Dr. Tonelli is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Medicine (1995), and completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Western Ontario (1998), Dalhousie University (2002) and the Harvard School of Public Health (2002). He spent 12 years with the University of Alberta’s Department of Medicine, and joined the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine in 2014, taking on the role of Senior Associate Dean (Health Research).
Dr. Tonelli’s research focus is improving the care of people with chronic kidney disease and other noncommunicable diseases. He has partnered with regional, provincial and national decision-making bodies to inform clinical practice and impact health policy in this area. He completed a volunteership at the World Health Organization in 2013-2014, focusing on treatment of noncommunicable diseases following natural disasters and civil conflict. During this time he also completed an MSc in Health Policy from Imperial College London.
Dr. Tonelli is a co-lead for the Alberta-based Interdisciplinary Chronic Disease Collaboration. He is chair emeritus of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care and a past President of the Canadian Society of Nephrology. He is a member of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the chair of the CIHR’s Standing Committee on Ethics. He established and is the inaugural Director of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for the Prevention and Control of Chronic Kidney Disease.
Dr. Tonelli was the recipient of the 2013 United States National Kidney Foundation Medal for Distinguished Service and the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s 2013 Medal for Research Excellence for changing nephrology practice in Canada and beyond. Along with the two other team co-leads, he received a Top Canadian Achievements in Health Research Award from the CIHR-CMAJ in 2013 for his work with the Interdisciplinary Chronic Disease Collaboration. He was elected a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2012 and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2014. He was named a “Highly Cited” researcher every year since 2015 by Thomson-Reuters Web of Science, corresponding to a rank in the top 0.1% by citations of all researchers worldwide over the preceding decade.