Learn About Our Current Students

The ODPRN Student Training Program aims to engage with students to develop capacity in drug policy research in Ontario. Our program provides students from across Ontario the opportunity to access online training, webinars and networking with scientific academic researchers and ministry representatives. Students enrolled in the 2020 Drug Policy Research 101 program will begin in January 2020.


Shreedhar Acharya


Oluwakemi Aderibigbe


Valentina Antonipillai


Laura Bennett

This September, Laura began graduate school at the University of Toronto Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, where she is studying synaptic plasticity in the spinal cord associated with persistent pain. When she started reading about treatment options for persistent pain she realized how often opioids are prescribed. She wanted to learn more about drug policy surrounding opioid distribution. Laura is enthusiastic about science communication and an avid hockey player in her spare time. She is looking forward to meeting her fellow ODPRN classmates and impacting future drug policy in Ontario!”


Sarah Cullingham


Kaley (Kaleen) Hayes

Kaley is a pharmacist and PhD Candidate in Epidemiology at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health, specializing in pharmacoepidemiology and comparative effectiveness research. Kaley is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2017. Her thesis focuses on the relative benefits and harms of different long-term osteoporosis pharmacotherapy strategies, and her other interests include clinical guideline and formulary development and pharmacy services research. 


Aliya Jaffer

Aliya is currently a pharmacist working in a community pharmacy in Scarborough. She completed her undergraduate BSc in Life Sciences at McMaster and then completed her Master of Pharmacy degree in Nottingham in the UK. Aliya developed a special interest in health technology assessment and pharmacoeconomics while she studied in the UK and is now completing her MSc in Health Research Methodology with a specialization in Health Technology Assessment at McMaster University. Aliya aims to pursue a career where she can combine her pharmaceutical knowledge with her research expertise to evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness of new drugs and clinical services.


Kadesha (Kay) James

Kay earned her honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, double majoring in Physiology and Psychology. During her final year, she was a research assistant in a Department of Psychology lab and designed a study exploring cognitive differences and similarities between students with ADHD and students taking stimulants for the purpose of academic performance. Kay is currently a Master of Science student in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto. Her current research project is focused on understanding the self-management experiences of adults taking chronic medications.


Asvini Keethakumar

Asvini Keethakumar is a Master of Science candidate in the Faculty of Health at York University. Her thesis examines the association between early menarche and premature birth, using a pregnancy-based prospective cohort study housed at Mount Sinai Hospital. Overall, her research aims to investigate a wide range of national and international population health trends. Asvini’s work has spanned various disciplines, with interests in patient-centered care, healthcare optimization, medical decision-making, maternal-child health, and substance use. She is also keen on bridging the gap between research and policy, through evidence synthesis, knowledge translation, and stakeholder engagement.


Lauren Killin


Kristen Morin


Laura Murphy

Laura Murphy, PharmD, ACPR, BScPhm is a pharmacist in the Comprehensive Integrated Pain Program at Toronto Rehab, and a Pharmacy Clinical Leader at University Health Network.  She is completing a part-time MSc this year through the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, with supervisor Dr. Beth Sproule.  Her research is focused on examining the use of extended-release opioids at shortened intervals, with a related project on changes in dispensing of extended-release opioids over time.


Abdelhady Osman

Abdelhady is an MSc candidate in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University, where he also graduated with a Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree in Physiology and Pharmacology. His thesis will study the impact of psychotropic and cardiovascular medications on gait and mobility in older adults. His research interests include pharmacoepidemiology and administrative data.


Indhu Rammohan


Nigar Sekercioglu


Inthuja Selvaratnam


Ahmad Shakeri

Ahmad is a second year Master of Science student at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Toronto. His thesis examines the impact of policy changes on the delivery of medication review services among adults with diabetes in Ontario.


Nima Tourchian

Nima is a first-year master’s student in the Pharmaceutical Sciences program at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. He did his undergraduate degree in Psychology (BSc Hons) at York University, where he became interested in the study of polypharmacy. Broadly, he is interested in investigating the predictors of successful treatment using pharmaceutical drugs. In his free time, he loves to go backpacking, travel, and play chess.


Learn about our alumni students here.

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