144-170. DOI: 10.7202/1023804arURI: http://id.erudit.org/iderudit/1023804ar
  • *Ahmed S, Shahid RK,MD, Leis A, Haider K, Kanthan S, Reeder B, Pahwa P. Should Non-Curative resection Of Primary Tumor Be Performed In PatientsWith Stage IV Colorectal Cancer? A Systematic Review & Meta-analysis. Current Oncology 2013; Oct;20(5):e420-41. doi: 10.3747/co.20.1469.
  • Adams D, Spelliscy C, Sivakumar L, Grundy P, Leis AM, Sencer S and Vohra S. CAM and Pediatric Oncology: Where Are All the Best Cases? Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 632351, 6 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/632351.
  • Weeks LC, Seely DM, Balneaves LG, Boon HS, Leis A, Oneschuk D, Sagar SM, Verhoef MJ. Canadian integrative oncology research priorities: Results of a consensus-building process. Current Oncology [1198-0052] 2013, Vol.20 (4), pp.e289-99; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.20.1378 PMID:    23904767
  • *Gowan-Moody D, Leis A, Abonyi S, Epstein M, Premkumar K.  Research utilization and evidence-based practice among Saskatchewan massage therapists.  Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine 2013, Vol 10 (1), Pages 1–10, ISSN (Online) 1553-3840, ISSN (Print) 2194-6329, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2012-0044 PMID: 23828330
  • Leis A. The conundrum of control group selection. Commentary. FACT 2011; 16(3): 239-240. PMID: 21805948
  • Leis A, Weeks L, Verhoef M. Principles to guide integrative oncology and the development of an evidence base, Current Oncology 2008; 15 Suppl 2: S13-S17.
  • Sagar S, Leis A. Integrative Oncology: A Canadian and International Perspective. Current Oncology 2008; 15 Suppl: S1-S3
  • Duncan MD, Leis A, Taylor-Brown J. Impact and outcomes of an Iyengar yoga program in a cancer centre. Current Oncology 2008; 15: Suppl 2:S72-S77
  • Verhoef M, Leis A. From studying patient treatment to studying patient care: Arriving at methodological crossroads. Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America 2008;22(4):671-682
  • Leis A. Editor of special issue of Supportive Care in Cancer, August 2007, 15(8), entitled "Supportive Care in Cancer and Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM): An integrative but cautious encounter".
  • Leis A, Millard J. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and supportive care in cancer: a synopsis of research perspectives and contributions by an interdisciplinary team. Supportive Care in Cancer August 2007; 15:909-912.
  • Ferro MA, Leis A, Doll R, Chiu L, Chung M, Barroetavena MC. The impact of acculturation on the use of traditional Chinese medicine in newly diagnosed Chinese cancer patients in Canada. Supportive Care in Cancer August 2007; 15:985-992.
  • Stephen J, Rahn M, Verhoef M, Leis A. What is the state of the evidence on the mind-cancer survival question, and where do we go from here? A point of view. Supportive Care in Cancer August 2007; 15, 923-930.
  • Verhoef M, Weeks L, Brazier A, Leis A. Evaluating supportive cancer care:
    Are we missing an opportunity? Supportive Care in Cancer August 2007; 15: 905-907.
  • Cohen R, Leis A, Kuhl D, Charbonneau C, Ritvo P, Ashbury F. QOLLTI-F: Measuring family carer quality of life. Palliative Medicine 2006;20(8):755-67.
  • Brundage M, Bezjak A, Leis A, Feldman-Stewart D, Degner L, Velfi K, Zetes-Zanatta L, Tu D, Ritvo P, Pater J. Communicating quality of life information for patients: A study of six presentation formats. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2005;23(28):6949-6956.*Winner of best quality of life paper of the year at the International Society of Quality of Life Research in 2005*

 Selected Papers in Non-Refereed Journals

  • Bernatchez MS, Collin J, Gagnon P, Hamel M, Hervouet S, Leis A, Savard J. La gestion des symptômes en soins palliatifs au-delà de la médication. Les Cahiers francophones de soins palliatifs, Maison Michel-Sarrazin, 2015 (Dec); 15(2): 33-51.
  • *Froehlich Chow A, Leis A, Humbert L, Engler-Stringer R, Muhajarine N. Supporting Healthy Eating Among Rural Early Years Children: A Pulse Crop Pilot Intervention Study. Agromedicine. 2015 Aug 3;20(3):386-389.
  • Benoît M, Bouchard L, Leis A. Les inégalités sociales de santé chez les communautés francophones en situation minoritaire (CFSM) au Canada. Editorial. Reflets 2012 (automne); 18(2):10-18. ISSN (web) 1712-8498
  • Leis A. Société Santé en français: rétrospective d’un pionnier. Entrevue avec Hubert Gauthier. Reflet 2012; 18 (2): 20-35. ISSN (web) 1712-8498