Short Bio:
  • Director, British Columbia Public Health Microbiology & Reference Laboratory (BCPHMRL)
  • Professor, Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UBC
  • Medical Head, Environmental, Microbiology Program, and Parasitology Program

Dr. Judith L. Isaac-Renton a Professor, is the Director of BC Public Health Microbiology & Reference Laboratory, Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) Labs. She is also the Medical Head of the Environmental Microbiology and Parasitology Programs. As a nationally recognized expert on drinking water, she was involved in the Walkerton Inquiry and North Battleford investigations. Besides her active clinical, academic and executive career, she is an avid researcher in the field of waterborne pathogens and has a special interest in newly emerging pathogens and public health. In collaboration with researchers across Canada, US CDC-Atlanta, she is Project Lead on a Genome Canada/Genome British Columbia project, “Applied Metagenomics of the Watershed Microbiome” onnew genomics/metagenomics approaches to assessing the risk of transmission of waterborne infections at a population level.

Academic background

  • MD, University of Toronto, Medicine. 1972
  • DPH, University of Toronto, Public Health. 1974
  • DCS, Regent College, Theology. 1976
  • FRCP(C), University of British Columbia, Medical Microbiology. 1979

Publications

  • Prystajecky, N., Brinkman, FSL, Auk, B., Isaac-Renton, JL, Tang, P. Personalized genetic testing and norovirus susceptibility. Can J Infect Dis Med Microbio 2014; Vol 25 No 4 July/August 2014.
  • Bigham, M, Konrad, S, Van Buynder, Van Buynder, Isaac-Renton, ElSherif, M, Halperin, S A. Low pertussis toxin antibody levels in two regional cohorts of Canadian pregnant women. Vaccine (2014).
  • Ngueng Feze I, Kirby E, Pyrstajecky N, Cook C, Knoppers BM, Ozdemir V, Dunn G, Isaac-Renton J, Joly Y. Legal Analysis of Water Quality Assessment Biotechnologies: Is Canada Ready to Surf the Next Wave of Metagenomics Testing? J Environmental Law and Practice 2014 26(3): 201-279).
  • Prystajecky, N, Huck, PM, Schreir H, and Isaac-Renton, JL. Assessment of Giardia and Cryptosporidum spp. As a microbial source tracking tool for surface water: application in a mixed-use watershed. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2014 (8): 2328-36.
  • Austin J, Leclair D, Farber J, Isaac-Renton J L, Fung J, May-Hadford J, Ashton E, Ellis A. Foodborne Botulism is Canada, 1985-2005. Emerging Infectious Diseases. March 21, 2013.
  • Krentz C, Teschke K, Shen H, Isaac-Renton J. The Predictive Value of Total Coliforms in Drinking Water Using Life Table Analysis. Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology. January 2013; 62(2): 97-106.
  • Cook C, Prystajecky N., Ngueng-Feze I., Joly Y., Dunn G., Kirby E., Ozdemir V., and Isaac-Renton, JIR. 2013. A Comparison of the Regulatory Frameworks Governing Microbial Testing of Drinking Water in Three Canadian Provinces. Canadian Water Resources Journal 38: 185-95.
  • Ngueng Feze I, Kirby E, Pyrstajecky N, Cook C, Knoppers BM, Ozdemir V, Dunn G, Isaac-Renton J, Joly Y. Legal Analysis of Water Quality Assessment Biotechnologies: Is Canada Ready to Surf the Next Wave of Metagenomics Testing? J Environmental Law and Practice 26(3): 201-279ed). 2013
  • Saveh-Shemshaki F, Shechter SM, Tang P, Isaac-Renton J. (2013). Setting sites for faster results: Optimizing locations and capacities of new tuberculosis testing laboratories. IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering. 2(4): 248-58.

Research Interest

My interest is in public health and communicable diseases particularly in safe drinking water and environmental health. Clinically I am a subspecialist inTropical Diseases and Medical Parasitology with expertise in both the management laboratory aspects. My most significant academic contributions have been in the area of the public health particularly the epidemiology and etiology of emerging waterborne protozoan infections such as giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis and toxoplasmosis. This work continues and involves collaboration at local, national and international levels. Other areas of leadership are in public health core functions including medical epidemiology and surveillance and prevention and infection control leadership at a province-wide level. As part of public health laboratory leadership, I am also committed to leadership in laboratory Quality Management Systems (QMS), infectious diseases, outbreak detection and emergency response with a focus on the introduction of new molecular microbiology laboratory tools, particularly genomics and metagenomics.