Jeff Nisker is a clinician, researcher, university professor, and writer. His plays and short stories bring health professionals, students, the general public and policy makers to the position of persons immersed in the social inequities of new scientific capacities. Jeff has received many research grants in the basic, clinical and social sciences from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Genome Canada, and other institutions to study prevention of estrogen-related cancer, ethical and social issues in reproductive-genetics, and the lack of accommodation persons with disability receive for health promotion. Jeff has also co-held a CIHR/Health Canada grant to research public engagement and citizen deliberation through his innovative use of full-length theatre for health policy development.

Jeff Nisker


Jeff has authored or co- authored over 170 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters, many short stories, and seven plays published in the collection From Calcedonies to Orchids: Plays Promoting Humanity and Health Policy.  His plays have been performed throughout Canada, in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa. Jeff’s new book, the novel Patiently Waiting For, centres on the denial of accommodation of a woman with quadriplegia and the resulting physical and social consequences. Jeff has served on the editorial board of Journal of Medical Humanities and ARS Medica and is the international representative on the Board of the Centre of Literature and Medicine. Jeff’s national positions have included: Co-chair of Health Canada’s Advisory Committee on Reproductive and Genetic Technology, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada,Scientific Officer of the CIHR Panel on Ethics, Law and Humanities, and Executive of the Canadian Bioethics Society. Through all this Jeff has maintained his clinical practice in hormone-dependent malignancy, pituitary tumors and reproductive endocrinology.

Jeff has received many research and education awards, including: Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music’s Educator of the Year Award for his plays promoting public engagement in health policy, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecology of Canada  President’s Award for the most significant contribution to the specialty, and Western’s Faculty Scholar Award for Innovation in Research and Education. For his ground-breaking medical humanities program Jeff received the Douglas Bocking Award presented to the “member of Faculty who in the opinion of medical students has made the most outstanding contribution to their medical education during the previous four years.” He was one of the first two obstetrician-gynecologists inducted into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Jeff was chosen by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Peter Gzowski as one of the 13 “Best Minds of Our Time.”

Current Research

2009 - 2014  Co-Principle Investigator and ELS Theme Leader, CIHR Team in the Effects of Brominated Flame Retardants on Reproductive Health: Animal, Human, Ethical, Legal and Social Studies, PI: Cindy Goodyer, CIHR Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH), Funded, 2,495,000 CAD, (347,250 CAD)

2009 - 2014  Co-Principle Investigator and ELS Theme Leader, CIHR Team in Impact of exposure to phthalates, their metabolites and “green” plasticizers on male reproductive health, PI: Bernard Robaire, CIHR Human Development, Child and Youth Health, Funded, 2,492,500 CAD, (339,250 CAD)

2009 - 2015   Co-Principal Investigator, CIHR Training Program in Reproduction, Early Development, and the Impact on Health (REDIH), PI: Jay Baltz, CIHR, Funded, 1,787,598 CAD

Recent Publications


Nisker J. Patiently Waiting For.... Iguana Press, 2015.

Nisker J. From Calcedonies to Orchids: Plays Promoting Humanity in Health Policy. Iguana Press, 2012.

Nisker J., Baylis F., Karpin I., McLeod C., and Mykitiuk R. (Eds). The "Healthy" Embryo: Social, Biomedical, Legal and Philosophical Perspectives. Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Book Chapters:

Nisker J. Challenges in Reflecting on Story in a Four Year Narrative Ethics Core Medical Curriculum. In:Peterkin A, Brett-MacLean P, editor(s). Keeping Reflection Fresh: A Practical Guide for Clinical Educators: Kent State University Press; 2016. p.257-261.

Nisker J. Calcedonies (chapter 42). In:Jones T, Wear D, Friedman LD, editor(s). Health and Humanities Reader. (United States): Rutgers University Press; 2014

Vanstone M, Kinsella EA, Nisker J. ‘Diseases’, ‘Defects’, ‘Abnormalities’ and ‘Conditions’: Discursive Tensions in Prenatal Screening. In:Nash M. editor(s). Reframing Reproduction: Conceiving Gendered Experiences. Melbourne (Australia): Palgrave-MacMillan; 2014. p.54-68.

Nisker J. Narrative Ethics in Health Promotion and Care. In:Storch JL, Rodney P & Starzomski  R. editor(s). Toward a Moral Horizon: Nursing Ethics for Leadership and Practice. 2. Toronto (Canada): Pearson Canada Inc; 2013. p.107-126

Jones M, Nisker J. Health Equity and Access to Oocyte “Donation”. In:Sauer MV, editor(s). Principles of Oocyte and Embryo Donation. 2. London (United Kingdom): Springer-Verlag; 2013. p.371-382

Federal Reports:

Nisker J and Speechley KN. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Related Activities in Canada. Prepared for Assisted Human Reproduction Canada. May 2009

Peer-reviewed Journals:

Perform an automated PubMed search

Original Plays:



Sarah’s Daughters

A Child On Her Mind

Doctor’s Call

Yellow Brick Squash (with Warren Bourgeois)

Play Adaptions:

When No Bruises Clue (Adapted from Susan Glaspell’s story A Jury of Her Peers)

Dr. Warner and the X Club (Adapted from Ben Hecht’s story, Collaborators: Silcox J)

The Yellow Wallpaper (Adapted from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s story)

Jeff Nisker
800 Commissioners Rd E. Rm E2-620E
London, ON Canada N6A 5W9
Tel: 519-685-8781
Fax: 519-685-8783

Updated April 2016