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Lisa Strug

Title: Senior Scientist, Genetics and Genome Biology
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 301762
Alternate Contact Name: Natalie Sun
Alternate Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 309032
Alternate Email:
U of T Positions: Professor, Statistical Sciences, Computer Science and Biostatistics
Chair Positions: Canada Research Chair – Tier I in Genome Data Sciences

Research Positions

Associate Director, The Centre for Applied Genomics

U of T Positions

Director, Data Sciences Institute (DSI)
Director, Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute, Ontario Region


Dr. Strug is Professor in the Departments of Statistical Sciences, Computer Science and cross-appointed in Biostatistics at the University of Toronto and is a Senior Scientist in the Program in Genetics and Genome Biology at the Hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Strug is the inaugural Director of the Data Sciences Institute (DSI), a tri-campus, multi-divisional, multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary hub for data science activity at the University of Toronto and affiliated Research Institutes. The DSI’s goal is to accelerate the impact of data sciences across the disciplines to address pressing societal questions and drive positive social change. Dr. Strug holds several other leadership positions at the University of Toronto including the Director of the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute Ontario Region (CANSSI Ontario), and at the Hospital for Sick Children as Associate Director of the Centre for Applied Genomics and the Lead of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Gene Modifier Consortium and the Biology of Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy International Consortium. She is a statistical geneticist and her research focuses on the development of novel statistical approaches to analyze and integrate multi-omics data to identify genetic contributors to complex human disease. She has received several honours including the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Genome Data Science.

Education and experience

  • 2003–2005: Postdoctoral Fellowship in Statistical Genetics as part of the Genetics of Complex Diseases Training Program, Departments of Biostatistics and Psychiatry, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA. Supervisor: Dr. Susan E. Hodge
  • 2001–2003: PhD, Biostatistics, Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. Supervisors: Dr. Charles Rohde (Johns Hopkins University) and Dr. Paul N. Corey (University of Toronto)
  • 1998–2001: ScM, Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA. Supervisor: Dr. Charles Rohde
  • 1996–1998: BS, Statistics, Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 1993–1996: BA in Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada


  • 2019: Top Downloaded Article 2017-2018, Wiley. Article: Strug, 2018. “The evidential statistical paradigm in genetics” has been recognized as a top 20 most read papers published in Genetic Epidemiology.
  • 2018–2025: Canada Research Chair, Tier I in Genome Data Sciences
  • 2017: Associate Editor with npj Genomic Medicine
  • 2016: Senior Scientist Research Training Award, Cystic Fibrosis Canada
  • 2009: Robbie Award for most promising research grant, Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Canada
  • 2009: Early Research Career Award, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Ontario Provincial Government, Canada


  1. Derkach A, Chiang T, Gong J, Addis L, Dobbins S, Tomlinson I, Houlston R, Pal DK, Strug LJ.  2014.  Association analysis using next generation sequence data from publicly available control groups: The robust variance score statistics. Bioinformatics, 30: 2179-88.
  2. Sun L, Rommens JM, Corvol H, Li W, Li X, Chiang TA, Lin F, Dorfman R, Busson PF, Parekh RV, Zelenika D, Blackman SM, Corey M, Doshi VK, Henderson L, Naughton KM, O'Neal WK, Pace RG, Stonebraker JR, Wood SD, Wright FA, Zielenski J, Clement A, Drumm ML, Boëlle PY, Cutting GR, Knowles MR, Durie PR, Strug LJ.  2012. Multiple apical plasma membrane constituents are associated with susceptibility to meconium ileus in individuals with cystic fibrosis.  Nat Genet. 44(5):562-9.  
  3. Soave D, Corvol H, Panjwani N, Gong J, Li W, Boelle, PY, Durie P, Paterson AD, Rommens JM, Strug LJ, Sun L. 2015.  A joint location-scale test improves power to detect associated SNPs, gene-sets and pathways. Am J Hum Genet. 2;97(1):125-38. 
  4. Gong J, Wang F, Xiao B, Panjwani N, Lin F, Keenan K, Avolio J, Esmaeili M, Zhang L, He G, Soave D, Mastromatteo S, Baskurt Z, Kim S, O’Neal WK, Polineni D, Blackman SM, Corvol H, Cutting GR, Drumm M, Knowles MR, Rommens JM, Sun L, Strug, LJ.  Genetic association and transcriptome integration identifies contributing genes and tissues at cystic fibrosis modifier loci.  PLOS Genetics 15(2): e1008007. February 26, 2019.
  5. Corvol, H, Blackman, SM, Boelle, PY, Gallins, PJ. Pace, RG, Stonebraker, JR, Accurso, FJ, Clement, A, Collaco, JM, Dang, H, Dang, AT, Franca, A, Gong, J, Guillot, L, Keenan, K, Li, W, Lin, F, Patrone, MV, Raraigh, KS, Sun, L, Zhou, Y, O’Neal, WK, Sontag, MK, Levy, H, Durie, PR, Rommens, JM, Drumm, ML, Wright, FA, Strug, LJ*, Cutting, GR*, Knowles, MR*.  Genome-wide association meta-analysis identifies five modifier loci of lung disease severity in cystic fibrosis.  Nature Communications. 6:8382. 2015.  *Co-SRA. 

See a full list of Dr. Strug's publications on PubMed or Google Scholar.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research Foundation
Project: Determining the architecture of genetic disease: statistical methods and applications

Cystic Fibrosis Canada
Project: The Genetic Epidemiology of Cystic Fibrosis

Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Project: Clinical and Genetic Risk Factors for Atypical Femur Fractures

Canadian Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leadership Fund and Ontario Research Fund for Small Infrastructure
Project: De novo Assembled and Phased Whole Genome Sequence for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Population

MaRs Innovation & Evotec Lab 150 Industry Partnership Program
Project: Augmenting Lung Function in Cystic Fibrosis and Other Respiratory Disease

Genome Canada
Project: Personalized Therapy for Individuals with Cystic Fibrosis

Genome Canada Genomics Technology Platforms Operations Support and Technology Development Funds
Project: The Centre for Applied Genomics

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) – Discovery Grant
Project: Development of Evidential Methodology for Analysis of Genetic

The University of Toronto McLaughlin Centre Accelerator Grants in Genomic Medicine
Project: A unified polygenic risk score analytics platform for risk prediction, causal inference and discovery

The Waterloo Foundation
Project: REGAIN – Rolandic Epilepsy Genome-wide Association International Study

Related pages

Strug Lab

The Strug Lab focuses on the identification of genetic modifiers in Mendelian disease such as Cystic Fibrosis, and on identifying genetic contributors to neurodevelopmental correlates of childhood onset Epilepsy.


CANSSI Ontario is the Ontario Regional Centre of the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute.

Data Science Institute

The Data Sciences Institute (DSI) is a multi-divisional, tri-campus, multidisciplinary hub for data science activity at the University of Toronto (U of T)

Cystic Fibrosis Centre

Driving research discovery and new therapies, care, and education for cystic fibrosis to benefit children worldwide.


CGEn is a federally funded national platform for genome sequencing and analysis.

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