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Research Support Team

Data Management Staff

Maria Agda, Data Entry Assistant

Ms. Maria Agda is a Data Entry Assistant for the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network at CHÉOS.

Jaafar Aghajanian, Data Analyst

Honorary Lecturer, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, UBC

Research Interests

  • Population health
  • Ophthalmology
  • Maternity
  • Surgical programs

Mr. Jaafar Aghajanian has over 12 years of experience in health research and evaluation. He also works as a Business Analyst for the Maternity Centre and Surgical Program at Providence Health Care.

Karin Bezuidenhout, Data Management Operations Lead

Karin-B-2015

MBA, B.BIBL

Ms. Karin Bezuidenhout is the Operations Lead for Data Management at CHÉOS and the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN). She has more than nine years’ data management experience in a contract research organization environment, where she was responsible for leading various clinical projects from study start-up until close-out.

Erica Jaaf, Junior Data Manager

Ms. Erica Jaaf is a Junior Data Manager for the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network at CHÉOS.

Hector Leon, Data Manager

Mr. Hector Leon is a Data Manager for the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network at CHÉOS.

Tong Zhu, Senior Data Manager

Tong Zhu

MD, PhD, M.HSc., IPMA Level-C

Dr. Tong Zhu is the Senior Data Manager for both CHÉOS and the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network. She has over 15 years’ working knowledge and experience in data management, clinical trials, preclinical research, and clinical practice.

In addition to her M.HSc. in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of British Columbia, Dr. Zhu holds a MD, Master in Pharmacology, and a PhD degree in Pathogen Biology from the Tianjin Medical University, China. Past activities include: practicing internal medicine, assisting in clinical trials, and involvement in new drug screening and action mechanism studies. She has worked with the Tasly Group (Tianjin, China) where she managed post-marketing surveillance and regulatory affairs projects, and supervised marketing authorization and registration. As of 2012, Dr. Zhu has been actively involved in various longitudinal studies and clinical trials to set up databases and perform a myriad of data management tasks.

Regulatory Affairs

Dana Nohynek, Director, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

Dana-Nohynek-Research

M.Sc., RAC

Ms. Nohynek joined the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN) at CHÉOS as Director of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance in December 2013. She leads the regulatory and quality affairs functions within the CTN through the management of infrastructure and guidelines for creating, maintaining and enhancing administrative, regulatory, and quality assurance systems associated with conducting clinical trials. Ms. Nohynek has the overall responsibility of developing, facilitating, and executing regulatory strategies to support Network studies and to oversee the maintenance and compliance of quality systems.

She holds a B.Sc. (Honours) from the University of Waterloo (1998), a M.Sc. from the University of Toronto (2000), and a RAC certification (2006) granted by the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS). She has more than ten years of industry experience that includes the development of regulatory strategies throughout various phases of clinical investigation, extensive interactions with regulatory authorities, and preparation and submission of applications to health agencies in Canada, the United States, and Europe. In addition, she has implemented and maintained quality systems, prepared for and participated in agency audits, and developed internal training programs.

Ms. Nohynek has worked for small to mid-size biotech and medical device companies as well as with large pharma. She is an executive member of RAPS’ Southern B.C. chapter and a professional member of the Canadian Association of Professionals in Regulatory Affairs.

Research Staff

Victoria Alcuaz, Critical Care Research Coordinator

CCRP, RN, BSN, MSN

Research Interests

  • Haemato-oncology
  • Intensive care
  • Stem cell transplantation
  • Bioethics
  • Hospice palliative care
  • Geriatric emergencies

Ms. Victoria Alcuaz is an advance practice nurse in the ICU and a Geriatric Clinician in the ER. She did her MSN NP training at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London, England, where she spearheaded Critical Care Outreach and Phase 1 clinical trials at the Oak Foundation Drug Development Unit and the Institute of Cancer Research. She is a bookworm, a writer, a dreamer, and loves music, poetry, theatre, and the outdoors.

Betty Jean Ashley, Research Coordinator

Betty Jean Ashley

RN, BA

Projects:

  • ABATE VAP (Observational and educational study in the prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia); AFib study (Is rhythm control neccessary in new onset AFib?)
  • PROTECT (Is unfractioned heparin or low molecular weight heparin best for DVT prevention in the ICU?)
  • REDOX (Does the use of antioxidants improve ICU patient outcomes?)
  • SUGAR (The effect of keeping ICU patients blood sugar in the normal range on patient outcomes)

Litsa Blanis, Project Manager

LitsaBlanis-web

B.Sc.

Ms. Litsa Blanis works for the Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation. She has industrial experience in research and development, including five years as the Manager of Technical Services and Data Analysis for Kinexus Bioinformatics Corporation. There, she was initially responsible for the development and implementation of policies and programs affecting the Kinexus’ research laboratory, including initial development of the facility, recruitment, training, and education of research personnel.

Ms. Blanis earned her B.Sc. in Biopsychology from the University of British Columbia and completed a post-graduate Diploma of Biotechnology from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Judy Chiu, Research Assistant

Judy Chiu

MPH

Ms. Judy Chiu is working with CHÉOS Scientists Drs. Nick Bansback and Aslam Anis.

Anton Friedman, Research Assistant

Anton-Friedman-2015

Mr. Anton Friedman is a Research Assistant with The Cedar Project.

Megumi Iyar, Research Coordinator

Ms. Megumi Iyar is a Research Coordinator for the Eating Disorders Program at Providence Health Care with CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Josie Geller.

Kathy H. Li, Research Methodologist

PhD

Ms. Li is a Research Methodologist at CHÉOS. She also works as a Statistical Analyst at the Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Katie Milbers, Research Coordinator

Katie-Milbers-2015

B.Sc. (Pharm), B.Sc.

Ms. Milbers joins CHÉOS as a Research Coordinator, working on projects with CHÉOS scientists Drs. Mark Harrison and Nick Bansback. Her education includes an entry-to-practice Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Science in Environment at McGill University, where she focused on ecological determinants of health. Ms. Milbers has research experience in the environmental and pharmaceutical sciences and has sat as Chief Editor on the UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Student Journal.

Lucia Milosavljevic, Research Nurse

Ms. Lucia Milosavljevic works with CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Peter Dodek.

Janice Palmer, Research Assistant

Ms. Janice Palmer is a Research Assistant at CHÉOS.

Shoshana M. Parker, Clinical Research Coordinator

Shoshana Parker

B.Sc.

Ms. Shoshana Parker is a Clinical Research Coordinator currently working on the study: Exploring host gene expression during post-exertional symptom flare in ME/CFS: An experimental approach, with Dr. David Patrick, University of British Columbia (UBC) School of Population and Public Health Director and study co-principal investigator. This study proposes to find the pathways activated when chronic fatigue syndrome patients experience a “flare” or “crash.”

Having been affiliated with CHÉOS in one way or another for the past 15 years, Ms. Parker has worked with several different researchers on many different grants and studies in fields of HIV, addictions medicine, and cardiology. One of her proudest accomplishments is setting up the clinic and writing the first software manual used for the North American Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI) trial, which took place from 2005 to 2008. She also coordinated and managed Health in the City, the CHÉOS conference on Urban Health Research, in January 2002, as well as the Bridges to Health Conference on optimal health research in the fall of 2002.

Ms. Parker holds a bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science from UBC, and a diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology from the Michener Institute in Toronto (formerly the Toronto Institute of Medical Technology).

Javiera Pumarino, Research Assistant

Ms. Javiera Pumarino is working as a Research Assistant with CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Chris Richardson and the Inner City Youth Program. She splits her time between St. Paul’s Hospital and the Granville Youth Health Centre, and is completing her M.Sc. at the UBC School of Population and Public Health.

Joseph Puyat, Research Methodologist

Joseph Puyat

MA (Psychology), M.Sc.

Mr. Puyat joined CHÉOS in 2012 as a part-time Research Methodologist. Since then he has been providing support to clinicians and other researchers on quantitative study designs and statistical analysis. He is also currently a CIHR Banting and Best Canada Graduate Scholar, completing a PhD at the School of Population and Public Health at UBC. His doctoral research examines current gaps and disparities in depression treatment and investigates the impact of physician incentives on the provision of health services to individuals diagnosed with depression. He uses linked, large health administrative data provided by Population Data B.C. to address all his research objectives.

Mr. Puyat’s background includes training in social psychology (MA) and epidemiology (M.Sc.). He has previously conducted studies on guideline-based care, psychopharmacoepidemiology, disparities in health service use, social attitudes, and self-construals. Recently, he helped set up, as regional data manager, the B.C. node of the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN).

Publications

Richa Sharma, Research Assistant

Projects

Ms. Richa Sharma is a PhD student at the UBC School of Population and Public Health. She is working with The Cedar Project under the supervision of CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Patricia Spittal. Ms. Sharma’s research examines transitions into sex work for young Aboriginal people in Vancouver and Prince George. Her previous research has focused on sexual and reproductive health of adolescent women in urban and rural settings in India.

Julie Sou, Research Assistant

Julie-Sou-website

M.Sc., B.Sc.

Ms. Julie Sou completed her M.Sc. at the School of Population and Public Health at UBC, where her thesis focused on social determinants of health and health access among female sex workers. She is currently working as a Research Assistant with Dr. Wei Zhang, Program Head of Health Economics at CHÉOS.

David Zamar, Statistician

Mr. David Zamar is a Statistician for The Cedar Project. He is also a PhD student in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at UBC.

Projects:

Software and Programming Staff

Shirley Chai, Senior Programmer Analyst

Shirley Chai

Ms. Shirley Chai has over 15 years of experience in development, implementation, and management of information technology solutions in areas of clinical research and the health care delivery process. Her expertise includes clinical systems design, systems architecture, software development, interface development, and health data exchanges.

She joined CHÉOS in 2000, and has a post-graduate Diploma in Applied Information Technology (Canada) and a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Auckland (New Zealand). Projects and groups she has worked with include: the NAOMI and SALOME trials, OAT program work, B.C. Provincial Renal Agency, St. Paul’s Hospital Emergency Department, and The Cedar Project.

Brad Harker, Application Developer/Administrator

Mr. Harker is an Application Developer/Administrator for the CTN and CHÉOS. An experienced Database Administrator, Developer, and Senior Application/System Analyst, he has over ten years of experience in database administration, software release management, server administration, communication, research, planning, management, and information technology. In the past, Mr. Harker worked for UBC as a Systems Analyst working with the SQL Server and Oracle, and has extensive experience working with other databases, application development platforms, and operating systems.

Stanko Kovacevic, Database Programmer

Stanko Kovacevic

Mr. Stanko Kovacevic is a Database Programmer for the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network at CHÉOS.

Nena Zivkovic, Programmer

Nena Zivkovic

Ms. Nena Zivkovic is a Programmer for the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network at CHÉOS.

Victor Trot, Database Programmer

Mr. Victor Trot is a Database Programmer for the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network at CHÉOS.

Statistical and Health Economics Staff

Daphne Guh, Statistician

Daphne-Guh-web

M.Sc.
Pharmacoeconomics Program
PubMed

Research Interests

  • Biostatistics
  • Analysis of administrative databases
  • Modeling/costing of health care utilizations
  • Cost-effectiveness studies

Ms. Daphne Guh joined the Pharmacoeconomics program at CHÉOS after graduating with a Master of Science in Statistics from the University of British Columbia in late 1997. Over the years, she has worked with Centre Director Dr. Aslam Anis on several projects related to the provincial drug plan regulatory policies. Her research interests have been in biostatistics and issues/methods in analyzing administrative databases. Current research projects she is working on include the North American Opiate Medication Initiative (NAOMI) clinical trial, a British Columbia population-based rheumatoid arthritis database, and a project on the cost of obesity–burden of illness.

Amir Khakban, Health Economist

M.Sc., B.Sc.

Mr. Amir Khakban holds an M.Sc. in Financial Risk Management from Simon Fraser University, and an M.Sc. in Socioeconomic Systems Engineering from The Institute for Management and Planning Studies (IMPS) in Iran.

Previously, he worked with IMPS as a faculty member for nine years; during this time, he conducted several research projects in a variety of industries. The main topics of these projects were economic evaluation, public policy analysis, statistical analysis, and modeling.

Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation

Terry Lee, Statistician

Terry Lee

PhD, M.Sc.

Dr. Terry Lee is a Statistician for the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network at CHÉOS. He received his PhD in Statistics from the University of Victoria and completed his postdoctoral research fellowship at Simon Fraser University in 2009. Part of his research involved collaborating with the Public Health Agency of Canada to develop and validate statistical tools for estimating hospital morbidity rate and cancer mortality rate in Canada. Dr. Lee’s work includes providing statistical consultation and analysis service to researchers in various areas, such as HIV/AIDS, obstetrics and gynaecology, gastroenterology, and critical care.

Tima Mohammadi, Health Economist

M.Sc., MA

Ms. Tima Mohammadi is a Health Economist with the pharmacoeconomics program of research, the Advancing Decision-Making in Medicine (DcIDE) group at CHÉOS.

She has a MA in Economics from Simon Fraser University and a M.Sc. in Socioeconomic Systems Engineering from the Institute for Management and Planning Studies (IMPS), Tehran. Tima has worked as a research analyst at Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE). She also held a faculty position at IMPS for seven years and conducted several research projects in economics evaluation and statistical analysis. Her research interests are focused on decision-analytic modeling and simulation, preference elicitation techniques (with a particular focus on using Bayesian methods in econometric analysis of discrete choice data), and health technology assessment.

Monica Norena, Statistician

Monica Norena

M.Sc., Critical Care Research
PubMed

Hong Qian, Statistician

Hong Qian

M.Sc.

Ms. Hong Qian joined CHÉOS in June 2008. She holds a M.Sc. in Statistics from McMaster University. With over 10 years’ professional experience as a statistician working for research organizations, including the B.C. Cancer Agency and Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York), Ms. Qian provides statistical support to multiple projects—specifically in the areas of osteoarthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. She also provides advice on study design and statistical analysis for various short-term research projects.

Huiying Sun, Statistician

Huiying-Sun-web

PhD, M.Sc.
Pharmacoeconomics Program
PubMed

Research Interests

  • Statistical modeling and computing
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • HIV/AIDS epidemiology

Dr. Huiying Sun has a PhD in Mathematics from Harbin Institute of Technology, China, and a master’s degree in Statistics from University of British Columbia. She joined CHÉOS as a statistician in 2000.

Dr. Sun’s primary interest is in statistical modelling and computing. Her work includes statistical and mathematical consultation and data analysis. She has worked on cost-effectiveness studies of interventions for various diseases, such as hypertension, hip fraction, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and HIV/AIDS. The methods used in these analyses include the Markov model, Monte-Carlo simulation, probabilistic sensitivity analysis, and Bayesian meta-analysis. She is also interested in the research of HIV/AIDS epidemiology, especially health-related quality of life of HIV/AIDS patients.

Health research in the heart of Vancouver