OmiSoore  DrydenPhD

Associate Professor, James R. Johnston Endowed Chair, Black Canadian Studies, Faculty of Medicine; Interim Director, Black Studies (in STEMM) Research Institute

Mailing Address: 
Room 423, 4th Floor, 5790 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 1V7
Research Topics:
  • Black Queer and Trans Studies in Canada
  • Canadian Blood Donation Protocols
  • Medical Education, Medical anti-Black Racism
  • Disaggregated Race-Based Data
  • Critical Health Studies/Epidemiology
  • Black Queer Diasporic Analytics


- PhD (OISE/University of Toronto)
- MA (York University)
- BA (York University)

Brief bio

Dr. OmiSoore H. Dryden (she/her/hers), a Black queer femme and associate professor, is the James R Johnston Endowed Chair in Black Canadian Studies, Faculty of Medicine, Interim Director of the newly established Black Studies in STEMM Research Institute at Dalhousie University, and the co-lead of the new national organization – The Black Health Education Collaborative. Dryden is a content expert and Associate Scientist with the Maritime Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) SUPPORT Unit (MSSU). In that capacity, she provides guidance on Canadian Black Health metrics needed to inform the development of health policies and improve the health care system, this specifically focuses on survey data and demographic information, determinants of trust, sexual health and qualitative data collection and analysis. Dryden is a member of the CIHR Anti-Racism External Advisory Committee (, a member of the Black Feminist Health Science Studies International Collective (, a board member of the Health Association of African Canadians (; and the past co-president of the Black Canadian Studies Association (2019-2021,

OmiSoore Dryden has published in peer-reviewed journals and book collections and has an edited collection (with Dr. Suzanne Lenon): Disrupting Queer Inclusion: Canadian Homonationalisms and the Politics of Belonging (UBC Press, 2015); and the co-authored Commentary (with Dr. Onye Nnorom), Time to Dismantle Systemic anti-Black Racism in Medicine in Canada” (2021) in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), and the article titled, Who Gets To Do Medicine: Black Canadian Studies and Medical Education in the “Special Forum on Black Studies in Canada” in the academic journal, Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies (2022).

Research interests

Dr. Dryden engages in interdisciplinary scholarship and research that focuses on Black LGBTQI communities, blood donation systems in Canada, anti-Black racism in health care, medical education, and Black health curricular content development. Dr. Dryden is the Principal Investigator of #GotBlood2Give / #DuSangÀDonner a research project that seeks to identify the barriers Black gay, bisexual, and trans men encounter with donating blood and also analyzes how anti-Black homophobia/transphobia shapes blood system protocols in Canada; the Principal Investigator on the project Don’t Count Us Out! – a community-informed, culturally sensitive approach to health promotion for African Nova Scotian communities with an initial focus on COVID-19 pandemic; and the Nominating Principal Investigator (with co-principal investigators Dr. Barbara Hamilton-Hinch and Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed) Breast Cancer and Communities of African Descent in the Atlantic (BC-CAD-A). this project, focuses on identifying prevalence of breast cancer among Black women and Black populations in the Atlantic using an intersectional lens; the social and structural determinants of health that impact Breast cancer screening and treatment in the Atlantic, and testing the efficacy of the “Afrocentric screening protocols” for Black women and populations in the Atlantic.

Selected publications


Foreword, Dare we hope for the erotic? HIV/AIDS, Sexuality and Ageing. HIV, Sex and Sexuality in Later Life. Mark Henrickson, Casey Charles, Shiv. Ganesh, Sulaimon Giwa, Kan Diana Kwok and Tetyana Semigina (Eds). (Bristol University Press)

Foreword, Pedagogies of Dissent: Meditations on Decolonial Disruptions. Decolonizing Equity. Billie Allan and Rhonda Hackett, Eds. (Fernwood Publishing)

Blackness and the Limits of Institutional Good Will. In A. Ibrahim, T. Kitossa, M. Smith, H. Wright (Eds)., Nuances of Blackness in the Canadian Academy: Teaching, Learning and Researching While Black. (University of Toronto Press)

Blood is a Politic of Place-making: Blackness, Queerness and the Construction of the Donor. In R. Cummins and N. Caple, (Eds.), Harriet’s Legacies: Race Historical memory and Futures In Canada. Montréal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. 304-321.

Who Gets To Do Medicine: Black Canadian Studies and Medical Education. Special Issue Black Studies in Canada. TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies 2022 44:, 159-174


Time to dismantle systemic anti-Black racism in medicine in Canada. O.H. Dryden and    O. Nnorom. Commentary, Canadian Medical Association Journal. (January 11, 2021). CMAJ January 11, 2021. 193 (2) E55-E57; Vol. 193 no. 2 E55-E57


It’s in us to give: Black Life and the Racial Profiling of Blood Donation. In R. Diverlus & S. M. Ware for Black Lives Matter-Toronto (Eds.), Black Lives Matter Canada: A Blueprint for Black Liberation.211-224.


Má-ka Juk Yuh: A Genealogy of Black Queer Liveability in Toronto. in Queering Urban Justice: Queer of Colour Formations in Toronto. Eds. Jin Haritaworn, Ghaida Moussa, Syrus Marcus Ware, with Rio Rodriguez. University of Toronto Press 62-83.

Selected awards & honours

2022 - Med 3, Professor of the Year, Dalhousie Medical Student Society

2021 - Best Health Magazine’s 2021 Health Heroes (with Dr. Onye Nnorom, Prof Sume Ndumbe-Eyoh for the Black Health Education Collaborative)

2019 - Human Rights & Equity Award, African History Month, Dalhousie University

2017-2019 - Researcher-in-Residence, Ontario HIV Treatment Network

Service & activity

2021-2022       CIHR Anti-Racism External Advisory Committee

2021-2022       Nova Scotia Health Board of Directors

2020-2022       Black North Initiative, Health Committee

2020-present   Black Studies in STEM Research Institute Working Group, Co-Lead

2020-Present  Nova Scotia Health, Public Engagement Committee

2021                Black Physicians of Nova Scotia, Administrative Support

2020                Dean’s Annual Retreat, Anti-Racism, Anti-Discrimination
                          and Decolonizing Faculties of Medicine

2020                Medical Council of Canada Working Group on Anti-Black Racism in Medicine

2020                The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons
                          of Canada Working Group on Anti-Black Racism in Medicine

2019-present   Senate

2019-2021       Senate Nominating Committee

2019-2021       CH&E Scholarships and Awards Committee

2019-2021       Nova Scotia Black Graduate Entrance Scholarship Selection Committee

2019-present   Black Feminist Health Science Studies International Research Group

2019-2021       Co-President, Black Canadian Studies Association (BCSA)

2019-present   James Robinson Johnston Graduate Entrance Scholarships for
                           African Canadians Selection Committee

2019-present   National James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies Advisory Council

2019-present   James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies Advisory Committee

2019-present   Black Faculty and Staff Caucus

2019-present   Queer Faculty and Staff Caucus