David Burnes

Assistant Professor


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation


Dr. David Burnes is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and an Affiliate Scientist at Baycest Health Sciences, Rotman Research Institute. Dr. Burnes completed a PhD at Columbia University School of Social Work in New York City, concentrating in gerontology and advanced practice.

Dr. Burnes’ program of research centers around the issue of elder mistreatment (abuse, neglect, financial exploitation) – a pervasive public health issue with major consequences to older adults and costs to society. Specifically, his research focuses on understanding and preventing elder mistreatment, including the development of basic science (prevalence, risk factors, severity), developing/evaluating interventions, and developing elder mistreatment outcome measures. Dr. Burnes has published several peer-reviewed research papers on the topic of elder mistreatment, including papers in top gerontology journals (e.g., Journal of the American Geriatrics Society; The Gerontologist; The Journals of Gerontology, Series B – Social Sciences). He has obtained several external research grants to fund elder mistreatment research, including federal-level grants from Canada (Social Science and Humanities Research Council) and the U.S. (National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Justice). Dr. Burnes has been invited to advise international organizations on the topic of elder mistreatment, including the World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health. He also advises government entities, including state-level adult protective services programs, on the development and implementation of elder abuse response intervention practices and measurement strategies.

Research Areas