Learn About Our Current Students

Araniy Santhireswaran
Araniy is a MSc student in the Pharmaceutical Sciences program at the University of Toronto. Prior to her graduate studies, Araniy completed her undergraduate studies at the Toronto Metropolitan University in Biomedical Sciences. She was also awarded an NSERC USRA where she pursued research in molecular cell biology. Araniy’s Master’s thesis project focuses on using real-world evidence to understand the impact of Canadian prescription drug shortages on population-level drug utilization trends. Through the skills she gains at Leslie Dan, she hopes to contribute to innovative and evidence-based systemic solutions in improving drug access, safety and effectiveness.
Shanzeh Chaudhry
Shanzeh is a graduate student, completing her MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the UofT Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. She completed her BSc in Chemistry at Queen’s University. She is currently working with Dr. Mina Tadrous, with research focusing on pharmacoepidemiology, drug safety and drug policy, with a specific interest in post-marketing surveillance. Shanzeh uses large data sets to answer questions about the impacts of health interventions and communications. She is also a recipient of the CGS-M award, funded by CIHR, and co-president of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Association at UofT.
Shaleesa Ledlie
Shaleesa is a PhD student in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toronto Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. She previously completed her Master of Public Health within the Division of Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health in 2020. Shaleesa’s primary research interests include pharmacoepidemiologic research methods as well as drug safety, utilization, and policy. Her thesis focuses on understanding how various pathways of care such as treatment for opioid use disorder, impact future health outcomes among people hospitalized due to an opioid toxicity.
Shenthuraan Tharmarajah
Shenthuraan is a 2nd year PhD student in the Pharmaceutical Sciences program at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. He is co-supervised by Dr. Mina Tadrous and Dr. Sara Guilcher. Previously, he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at New York University and Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition at Columbia University. Shenthuraan’s research interest lies in better understanding the safety of antirheumatic medications in pregnancy. His work aims to generate real-world evidence that will improve the care of pregnant individuals and optimize maternal and neonatal outcomes.
Yuti Patel
Yuti is a flex-time PhD Pharmaceutical Sciences student at the University of Toronto, as well as a Market Access professional at Hoffmann-La Roche Canada. Prior to starting her PhD, Yuti received her Master of Biotechnology at the University of Toronto (Mississauga). Her current research focuses on accessing research methods for evaluating drugs for rare diseases in real-world studies. The aim of this research is to better inform the appropriate use of certain methods when conducting real world (outside of the RCT setting) for rare disease drug evaluation. She aspires to use the ODPRN training to apply a policy lens to her research in order to improve drug access and health outcomes for patients with rare diseases.

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. Below are the students enrolled in the 2023 Drug Policy Research 101 program.

Aliyah King

Aliyah is a first-year Medical Doctorate (MD) student at the University of Ottawa. Prior to the MD program, Aliyah completed three years of the University of Windsor’s Behaviour, Cognition, and Neuroscience undergraduate program. Her current research focuses on Skin of Colour dermatology and surgical oncology. She has joined the ODPRN program to expand her knowledge of drug policy in order to provide optimal, accessible, and effective patient care. Outside of medicine, she enjoys figure skating. 

Andrea He

Andrea is an M.Sc. student in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, supervised by Dr. Jillian Kohler. Her current research focuses on understanding and addressing the issue of substandard and falsified medical products. Before starting her graduate studies, Andrea graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Immunology. Currently, she also works as a research assistant at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Governance, Accountability, and Transparency in the Pharmaceutical Sector.

Anna Dion

Anna is a postdoctoral fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, where her work focuses on strengthening public involvement in research on substance use in pregnancy and parenting. Anna is also a Research Associate with Participatory Research at McGill (PRAM) and a Fellow with the McMaster Midwifery Research Centre. Anna completed her doctoral degree at the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University focused on broadening what counts as expertise in the context of perinatal health of underserved populations in Canada. Prior to joining the CHEO RI, Anna supported the provincial implementation of Ontario Health Teams and has over ten years experience working to support maternal, newborn and child health internationally.

Anna Hofstra

Anna is a Medical Writer, Registered Pharmacist, guest lecturer, and PharmD student at the University of Toronto. Anna graduated with distinction from Dalhousie University with her BSc(Pharmacy) and amassed experience in community, hospital, and long-term care.
Her passion for evidence-based medicine and knowledge translation led her to pursue medical writing where she generates clinically relevant and medically accurate information for diverse audiences. As an ODPRN student, she hopes to expand her knowledge of policy-making, critically appraise research findings, and develop more inclusive educational content.

Autumn Chen

Autumn is a PharmD Candidate at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto. Before the PharmD program, she received an Honours Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto. She has various experiences working in retail pharmacy, hospital, industry and research that has led to an interest in medication safety and access. She wishes to utilize her experiences and knowledge to provide equitable care, inform health decisions, improve medication access, and contribute to drug policy decision-making. Participating in ODPRN will help to build capacity in these areas.

Karla Ghartey

Karla is originally from and currently resides in Sudbury, Ontario which is located on the traditional lands of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek and also the Wahnapitae First Nations, or its traditional name Wahnapitaeping. She is a professor in Nursing at Cambrian College and is also a part of the inaugural cohort of the Doctor of Public Health Program at the University of Toronto. Her passion is her family and community, and she is a strong advocate for evidence-based drug policies and harm reduction. She strives to make space and acknowledge the expertise of persons who have lived and living experience using unregulated substances and their vital contributions in battling the current drug toxicity crisis in Canada and her community. She is one of the founding members of the Sudbury Temporary Overdose Prevention Society (STOPS) and a member of the Harm Reduction Nurses Association. Always remember, HARM REDUCTION SAVES LIVES.

Lauren Tailor

Lauren is a PhD student in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto. Lauren is supervised by Dr. Sara Guilcher. Her thesis work focuses on co-developing, implementing, and evaluating a toolkit intervention that aims to improve medication self-management among adults with spinal cord injury/dysfunction. Prior to starting her PhD, Lauren completed her Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toronto in 2019. Lauren is also a Research Associate at the Institute for Better Health at Trillium Health Partners, where she supports Dr. Kerry Kuluski’s research portfolio on patient and family centred care.

Lynn D’Souza

Lynn is a fourth year Doctor of Pharmacy candidate at the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy. Throughout her PharmD, she has worked in hospital settings and advocacy/government relations, which sparked her passion for optimizing medication safety and increasing access to healthcare. Her research interests include clinical oncology, benefit-risk assessments and decreasing barriers to care for vulnerable populations.

Nicholas Bakewell

Nicholas is a PhD student in Health Services Research at the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto working under the supervision of Professor Therese Stukel. Currently, his thesis aims to explore polypharmacy in older populations using electronic health records, with a particular focus on pharmacoepidemiologic methods. Prior to starting his PhD, he completed an MSc in Medical Statistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an undergraduate degree in Applied Statistics at the University of Toronto. More information about Nicholas’s research, education, and past work experience can be found here

Samir Barghout

Samir is a pharmacist, researcher, and instructor. He holds a BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Tanta University in Egypt, an MSc from the University of Alberta, and a PhD from the University of Toronto. Samir is broadly interested in translational and clinical pharmacology with emphasis on cancer therapeutics. Currently, he is conducting postdoctoral research at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in the scope of cancer pharmacoepidemiology. His research is focused on real-world observational studies in malignancies with rare molecular alterations. More information about Samir’s background, experiences and research can be found here.

Sanskruti Patel

Sanskruti is a first year Master of Public Health student specializing in Public Health Policy at the University of Ottawa. Prior to graduate studies, she completed my undergraduate degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology at McGill University. Sanskruti is interested in understanding how to make health systems more efficient through pharmacoeconomic analyses, as well as ways to improve access to healthcare for vulnerable groups, including those struggling with opioid use disorder. Through the ODPRN, she looks forward to further learning how to create evidence-based policies to improve population health.

Shari-Lee Smith

Shari-Lee is a Pharmacist and final year candidate in the PharmD for Pharmacists program at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto. Prior to this, they received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (Hons.) from the University of Technology, Jamaica and was awarded ‘Best All-Round Student’ in the final year of the program.  Shari-Lee has served on the executive of the Pharmaceutical Society of Jamaica, advocating on behalf of other pharmacists. Since moving to Canada, they have been practicing in the community, with an interest in research optimizing women’s health and performing health technology assessments. Shari-Lee has worked in various hospital and private consultative roles which has helped to drive their passion.

Tyler Schneider

Tyler is a first-year MSc eHealth student at McMaster University. Tyler previously graduated from the Doctor of Pharmacy program at the University of Toronto, and works as a community pharmacist. Previously, he conducted research about insulin spending and price between Canada and the United States. He is interested in using big data in healthcare to contribute to health and drug policy.

Amy (Xuejun) Liu

Lauren Cadel

Maria Alix Co

Ria Garg

Shakiru Alaka

Yhesaem Park

Learn about our alumni students here.

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