In 2014, with close to a decade of "real-world" work experience and two children, I returned to school with the intention of changing my career path from research manager to epidemiologist.
At McGill University, I acquired exceptional training in quasi-experimental study designs and advanced quantitative skills. I successfully applied my academic training and substantive expertise to uncover issues related to accessing cures for hepatitis C infections (direct-acting antivirals (DAAs)) among key HIV-Hepatitis C co-infected populations. As part of my doctoral work, I made significant advances in uncovering barriers to treatment access among marginalized populations. I spearheaded projects to evaluate (1) the generalizability of clinical trials, (2) describe the impact of patient-level barriers and system-level barriers on accessing treatments, and (3) evaluate the impact of treatments on health-related quality of life in real-world settings. My proficiency in quasi-experimental methodologies led me to write two tutorials designed to teach practitioners how to use these methods to answer public health and clinical questions broadly.
As a postdoctoral scholar at Washington University in St. Louis, my research had local and global implications. The overarching rationale of my CIHR funded research was that in the modern era of HIV, factors associated with socioeconomic disparities and psychosocial comorbidities would more accurately predict adverse HIV health outcomes compared to standard clinical predictors. I also collaborated with researchers at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) to evaluate the impact of differentiated service delivery on clinic volume, visit spacing and retention in care among people living with HIV in Zambia.
At the Canadian Blood Services, I applied my epidemiological training to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among healthy blood donors, research funded through the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force. I championed to incorporate neighbourhood-level census data to assess seroprevalence by socioeconomic factors, which revealed significant and growing disparities by material deprivation across Canada. While conducting an international scoping review, I highlighted the methodological challenges and offered solutions when conducting and analyzing seroprevalence studies among blood donors. Using a Bayesian Latent Class Model, I demonstrated how estimating seroprevalence in a low prevalence setting was biased using a single assay and how using multiple assays we could correct for this bias. Finally, using generalized mixed effect models how waning antibody kinetics could be monitored using repeat blood donors.
Montreal, QC, CA
Montreal, QC, CA
Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, CA
Ph.D. in Epidemiology
CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholar
Dissertation: The Hepatitis C Treatment Revolution: Are Key HIV-Hepatitis C Co-Infected Populations Being Left Behind?
(Fast-tracked from MSc to Ph.D. in 2015)
Supervisors: Dr. Marina Klein & Dr. Erin Strumpf
M.Sc. in Human Genetics
Dissertation: Fenretinide's Preventative Effect on the Development of Osteoporosis in Cystic Fibrosis
Supervisor: Dr. Danuta Radzioch
B.Sc. (Honors) in Biochemistry
Thesis: Escape from non-self-recognition-associated self-incompatibility
Supervisor: Dr. Myron Smith