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 2022 Drug Policy Research 101 program will begin in January 2022.

Shanzeh Chaudhry

Shanzeh is an MSc Pharmaceutical Sciences student at the University of Toronto. Before starting her graduate studies, Shanzeh graduated from Queen’s University with an Honors BSc in Chemistry. Her current research focuses on studying the impact of safety announcements on the prescription of topical medications. Within her thesis work, she will explore the impacts of post-marketing surveillance and safety communication to further shape drug policy. She aspires to be a key contributor to drug policy changes by expanding her knowledge in pharmacoepidemiology methods, knowledge translation, and patient-focused research.

Catherine Deng

Catherine is a second-year Doctor of Pharmacy candidate at the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy. Prior to being admitted to the PharmD program, she studied the Honours Science undergraduate program at the University of Waterloo. Currently, she is working at Manulife Financial as a co-op student, as well as being a COVID-19 vaccine immunizer at her regional public health unit. Her key research interests lies in drug policy, pharmacoeconomics of drugs and improving access to medications for vulnerable populations. She hopes that through her research, she can optimize health outcomes in the most effective and efficient manner for patients.

Tara Dumont

Galo Ginocchio

Galo is a graduate student at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health pursuing a Master of Science in Community Health (Addictions and Mental Health). He conducts scientific activities as the research and quality improvement coordinator in the department of emergency medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital, and the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions. Galo is passionate about health equity, and his academic interests include positive psychology interventions, optimizing care for populations who presently & historically experience disadvantage, and creating a healthcare system that works for everyone.

Robin Gunning

Robin graduated from the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto in 2009. Subsequently, she completed a hospital pharmacy residency at Hamilton Health Sciences, and then worked for several years as a hospital pharmacist at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. During this time, she developed a strong interest in medication safety. Currently, she is enrolled in the PharmD for Pharmacists program at U of T. She became interested in pharmacoepidemiology and drug policy research after learning more about these fields of study through her PharmD courses. She was inspired to apply for the ODPRN Student Training Program, which provides an excellent opportunity to expand her knowledge and explore directions for her future career path.

Susan Ha

Susan Ha is a PharmD Candidate at University of Waterloo. Prior to beginning her PharmD journey, she studied Honours Science at University of Waterloo as a Conditional Admission to Pharmacy (CAP) student. Susan is currently a co-op student at Sunnybrook Health Sciences in the Odette Cancer Centre and is assisting with oncology research projects, such as analyzing granulocyte-colony stimulating factors (G-CSF’s) and cannabis use in cancer patients. She is passionate about improving access to optimal therapies and overall quality of life in people living with cancer and other chronic illnesses, and has joined the ODPRN program to explore more about medication use and accessibility.

Janet Jones

Janet Jones is a PhD candidate in Applied Philosophy at the University of Waterloo. She completed her MA and BA in Philosophy at Wilfrid Laurier University. Janet became interested in drug policy through her addictions advocacy work. Her dissertation looks at how we might dismantle, and not merely draw attention to, addiction stigma.

Jessica Kent

Jessica is a PGY3 Emergency Medicine Resident at the University of Toronto. She holds an MD from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, an MClSc. in Pathology from Western University and a BSc. (Hons) in Forensic Science from Laurentian University. She is interested in Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology and Addictions Medicine. Outside of medicine she enjoys spending time with her Dalmatian puppy Silvera.

Benson Law

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.

Sara Ling

Sara Ling is a PhD candidate at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto and is presently employed at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) where she has worked in direct care and leadership roles for the past 12 years. Sara completed a Master of Nursing with a Collaborative in Addictions Studies at the University of Toronto in 2014. Sara’s clinical/research interests include withdrawal management and care of people who use substances, sex and gender based analyses, and how drug policy impacts patient outcomes and experiences of care.

Linda Liu

Linda Liu graduated from the University of Toronto’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy in 2012 and has worked as a hospital pharmacist since. In her previous role as a pediatric oncology pharmacist in China, she has witnessed the challenges in healthcare received by children with cancer due to disparities in regional healthcare policies and patients’ socioeconomic status. Her research interests are the evaluation of oncology drugs and reimbursement policies. Currently, she is working on her PharmD degree at the University of Toronto and is excited to learn from everyone in the ODPRN program.

Liam Michaud

Rafael Neves Miranda

Rafael Miranda is a third-year PhD candidate at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation of the University of Toronto, in the Health Services Research program with emphasis in Health Technology Assessment. Before starting his PhD, he worked in the Brazilian public health system as a family dentist and oral health manager. His main research interests are in the fields of health economics and resource allocation, and particularly the use of decision models to inform policy decisions for public funding and the development of prioritization policies.

Olivia Nwaokocha

Olivia is a Doctor of Pharmacy candidate at the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy. She completed an Honours Bachelors of Science degree in biochemistry at the University of Guelph. Her recent work at Health Canada as a Junior corporate regulatory officer, helped pharmacies to improve drug safety by reporting and documenting suspicious transactions for narcotics and controlled substances. Her interest in drug policy research is a testament to her passion for increasing health accessibility and equity in various populations across Ontario. 

Katherine Saunders

Katie is a 2nd year Doctor of Pharmacy student at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about optimizing patient outcomes, demonstrated through her work experience at MedEssist, a digital health-care startup based in Toronto. Training pharmacists from all over Canada, Katie brings her knowledge of independent pharmacy practice management, pharmacy workflow best practices and pharmacy product testing to the ODPRN team and is excited to learn from others as well.

Alyssa Yang

Alyssa is in the first year of her MSc studies at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto (UofT). She holds an Honor’s Bachelor of Science with a Specialist in Neuroscience, Major in Cell and Systems Biology, and Minor in Physiology at UofT. Previously, Alyssa conducted research within the field of Neurodegenerative Diseases. Currently, her interests include drug policy and effectiveness. Alyssa’s loves spending time dining out at new restaurants and cafes, taking photos with a film camera, and going rock climbing!

Samantha Yau

Samantha is pursuing her Masters of Science in Community Health in Health Practitioner Teacher Education (HPTE) at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from the  University of Toronto, completed a Hospital Pharmacy Practice Residency at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and her Doctor in Pharmacy degree from the University of Florida. Samantha has completed the Board of Pharmacy Specialties’ Board Certification in Geriatrics Pharmacy, Education Scholars Program (ESP) from the University of Toronto, as well as, the Lean for Healthcare Certification from the University of Michigan.

Learn about our alumni students here.

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