Edith Hillan RN, PhD, FAAN


Currently Accepting Students

Universities matter – to individuals, to communities and to the economic prosperity of Canada. The Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing values students and provides them with an excellent education which prepares them for the workplace while at the same time encouraging personal growth. Working in a research-intensive institution like the University of Toronto, which recognizes the importance of excellent faculty and staff and how they contribute to the overall quality of the student experience is such a privilege.

Edith Hillan’s current research examines the health of women and newborns from a global perspective. She is particularly interested in technologies which can improve access to high quality healthcare in rural and remote settings and aim to end preventable deaths of mothers and neonates. Her research is highly interdisciplinary and is focused around the development of low cost ‘Clinic-in-a-Box’ technologies for the provision of emergency obstetric care and the support of preterm/low birthweight babies; Point of Care assays which allow high precision lab-based detection techniques to be taken directly to the individual, irrespective of the setting; and field-based education programs aimed at reducing birth related complications. She teaches in both the BScN and Master of Nursing programs in the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing.

After qualifying as a nurse and midwife, Edith worked in clinical practice, research and education both in the UK and abroad. Her previous research was mainly clinically-focused, and she has led programs of research that examined issues such as women’s health after childbirth, pain relief in labour and the organization of care in the postnatal period. Her studies have contributed to an improved understanding of the use of prostaglandins to induce labour and of the immediate, short- and long-term effects of a caesarean delivery. She has authored numerous journal articles, reports and chapters and her work has been presented at conferences across the world. Over the course of her career she has supervised and mentored over 40 graduate students, many of whom now hold senior leadership positions in academia or heath care systems.

From 2002 to 2004, Dr. Hillan was the Associate Dean, Academic Programs at U of T Nursing. Between 2004-14, she was Vice-Provost at the University of Toronto where her main area of responsibility was around academic personnel issues. She holds a MPhil in Law & Ethics in Medicine (1994) and a PhD (1990) from the University of Glasgow and a MSc from the University of Strathclyde (1983). She previously held a Personal Chair at the University of Glasgow (UK).

  • 1994 – MPhil, Law and Ethics in Medicine, Faculty of Law and Financial Studies, University of Glasgow

  • 1990 – PhD, Faculty of Medicine, University of Glasgow

  • 1983 – MSc, Department of Pharmacology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Dr. Hillan’s PubMed link is available here.