Our team consists of a national interdisciplinary group of over 100 junior and senior investigators with complementary skills and expertise across Canada.

We have come together to bring fast medical innovations and advances in the prevention, diagnosis and management of COVID-19 in Canada. Many have worked together for up to 23 years.

We have partnered with the leads of the provincial COVID-19 biobanks across Canada. This will help to harmonize processes so that data can be collated and analyzed together.

CO-LEAD INVESTIGATORS

Dr. Angela Cheung

Dr. Angela M. Cheung is a Professor of Medicine and the KY and Betty Ho Chair of Integrative Medicine at the University of Toronto. She is an Internal Medicine specialist and senior scientist at the University Health Network and holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Musculoskeletal and Postmenopausal Health. She obtained her MD from Johns Hopkins University and completed her training in General Internal Medicine at the University of Toronto and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. 

Dr. Margaret Herridge

Dr. Margaret S. Herridge is a Professor of Medicine, Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine at the University Health Network; Senior Scientist in the Toronto General Research Institute; Director of Research for the Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine, University of Toronto. She obtained her MD from Queen’s University at Kingston, completed her clinical training in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Toronto and obtained her MPH at the Harvard School of Public Health.

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS


Dr. Sofia Ahmed

Dr. Ahmed is a Professor at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, Vice-Chair (Research) for the Department of Medicine and a nephrologist and clinician-scientist with a focus on sex and gender differences in human kidney and cardiovascular outcomes. She completed her MD and internal medicine residency at the University of Toronto, nephrology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals and Master’s in Medical Sciences at Harvard University. A strong proponent of the importance of mentorship and fostering excellence in the next generation of kidney and cardiovascular researchers, Dr. Ahmed received the 2020 American Society of Nephrology Distinguished Mentor Award.

Dr. Jane Batt

Dr. Jane Batt is a Respirologist and Scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto and Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto. Her research is focused on delineating the molecular mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle wasting and weakness in chronic disease and trauma and is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Ontario Thoracic Society and Physician Services Incorporation. She has served on multiple hospitals and the University of Toronto advisory and research committees and is currently Chair, Division of Respirology Research Advisory Committee, U of T. She is the Secretary of the Canadian Critical Care Translational Biology Group (CCCTBG).

Dr. Claudia Dos Santos

My major research interest is in acute lung injury, which can be caused by either biomolecular or biophysical insults to the lungs, such as an infection or the mechanical injury resulting from mechanical ventilation itself. My lab is dedicated to understanding the interaction between patients and the breathing machine and finding new ways to identify individuals who are at higher risk for developing lung injury, in addition to diagnosing, treating and monitoring improvement from injury. To accomplish our goals, we have developed various model systems from basic epithelial cell stretch models to animal models of lung injury. We exploit whole-genome approaches, such as microarray technology, to identify novel molecular targets and use various computational strategies to analyze our data. We are also interested in understanding how and why critically ill patients develop multi-organ failure. To answer some of the more complex questions, my lab also collaborates actively with clinical researchers involved in a state of the art clinical trials related to novel mechanical ventilation strategies.

Dr. Marzyeh Ghassemi

Marzyeh Ghassemi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto in Computer Science and Medicine, affiliated with the Vector Institute. Previously, she was a Visiting Researcher with Alphabet’s Verily and a post-doc with Dr. Peter Szolovits at IT (CV). Marzyeh’s PhD research at MIT focused on creating and applying machine learning algorithms towards improved prediction and stratification of relevant human risks with clinical collaborations at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital, encompassing unsupervised learning, supervised learning, and structured prediction. Marzyeh’s work has been applied to estimating the physiological state of patients during critical illnesses, modeling the need for a clinical intervention, and diagnosing phonotraumatic voice disorders from wearable sensor data.

Dr. Suzanne Morin

Dr. Suzanne Morin is a Scientist at the Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation for the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center. She graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at Université Laval de Québec, completed her Internal Medicine specialty training and obtained a Masters in epidemiology and biostatistics from McGill University. Dr. Morin’s research is focused on evaluation of outcomes of osteoporosis and its treatment, and implementation of health system improvement initiatives for patients who have sustained fractures. She is a leader in clinical practice guidelines development for the management and prevention of osteoporosis and fractures.

Dr. Fahad Razak

Fahad Razak is an internist and epidemiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital, with specialization in observational methods, ‘big data’ projects, and global health. He obtained his MSc. degree in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University before obtaining his M.D. degree from the University of Toronto. Fahad’s work is primarily onthe General Medicine Inpatient Initiative (GEMINI) a data driven quality improvement and research network for all general medicine hospital patients in Ontario. He is Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) with Amol Verma (University of Toronto) on GEMINI, and works closely with physicians and health care leaders across the province.

Dr. H. Thomas Stelfox

Dr. Tom Stelfox is Professor and Department Head of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services- Calgary Zone. He received his M.D. from the University of Alberta, Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Toronto, Ph.D. in Health Care Policy at Harvard University and Critical Care Fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  His research program focuses on the application of health services research methods to evaluate and improve the quality of health care delivery to critically ill patients.  His research activities include developing quality indicators; developing strategies to improve continuity of patient care across the care continuum; and improving the translation of scientific evidence into clinical practice.

Dr. Lisa Strug

Dr. Strug is a Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children, Associate Director of The Centre for Applied Genomics, which is a CFI-MSI funded genome centre contributing to Canada’s national genome sequencing infrastructure for research, and Professor of Statistical Sciences and Biostatistics at the University of Toronto.  She is the Lead of the Canadian CF Gene Modifier Study and Co-Lead of the International CF Gene Modifier Consortium.  She is a statistical geneticist who has received several honors including a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Genome Data Sciences. 

Dr. Jennifer Ly Tsang

Dr. Jennifer Ly Tsang completed her MD degree at the University of Ottawa, internal medicine, and critical care fellowship at the University of Toronto in 2008. In December 2013, she completed a PhD in molecular biology and Royal College Clinician Investigator Program at the University of Toronto. She is an Intensivist and the Research Lead of Niagara Health, the Research Lead of Niagara Regional Campus, Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine of McMaster University and, an Associate Professor of Medicine at McMaster University. Her academic work focuses on research capacity building in community hospitals and community-based distributive medical education.

Dr. Amol Verma

Amol Verma is a physician, scientist, and Assistant Professor in General Internal Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto. He is working to study and improve hospital care using electronic clinical data. Amol co-leads GEMINI, the largest multi-hospital data system for adult medicine in Canada, and he is a Provincial Clinical Lead for General Medicine with Ontario Health. Amol completed clinical training at the University of Toronto, a Masters in Economic and Social History at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, a Canadian Frailty Network fellowship and a post-doctoral fellowship in big data and advanced analytics.

Dr. Rae Yeung

Rae Yeung is Professor of Paediatrics, Immunology and Medical Science at the University of Toronto, and Senior Scientist in Cell Biology Research, Scientific Director – Sickkids Biobank and the Hak-Ming and Deborah Chiu Chair in Translational Paediatric Research at The Hospital For Sick Children, University of Toronto. Rae attended the University of Toronto and obtained her medical degree there, training in Paediatrics at Sickkids and completing her PhD in Immunology at the Ontario Cancer Institute. The goal of Rae’s research is to understand the mechanisms governing autoimmunity, specifically the mechanisms involved in initiating and sustaining the immune response in childhood arthritis and rheumatic diseases.

CO-INVESTIGATORS


Dr. Erin Bears

Timothy Chan is the Canada Research Chair in Novel Optimization and Analytics in Health, a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, the Director of the Centre for Healthcare Engineering, and the Director of the Centre for Analytics and AI Engineering at the University of Toronto. He received his BSc in Applied Mathematics from the University of British Columbia (2002), and his Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2007). Professor Chan’s primary research interests are in optimization under uncertainty and the application of optimization methods to problems in healthcare, medicine, global engineering, sustainability, and sports.

Dr. Ana Catalina

Ana Catalina is a Pediatric Nephrologist with a Masters in Medical Sciences from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She is currently a clinical fellow at the Transplant & Regenerative Medicine Centre in the Hospital for Sick Children and a Ph.D. student in the Clinical Epidemiology program at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Education University of Toronto. Her interests are pharmaco-epidemiology, pharmaco-genetics, individualization of therapies, precision medicine, patient-related outcomes, healthcare administrative data research, interventional studies and translational medicine to improve pediatric kidney disease and pediatric solid organ transplant recipients in disadvantaged population.

Dr. Timothy Chan

Timothy Chan is the Canada Research Chair in Novel Optimization and Analytics in Health, a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, the Director of the Centre for Healthcare Engineering, and the Director of the Centre for Analytics and AI Engineering at the University of Toronto. He received his BSc in Applied Mathematics from the University of British Columbia (2002), and his Ph.D. in Operations Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2007). Professor Chan’s primary research interests are in optimization under uncertainty and the application of optimization methods to problems in healthcare, medicine, global engineering, sustainability, and sports.

Dr. Michael Detsky

Dr. Detsky completed his medical doctorate and residencies in internal medicine and adult critical care medicine, at the University of Toronto. He received his Master’s of Science in Health Policy and Research at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on improving our understanding and communication of long-term outcomes in critically ill patients and using prognosis, values and preferences to engage in shared decision-making. He is a co-director of the Critical Care Oncologic Investigative Network (COIN) and is an assistant professor, both at the University of Toronto. His clinical appointment is at the Sinai Health System in Toronto, Canada.​

Dr. Dana Devine

Dana Devine, PhD, FCAHS is the Chief Scientist at Canadian Blood Services.  She is also professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia and a founder of UBC’s Centre for Blood Research.

Dr. Steven J. Drews

Steven J. Drews, Ph.D., F.C.C.M., D(ABMM), Clinical Microbiologist, Associate Director, Canadian Blood Services. Steve completed his Ph.D. in 2003 at the University of British Columbia, in Experimental Medicine (Infectious Diseases). He then completed his Clinical Microbiology Fellowship at the University of Toronto. Steve currently heads the Medical Microbiology Laboratories at Canadian Blood Services, where he provides guidance on transmissible diseases testing, microbiology and infectious diseases issues. Prior to this he was a Clinical Virologist at the Provincial Laboratory for Public Health (ProvLab) Alberta, and the head of the province-wide influenza and acute respiratory viral diagnostics program. He has also held a prior position as Head of Molecular Diagnostics for the Public Health Ontario Laboratories. Steve has significant experience representing diagnostic microbiology and public health laboratories at provincial, national and international committees. He has held faculty positions at both the University of Toronto and the University of Calgary. Steve is currently an Associate Professor in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Alberta Edmonton, Canada.

Dr. Tiago Falk

Prof. Tiago H. Falk is an Associate Professor at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS-EMT), University of Quebec. His research interests are on the use of signal processing to provide context-awareness to machine learning algorithms, with particular focus on real-world applications involving noisy data. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE, alumni of the Global Young Academy, member of the Sigma Xi Research Society, Academic Chair of the CMBES, Co-Chair of the IEEE SMC Brain-Machine Interface TC, member of the IEEE SPS Audio and Acoustic Signal Processing TC, and Area Editor of the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine.

Dr. Hans Katzberg

Dr. Katzberg is a neurologist at the Prosserman Center for Neuromuscular Diseases at the University Health Network and clinical investigator at the Krembil Brain Institute. He is an affiliate staff at the Hospital for Sick Children where he runs a neuromuscular transition clinic for young adults. Dr. Katzberg is an Associate Professor of Medicine (Neurology) and an Associate Member of the Institute of Medical Sciences. Dr. Katzberg’s research interests include the assessment and treatment of motor nerve hyperexcitability, neuropathies and neuromuscular junction disorders including myasthenia gravis.

Dr. Paul Y. Kim

Dr. Paul Y. Kim (Ph.D.) is an Associate Professor of Medicine at McMaster University, with his laboratory located at the Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute (TaARI, Hamilton). He is the Executive Director of the International Society for Fibrinolysis and Proteolysis (ISFP), as well as the current Chairman of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) Scientific and Standardization Committee (SSC) on Fibrinolysis. His research interests include characterizing the mechanisms and pathways that regulate fibrinolysis and coagulation at the protein and cellular levels and further extending his findings in animal models.

Dr. Ana Konvalinka

Dr. Ana Konvalinka was recruited in 2015, as a transplant nephrologist and a Clinician Scientist at Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. Her main clinical and research interests are in antibody-mediated rejection and kidney allograft fibrosis. She utilizes systems biology approaches and proteomics to enhance the understanding of the mechanisms, derive novel markers and to repurpose drugs for treatment of kidney disease. Dr. Konvalinka is the director of the Multi-Organ Transplant biobank for kidney, pancreas and liver transplant programs. She is also the co-director of the Drug Discovery research group.

Dr. Jordan Lerner-Ellis

Dr. Jordan Lerner-Ellis is a Clinical Molecular Geneticist in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto and Clinician Scientist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. His Ph.D. was from McGill University in Human Genetics and completed the Clinical Molecular Genetics training program at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s & MGH Hospitals and is certified as a diplomate of the American Board of Medical Genetics. He is the co-principle investigator of GENCOV – a CIHR funded project that looks at the implementation of serological and molecular tools to inform COVID-19 patient management.

Dr. Christoph Licht

I am Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto and Staff Nephrologist and Senior Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children and the SickKids Research Institute (Cell Biology Program), respectively. I am a world expert for complement-mediated kidney diseases. My work has advanced the understanding of the pathogenesis and management of aHUS and C3G. My laboratory has made major contributions to the understanding of the consequences of complement activation on platelets, neutrophils and endothelial cells, and we have established a series of functional assays allowing for the testing of complement activation in the blood of patients with (suspected) complement-mediated diseases. Currently, we are exploring a role for complement in an expanding spectrum of conditions including injury to the central nervous system and muscle.

Dr. Karen Okrainec

Dr. Karen Okrainec is a Clinician-Scientist who practices as a General Internal Medicine Specialist at University Health Network. She holds an Early Researcher Award and CIHR grant exploring the role of patient and caregiver-centered interventions on post-discharge outcomes such as patient experience and follow-up visits or readmissions. She will be exploring post-discharge understanding of discharge instructions among patients with COVID and its association with subsequent health-care utilization. 

Dr. Shail Rawal

Shail Rawal is a physician and Assistant Professor in General Internal Medicine at University Health Network and the University of Toronto. Her research examines the intersection of health equity and quality improvement. Her recent work centres on the quality of care received by patients whose primary language is not English and the use of sociodemographic data and patient-reported outcomes to improve care. Shail completed clinical training at the University of Toronto and has a Master in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Laura Rosella

Dr. Laura Rosella is an epidemiologist and Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, where she holds a Canada Research Chair in Population Health Analytics. She is an Affiliate Scientist at the Institute of Better Health at Trillium Health Partners and holds scientific appointments at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence and ICES. Her research interests include population health, population-based risk tools to support public health planning. She leads the Population Health Analytics Lab, which is a hub for a range of population health assessment research using large linked databases. Notably, Dr. Rosella was recently awarded the Brian MacMahon Early Career Epidemiology Award by the Society for Epidemiologic Research and was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40.

Dr. Frank Rudzicz

Frank Rudzicz is a scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at Unity Health Toronto, Director of Artificial Intelligence at Surgical Safety Technologies Inc., an associate professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, co-founder of WinterLight Labs Inc., faculty member at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and CIFAR Chair in Artificial Intelligence. His work is in machine learning in healthcare, especially in natural language processing, speech recognition, and surgical safety. His research has appeared in popular media such as Scientific American, Wired, CBC, and the Globe and Mail, and in scientific press such as Nature.

Dr. Jennifer Taher

Dr. Jennifer Taher is a Clinical Biochemist in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. She completed her PhD in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Chemistry at the University of Toronto. She is the co-principle investigator of GENCOV – a CIHR funded project that looks at implementation of serological and molecular tools to inform Covid-19 patient management. Specifically, her area of interest is understanding the serological response to SARS-CoV-2 and how this relates to clinical outcomes, viral strain and host genome variation.

Dr. Teresa To

Dr. To holds a PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and is a Senior Scientist at the Child Health Evaluative Sciences, the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute.  She is a Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto, and an Adjunct Senior Scientist at ICES in Toronto.  She is the founder of OASIS, the Ontario Asthma Surveillance Information System and a Canadian representative to the WHO-Global Alliance Against Respiratory Diseases.  Dr. To holds a 7-year Tier-1 Canada Research Chair in asthma.  Her research program focuses on asthma epidemiology, measuring long-term asthma health outcomes and in developing indicators to measure and benchmark quality of asthma care in the primary care settings. 

Dr. Andy Wong

I am an imaging scientist and epidemiologist. Using this unique combination of skills, I study bones, muscles, joints, and fat in the aging population with focus on osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and the interaction of these diseases. I am specialized in diagnostic methods and longitudinal studies – in particular, bio/imaging marker development, reliability assessment, and disease risk prediction. My studies cover a broad range of statistical methods including multivariable linear modeling, competing risk/survival analyses, conditional process (moderation), causal inference, structural equation modeling, and machine learning. My team exercises a combination of data programming in SAS and R, and image processing and analysis in Python.