Dr. Distasio joined the University of Winnipeg in 1999 and over the past 20 years he has served as Director of the Institute of Urban Studies, a faculty member in the department of Geography and Vice President of Research and Innovation. For two decades, Jino has worked extensively in Winnipeg’s inner city as well as exploring broader Canadian and global urban issues. During this period he has been actively engaged in well over 150 projects, publications and community initiatives. Presently, he is coordinating a study of homelessness and mental health in Canadian cities. This work is part of a $110 million dollar project funded by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and is the largest such project ever undertaken globally.
As Vice President of Research and Innovation, he has worked to increase commercial opportunities for faculty as well as supporting growth in research funding. Jino actively maintains a research agenda is areas of housing market analysis, mental health and homelessness, Indigenous urban issues, and broad urban policy. He has served on many boards including The International Centre for Infectious Disease, Prairie Isotope Partnership Enterprise, Habitat for Humanity, Westminster Housing Society and the University of Winnipeg’s Community Renewal Corporation.
At the national level, Jino has led several multi-city projects that have examined housing markets dynamics, homelessness, poverty as well as developing of a national index of neighbourhood distress in Canadian cities. He continues to teach and holds several adjunct appointments at the University of Manitoba. In addition, Jino routinely provides media comments and is regarded as one the most quoted urban specialists in Winnipeg.