Dr. Olivieri received a BSc from the University of Toronto and an MD from McMaster University in 1978. She pursued training in Internal Medicine and Hematology at McMaster, University of Toronto, and Harvard University and over the past 25 years has sustained continuous funding for research in the hemoglobin disorders. The author of over 200 scientific papers, reviews and book chapters, Dr. Olivieri was elected to The American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1996.
Dr. Olivieri's interests in international health arise from work in Asia begun in 1996. In Sri Lanka she and her collaborators have documented the range of clinical severity and complications in patients with Hemoglobin E beta thalassemia, the world's most common serious hemoglobinopathy. Over this period their research teams have stimulated community outreach, prevention programs, clinical guidelines, and capacity building for thalassemia. A National Thalassemia Center was established in Sri Lanka in 2001. Dr. Olivieri is pursuing similar work in Bangladesh and continues efforts to expand an Asian Thalassemia Network with links throughout Asia.
Dr Olivieri teaches a 4th year undergraduate course, Health and Pharmaceuticals, which explores aspects of the pharmaceutical industry, its role in society, and its influence on research and on the evidence base of medicine.
Dr. Olivieri is currently a Senior Scientist at the Toronto General Research Institute, Toronto General Hospital; and a Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, and Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto.