Project Team Members
Arthur received his PhD in neuroscience from the University of Toronto. During his PhD, Arthur has planned, executed, and managed multiple cell and molecular biology research projects in parallel, resulting in peer-reviewed publications, research funding, and conference presentations. He is also proficient in utilizing R, Python, and Unix/Linus operating systems for analyzing large biological data sets and biostatistics. Arthur will be joining the UCAN team as a bioinformatician and is eager to contribute to cutting-edge research in tackling childhood arthritis and rheumatic diseases.
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 Geus
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prof. Dr. H. (Erik) Koffijberg has an MSc in Technical Computer Science from Delft University and a PhD in Decision-Analytic Modelling from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He is full professor Technology Assessment of Digital Health Innovations and chair of the section Health Technology & Services Research of the faculty Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.
Erik has over 18 years of experience in (early) health technology assessment (HTA) applied to the evaluation of new diagnostic tests, imaging techniques, prediction models, artificial intelligence and medical devices. He has published on, among others, applied analyses focused on cost-effectiveness and budget impact of innovations in cardiology, oncology and neurology. He also developed new simulation techniques to estimate the long-term effects of (preventive) innovations and new selection approaches to improve efficiency of preventive strategies.
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
Odelia is a product designer who strives to create meaningful and accessible healthcare experiences. She brings an interdisciplinary approach to her work, drawing on her experiences in user research and behavioural neuroscience to uncover insights for improving health and well-being. She believes that design can play a key part in shaping how we interact with the healthcare system and is passionate about using thoughtful and inclusive design to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
Andrea completed her undergraduate degree at Mount Royal University (BSc) in Calgary, AB. During her time at Mount Royal she found a passion for research and further developed her skills by attending graduate school in Ontario (Ontario Tech University). Her thesis looked at the acute cardiopulmonary responses to exercise in healthy older adults (MHSc). Now back in Calgary, she is excited to be a part of the UCAN CAN-DU project under the supervision of Dr. Susa Benseler.
Marlie Valencia is a Research Coordinator at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Marlie is the newest addition to Dr. Susa Benseler’s research team and works closely with Andrea Linares and Michaela Grice. Marlie’s role in UCAN CAN-DU includes screening potential participants, consenting eligible participants, and conducting follow-up visits.
Marlie completed her undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Health Sciences) at McMaster University and began doing research as an Undergraduate Research Student. After completing her undergraduate degree, Marlie began working for McMaster University as a Clinical Research Coordinator and has worked in numerous departments including Pediatric Neurooncology, Pediatric Endocrinology, General Surgery, and Surgical Oncology.
Marlie is passionate about creating a positive research experience for patients and their families and is looking forward to being a part of the UCAN CAN-DU team!
Manzuma is a Research Assistant in the Research Support Unit of the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. She is a foreign trained physician. She received her MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) from the University of Dhaka. She completed her M.Sc. in Human Anatomy and Cell Science from the University of Manitoba. During her master’s she worked on the neural mechanism of the cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness component in developing resilience to Post traumatic stress injuries among the public safety personnel. She also worked in a pilot study of High-Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (HD-tDCS) in refractory status epilepticus. She has been awarded “University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (UMGF),2020; Ralph A Mann Award,2021; Faculty of Graduate Studies Research Completion Award, 2021” for her academic and research excellence.
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.
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.
Zahra is a Clinical Research Project Assistant on the UCAN CAN-DU project. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Toronto, and a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research from Seneca College. She has previous experience assisting in sponsor-initiated Cardiac and Orthopaedic clinical trials. Zahra looks forward to being a part of the UCAN CAN-DU team, and making a contributing towards an enlightened understanding of paediatric rheumatology.
Dhivya is the Product manager of UCAN product. With a passion for creating monetizable products which generate value to health and well-being of people, her driving force is to make healthcare more accessible through technology. Recognized for her ability to identify and enable cross-functional synergies, she has worked on large EMR systems and has supported healthcare organizations globally. With medical electronics engineering background, she comes with more than six years of experience in quality and product management of population health systems.
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.
Ramandeep Kaur graduated with masters’ degree in Human Nutritional Sciences from the University of Manitoba. Currently, working as a Research Coordinator at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba.
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.
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.
Amy is a Clinical Research Project Coordinator on the UCAN CAN-DU project at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). She completed her B.Sc. in life science and her M.Sc. in physiology at the University of Toronto. Her graduate project focused on the development of imaging tool to screen for fetal anemia. She worked in the Division of Cardiology at SickKids as a research assistant prior to joining the UCAN team. He is looking forward to joining and working with the UCAN CAN-DU team.
Bruno is a Data Analyst on the UCAN CAN-DU project at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). He completed his B.Sc. in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Toronto. He worked for the Provart Lab at the University of Toronto prior to joining the UCAN team, building data processing, visualization and analysis tools. He is looking forward to joining and working with the UCAN CAN-DU team.
Olivia has a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics from the University of Guelph and a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research from Humber College. She started with The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Spring 2022 as an intern and is currently a Clinical Research Project Assistant working on the UCAN CAN-DU project. She looks forward to working with and being a part of the UCAN CAN-DU team.
Sinamys is a Clinical Research Project Assistant on the UCAN CAN-DU project at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). With a B.Sc. in Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of Toronto, she has three years of research experience focused on Child Social Cognition and Development. Sinamys is excited to be a part of the UCAN CAN-DU team as we aim to better support patients and families through advancing our understanding of Pediatric Rheumatology.