Our Team

Tara Gomes 

Headshot Gomes

Program Director

Tara Gomes is an epidemiologist, lead Principal Investigator of the ODPRN and a Scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and ICES. She is also an assistant professor at the University of Toronto and holds a Canada Research Chair in Drug Policy Research and Evaluation. Her research program focuses on pharmacoepidemiology, drug safety and drug policy research, with a specific interest in developing evidence to inform policies related to the safety of opioid use across Canada.

Tony Antoniou 

Senior Investigator

Tony Antoniou is a scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and ICES, as well as an associate professor at the University of Toronto. His areas of research include drug safety, drug interactions at the population level, and drug policy evaluation

Emily Schneider

Research Coordinator

Emily is the research coordinator with the ODPRN. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Studies (biology and chemistry minors). Emily is responsible for managing social media platforms and assists with knowledge translation materials and administrative tasks.

Alice Holton

Senior Research Associate

Alice Holton is a Senior Research Associate at the ODPRN. She completed a PhD in Pharmacoepidemiology, MPharm, BSc (Pharm) and PgDip in Health Professions Education at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), and a Professional Diploma in Health Economics at the IPA Dublin. Her research interests include medication use, alcohol consumption, healthcare utilization, adverse outcomes, and older adults.

Bisola Hamzat

Epidemiologist

Bisola is an epidemiologist with the ODPRN based at St. Michael’s Hospital. She received a Master of Science in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Western University and has completed a Bachelor of Medical Sciences with an Honours Specialization in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Tianru Wang

Research Analyst

Tianru is a Research Analyst with the ODPRN based at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). She received her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from Dalla Lana School of Public Health and completed her Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto.

Mina Tadrous 

Director, Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Policy

Dr. Mina Tadrous is an assistant professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and a scientist at Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care. He is also an ICES adjunct scientist. Mina’s research interests lie in drug policy research and the post-marketing surveillance of safety and effectiveness of medications.

Dana Shearer

Research Program Manager and Lead, Knowledge Translation and Engagement

Dana is the Lead of Knowledge Translation and Engagement at the ODPRN. She holds a Master of Arts in Social Gerontology & Health Studies from McMaster University as well as an undergraduate Honours Bachelor of Arts in Comprehensive Psychology from Wilfred Laurier University. Dana implements various dissemination strategies to increase awareness of ODPRN research; develops knowledge translation material and communication tools that summarize research findings; and builds stakeholder and patient engagement including managing the ODPRN Citizens’ Panel and the Ontario Opioid Drug Observatory (OODO) Lived Experience Advisory Group.

Samantha Singh 

Project Manager

Samantha is a Senior Research Project Manager with the ODPRN based at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital. She received her Bachelor of Science through York University. She is responsible for managing the ODPRN research portfolio.

Anita Iacono

Epidemiologist (Parental Leave 2023-2024)

Anita is an epidemiologist with the ODPRN based at St. Michael’s Hospital. She holds a Master of Science in Public Health and Health Systems (Epidemiology and Biostatistics) and a Bachelor of Science in Health Studies (Gerontology minor).

Daniel McCormack

Research Analyst

Daniel is a research analyst with the ODPRN and is based out of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). He received his Master of Science in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa and previously completed a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at McGill University.

Joanna Yang

Research Analyst

Joanna is a Research Analyst with the ODPRN based at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). She received her Master of pharmacy from Peking University.

Trainees

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.

Araniy Santhireswaran

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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.

Shenthuraan Tharmarajah

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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.

Ria Garg

Ria is a PhD student in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Toronto Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. She completed her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of British Columbia in 2022 and works part-time as a community pharmacist. Ria’s research interest include application of pharmacoepidemiology study design methods to evaluate drug safety and effectiveness. Her thesis focuses on evaluating novel methadone prescribing practices for opioid use disorder and its impact on patient care outcomes.

Shanzeh Chaudhry

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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.

Yuti Patel

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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.

Students

Sadia Akbar

Sadia is a part-time research student with the ODPRN and an incoming Master of Public Health in Epidemiology student at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree at Queen’s University in 2024.  

Felix Xu

Felix is currently working as a summer student for the ODPRN under the Keenan Research Summer Student Program. He is a third-year student in the Bachelor of Health Sciences program at Queen’s University.

William Wynne

William is a research student with the ODPRN under the supervision of Dr. Gomes. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto, where he majored in Health Studies and Global Health. He seeks to further specialize in health policy with his upcoming MSc in Translational Health Sciences at the University of Oxford.

Dalen Koncz

Dalen is a research student working with the ODPRN as part of the Keenan Research Summer Student program at St. Michael’s Hospital. He is a student at McMaster University, majoring in Health & Society.

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