Research Trainees

Adalberto Loyola-Sánchez

Adalberto Loyola-Sánchez

MD, MSc, PhD

Cummings School of Medicine, University of Calgary

About

Adalberto Loyola-Sánchez is a post-doctoral trainee, who completed his PhD with Julie Richardson at the School of Rehabilitation Science in McMaster University. His PhD research developed a program of research to design, implement and evaluate Community Based Rehabilitation programs for people living with arthritis in Mexican underserved communities. He is currently working with a Mayan community in Yucatán, SouthEast Mexico.Adalberto brings excellent skills in quantitative and qualitative research methods. He will be supervised by Cheryl Barnabe and will work with the Siksika First Nation developing a case manager model for people living with arthritis and other chronic co-morbidities.
Alix St-Aubin

Alix St-Aubin

BSc, MSc Candidate

Faculty of Medicine, University Laval

About

Alix is pursuing a Master of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences degree in the Faculty of Medicine at University Laval (UL) under the supervision of Dr. Paul R. Fortin. Alix received a bachelor degree in Kinesiology and after specialized in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation. Her main research interests involve the role of exercise in the standard care of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Alix also works on the predictive value of the fitness level of patients suffering from systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE).  
Alyssa Howren

Alyssa Howren

BSc, MSc Candidate

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences,University of British Columbia

About

Alyssa is pursuing a Master of Science degree in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia (UBC) under the supervision of Dr. Mary De Vera. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree (Cell Biology in Genetics) from UBC. Alyssa enters her MSc degree with over five years of clinical research experience as a Research Assistant at BC Children’s Hospital (Orthopaedic Surgery) and St. Paul’s Hospital (Cardiovascular Surgery).

Alyssa’s Master’s thesis is centered on an innovative project evaluating how inter-professional collaborative care can be supported with electronic health technologies (eHealth) to improve treatment adherence and health outcomes of patients with gout. For her thesis, Alyssa will apply mixed methods – combining quantitative and qualitative approaches – to explore how patients perceive and experience the eHealth supported collaborative model of care.

Clayon Hamilton

Clayon Hamilton

BSc, MSc, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

About

Clayon completed his PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, with emphasis on Measurement and Methods in Musculoskeletal Health Research, from Western University. In his PhD dissertation, he took a transdisciplinary look at the measurement of illness perception and behavior across a continuum of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.

As a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Knowledge Translation at Arthritis Research Canada and UBC, Clayon is focused on building research projects around ‘patient as partners’ in research.

Flora To-Miles

Flora To-Miles

MSc, PhD Candidate

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

About

Flora To-Miles is a practicing occupation therapist and a doctoral student in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of British Columbia, under the supervision of Dr. Catherine Backman. Flora received her Masters of Science degree (Occupational Therapy) at Western University and her Bachelor of Arts Honors degree (Psychology) at Queen’s University.

Flora has been involved with various research projects and laboratories with the above universities, focusing on rehabilitation, work, and psychology. Her current research interests involve applying a classification method on daily activities based on the characteristics of those activities. The goal is to explore the association between activity patterns and well-being in adults with inflammatory arthritis, focusing on biomarkers as indications. This would ultimately inform activity guidelines for those living with arthritis, enhancing quality of life.

Jean-Francois Esculier

Jean-Francois Esculier

MSc, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow

University of British Columbia

About

Jean-Francois Esculier completed his bachelor of physiotherapy at the University of Ottawa and his Masters and PhD at Laval University. Over the past few years, he has conducted studies on running-related knee pain (treatment approaches, biomechanics, footwear), and shows particular interest for clinical research. He is currently doing his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia with Dr Michael Hunt. Their team is investigating the association between running and knee joint health in people with and without knee osteoarthritis. Jean-Francois is also an active clinician practicing as a physiotherapist at the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Clinic at UBC.

Jenny Leese

Jenny Leese

MA, PhD Candidate

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

About

Jenny Leese is a doctoral student in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of British Columbia, under the supervision of Dr. Linda Li. Jenny received her Masters of Arts degree and her Joint Honours Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Leeds, U.K.

Jenny has been involved in multiple research studies at ARC, focusing on evaluating new approaches in knowledge translation that will support self-management in musculoskeletal care. Her current research interests involve ethics, patient engagement, and e-health.

Ju Ann Tan

Ju Ann Tan

BSc, MSc Candidate

Department of Experimental Medicine, University of British Columbia

About

Ju Ann is currently pursuing her MSc in Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr Antonio Avina-Zubieta. She completed her subspecialty training in Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology/Allergy in Australia prior to coming to Canada, where she hopes to broaden her research skills and develop an understanding of the standards of care and burden of autoimmune diseases in the Canadian population. Her main research interests are in vasculitis and lupus. Her MSc thesis is focused on the mortality of ANCA-associated vasculitis, a rare disease that causes inflammation of small blood vessels and carries a high death rate if untreated.
Kiana Yazdani

Kiana Yazdani

BSc, MSc Candidate

University of British Columbia

About

Kiana Yazdani is pursuing her Masters of Science in Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Diane Lacaille. Kiana completed her Bachelor of Science in Biology at Shiraz University in Iran. She was the core member of the Central Council of the Scientific Association of Biology Students and Managing Editor of the Biotechnology Journal of Shiraz University. Kiana has a deep interest in medical and clinical research and for her MSc thesis, she will be looking at secular trends in the risk of cardiovascular diseases in rheumatoid arthritis relative to the general population.

Lingyi Li

Lingyi Li

BSc, MSc Candidate

Department of Experimental Medicine, University of British Columbia

About

Lingyi Li is currently undertaking her Master of Science under the supervision of Dr. Antonio Aviña-Zubieta. She completed her bachelor of public health at Beihua University in Jililn City, China.

Her thesis is a general population-based study related to improved survival in dermatomyositis and polymyositis. This study will assess mortality trends for individuals with dermatomyositis and polymyositis in recent years.

Logan Trenaman

Logan Trenaman

BSc, MSc, PhD Candidate

Clinical Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation

About

Logan Trenaman has received a prestigious doctoral fellowship award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (supervisor: Nick Bansback). Logan will study the economics of patient centred care. He will focus on how much patients value it and how providers can be incentivised to provide it. This will merge evidence, technology and value to health policy. It could assist Ministries of Health to determine whether reimbursement can be used to improve patient centre care in a cost-effective manner.
Mohammad Atiquzzaman

Mohammad Atiquzzaman

M. Pharm., PhD Student

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia

About

Mohammad is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC under the supervision of Dr. Aslam Anis. Mohammad’s research focus is primarily on Osteoarthritis (OA). He is currently investigating the role of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the association between OA and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases using population level health administrative data.

Mohammad earned his Master of Pharmacy degree from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2005. Before coming to UBC as a graduate student, Mohammad has worked in the pharmaceutical industries in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Mohammad has also worked as a visiting research scholar at the College of Pharmacy in the University of Kentucky for two years. He was involved in research on complex drug delivery systems and has published a paper on these results.

Currently, Mohammad holds a Teaching Assistant position at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Mohammad is also affiliated with the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHEOS) and Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) at UBC.

  

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick

BSc, MSc, PhD Candidate

Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia

About

Natalie is a doctoral student with the Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC. She uses administrative health data to investigate the burden of systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARDs) in BC. SARDs (including lupus, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, myositis, and systemic vasculitis) have shared pathogenesis, systemic manifestations, and treatments, but have traditionally been studied as separate disorders rather than as a group, which is a less-efficient approach

She earned a B.Sc. in Biology (Cell Biology and Genetics) from UBC and began her graduate studies in the Faculty’s Master’s program in 2009. Her M.Sc. thesis, completed under the supervision of Dr. Carlo Marra and Dr. Antonio Avina-Zubieta, used administrative healthcare data from Population Data BC to quantify the healthcare use and costs of all SARD cases in BC over 12 years (1996-2010). Because SARDs are rare, the burden on the healthcare system and greater Canadian economy from these chronic inflammatory disorders has gone unappreciated by policymakers, limiting advances in research and care.

In April 2012 she earned her M.Sc. degree, but while completing the analysis it was apparent the longitudinal trends observed in healthcare costs for SARD cases warranted more in-depth investigation. Of note, hospital use and costs appear to be declining in this population while long-term medication costs and use are increasing. In September 2012 she embarked on her PhD studies under Drs. Marra and Avina-Zubieta. The administrative dataset she used for her M.Sc. studies has been updated, allowing her to examine the incremental costs of SARDs in more detail, along with the pattern of health resource use and cost trajectories for SARD patients over the disease course, and cost drivers.

However, the costs of SARDs extend beyond the provincial healthcare system and impact the Canadian economy as a whole. Patients are typically diagnosed during the second to fourth decades, and with serious complications potentially arising within five years of diagnosis, patients are restricted in their ability to earn a living and care for their families during their peak working and reproductive years. Therefore, to quantify the broader impact SARDs have on patients, families, and businesses, and gain further insight into potentially-modifiable cost drivers, she plans to collect longitudinal data directly from SARD patients on productivity losses and quality-of-life, and eventually link this data to their administrative healthcare data. It is anticipated this innovative research will better inform policymakers when allocating scarce health resources and evaluating the expensive but potentially more-effective therapies emerging for SARDs.

Nicole Tsao

Nicole Tsao

BSc(Pharm), MSc Pharm, PhD Candidate

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, University of British Columbia

About

Nicole is a practicing pharmacist and a doctoral student in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia. Nicole received her Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from UBC, and her Master of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, Pharmacoeconomics at University of Florida. Nicole has been involved with various research projects focusing on interdisciplinary care and the role of pharmacists in rheumatology.

Her current research involves evaluating the safety of biologic medications in women with autoimmune disease during pregnancy, along with the impact on infants exposed to biologics in utero. Nicole’s PhD is supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Doctoral Research Award, where she ranked 10th in Canada. She has also received awards from CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Heath and Arthritis, Canadian Arthritis Network, and Rx & D Health Research Foundation.

Samuel Antoine

Samuel Antoine

BSc, MPH, PhD Candidate

School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia

About

Samuel Antoine completed his MPH from the Department of Public Health at the St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada. He has spent three years at the Ministry of Health as the Health Information Officer /Epidemiologist before going to UBC to pursue a doctoral degree in Health Care and Epidemiology at the School of Population and Public Health. He is currently working as a research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Jacek Kopec at Arthritis Research Canada (ARC).

Samuel’s research mainly focuses on population-based microsimulation models and their application in epidemiology and public health. In Samuel’s thesis, he will use POHEM-OA (Population Health Model of Osteoarthritis), a microsimulation model developed by Kopec et al. and Statistics Canada, to forecast the impact of using painkillers for osteoarthritis (OA) on health-related quality of life in Canada.

Sharan Rai

Sharan Rai

BSc, MSc

Department of Experimental Medicine, University of British Columbia

About

Sharan first joined the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada (ARC) as a volunteer member of the Arthritis Patient Advisory Board (APAB), where she contributed her consumer perspective to various research projects. Following completion of her Bachelor of Science (Cell Biology & Genetics) degree at the University of British Columbia (UBC), she enrolled in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Experimental Medicine at UBC under the supervision of Drs. Hyon Choi and Antonio Aviña-Zubieta. Her thesis will investigate the risk of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis among patients with psoriatic disease. Sharan is a 2013 UCBeyond Scholarship winner.
Siyi Zhu

Siyi Zhu

PhD Candidate

University of British Columbia and the Sichuan University

About

Siyi Zhu is a PhD Candidate in a joint training program between the University of British Columbia and the Sichuan University (Chengdu, China). His doctoral research in China, supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), focuses on investigating the bio-mechanisms of physical therapies in treating knee osteoarthritis and evaluating these therapies’ clinical efficacy. His current research under the supervision of Dr. Linda Li involves evaluating the effectiveness of a remote physical activity counselling program for people with knee osteoarthritis. Siyi’s training in Canada is funded by a state scholarship for academic PhD students provided by the China Scholarship Council.
Stephanie Harvard

Stephanie Harvard

PhD Candidate

University of British Columbia, Université Pierre et Marie Curie

About

Stephanie Harvard is a PhD Candidate in a joint program between the University of British Columbia and the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris, France). Her doctoral research, supported by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and L’Ambassade de France au Canada, focuses on the cost-effectiveness of adherence to clinical guidelines in spondyloarthritis.

Stephanie has worked as a writer and researcher in a number of health research organizations, including UBC’s School of Population and Public Health and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. At the Centre for Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CHEOS) at Providence Health, she is currently involved in facilitating communication between researchers, administrators, and other decision-makers.

Tita Szlachetka

Tita Szlachetka

BSc, MD, MSc Candidate

Department of Experimental Medicine, University of British Columbia

About

Tita Szlachetka is pursuing a Master of Science in Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Diane Lacaille.  Tita completed her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Life Sciences at the University of British Columbia followed by medical school at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.  Her research is focused on rheumatoid arthritis.

For her MSc thesis, Tita will be looking at the relationship between disease activity and cognitive function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.  Tita is interested in the musculoskeletal system and her research here will be a great asset going into clinical practice in the future.

Wei Zhang

Wei Zhang

MSc, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow

Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, University of British Columbia

About

Wei Zhang is a Postdoctoral Fellow and a Health Economist at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences at the University of British Columbia. Wei earned her Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Ottawa in 2003 and completed her PhD at the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia in August 2013.

 

Wei’s primary research interests include measurement and valuation of work productivity loss, economic evaluation, and pharmaceutical policy. Wei’s postdoctoral research is to measure and compare the effect of different chronic diseases on absenteeism and labour force participation in Canada, under the supervision of Dr. Aslam Anis and Dr. Mieke Koehoorn.