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Research Students

Team

Research Students:

  • Aarushi Bansal                                                                               (September 2014 – Ongoing)

     

    2016quebec_aarushiI recieved my HBSc. from the University of Toronto in June 2016 and joined the team as a research trainee in September 2014. Here I completed my undergraduate thesis on the topic of health related quality of life of kidney transplant recipients. My interests focus on investigating the impact of psychosocial factors on access to kidney transplantation and quality of life. I also enjoy working with the data management team. In the future I plan to integrate my passion for health research with a career in medicine.

  • Abeera Ali                                                                                               (September 2016 – Ongoing)

     

    My name is Abeera Ali and I am currently in my first year of the Master of Information program and the University of Toronto. I joined the team in September 2016 and my current interests include studying the healthcare experience of the Ontario patient population. As an information professional, I am interested in understanding how information can be better managed and communicated between the healthcare professionals and patients in order to improve the overall patient experience.

     

  • Ali Ayub                                                                                               (September 2016 – Ongoing)

     

    I am currently an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, pursuing an HBSc. with a major in Human Biology, and minors in Psychology and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). I am interested in understanding how the views and beliefs of individuals towards medical care- particularly organ transplantation, are influenced by their cultural, religious and psychosocial backgrounds. I hope to advance my GIS skills such that I can effectively map and analyze data from health and medical phenomena

     

  • Amira Abdalla                                                                                              (May 2017 – Ongoing)

     

    I am currently a third year student at the University of Toronto, double majoring in Neuroscience and Biology. My experiences within the Musci-Novak Kidney Health Education and Research Group have enabled me to gain a greater understanding of clinical research, and how to apply this knowledge within the field of kidney transplantation to improve patient outcomes. My experiences of working with fellow research trainees, as we aspire to improve patient care, has taught me that the sharing of ideas, thoughts and personal views can only make a group stronger.

     

  • Candice Richardson                                                                          (November 2015 – Ongoing)Gold_star

     

    Candice

    I am a fourth year student at the University of Toronto completing an Honours Bachelor of Science with a specialist in Mental Health (with Co-op). I am predominantly interested in the interaction between psycho-social function and medical illnesses such as CKD, but am also interested in clinical neuropsychology and the psychopathology of various mental illnesses, especially eating disorders. I have been with the psycho-social nephrology team since November 2015. Ultimately, I plan to pursue medical school, and aspire to a career in which I am able to integrate research to develop effective, holistic treatment interventions for patients with comorbid medical and mental illnesses or psychosocial distress.

  • Cheryl Lau                                                                                     (September 2016 – Ongoing)

     

    Cheryl Lau

    I am a fourth year student at the University of Toronto, specializing in Psychological Research and majoring in Neuroscience. Although I am still trying to narrow down on my research interests, broadly speaking, I am interested in the psychosocial determinants of health, the barriers that individuals face when accessing healthcare services, as well as neuropsychology. I hope to become a clinician-scientist in the future.

     

  • Deanna Toews                                                                                   (February 2017 – Ongoing)

     

    I am a second-year Honours BSc student in the Co-op Mental Health Specialist program at the University of Toronto, with prior qualifications as a K-12 teacher. I have personally known several kidney transplant recipients and have been amazed by the depth of their hardships and their resilience. Having worked for a number of years as a self-employed writer/editor and college instructor while raising two children, I am embarking on a career change, with plans to pursue graduate studies in social work or occupational therapy. I aspire to combine my interests in education and neuropsychology to offer individuals holistic psychosocial support so that they may realize their personal and occupational goals as fully as possible.

  • Dmitri Belenko                                                                                   (January 2016 – Ongoing)Gold_star

     

    I am a Registered Nurse working with the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at Toronto General Hospital, and a graduate of the Ryerson University Nursing program. I am passionate about the intersection of healthcare and informatics, psychopathology, and medicine in remote contexts. Working with the psychosocial nephrology team has allowed me to gain valuable health research experience, including protocol development, data management and patient recruitment. In the future, I hope to pursue graduate studies and expand my scope of practice in clinical and research capacities.

  • Evan Tang                                                                                                (May 2015 – Ongoing)Gold_star

     

    Evan

    I am a Registered Nurse with the Transplant Program at Toronto General Hospital. My interests lie in psychonephrology and the link between psychosocial factors and the pathogenesis of disease, health related quality of life in chronic kidney disease and ways to improve quality of life in these patients. My current focus is in the validation of quality of life indices and the prognostic role they may play in individuals with chronic kidney disease. I am currently pursuing a second bachelor’s in Biomedical Science.

  • Farnoosh Nabi                                                                                          (July 2017 – Ongoing)

     

    I am a third year undergraduate student at University of Toronto specializing in Pathobiology and majoring in Immunology. I’m very interested in studying pathology of different debilitating diseases specifically cancer, but I’m also very passionate about whole patient care and personalized medicine as I believe finding ways to improve patients’ quality of life is as important as developing new therapeutics to cure or alleviate their condition. My research interests now focus on addressing and resolving psycho-social barriers that patients with CKD face before getting a kidney transplant.

  • Farzad Khalafi                                                                                          (July 2016 – Ongoing)

  • Franz Marie Gumabay                                                                           (January 2015 – Ongoing)

     

    I graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto, where I studied human biology, physiology, and psychology. I have been part of the psychosocial nephrology team since January 2015. My primary interests include clinical research, psychosocial research, organ transplantation and healthcare accessibility. Currently, my research focuses on exploring the effects of mental health disorders and non-adherence on post-transplant outcomes and re-hospitalizations in kidney transplant recipients. In addition, I am currently a clinical research assistant with the Multi-Organ Transplant Student Research Training Program at Toronto General Hospital.

  • Navneet Singh                                                                           (May 2017 – Ongoing)

     

    I have recently graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Waterloo. I joined the team in May 2017 as a summer undergraduate research student. I am interested in exploring the various barriers that exist in pursuing living donor kidney transplantation at the Mucsi-Novak Kidney Health Education and Research Group. I hope to develop my clinical research skills with the team, as well as learn more about knowledge translation.

     
         

  • Nathaniel Edwards                                                                          (February 2016 – Ongoing)

     

    Nathaniel EdwardsI graduated from the University of Toronto with honors, double majoring in Actuarial Science and Statistics in June 2017. I transferred to this university in September 2013 from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago after being awarded a National Open Scholarship based on my performance in the 2012 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations. I currently work as a Data Analyst and the Lead of the Data Management Team of the Psychosocial Nephrology Group. My work experience has taught me the importance of well-developed interpersonal and communication skills. I have extensive experience in team environments which has enabled me to become a highly effective communicator and lead. I take pride in being a well-rounded individual with varied interests and an inexhaustible passion for learning and knowledge application. In the future, I plan on pursuing graduate studies in Biostatistics as well as on further completing my professional examinations to obtain the designation of Associate of the Society of Actuaries.

  • Richard Zhou                                                                                     (November 2016 – Ongoing)

     

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    I am a fourth year student studying statistics specialist and economics at University of Toronto. My interests are Big Data, Machine Learning, Data cleaning and modelling, applied statistics, econometrics, and survival analysis.

     

     

  • Sarah Cao                                                                                     (February 2016 – Ongoing)Gold_star

     

    Sarah CaoI am currently enrolled in the Doctor of Medicine program at the University of Toronto. I received an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto, majoring in Immunology and Human Biology. I have been a member of the psychosocial nephrology team since March 2016. My current research interests focuses on chronic kidney disease, living donor kidney transplantation, ethnocultural and psychosocial determinants of health, and electronic capture of patient reported outcomes.

  • Tibyan Ahmed                                                                                     (October 2016 – Ongoing)

     

    dscn1063-1I am a fourth year student at Brock University, majoring in medical sciences. My interests primarily lie in understanding and reducing the various psychosocial and ethnocultural barriers to chronic kidney disease and kidney transplantation. I am new to the psycho-social nephrology team and am looking forward to integrating my experiences by working with various cultural and religious groups with the expertise and knowledge of my peers. Ultimately, I aspire to be a clinician scientist, working to integrate the social determinants of health with current standards of care in the hopes of reducing health disparities in a culturally sensitive manner.

     

  • Vardaan Gupta                                                                          (September 2016 – Ongoing)Gold_star

    VardaanI am currently a forth year at the University of Toronto completing my Honours Bachelor of Science with a specialization in Neuroscience. I have been with the team since the early summer of 2016. My current research interests focus on chronic kidney disease, the various ethnocultural and psychosocial barriers that dialysis patients face to getting improved treatment, and effective methods of educating these patients to improve their quality of life.

     

     

  • Yu-Ying (Betty) Liao                                                                 (November 2016 – Ongoing)

     

    bettyThe power to change is the power to know. I believe data can tell us many things—things that can change the ways we live, that’s why I am interested in the field of data analytics. I am currently a third year student at the University of Toronto, double majoring in Statistics and Economics. I’ve acquired experience in data analysis, specifically using statistical software to discover insights for medical products development. Currently, I wish to enhance my data management skills, analytics skills, as well as programming skills. My future aspiration is to obtain a deeper understanding on predictive analysis and on Big Data so that ultimately I would be able to spot trends and insights from data.

 

Past members/students:

  • Amanda Sissons                                                                         (January 2014 – August 2016)

     

    Amanda I am a recent graduate of the University of Toronto Nursing program. I have completed a previous degree where Imajored in both Psychology and Law. My research interests include health care systems, psychosocial research, and critical care. My work with the psychosocial team has allowed me to merge my background in psychology with my career in health care.  In my role as a researcher, I have worked with the team on protocol development, data capture and patient recruitment. In the future, I hope to pursue graduate studies.

     

  • Eleanor Warsmann                                                                   (January 2015 – August 2016)

    Eleanor Warsmann

  • Eszter Mucsi                                                                                           (April 2016 – Feb – 2017)

     

    I am currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, working towards a double major in Bioethics and Cognitive Science. My interests include whole person care and psychosocial aspects of medicine, specifically mental health interventions in improving patient functioning and outcomes. I have a strong interest in creating equitable, culturally appropriate, and accessible spaces within healthcare. By being a part of the team I hope to broaden my understanding of how research and education can be used to achieve these goals.

  • Faizah Haleem                                                                          (Sept 2016 – February 2017)

     

    Faizah

    I am a fourth year student at the University of Toronto, double majoring in Health and Disease and Immunology. My interests include looking at health at the population level, focusing on prevention and management of chronic disease, infectious disease control, health promotion, and health policy.  From a health systems perspective, I am also very interested in learning how to work in a complex embedded network, while trying to strive for exceptional healthcare quality, access, improvement and patient safety. In the future, I hope to pursue graduate studies in public health and health informatics.

     

  • Fatima Minhas                                                                                         (January 2017 – March 2017)

     

    I am a first-year student at the University of Toronto studying in Life Sciences and Philosophy. A consistent passion of mine has always been the intersection of scientific and medical advances and the reactions on a societal level to such progress, as well as the associated scientific and philosophical barriers for implementation of new technologies. My current focus is ethnocultural reactions to Living Donor Kidney Transplantation (LDKT) as well as investigations on the ethics and public attitudes towards Xenotransplantation and Quantum Computing.

  • Kefan Bei                                                                                    (February 2016 – February 2017)

     

    Kefan Bei
    I am a second year undergraduate at the University of Toronto specializing in immunology and minoring in psychology. My interest lies in the cultural and psychosocial concerns and issues of nephrology and its affect on outcomes and quality of life. Through the time I have been with the psychosocial nephrology team, I was able to learn about research writing, patient recruitment and data management. In the future I hope to continue on with nephrology research and improvement of patient care.

  • Luca Ugenti                                                                              (January 2016 – August 2016)

     

    I am a medical student from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My interests lie in mental health, psychiatry, anthropology, and mindfulness research & therapy. I’m focused on engaging with patients on hemodialysis and collecting data regarding their knowledge and feelings about transplantation as a treatment option. My work in the psychosocial nephrology team revealed many paths for me in both research and personal studies and working with the team allowed me to develop essential skills and confidence in the research community. I aspire to become a Transcultural Psychiatrist as well as a researcher and psychiatry professor.

  • Luke Dingwell                                                                           (February 2016 – Juy 2016)

     

    I am a recent graduate of Physiology at the University of Toronto. I am a current research assistant investigating the impact of socio-economic status on kidney transplant accessibility, and is also involved with patient recruitment for two on-going studies. In September, I will start an MSc with the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto.

  • Michael Jeannette                                                                   (May 2014 – April 2015)

     

    Michael I am currently a medical student at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City. I completed my undergraduate education at the University of Toronto, where I majored in Human Biology and Psychology. My interests primarily lie in the field of behavioural medicine, with a focus on the influence of mental health disorders on patient wellness and outcomes. My time in the psychosocial team has been invaluable in teaching me how to perform effective research, and in expanding my knowledge on the challenging field of transplantation. I plan to specialize in Psychiatry, where I hope to continue pursuing meaningful research.

  • Michelle Kwok                                                                                        (July 2016 – May 2017)

     

    MichelleI completed my MBBS at Sydney Medical School, Australia, and my BA&Sc in Political Science and Cognitive Science at McGill University. Cross-cultural medicine has been my long-term interest, having completed several medical outreach trips abroad in China, Mongolia, Angola, and Ghana. Within Australia and Canada I have also participated in various medical clinics within the Chinese community, which has given me familiarity with their unique attitudes towards medical care. My involvement with this psychosocial nephrology research allows me to examine more objectively the societal and cultural factors behind the differing attitudes towards transplant, and how we as healthcare workers can be an influence to patients on an individual, societal, and policy level.

  • Priscilla Yung                                                                              (September 2014 – August 2015)

  • Trevor Lee                                                                                   (April 2016 – July 2016)

     

    I am a 3rd year medical student at the University of Toronto and a new research volunteer in the Dr. Mucsi Lab. My research interest is: 1) exploring the psycho-social determinants of health in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in accessing evidenced based treatments, such as living donor kidney transplant; 2) validating a self-report instrument for health outcomes for CKD patients; and 3) assessing the impact of patient education on the knowledge and perception of kidney transplant as a treatment in CKD patients. On the research team, my role is to recruit participants for our current studies and to manage/analyze data. As a short term plan, I would like to focus on assisting the team in disseminating our findings from research in order to improve the quality of care and current practice for CKD patients. In the long term, I see myself practicing as a clinician scientist like Dr. Mucsi and Dr. Novak; however, I am also open to new possibilities and challenges.

  • Yalinie Kulandaivelu                                                                 (December 2015 – January 2016)