Elizabeth M. Saewyc

Elizabeth M. Saewyc PhD, RN, FSAHM, FCAHS, FAAN, FCAN

Executive Director, SARAVYC
Director & Professor, UBC School of Nursing Research
Director, McCreary Centre Society


Dr. Saewyc is a Professor, Distinguished University Scholar, and, since 2017, Director of the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver; she also founded and heads the Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre, a multidisciplinary research centre with research collaborators in several countries. For over 25 years, she has conducted mix-methods research with many different groups of marginalized youth, including runaway and street-involved youth; sexually abused and sexually exploited teens; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two Spirit, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) adolescents; youth in custody; immigrants, home-stay students and refugees; and Indigenous youth. Her research emphasizes how stigma, violence, and trauma affect adolescent health and risk behaviours, as well as the protective factors that foster resilience among these vulnerable populations of youth.

She held one of the first Canadian Institute for Health Research-Public Health Agency of Canada Applied Public Health Chairs from 2008-2014, focused on population health interventions for adolescents. Her research has been regularly funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the US National Institutes of Health. Her research has influenced public health and policy in Canada, the US, and internationally. She also led SARAVYC in conducting the first Canadian national health survey of transgender youth in 2014, which has influenced clinical practice, human rights cases, and laws.

Dr. Saewyc provides consultation on the health of young people to provincial, national and international governments and agencies, including the World Health Organization. She has been named a Fellow in the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, in the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, in the American Academy of Nursing, and in the Canadian Academy of Nursing. In 2019, she was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Researcher Hall of Fame.