Project Team Members
Elias Abou-Assaly has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The University of Ottawa. Since graduating, he has worked in both private practice and hospital clinical settings. Most of his experience within the medical field stems from his time as a Psychometrist, completing neuropsychological assessments on adults with a range of neurological conditions (i.e. mTBI). As of recently, he has gained experience working with children from various medical backgrounds and hopes to use his developed skills in the world of research. Currently, he is working as a Clinical Research Project Coordinator on the UCAN CAN-DU team.
Adam is a Product Designer at Healthcare Human Factors, studying Industrial Design at OCAD University in Toronto. He is the advocate for users on the eHealth Innovation team, striving to provide an elegant and delightful user experience on the UCAN web application.
Connie is a Research Assistant for the UCAN CAN-DU project in Canada. She started her career in the medical field 11 years ago as a Medical Laboratory Technician, and recently made the switch and joined the research team. Connie has enjoyed learning about research and strives to take on new challenges every day. When Connie isn’t at work, she enjoys nothing more than spending quality time with her husband and their two daughters.
Dr. Gillian Currie is a Health Economist and Associate Director of Health Economics Research with Dr. Deborah Marshall’s research team. She holds an Adjunct Associate Professor appointment in the Departments of Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences in the Cumming School of Medicine and is a member of the O’Brien Institute of Public Health and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute at the University of Calgary. She obtained her PhD in Economics from Yale University. Dr. Currie’s research focuses on applications of health economics within child health. Specifically, she is interested in stated preference methods, such as discrete choice experiments, to understand the choices of parents and children, about treatment choices in the face of trade-offs about benefits and risks.
Regina de Gaus
Regina is a Research Coordinator for UCAN CAN-DU in the Netherlands. She started her career in healthcare as a nurse trainee and made the switch after a few years to a large pharmaceutical company. After 14 years of working in Clinical Research and Business Support, she has set up a lot of International trials (big and small). Also, she spent a lot of her time writing and implementing new working procedures.
In the last years, she noticed that she grew apart from what really mattered in healthcare, the patient! So she started searching for a new opportunity. The Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital was the perfect match. The UCAN CAN-DU trial is a perfect challenge to combine her work experience and her need to help patients in getting the best possible therapy. She looks forward to working with all the team members in making the UCAN CAN-DU trial a great success.
Ameen is a computer science graduate chasing the Software-Philosopher’s Stone that will turn a code base into gold and give it eternal life! Otherwise, he has a passion for technology when used to solve real-world problems or answer human needs. He can only tell three colours apart but, with eyes closed, he could juggle with abstractions. Ameen believes that performance matters, but would not compromise with code elegance: computer programming should be no different from poetry writing.
Victoria Dempsey completed her Master of Arts in the Child and Youth Study program from Mount Saint Vincent University and her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology, minor in Biology, from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. While completing her Masters she worked as a Research Assistant in the Child and Youth Study department. She is currently the Research Coordinator for the Rheumatology Department at the IWK Health Centre and has been in this role since 2016. She looks forward to working with and being a part of the UCAN CAN-DU team.
Michelle Diebold is the Research Coordinator for the Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre. She has been a nurse for 17 years and her focus has been primarily in Paediatrics during this time, working in areas such as Paediatric Emergency, to Ill Infant nursery and now with the Paediatric Rheumatology Team for the past 6 years. She has a passion for educating families and helping kids maintain an active, healthy lifestyle. She works with patients, helping them return to normalcy, or find a new normal, despite sometimes facing numerous health challenges. Michelle splits her time between clinical work and research and finds the value in integrating the two components to her everyday practice, offering her patients opportunities to participate and make a difference in the future of Paediatric Rheumatology.
Anisa completed her BSc at the University of Toronto in Life Sciences and her MSc in Immunology at McGill University. She is currently a Research Technologist in Dr. Rae Yeung’s lab and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the biobank.
Erik grew up in British Columbia and obtained a BA and an MA in Economics from Simon Fraser University and Queen’s University respectively. After working as an Economist at the Bank of Canada for two years, Erik obtained an MSc in Statistics, taking courses in biostatistics and bioinformatics, and then worked as a Bioinformatician at the Boutros Lab in the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). Erik’s research interests are focused on the intersection of statistics and machine learning and include high-dimensional data analysis and survival modelling. In his free time Erik enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, and playing tennis.
Dr. Trang Duong completed her graduate work at the University of Western Ontario in Microbiology and Immunology. She did her post-doctoral training at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Research Institute in the Developmental & Stem Cell Biology Program.
She is currently a Senior Research Associate and Laboratory Manager of Dr. Rae Yeung’s Lab. Dr. Duong’s role includes maintaining and overseeing the day-to-day operations, supervising and mentoring research and non-research trainees, supporting staff, and providing continuity for ongoing research.
Dr. Yeung’s lab also houses the Rheumatology biobank as well as the biospecimen repository for a number of national and international clinical research studies. One of Dr. Duong’s responsibilities is to oversee and manage these operations.
- Validation Phase Working Group – Biobank Data
Dr. Simon Eng completed his PhD at the University of Toronto in Immunology and the Combined Program in Genome Biology in Bioinformatics. Under the supervision of Dr. Rae Yeung at SickKids and Dr. Quaid Morris at the Donnelly Centre, he explored methods for producing a biologically and clinically based disease classification for childhood arthritis using machine learning during his graduate studies, publishing two papers with several more in progress. He continues to be interested in using machine learning in the context of linking biological processes with clinical observations as well as the applications of machine learning at the bedside.
Dr. Shivani Goyal is the Lead, Strategy & Research at eHealth Innovation at University Health Network, and Assistant Professor at the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Goyal is currently leading a digital strategy for the commercialization of chronic disease management mobile technologies. She has extensive experience in the design and development of evidence-based behavioural digital platforms, as well as in evaluation methods, ranging from traditional (i.e., RCTs) to more nimble real-time analytics approaches.
Driven by the overwhelming prevalence of chronic illness and the need to revolutionize the traditional models for health care delivery, Shivani is exploring how consumer-focused approaches can enable patients to drive their own care. This involves expanding healthcare beyond hospitals and clinics and evolving traditional consumer markets (e.g., pharmacies), communities, and even our own homes to be facilitators of improved health.
Through public-private partnerships, Dr. Goyal’s goal is to move eHealth research from bench to the hands of patients, through the co-development of innovative, robust and scalable models of health care delivery.
Dr. Goyal holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Toronto. Her thesis was focused on the design and evaluation of a behavioural mobile application for the self-management of diabetes. She also holds a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from Université de Montréal and a Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering from Concordia University specializing in aerospace engineering.
Luiza Grazziotin is a pharmacist by training and completed an MSc in Cardiovascular Sciences. Currently, she is pursuing her PhD in Health Economics at the University of Calgary under the supervision of Dr. Deborah Marshall.
Luiza is passionate about different health economics modelling approaches and their applicability in describing complex health processes, evaluating new interventions, and ultimately, informing decision making. Luiza’s PhD project is focused on juvenile idiopathic arthritis personalized care using simulation modelling and cost-effectiveness analysis.
Dr. Karin Groothuis-Oudshoorn is an Assistant Professor and a Biostatistician working at the Department of Health Technology and Services Research at the University of Twente. She is trained as a mathematical statistician and worked for more than 20 years as a biostatistician at multiple research institutes. She is an expert in the analysis of (patient) preference studies, handling missing data with multiple imputation, and applying statistical learning to health services research. She is a founding member of the International Academy of Health Preference Research and a member of the Medical Ethical Committee of Twente.
Kelsey is passionate about creating positive impact through design. With over four years of experience, her unique perspective has enabled her to quickly problem-solve and understand how design can play a key factor in driving change in the healthcare industry. She strives to shape memorable and impactful patient experiences by translating patient needs into actionable design strategies. She has navigated the intersection of design, strategy, and technology across multiple industries including healthcare, finance, and telecommunications.
Emily has a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Brock University and a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research from Humber College. She has previous experience assisting on sponsor initiated Cardiac Clinical Trials, and has also completed her internship for her Graduate Program with Dr. Yeung’s research team. Emily is currently a Clinical Research Project Assistant working on the UCAN CAN-DU project and is excited to be a part of furthering Childhood Arthritis Personalized Medicine. She looks forward to working and being a part of the UCAN CAN-DU team.
Aniba has a Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences from the University of Toronto and a post-graduate certificate in Clinical Research from Humber College. She has over four years of experience coordinating phase I–V trials from initiation to completion in diabetes, endocrinology, cardiology, and neurology for both CROs and specialized clinics. Aniba looks forward to working with the UCAN CAN-DU team to further enhance her skills and experience in clinical research.
Dr. Michelle Kip is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Health Technology & Services Research Department at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. She is an expert in the field of (early) health technology assessment, and her research focuses on methods to evaluate the health economic impact of medical technologies in several phases of development, using cost-effectiveness analysis and simulation modelling. Besides evaluating the health economic impact of medical technologies, she is also experienced in the field of multi-criteria decision analysis, which includes methods to evaluate stakeholders’ preferences with regard to (new) medical technologies.
Dr. Chitra Lalloo completed her PhD at McMaster University in 2014. Her dissertation focused on the development and validation of a digital pain mapping and tracking tool for adolescents and adults with persistent pain, including arthritis. Dr. Lalloo completed a postdoctoral fellowship in 2016 and is currently a Research Associate at SickKids in Dr. Jennifer Stinson’s group. She is responsible for overseeing evaluation of the iCanCope pain self-management platform for youth with arthritis (funded by The Arthritis Society), chronic pain (funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research; CIHR), and sickle cell disease (funded by the National Institutes of Health; NIH). Dr. Lalloo is also overseeing iCanCope ResearchKit integration to facilitate remote e-consenting.
- Privacy and Ethics Advisory Committee
Dr. Jacinda Larson completed her PhD at the University of Calgary in Medical Sciences, working on the genetic control of human facial development and human facial dysmorphology. Her interests are in child health research, patient engagement in research, and rare dysmorphic phenotypes. Currently, she is the Clinical Research Coordinator for the UCAN CAN-DU study at the lead Canadian site in Calgary, AB, working under Dr. Susa Benseler.
Jeffrey Lee is an aspiring web developer who has completed his Bachelor of Technology, Software Development from Seneca. After spending two years in the area of web accessibility Jeffrey has decided to shift his focus to development. Jeffrey has joined eHealth Innovation and the UCAN team where he is continuing to grow, learn and contribute to the healthcare technology space. His day-to-day work involves maintaining and building out new features for the UCAN project. In his spare time, he enjoys strategy games, podcasts, and playing basketball.
With a background in computer science, network engineering, and pharmacy, Kevin is interested in the intersection of technology and clinical healthcare practice. Having worked on various projects related to pharmacy workflows, health systems integration, and electronic health records, he remains on the lookout for ways to improve efficiency and patient outcomes.
Kevin is an advocate for the practical application of the agile software development process and is passionate about teasing out the “simple” from within complected designs and implementations. He loves to refactor dogma with <DEL> and <BACKSPACE>.
Henry completed his BSc in Statistics and MSc in Biostatistics at the University of Toronto. During his school years and working, he became more and more interested in statistics especially biostatistics. He wishes to utilize his statistical knowledge and modeling strategies to answer biomedical questions and contribute methodological innovations that can be translated to enhance health and improve disease prevention and treatment. Currently he is working as a biostatician in Dr. Yeung’s lab at SickKids.
Dr. Paula Marcus completed her PhD at Cardiff University in Connective Tissue Biology, working on the role of stem cells in articular cartilage regeneration. After graduating she completed a postdoctoral position at the University Health Network in the Division of Thoracic Surgery before moving to the Cell Therapy Program, with a focus on immune cell therapy. Currently, she is a Research Associate in Dr. Rae Yeung’s lab, assisting with mentoring research trainees and lab-based aspects of the UCAN projects.
Jay became involved with healthcare during his Masters thesis in Denmark where he used video to bring the perspectives of people living with diabetes into the design process of an insulin injection device. After returning to Canada, he worked on a rewrite of the Bant app so that it would be more relevant to people with type 2 diabetes. He has contributed to many of the apps at eHealth Innovation.
He loves code reviews, cycling, and elegant solutions.
Alex Mosoiu is an experienced project manager with a background in information technology (IT) implementations, healthcare process improvement projects, and complex multi-site initiatives aimed at improving kids’ health. Alex brings years of experience managing clinical software implementations, including surgical and enterprise imaging applications, and acted as SickKids lead on the Canadian Paediatric Surgical Wait Times project, which implemented a consensus-based system to track elective surgical waits for children and youth at participating hospitals across Canada using a novel diagnosis-based access target system. The project helped identify surgery types for which access targets were exceeded most frequently and led to measures to substantially reduce wait times in those areas at SickKids. Following a move to the research information technology group at the SickKids Research Institute, he managed the implementation of the Institute’s centralized biobanking solution and led a team focused on the development and implementation of IT solutions in the clinical research context. Alex is tremendously excited about supporting the goals of UCAN CAN-DU and all the UCAN projects and its amazing team.
David Ngo first joined eHealth Innovation as a student while finishing up his Software Engineering Technology program at Centennial College and has been working as a Quality Assurance Analyst since. His attention to detail and ability to think outside the box has not only helped with testing but also with the development of test plans as he works closely with the Project Managers and Developers in the development of self-management apps such as Medly, iCanCope, and UCAN. He is also responsible for the deployment of Medly to study participants through a mobile device management tool. When he is not finding bugs, he can be spotted on a basketball court, a mountain biking trail, or spending time with his family.
Quynh works at the intersection of health services research, analytics, and behaviour change theory to craft meaningful evaluations of digital health innovations. Her research focuses on designing and implementing innovative research methods to evaluate digital health innovations. She applies real-time analytics to evaluate effective engagement with consumer mobile health applications for chronic conditions. Quynh currently leads the research arm of the digitally-mediated prostate cancer survivorship program at eHealth Innovation at the University Health Network, and is also exploring the integration of the ResearchKit framework into a pediatric chronic pain application to facilitate informed eConsent. She is also the lead evaluator of the provincial SPARK program, which connects digital health innovations to provincial health data repositories.
Quynh is completing her PhD in Health Informatics Research under the supervision of Dr. Joseph Cafazzo at the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation within the University of Toronto.
Zeehan is a Product Manager at eHealth Innovation. Her passion lies in enabling healthcare technology solutions to propel knowledge sharing and delivery of higher quality care at a feasible cost. She has over five years of interdisciplinary expertise in product management, health sciences, clinical education, and regulatory compliance. Through her experiences, she has led cross-functional teams towards product goals on provincial and international projects, with her main focus on ensuring success over the entire product lifecycle. Zeehan completed her Masters in Management Analytics at Queen’s University and her Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences at McMaster University.
Emma is a recent graduate from Sir Sandford Fleming College, completing her advanced diploma for Biotechnology – Advanced. Upon finishing her schoolwork, she completed a 15-week internship at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research in the Genomics department where she stayed on as a Research Technician for a little over a year. She was responsible for over 6000 DNA samples from cancer patients and the bulk of her project was to validate the presence of mutations in colorectal cancer tumors that had been called by Next Generation Sequencing. She is now currently working in Dr. Rae Yeung’s lab as a Research Technologist and is responsible for assisting with Biobank operations.
Frank is a Data Analyst for the UCAN CAN-DU project working with the project management team, bioinformatics team and application developers with regards to data management. He currently oversees the extraction of data from the UCAN app and the mapping and transformation of discovery data from other related studies to the UCAN data format. Frank has previously managed enterprise database systems and holds a BSc in Computer Engineering.
Suzanne is involved in the ongoing process in finding the optimal method in preparing the bacteria cell wall extract (LCWE) that Dr. Rae Yeung’s lab uses for the study of Kawasaki disease. The ultimate goal is to dissect out the components in the extract and determine what is the agent(s) that is causing disease. In addition, she helps process and archive biospecimens involved in Dr. Yeung’s clinical studies, as well as the Rheumatology Biobank at SickKids.
Alana is an Analyst for the UCAN team. She is interested in improving healthcare delivery and works with the UCAN team to meet this goal for both clinicians and patients using healthcare technology. She completed her MSc in Rehabilitation Science in the Collaborative Program in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto. Prior to that, she completed her Honours BSc in Biology and Psychology at the University of Western Ontario.
Akib is interested in building technology that can make a difference and help people lead healthier and happier lives. He first joined the eHealth Innovation for his masters, focusing on wearable sensors and biofeedback for blood pressure management, under the supervision of Dr. Joe Cafazzo. He has worked on the team in various roles, first as an intern, then as a Product Manager of multiple mobile platforms for chronic pain, juvenile arthritis, kidney disease, and heart failure. Akib has also contributed to the development of interoperability standards for diabetes devices and has worked on workshops with manufacturers for knowledge transfer.
Akib holds an MHSc in Clinical Engineering and a BASc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto.
Lindsay completed her Master’s of Science in Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa. With a background in harm reduction, infectious disease epidemiology, and preterm birth surveillance, Lindsay has over seven years of experience in the coordination and management of a wide variety of clinical research projects.