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Research Staff

Michelle Avina

Michelle Avina

Research Assistant, BSc

Tel: 604.207.4040

About

Michelle earned her bachelor’s degree in Integrated Sciences from UBC in 2020. She started volunteering at Arthritis Research Canada in 2008 and now works as a research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Antonio Aviña-Zubieta. Outside of work, you can find her volunteering at a local kitten shelter or curled up with a good book.
Shireen Divecha

Shireen Divecha

Administrative Assistant

Tel: 604.207.4041

About

Shireen is an administrative assistant and provides administrative support to Dr. Linda Li and the research team at Arthritis Research Canada. Prior to joining Arthritis Research Canada, Shireen was an executive assistant at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and has over 12 years of experience supporting senior level executives.
Zahra Fazal

Zahra Fazal

Research Assistant

Tel: 604.207.4010

About

Zahra is currently in her third year at the University of British Columbia pursuing a degree in Global Health and Nutrition. She has previously worked in research related to health promotion education and data analytics with APOPO in Tanzania. At Arthritis Research Canada, she is a co-op student working on various projects that are under the supervision of Dr. Antonio Aviña-Zubieta, including the PRECISION, COVID-19 and INTACT projects. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and hiking.
June Kaminski

June Kaminski

Research Coordinator, RN, BSN, MSN, PhD Candidate

Tel: 604.207.4017

About

June has maternal blood ties to the Ketegaunseebee Anishnabai, Garden River First Nation in Northern Ontario. June is currently a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia (UBC), with a focus on critical pedagogy, e-learning and nursing informatics. She earned both her Bachelors and Masters of Nursing from UBC and has taught BSN nursing students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) since 1989. She is currently the Curriculum Coordinator for a hybrid BSN Post Baccalaureate program which integrates Aboriginal content and processes throughout the curriculum. In 2016, June was awarded the KPU Distinguished Teaching Award. She also teaches a course for the UBC Institute for Aboriginal Health and UBC Aboriginal Health and Community Administration program about information management, digital literacy, and community planning for information technology theory for community managers and health professionals. June has developed expertise in nursing informatics and is involved in a number of initiatives to support informatics competencies in nurses in Canada and internationally.

 
In 2012, June received the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) and Canada Health Infoway’s inaugural Nursing Faculty E-Health Award. This award recognizes nursing school faculty who demonstrate exceptional leadership and commitment to e-health in nursing education, and was part of a Clinicians-in-Training Initiative, aimed at improving the preparedness of graduates to work in a technology-enabled environment.June is President of the Canadian Nurses for Health and the Environment (CNHE), and encourages all Canadian nurses to become involved in promoting ecological sustainability on a national level. She feels the most logical source of sustainability wisdom that promotes ecological wholeness are traditional Aboriginal teachings and philosophies.June is working as a Research Coordinator at Arthritis Research Canada, helping Dr. Diane Lacaille to develop and pilot culturally-relevant arthritis wellness programs in partnership with Haida Gwaii and Kwakiutl District Council communities. She is also working on a Case Manager pilot project with these two communities to promote comprehensive community-based care for people with arthritis. She is dedicated to promoting Aboriginal health, education, and self-governance. She is also keenly interested in the use of emerging technologies to promote holistic health for all Canadians, including e-health, mobile devices, wearable tools, and telehealth initiatives.
Astrid Knight

Astrid Knight

Research Coordinator, MSc

Tel: 604.207.4005

About

Astrid Knight is a research coordinator with Diane Lacaille’s team. She received her MSc in Anthropology from the University of Oxford in 2010, and was awarded a Clarendon Scholarship for her graduate research into knowledge sharing and Inuit material culture. Bringing significant skills in community-engagement and collaborative research, Astrid has previously worked at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the University of Oxford.  
Alex Kwok

Alex Kwok

Research Assistant, MSc

Tel: 604.207.4017

About

Alex Kwok earned his MSc in Global Health from Maastricht University. He works as a research assistant to Dr. Diane Lacaille and is currently coordinating the Making it Work study on rheumatoid arthritis. During his studies, he followed courses in the Netherlands and Thailand and worked on research projects in India and Cameroon.
Adriana Lima

Adriana Lima

Research Assistant, MD, MHSc

Tel: 604.207.4005

About

Adriana is a family physician from Brazil who decided to shift her career focus to research. She has been in Canada since 2017. She earned her Master of Health Science from UBC in 2019 and works as a research assistant to Dr. Diane Lacaille. Having many years of experience in different clinical settings and working with patients from diverse backgrounds, she brings a unique perspective to health research. She is interested in raising awareness about the importance of self-management for people living with chronic conditions and developing tools to improve their mental health. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her family, especially her two dogs.
Leo Lu

Leo Lu

Statistician, MPH

Tel: 604.207.4045

About

Na Lu(Leo) obtained his MPH degree (concentrating in Biostatistics & Epidemiology) from the Boston University in 2014. Before joining Arthritis Research Canada he was a statistical analyst at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston as well as an epidemiologist at the Clinical Epidemiology Research and Training Unit at the Boston University. Currently he is working on the PRECISION project as a statistician at Arthritis Research Canada. His research interests include assessing the comparative effectiveness of rheumatic medications; investigating the epidemiology of rheumatic disorders; and applying advanced epidemiologic methods to clinical and pharmacoepidemiologic studies. He authored/coauthored over 50 manuscripts, during the past three years, published in top rheumatic journals. 
Shelby Marozoff

Shelby Marozoff

Research Coordinator, MSc

Tel: 604.207.4040
 

About

Shelby earned her MSc in Epidemiology from the University of Alberta in 2019. Her research interests converge on the primary prevention of chronic diseases, specifically focusing on lifestyle behaviours as preventative tools. She is a research coordinator for Dr. Antonio Aviña-Zubieta, Dr. Hyon Choi, and the PRECISION project. In her spare time, she enjoys running and reading.

 

Dami Ojo

Dami Ojo

Research Assistant, B.Pharm, MPH

Tel: 604-207-4033

About

Dami Ojo is a research assistant to Dr. Antonio Aviña-Zubieta and to the PRECISION project at Arthritis Research Canada. She is currently involved with coordinating Dr. Aviña-Zubieta’s research projects and assisting with the coordination of the Administrative Data project and the Biostatistics Core of the PRECISION project. She has a Bachelor of Pharmacy from Nigeria and a Masters of Public Health from Simon Fraser University. Dami has previous experience in research and program coordination in health promotion and intervention strategies for Aboriginal Health, Sexual Assault Services and for the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative. 
Helen Prlic

Helen Prlic

Research Team Coordinator, MA

Tel: 604.207.4008

About

Helen works on the Research Project of Investigations of Mobility, Physical Activity and Knowledge Translation in Hip Pain (IMPAKT-Hip) 
Pam Rogers

Pam Rogers

Research Coordinator, MA

Tel: 604.207.4016

About

Pamela Rogers is a research coordinator to Dr. Diane Lacaille at Arthritis Research Canada. She has a BA from the University of British Columbia in Human Geography and Film with a Masters in Adult Education focusing on documentary film as an educational medium. Working with several different researchers at Arthritis Research Canada, she has coordinated many projects for over 15 years. She has provided recruitment, data management, and analysis support for these many varied projects. She reads and writes poetry in her spare time. Research Project:

  • Arthritis and Employment: Making it Work!

 

Eric Sayre

Eric Sayre

Research Associate, PhD

Tel: 604.207.4028

About

Eric completed his PhD in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at Simon Fraser University in 2009. However, he began working professionally in the field of statistics in 1997, and has worked for Arthritis Research Canada since 2000, providing statistical and programming support to several principal investigators. Eric is experienced in a multitude of analytical software and techniques, and data platforms, and as of 2018 is first or coauthor on over 250 peer reviewed manuscripts and abstracts. For more information, please visit www.ericsayre.com. 

Johnathan Tam

Johnathan Tam

Research Coordinator, BSc

Tel: 604.207.4027

About

Johnathan Tam is a research assistant to Dr. Linda Li at Arthritis Research Canada. He is currently coordinating the SuPRA study as well as assisting with the OPAM study. Johnathan earned his undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of British Columbia (UBC). During his years at UBC, he was actively involved in many volunteer clubs and even became the president of World Vision UBC, leading over 200 members and 50 executives. In his last year, he led the team to raise over six thousand dollars during their annual thirty hour famine. In his spare time, Johnathan enjoys playing basketball and swimming. 
Jeremiah Tan

Jeremiah Tan

Research Assistant

Tel: 604.207.4007

About

Jeremiah is in his fourth year of undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia, pursuing a degree in Biology. At Arthritis Research Canada, he works as a research assistant to Dr. Antonio Aviña-Zubieta on a variety of projects, including SCOUT and INTACT, as well as the PRECISION study. In his spare time, Jeremiah enjoys photography, drinking coffee, and exploring new hiking trails.
Hamid Tavakoli

Hamid Tavakoli

Data Analyst, MD, MSc

Tel: 604.207.4044

About

Hamid received his medial doctorate from Tehran University of Medical Science in 2002. He was part of a team that established one of the first private institutes in health research in Iran. In 2012, he graduated from McMaster University (MSc in Health Informatics) and immediately started working at Fraser Health Authority until 2015. He has produced more than 80 reports and has been involved in multiple application developments and data analysis projects. Hamid joined the Division of Respiratory Medicine of the University of British Columbia in 2015 as a data analyst and has been working on interrogating provincial administrative health data and other “big data.” Hamid joined Arthritis Research Canada in 2017. 
Stephanie Therrien

Stephanie Therrien

Research Coordinator, BA

Tel: 604.207.4027

About

Stephanie Therrien earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Psychology and one in Criminology alongside a Counselling and Human Development Minor from Simon Fraser University. She is currently a research coordinator to Dr. Linda Li at Arthritis Research Canada and is coordinating The Falls Prevention (OTAGO-IST) and Citizen Science studies. She is also involved in the OPERAS rheumatoid arthritis and Knee Health App studies.
Yufei Zheng

Yufei Zheng

Statistician, MPH, MA

Tel: 604.207.4034

About

Yufei Zheng is a statistician currently working on the PRECISION project with Dr. Aviña and Dr. Xie. He has a MPH from the University of Alberta and a MA from Renmin University of China. He also has a Data Science Certificate of Microsoft Professional Program.  Before Joining Arthritis Research Canada he worked as a health economist and biostatistician in the Institute of Health Economics in Edmonton. His research focuses on statistical and economic evaluation of health care program using observational data.
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