Christopher Shaw (neuroscientist)

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Christopher Shaw
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of British Columbia
ThesisElectrophysiological studies of after-potentials in invertebrate photoreceptors (1979)

Christopher Ariel Shaw is a Canadian neuroscientist and professor of ophthalmology at the University of British Columbia (UBC).[1][2]

Vaccine research[edit]

Shaw has done controversial research on the adverse effects of vaccines, including publishing two 2011 reports about the effect of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines.[3][4] The World Health Organization's Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety criticized the two 2011 reports, calling them "seriously flawed".[5] The Committee wrote: "The core argument made in these studies is based on ecological comparisons of aluminium content in vaccines and rates of autism spectrum disorders in several countries. In general, ecological studies cannot be used to assert a causal association because they do not link exposure to outcome in individuals, and only make correlations of exposure and outcomes on population averages".[6] Shaw has received nearly $900,000 in research funding from the Dwoskin Family Foundation and the Katlyn Fox Foundation, both of which question the safety of vaccines. The University of British Columbia and numerous experts said there is no problem with the source of this funding, noting that many researchers accept money from pharmaceutical companies and other entities.[7]

In October 2017, Shaw and his colleague, Lucija Tomljenovic, announced that they were retracting a paper they had co-authored in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, claiming to find that aluminum in vaccines caused symptoms "consistent with those in autism" in mice, after multiple other researchers had criticized the underlying data as invalid or falsified. After seeing some of these criticisms on PubPeer, Shaw and his lab reanalyzed the figures that had been criticized, and requested a retraction from the journal, saying "It appears as if some of the images in mostly what were non-significant results had been flipped. We don't know why, we don't know how … but there was a screw-up, there's no question about that."[8] In response to this retraction, UBC issued a statement defending academic freedom as well as Shaw's academic integrity.[8]

In October 2017, Shaw and Tomljenovic and several other coauthors published an article in Open Access Library Journal, published by Scientific Research Publishing, a predatory open access publisher, about a tetanus vaccine that had been used in Kenya in 2014.[9] The authors withdrew the article, then published it again in the same journal.[9]

Shaw is chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the anti-vaccine Children's Medical Safety Research Institute,[10] founded and funded by Claire Dwoskin. Dwoskin has used Shaw's studies, conducted at UBC, as supposed evidence that vaccines cause autism.[11][12]



  • Christopher Shaw; Jill C. McEachern (2001). Toward a Theory of Neuroplasticity. Psychology Press. p. 468. ISBN 978-1841690216.
  • Shaw, Christopher (2008). Five Ring Circus: Myths and Realities of the Olympic Games. New Society Publishers. ISBN 978-0865715929.
  • Shaw, Christopher (2017). Neural Dynamics of Neurological Disease. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1118634578.
  • Shaw, Christopher (2018). "Aluminum as a CNS and immune system toxin across the lifespan". In Neurotoxicity of Aluminum. Qiao Niu (Editor). Springer Publishing.

Research articles[edit]

Retracted articles[edit]

Review articles[edit]


  1. ^ Judge, Michael (2000-01-12). "The worst thing since white bread". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  2. ^ "Christopher Shaw". Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  3. ^ Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA (2011). "Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism?" Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 105: 1489–1499.
  4. ^ Tomljenovic L, Shaw CA (2011). "Aluminum vaccine adjuvants: are they safe?" Current Medicinal Chemistry. 18(17): 2630–2637.
  5. ^ Bambury, Brent (2015-02-13). "A UBC prof, his anti-vaccine backers and studies slammed by the WHO". CBC Radio. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  6. ^ Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (2012). "Aluminum Adjuvants". Weekly Epidemiological Record. World Health Organization. 87(30): 277–288.
  7. ^ Weeks, Carly (2015-03-04). "UBC stands behind vaccine studies discredited by WHO". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  8. ^ a b "'There was a screw-up': UBC researchers pull paper linking vaccine component to autism". CBC News. 2017-10-16. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  9. ^ a b Han, Andrew P. (2018-01-30). "For the second time, researchers retract — then republish — a vaccine paper". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 2018-09-21.
  10. ^ "Two (now retracted) studies purporting to show that vaccinated children are sicker than unvaccinated children show nothing of the sort". Science-Based Medicine. 2017-05-11. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  11. ^ February 14, CBC Radio ·; 2015. "A UBC prof, his anti-vaccine backers and studies slammed by the WHO | CBC Radio". CBC. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  12. ^ "UBC stands behind vaccine studies discredited by WHO". Retrieved 2019-02-14.

External links[edit]