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Canadian Network for Autoimmune Liver Disease

About CaNAL

About CaNAL

The Canadian Network for Autoimmune Liver disease (CaNAL) is a longitudinal observational cohort study of patients diagnosed with Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC), Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH), or overlap syndrome. This nationwide registry  focuses on high quality long-term follow-up of individual patients from major Canadian centres.

Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) and Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH) are rare and slowly progressive liver diseases that can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure requiring liver transplantation and premature death. The rarity and slowly progressive nature of these autoimmune liver diseases make them difficult to study and only a large-scale approach combining patient data from multiple centres across Canada will allow new insights.

The primary aim of CaNAL is to build a Canadian registry of patients with PBC, AIH, and overlap syndrome. CaNAL captures patient characteristics, laboratory assessments, natural history, patient-reported outcomes including quality of life measures and environmental exposures, response to treatment, and pre- and post-transplant outcomes.

CaNAL was initiated mid 2017, with recruitment and study data collection beginning in 2018.

Clinical trials Link(which has all the contact information ever):

Project Leads

  • “In order to join the CaNAL registry, you will need to be referred by a member of the Steering Committee, Centre investigators, or clinical collaborators”

Western Sites

Eastern Sites

Dr. Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason.png

Dr. Bettina Hansen


Dr. Andrew Mason is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta, where he is Director of the Applied Genomics Core and Director of Research for the Division of Gastroenterology. He trained at King’s College London Liver Unit and was a Gastroenterology Fellow at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. He set up his research program at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans Louisiana in 1994, where he served as Medical Director of the Liver Transplant program. He relocated to Canada in 2002 as an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Scholar and an Associate Professor of Medicine.


He is the Western Canada lead investigator for the Canadian Network for Autoimmune Liver Disease (CaNAL) studying the demographic and prognostic features of PBC and AIH. He takes part in clinical trials assessing anti-retroviral therapies for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis. His other research interests includes: investigating viral discovery in samples from transplant recipients with recurrent liver disease and other idiopathic disorders; betaretroviral induction of autoimmune biliary disease; and diagnostic assay development to detect immune responses to betaretrovirus infection in patients with autoimmune liver disease.

PubMed citations are as follows:

Dr. Bettina Hansen studied statistics and mathematics at the Institute of Mathematical Statistics at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Next, she completed her PhD entitled 'Statistical models of treatment effects in chronic hepatitis B and C' in the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Erasmus University Medical Center (Erasmus MC) in the Netherlands.

She is the Eastern Canada lead investigator for the Canadian Network for Autoimmune Liver Disease (CaNAL). Presently, she is a Senior Biostatistician in the Toronto Centre for Liver Disease at Toronto General Hospital and an Associate Professor in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME) at the University of Toronto. She also holds an academic appointment at Erasmus MC.

Together with the clinical research team, Dr. Hansen leads high-quality clinical research projects related to liver disease. The overall goal of her research program is to develop tools that can accurately identify patients who are at highest risk of experiencing disease progression or most likely to respond to treatment. To achieve this goal, she is developing individualized prediction models and dynamic scoring methods that can be applied in the daily medical practice.

PubMed citations are as follows:

Project Leads
Participating Centres

Participating Centres

CaNAL Map 2019-12-11.png


  • University Health Network, Toronto, ON
    (Site PI: Dr. Bettina Hansen)

  • Kingston Health Science Centre, Kingston, ON
    (Site PI: Dr. Jennifer Flemming)

  • Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC
    (Site PI: Dr. Catherine Vincent)

  • Walter C Mackenzie Health Sciences, Edmonton, AB
    (Site PI: Dr. Andrew Mason)

  • Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon, SK
    (Site PI: Dr. Lawrence Worobetz)

  • Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, NS
    (Site PI: Dr. Kevork Peltekian)

  • The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON
    (Site PI: Dr. Cynthia Tsien)

Site Activation in Progress


  • McMaster University Medical Centre, Hamilton, ON
    (Site PI: Dr. Marco Puglia)

  • London Health Sciences Centre - University Hospital, London, ON
    (Site PI: Dr. Karim Qumosani)

  • St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, BC
    (Site PI: Dr. Hin Hin Ko)

  • Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, AB
    (Site PI: Dr. Mark Swain)

  • McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC
    (Site PI: Dr. Marc Deschenes)

Upcoming Centres

  • Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, BC
    (Site PI: Dr. Eric Yoshida)

  • Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, MB
    (Site PI: Dr. Gerald Minuk)

  • Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Thunder Bay, ON
    (Site PI: Dr. Mary Anne Cooper)

  • Private Clinic, Nanaimo, BC
    (Site PI: Dr. Jean-Philippe Wallach)

  • Quebec City, QC

  • St. John’s, NL

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