Dr. Nil Basu holds a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Environmental Health Sciences and is an Associate Professor at McGill University. His group is based in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences where he holds appointments in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Natural Resource Sciences, School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, and School of the Environment. Prior to joining McGill Dr. Basu spent six years on Faculty at the University of Michigan School of Public Health (Ann Arbor, USA) and he is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Michigan’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences.
Dr. Basu obtained his Bachelors of Science (BSc) degree from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) where he specialized in Environmental Sciences and Life Sciences. A Masters of Science (MSc) degree was then obtained from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC) where he studied the relationships between chemical pollution and physiological stress responses. He received a NSERC Fellowship to conduct his doctoral (PhD) research at McGill University’s Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment (CINE). At CINE, his research focused on the impacts of mercury and other toxic environmental chemicals on ecosystem and aboriginal health. He also spent two years as a NSERC Postdoctoral Scholar with Environment Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service in Ottawa.
The goal of Dr. Basu’s research is to take an ecosystem approach to community, occupational, and environmental health whereby evidence is collected, scrutinized, and compared from both humans and ecological organisms. The work has resulted in >140 peer-reviewed papers. The research has been supported by more than 45 grants totaling over $35 million, largely coming from Federal sources (e.g., NSERC, US National Institutes of Health, Genome Canada, Environment Canada, US Environmental Protection Agency). Dr. Basu’s research is both inter-disciplinary (bridges environmental quality and human health, increasing involvement of social scientists) and inter-sectoral (most projects driven by stakeholder needs, notably government and communities), and increasingly he has assumed national and international leadership positions to bring together diverse teams to tackle grand challenges in the field (e.g., toxicity testing in the 21st century, mercury pollution, gold mining). Dr. Basu’s research is also situated at the interface of science and policy with notable involvements with the UN Minamata Convention, Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan, and the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health.
Dr. Basu’s research has been covered by a number of news outlets, including NPR, Associated Press, Discovery Channel, Bloomberg News, and the Guardian. Dr. Basu has provided mentorship to over 100 trainees, including 8 visiting scientists, 16 postdoctoral fellows, and 13 PhD students. Dr. Basu has organized and chaired numerous scientific sessions at national and international conferences, and serves as an Editor or Editorial Board Member of key journals in the field (Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Environment International, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety).