Faculty A-Z

Gillian Kolla

Assistant Professor of Population Health and Applied Health Sciences
Banting Postdoctoral Research Fellow (University of Victoria), PhD & MPH (University of Toronto), BA & BSW (McGill University)

Division of Population Health and Applied Health Sciences



Room 4M215

Gillian Kolla is a public health researcher who uses community based research methods to examine and address the barriers to healthcare and social service access confronted by people impacted by marginalization, particularly people who use drugs and people experiencing homelessness. 

Much of her recent research examines interventions to address the overdose crisis in Canada, with a particular focus on how harm reduction approaches can support the health of people who use drugs. She also conducts research on how drug policy can impact the delivery and uptake of health and social services.

Research Interests:

  • Substance Use
  • Drug Policy
  • Harm Reduction Programs
  • Homelessness
  • Health Services Research
  • Community Based Participatory Research
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Ethnography

Representative Publications:

Kolla, G, Tarannum, C, Fajber, K, Worku, F, Norris, K, et al., (2024) Substance Use Care Innovations during COVID-19: Barriers and Facilitators to the Provision of Safer Supply at a Toronto COVID-19 Isolation and Recovery Site. Harm Reduction Journal 21, 17. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12954-024-00935-w

Rosic, T., Kolla, G., Leece, P., Kitchen, S., & Gomes, T. (2023) Trends in Rates of Opioid Agonist Treatment and Opioid-Related Deaths for Youths in Ontario, Canada, 2013-2021. JAMA Network Open, 6(7), e2321947. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.21947

Gomes, T, Kolla, G, McCormack, D, Sereda, A, Kitchen, S, Antoniou, T. (2022) Clinical outcomes and healthcare costs among people entering a safer opioid supply program in Ontario. CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2022 September 19; 194: E1233-42. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.220892

Kolla G, Touesnard N, Gomes T. (2022) Addressing the overdose crisis in North America with bold action, not incrementalism or empty words. Addiction; 117 (5): 1194-1196. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/add.15844

Kolla, G. & Strike, C. (2021) Medicalization under Prohibition: The limits of a public health approach to improving the health of people who use drugs under criminalization. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy. 28 (2): 127-137.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09687637.2020.1769029

Kolla, G. & Strike, C. (2020) Practices of care among people who buy, use and sell drugs in community settings. Harm Reduction Journal 17, 27. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12954-020-00372-5

Kolla G, Kenny K, Bannerman M, Boyce N, Chapman L, Dodd Z, Ko J, Ovens S. (2020) Help me fix: The provision of injection assistance at an unsanctioned Overdose Prevention Site in Toronto, Canada. International Journal of Drug Policy, 76: 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.102617

Watson, T., Kolla, G., van der Meulen, E., Dodd, Z. (2020) Critical studies of harm reduction: Overdose response in uncertain political times. International Journal of Drug Policy, 76: 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.102615

Kolla, G. & Strike, C. (2019) “It’s too much, I’m getting really tired of it”: Overdose response and structural vulnerabilities among harm reduction workers in community settings. International Journal of Drug Policy, 74: 127-135. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.09.012

Kolla, G., Dodd, Z., Ko, J., Boyce, N., Ovens, S. (2019) The major lesson from Canada’s overdose crisis: Government and public health authorities are not acting fast enough. The Lancet Public Health,4 (4): e180. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(19)30040-4

More publications for Dr. Kolla can be found here.