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. In 2019, we are pleased to welcome the following students:
Laila Abu Esba
Laila is a clinical pharmacist at King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with a MSc degree in Infectious Diseases and a candidate of the doctor of pharmacy program at the University of Toronto. She holds a joint teaching position with the faculty of Pharmacy at King Saud University. She is interested in formulary management in large health care systems. Besides being an active member of the pharmacy and therapeutics committee, she is also leading the pharmacovigilance program at her institution and is interested in research related to implementing policies that minimize harm related to drugs, pharmacoeconomics, and methods that improve the drug selection decision-making process. She is currently involved in a national working group to address oncology pharmacoeconomics on a national level.
Mandana is a master’s candidate in epidemiology and public health at the University of Ottawa. She also previously completed her Ph.D in Neuroscience at the University of Ottawa. Mandana is currently working with the Workplace Mental Health team at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Center, where she is focusing on work-related stress and workplace mental health among Canadian immigrants. She also works as a data production officer for Statistics Canada, Health Statistics Division, Social, Health and Labour Statistics Field.
Anees is an MSc student in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Anees obtained his Honours BSc from the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University, his MD from the University of British Columbia, and is currently completing his Psychiatry Residency at Queen’s University. Anees’s current project focuses on identifying significant predictors of opioid overdose in Canada through a population-based retrospective cohort study. These factors might potentially be of value in providing targeted harm-reduction interventions to those who are most at risk of dying from an opioid overdose. A secondary project focuses on measuring the comparative effectiveness and safety of nabilone for the treatment of dementia (relative to antipsychotics) using ICES data.
Kristina is currently completing a Master of Science in Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy under the supervision of Dr. William Wong. Her primary area of research is pharmacoeconomics. For her thesis she plans to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of CAR T-cell therapies for treating lymphoma, and will interview scientists, health professionals, and policy-makers to better understand potential barriers to implementing CAR T in the Canadian healthcare system. She completed her undergraduate degree in 2017 at the University of Waterloo in Health Studies in the co-op program. She also worked for CADTH in the summers of 2017 and 2018, and assisted with many projects for the the pan Canadian Oncology Drug Review.
Sadaf Faisal is a licensed pharmacist in Ontario with over 10 years of experience. She is a Board-Certified Geriatric Pharmacist. Currently she is completing a Master of Science in Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo, School of Pharmacy. During this time her research is focus on medication use problems in seniors, with particular emphasis on medication management and adherence issues due to cognitive and physical frailty. Her thesis project during her master’s program is to study the integration and functionality of smart multi-dose packaging in older adults to address medication management. This research will help to determine whether their integration can positively impact caregivers and health care providers.
Kelly is an MSc student in epidemiology at the University of Ottawa. Her thesis project involves examining the attributable mortality and health system costs of sepsis using Ontario-wide data housed at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). Kelly is a Research Information Specialist with CADTH and has also worked for the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization Secretariat. Her research interests include methodology for health technology assessment and its application to drug policy decision-making.
Yichang is a Master of Science candidate at the School of Pharmacy of the University of Waterloo, having started his degree in September 2018. In April 2018, he completed his Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Life Sciences at Queen’s University, specializing in Drug Development and Human Toxicology. With his research field being broadly described as pharmacoepidemiology, his planned research is to investigate drug-associated malignant arrhythmia using Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) databases.
Kang-Wei is completing his Master of Public Health degree at Queen’s University. He completed a research practicum at Cystic Fibrosis Canada, evaluating the impact of research supported by Cystic Fibrosis Canada on knowledge production, commercialization, clinical practice, policies, and health and economic systems. Kang-Wei is also currently the Pharmacy Manager, Operations and Systems, at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC). He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Post-baccalaureate Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto and completed his clinical training at St. Michael’s Hospital. He practiced as an Internal Medicine Clinical Pharmacist at KHSC for several years before becoming the manager. His research interests relate to vaccinations, antimicrobial stewardship, and other public health strategies to address health equity gaps across populations.
Benard is pursuing his doctoral program in Health Policy at McMaster University. His current research interests include health system strengthening and health policy analyses that focus on improving public health outcomes. Benard completed his basic medical degree from Dr. MGR Medical University in India, and thereafter an MSc. Public Health from the University of South Wales in the United Kingdom and later an International Course in Health Development/Master of Public Health with a specialization in Tropical Medicine and HIV/AIDS at the Free University and KIT from the Netherlands. He has also completed graduate certificate courses in pharmaceutical policy analysis, pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety, and pharmacoeconomics at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
Frederick Morfaw is a PhD Student in Health Research Methodology at McMaster University. He holds an MD degree and a fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynecologist from the University of Yaounde Cameroon, and Masters in Public Health Research from the University of Edinburgh UK. He is a 2015 Young African Leadership Initiative Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni. His ambitions are to reduce to zero maternal mortality in Africa, and to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV by actively involving the male partners. His research interests lie in effectiveness of drugs, especially misoprostols, in the prevention of postpartum hemorrhage.
Behdad Navabi is a second year Pediatric Endocrinology fellow at CHEO, Ottawa. His main area of research currently is bone and cardiometabolic changes of transgender youth treated with puberty blockers and cross sex hormones as well as adolescent obesity. Behdad completed his Pediatric Residency at the University of Toronto and Ottawa. He also completed medical school and another Pediatric residency in Iran before coming to Canada in 2012. He has mainly been involved in clinical research using retrospective reviews.
Yasir Rehman is completing a Ph.D. in Health Research Methodology Program (HRM) at McMaster University with a research area focus on chronic pain including persistent post-surgical pain and patient-important outcomes such as return to work (RTW), functional disability and opioid prescribing practices. Yasir’s research mainly focuses on systematic reviews of prognostic studies and qualitative studies, specifically on predictors of persistent opioid use after surgery and network meta-analysis of various interventions in PTSD patients.
Stefanie Rezansoff is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, BC). Her program of research aims to improve the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy for people diagnosed with co-occurring severe mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia) and substance dependence. Stefanie’s research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, and L’Oréal Canada, with the support of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.
Ali Shajarizadeh is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Global health at the Department of Health Sciences, Wilfrid Laurier University. Ali has obtained his PhD in Economics from Department of Economics, University of Calgary. His research focused on different areas of Health Economics, specifically the economics of pharmaceutical industry, cost-effectiveness analysis, Economic evaluation, and Global health. Ali has strong modelling skills in both econometrics and economic theory and has published papers in Health Economics journals such as Health Economics and Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Ayesha Siddiqua is a PhD candidate in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact at McMaster University. For her thesis, she is examining social determinants of prevalence, development, and health service use of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder using a population level study. Ayesha has graduate level training in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method research methodologies, and has been involved in numerous projects in each of these research paradigms. Ayesha has significant interest in drug and technology policy research. She has completed several systematic reviews examining efficacy and safety of various drugs and food fortification agents to inform clinical practice guidelines as well as public health programs. Additionally, she has completed economic evaluations for health technologies and looks forward to enhancing her knowledge and skills for conducting such evaluations for drugs in the future.
Narthaanan Srimurugathasan is an entry-to-practice Doctor of Pharmacy student at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto. Narthaanan’s experiences span community pharmacy, government, academic teaching and community hospital practices. He is currently conducting a descriptive study of medication reviews conducted by primary care team pharmacists as part of an elective research course. His research interests include safe medication practices and cost effectiveness of medications in critical care settings.
Abhimanyu Sud is a family physician with a focused practice in chronic pain medicine and is an MSc student in health services research at the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. His research interests relate to chronic pain, mental illness and opioid use, health policies to address the opioid crisis and evaluating meditation as a public health intervention. He is particularly interested in the interaction of psychological and behavioural therapies with opioid use. His work is supported by an Investigator Award from the University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine and a Research Fellowship from the Medical Psychiatry Association.
Fan is a PhD student in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toronto. Fan obtained her Honours BSc and MSc from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto. Fan’s current project focuses on identifying novel mitochondrial DNA maintenance factors through a CRISPR screen. These factors might potentially be therapeutic targets of mitochondria-related diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
Sam is currently completing a General Internal Medicine Fellowship at the University of British Columbia and an Addiction Medicine Fellowship through the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use. She is also a Research in Addiction Medicine Scholar through Boston University, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). She will soon begin a Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology & Healthcare Research through the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and will be completing the UBC Clinician Investigator Program. She completed her Doctor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and residency training at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests relate to harm reduction strategies and opioid agonist therapy for opioid use disorder.