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Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Media Contact

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Sarah Konefal, PhD
Research and Policy Analyst


Sarah’s expertise includes the biology of the brain, developmental pathways, maternal health and mental health disorders.


Sarah Konefal grew up in Vancouver, where she had some close connections with substance abuse, poverty and mental illness. These connections inspired her to choose a career that could make an impact on improving life for  people in Canada experiencing these issues.

She earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from McGill University, and wanted to work where she could apply her research to the real world. Working at CCSA, Sarah feels she has the opportunity to apply addiction research to real-world problems. She has a strong interest in how biological, behavioural and social factors in early developmental years play a role in later-life substance use. She is also looking at the links between mental health and addictions. Prior to joining CCSA in February 2018, Sarah held positions at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal and the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics in Vancouver.

In her spare time, adventure and the great outdoors call to Sarah. She is an avid camper, skier and climber, but her favourite activity is mountain biking.

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