Gillian Tarr, PhD, CPH

Assistant Professor, Division of Environmental Health Sciences

Gillian Tarr

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-626-9308

Office Address:
Mayo, 1240

Mailing Address:
Envrn Health Sciences (SPH)
MMC 807 Mayo
8807A (Campus Delivery Code)
420 Delaware St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

PhD, Epidemiology, University of Washington, 2017

MHS, Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2006

BA, Biology, Bard College, 2004


I am an infectious disease epidemiologist with expertise in foodborne and other enteric infections. My specific research interests include Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections, including its distribution, zoonotic transmission, virulence, and detection. I am interested in the attribution of enteric illness to clinically detected pathogens such as norovirus and C. difficile. My work also touches on diagnostic stewardship for enteric infections as a group, as a component of antibiotic stewardship. I use a variety of methodologic approaches in my work, including phylogenetic and spatial analysis.


infectious disease epidemiology, foodborne infections, enteric infections, zoonoses, molecular epidemiology

Awards & Recognition

  • 2019-2021 - Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (terminated early, September 2019)
  • 2019-2021 - Alberta Innovates Postgraduate Fellowship, Alberta Innovates (terminated early, September 2019)
  • 2017-2019 - Eyes High Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Calgary (terminated early, December 2018)
  • 2017-2018 - Predoctoral Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, F31AI126834, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (NIH) (terminated early, September 2017)

Professional Associations

  • 2016-present - Society for Epidemiologic Research (SER)
  • 2008-prsent - Certified in Public Health (CPH), National Board of Public Health Examiners (renewed biannually)


Research Funding Grants

  • Abundance of Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in Cattle and Association with Clinical Infections in the Same Geographic Region Beef
    Cattle Research Council
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • Contribution and Interaction of Shiga Toxin Subtypes to Escherichia coli O157:H7 Virulence
    Calgary Centre for Clinical Research
    Role: Co-PI
  • Estimating the Burden of Viral Acute Gastroenteritis in Alberta’s Children
    Maternal Newborn Child & Youth Strategic Clinical Network
    Role: Co-PI


  • Gillian A M Tarr, Xiao-Li Pang, Ran Zhuo, Bonita E Lee, Linda Chui, Samina Ali, Otto G Vanderkooi, Christine Michaels-Igbokwe, Phillip I Tarr, Shannon E MacDonald, Gillian Currie, Judy MacDonald, Kelly Kim, Stephen B Freedman, Attribution of Pediatric Acute Gastroenteritis Episodes and Emergency Department Visits to Norovirus Genogroups I and II, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, , jiaa391,
  • Tarr GAM, Chu Yang Lin, Ben Vandermeer, Diane L Lorenzetti, Phillip I Tarr, Linda Chui, Lisa Hartling, Stephen B Freedman, on behalf of the Alberta Provincial Pediatric EnTeric Infection TEam (APPETITE), Diagnostic Test Accuracy of Commercial Tests for Detection of Shiga Toxin–Producing Escherichia coli: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Clinical Chemistry, Volume 66, Issue 2, February 2020, Pages 302–315,
  • Tarr GAM, Tarr PI, Freedman SB. Clinical Interpretation of Enteric Molecular Diagnostic Tests. Clin Microbiol Infect. In press.
  • Tarr GAM, Chui L, Lee B, Pang X-L, Nettel-Aguirre A, Ali S, Vanderkooi OG, Berenger BM, Dickinson J, Tarr PI, Drews S, MacDonald J, Kim K, Freedman SB. Performance of Stool Testing Recommendations for Acute Gastroenteritis when Used to Identify Children with Nine Potential Bacterial Enteropathogens. Clin Infect Dis. 2019 Oct;69(7):1173-1182.
  • Tarr GAM, Oltean HN, Rabinowitz P, Phipps AI, Tarr PI. Strength of the association between antibiotic use and hemolytic uremic syndrome following Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection varies with case definition. Int J Med Microbiol. 2018 Oct;308(7):921-926.
  • Tarr GAM, Shringi S, Oltean HN, Mayer J, Rabinowitz P, Wakefield J, Tarr PI, Besser TE, Phipps AI. Importance of Age in the Purported Association between Phylogenetics and Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome in Escherichia coli O157:H7 Infections. Epidemiol Infect. 2018 Sep;146(12):1550-1555.
  • Tarr GAM, Shringi S, Phipps AI, Besser TE, Mayer J, Oltean HN, Tarr PI, Wakefield J, Rabinowitz P. Geogenomic segregation and temporal trends of human pathogenic Escherichia coli O157:H7. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018 Jan;24(1):32-29.


Academic Interests and Focus

infectious disease epidemiology methods