PhD Students

Gengming He

Division of Biostatistics, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

Mentors: Lisa Strug (primary).
Project Title: Investigating human nasal epithelia as a respiratory model for Cystic Fibrosis using RNA-Sequencing.
Term: Sep 2020 - Aug 2022

Sangook Kim

University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health and The Hospital for Sick Children.

Mentors: Lisa Strug (primary), Shelley Bull Johanna Rommens Anne Stephenson.
Project Title: Development of a phenotype for Lung Disease in Cystic Fibrosis: applications to genetic association across cohorts and countries.
Term: Nov 2017

Boxi Lin

Division of Biostatistics, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

Mentors: Lei Sun (Primary), Lisa Strug, Johanna Rommens.
Project Title: Development of robust statistical methods to enhance the power of genetic association studies in the presence of heterogeneity.
Term: Sep 2021 - Sep 2023

Yu-Chung (Jerry) Lin

Division of Biostatistics, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

Mentors: Lisa Strug (primary), Lei Sun, Johanna Rommens.
Project Title: Incorporating Robust Statistical Procedures into Model Selection Using Genomic Features with Small Effect Sizes.
Term: Sep 2020 - Spring 2023

Dingke Tang

Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Toronto

Mentors: Linbo Wang (primary), Andrew Paterson, Celia Greenwood.
Project Title: Correcting for selection bias in Mendelian randomization studies with limited power.
Term: Apr 2022 - Apr 2024

Fan Wang

Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Toronto.

Mentors: Lisa Strug (primary), Lei Sun, Johanna Rommens.
Project Title: Co-localization Method with Application in Cystic Fibrosis.
Term: Sep 2020 - Aug 2022

Changchang Xu

Division of Biostatistics, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

Mentors: Shelley Bull (primary), Irene Andrulis.
Project Title: Improving mixture cure modelling of multiple molecular factors in cancer prognosis.
Term: Sep 2020 - Aug 2022

Dongyang Yang

Division of Biostatistics, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

Mentors: Wei Xu (primary), Andrew Paterson, Geoffrey Liu.
Project Title: Partition of Human Microbiome Sequencing Data and Analysis of genome-wide Genetic Association through a Distance-based Unsupervised Learning Model.
Term: Sep 2020 - Aug 2022

Lehang Zhong

Division of Biostatistics, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

Mentors: Lisa Strug (Primary), Lei Sun, Johanna Rommers.
Project Title: Methodology for differential gene expression analysis in large samples: Application to cystic fibrosis lung disease.
Term: Sep 2021 - Sep 2023

Ziang Zhang

Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Toronto.

Mentors: Lei Sun (primary), Andrew Paterson, Jerry Lawless
Project Title: Interpretation and adjustment of covariate effects in the GWAS of binary traits.
Term: Apr 2022 - Apr 2024

Postdoctoral Fellows

Samar Salah Mohamedahmed Elsheikh

Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Pharmacogenetics Research Clinic.

Mentors: Daniel Felsky (Primary), Guillaume Paré, James Kennedy.
Project Title: Integrative and Multifactorial Prediction of Antidepressant Remission in Late-Life Depression Using Structural Equation Modelling.
Term: Apr 2022 - Apr 2024

Kexin Luo

Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.

Mentors: Shelley Bull (primary), Andrew Paterson, Irene Andrulis.
Project Title: Statistical methods for region-based genome-wide association study (GWAS) analysis of common and rare variants.
Term: Sep 2020 - Aug 2022

Elham Khodayari Moez

Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.

Mentors: Rayjean Hung (primary), Stephen Lye, Lisa Strug.
Project Title: Investigating host genomics and epigenomics for early childhood cytomegalovirus sequelae based on birth cohort.
Term: Sep 2020 - Aug 2022

Divya Sharma

Division of Biostatistics, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

Mentors: Wei Xu (primary), Andrew Paterson, Geoffrey Liu.
Project Title: Application of machine learning in longitudinal microbiome data analysis for disease prediction.
Term: Sep 2020 - Aug 2022

Jingxiong (Amelia) Xu

Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.

Mentors: Laurent Briollais (primary), Wei Xu, Stephen Lye, Rayjean Hung.
Project Title: Analysis of genome-wide G by E interaction studies through Bayesian graphical modeling.
Term: Sep 2021 - Aug 2023

CANSSI Ontario STAGE HostSeq Trainees

Ohanna Bezerra

Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

Mentors: France Gagnon.
Project Title: In silico evaluation of the impact of pandemic-inherited study design biases with application to a thromboembolism-informed HD-GWAS of COVID-19 severe outcomes
Term: Sep 2021 - Aug 2022

Qian Liu

Departments of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Computer Science and Statistics, University of Manitoba.

Mentors: Pingzhao Hu.
Project Title: DeepHostSeverity: Deep learning and genomic-driven COVID-19 severity assessment tool
Term: Sep 2021 - Aug 2022

Tianyuan Lu

Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University.

Mentors: Celia Greenwood.
Project Title: Dissecting the genetic architecture of COVID-19 comorbidities and identifying biomarkers for high-risk individuals.
Term: Apr 2022 - Apr 2023

Diogo Pellegrina

Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Computational Biology Program

Mentors: Jüri Reimand
Project Title: Integrative analysis of population polymorphism interference in host phospho-signaling response networks to SARS-CoV-2infection.
Term: Sep 2022 - Sep 2023

Xiaoke Qin

School of Mathematics and Statistics, Carleton University

Mentors: Sanjeena Dang
Project: Cluster analysis of patients infected by COVID-19 and a risk forecast model based on clustering.
Term: Apr 2022 - Apr 2023

Alumni Trainees

Master's Students

Tabitha Kung

Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Queen's University and Clinician-scientist at KGH Research Institute (updated on 2021).

Project: Genetic Predictors of Response to Treatment in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Term: May 2011 - Jun 2012

PhD Students

Darren Brenner

Associate Professor, University of Calgary (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Shelley B. Bull, Rayjean Hung (primary), Geoffrey Liu.
Project Title: A histology-specific genome-wide investigation of lung cancer.
Term: Jan 2011 - Jun 2012

Jessica Dennis

Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Genetics at UBC and Investigator at BC Children's Hospital Research Institute (updated on 2021).

Mentors: France Gagnon (primary), Zdenka Pausova, Lisa Strug.
Project Title: Genetic and epigenetic factors in the regulation of tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI) plasma levels and role in venous thromboembolism.
Term: Oct 2011 - Jan 2016

Andriy Derkach

Assistant Attending Biostatistician, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (updated on 2021).

Mentors: Andrew Paterson, Johanna Rommens, Lei Sun (primary), Jerry Lawless.
Project Title: Statistical methodologies for genetic association studies with rare variants.
Term: Jan 2011 - Jun 2014.

Osvaldo Espin-Garcia

Assistant Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Western University (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Shellley Bull (primary), Wei Xu, Andrew Paterson, Geoffrey Liu.
Project Title: Integrative methods for design and analysis of genetic association studies.
Term: Sep 2016 - Aug 2018.

Karl Everett

Senior Research Analyst ICES (updated on 2022)

Mentors: France Gagnon (primary), Michael Wilson.
Project Title: Genetic and epigenetic determinants of apolipoproteins B and A1 plasma levels and their associations with hypercoagulability.
Term: Sep 2016 - Aug 2017.

Laura Faye

Director, Performance Accountability and Funding, Toronto Region Ontario Health (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Shelley B. Bull (primary), Lei Sun.
Project Title: Accurate and efficient estimation of genetic effect in genome-wide association and genetic sequencing studies.
Term: Jan 2011 - Jul 2013.

Sarah Gagliano Talin

Principal Investigator, Montreal Heart Institute; Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine and Neurociences, Université de Montréal (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Jo Knight (primary), Andrew Paterson, Cathy Barr.
Project Title: Identification of risk variants in genome-wide association studies using functional characteristics.
Term: Sep 2015 - Nov 2016.

Linda Kachuri

Assistant Professor, Stanford University (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Rayjean Hung (primary), Lei Sun, Geoffrey Liu.
Project Title: Comprehensive investigation of telomere length and its genetic determinants in cancer risk and clinical outcomes.
Term: Sep 2014 - Aug 2016.

Michael Lebenbaum

University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (updated on 2021).

Mentors: France Gagnon (primary) Laurent Briollais. Project Titles: Genetic endowments and social capital: An examination of the association between Polygenic scores for educational attainment and adult social capital.
Term: Sep 2020 - Aug 2022.

Michael Lerro

Mentors: France Gagnon (primary), Michael Wilson.
Project Titles: Epistatic mechanisms dictating the thrombotic risk factor endogenous thrombin potential.
Term: Sep 2016 - Aug 2020.

Weili Li

Manager of The Centre for Applied Genomics (TCAG) Statistical Analysis Facility (updated on 2022)

Mentors: Lisa Strug (primary), Johanna Rommens, Rayjean Hung.
Project Title: Developing novel statistical methods under the evidential framework with a focus on analyzing sequence data.
Term: Oct 2011 - Aug 2015.

Victoria Marshe

University of Toronto, Institute of Medical Sciences, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (updated on 2022). Mentors: James Kennedy (primary), Anna Goldenberg, Andrew Paterson.
Project Title: Applying machine learning to genomic data to identify diagnostic subtypes in late-life depression.
Term: Sep 2016

Dave Soave

Assistant Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University (updated on 2022)

Mentors: Lei Sun (primary), Lisa Strug, Johanna Rommens.
Project Title: Predicting cystic fibrosis-related diabetes using longitudinal measures of pancreatic damage from birth for better patient management.
Term: Feb 2013 - Aug 2016.

Matthew Warkentin

PhD Candidate in Epidemiology at Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto (updated on 2021)

Mentors: Rayjean Hung (primary), Geoffrey Liu, Laurent Briollais.
Project Title: University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.
Term: N/A

Lin Zhang

Scientific Associate, University Health Network (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Lei Sun (primary) Lisa Strug, Johanna Rommens.
Project Title: A robust and unifying regression framework for allele-based association test.
Term: Dec 2017 - 2021

Nora Zwingerman

Mentors: France Gagnon (primary), Zdenka Pausova, Matthieu Lemire.
Project Title: The association of DNA variants and DNA methylation levels with fibrinolytic protein levels.
Term: Jul 2013 - Aug 2015.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Myriam Brossard

Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.

Mentors: Shelley Bull (primary), Radu Craiu, Rayjean Hung.
Project Title: Development of novel statistical methods for genetic analysis of complex traits.
Dec 2017 - Nov 2019

Christie Burton

Senior Research Associate, The Hospital for Sick Children (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Paul Arnold, Andrew Paterson, Lisa Strug (primary).
Project title: Examining the possible role of dopamine and glutamate gene networks in response to inhibition to understand the genetics of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
Term: Feb 2013 - Jan 2015

Robbie (Robert) Davies

Associate Professor of Statistical and Population Genomics, University of Oxford (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Stephen Scherer (primary), Andrew Paterson, Lisa Strug.
Project title: Using genetic variants across the allele frequency spectrum to study autism spectrum disorder.
Term: Jun 2018 - Jul 2019

Zhijian (Charlie) Chen

Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital

Mentors: Shelley B. Bull (primary), Radu Craiu, Andrew Paterson.
Project title: Design and analysis of genome-wide studies of complex diseases and traits.
Term: Jan 2011 - Aug 2013

Elizabeth Corfield

Researcher, Norwegian Institute of Public Health (2022).

Mentors: Lisa Strug (primary), Andrew Paterson, Anne Bassett.
Project title: Characterizing the genetics of ADHD traits with cognitive deficits in a pediatric community-based sample.
Term: Dec 2017 - Nov 2018

Eileen Crowley

Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Andrew Paterson (primary), Lisa Strug.
Project title: Whole exome sequencing of veo-IBD patients from the NEOPICS International Cohort Study.
Term: Jul 2018 - Jun 2019

Gord Fehringer

Linkage Analyst, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Laurent Briollais, Rayjean Hung (primary), Geoffrey Liu.
Project title: Genome-wide and post genome-wide studies of lung cancer and head and neck cancer.
Term: Jan 2011 - Jan 2012

Linda Hiraki

Staff Physician, Division of Rheumatology; Scientist, Genetics & Genome Biology Program, The Hospital for Sick Children; Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics & Epidemiology, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Shelley Bull, Andrew Paterson (primary), Zdenka Pausova.
Project title: Identification of genetic variants associated with renal function in type 1 diabetes..
Term: Jul 2013 - June 2015

Yue (Cindy) Jiang

The Hospital for Sick Children (updated on 2015).

Mentors: Jayne Danska (primary), Andrew Paterson, Lisa Strug.
Project title: A systems based analytical framework for metatranscriptomic studies of type 1 diabetes.
Term: Sep 2012 - Aug 2015

Sareh Keshavarzi

Assistant Professor, Biostatistics Division, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Senior Biostatistician, Biostatistics Department, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Andrew Paterson (primary), France Gagnon, Angelo Canty.
Project title: Multivariate meta genome-wide association of cardiovascular disease risk factors in Type 1 diabetes.
Term: Sep 2016 - Aug 2018

Agnieszka Krol

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, AstraZeneca (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Laurent Briollais (primary).
Project title: Development of multistate models for rare variant analysis in familial cancer studies.
Term: Jul 2017 - Nov 2017

Martin Ladouceur

Alimentiv Inc. (updated on 2022).

Mentors: France Gagnon (primary), Mathieu Lemire, Arturas Petronis.
Project title: Statistical models to characterize genome-wide DNA methylation from multigenerational families.
Term: Nov 2012 - Dec 2013

Melissa Miller

Director of Human Genetics, Internal Medicine Research Unit, Pfizer (updated on 2022).

Mentors: France Gagnon, Lisa Strug (primary), Johanna Rommens.
Project title: Identifying Genetic Modifiers of Immunoreactive Trypsinogen Levels in a NBS Population in Cystic Fibrosis.
Term: Mar 2011 - Feb 2014

Saira Mirza

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Mentors: Joanne Knight (primary).
Project title: The association between genetic and imaging markers of neurodegeneration across dementias-A data-driven approach
Term: Sep 2016 - Aug 2018

Vanessa Gonçalves

Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Department of Psychiatry, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, and Independent Scientist, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (updated on 2022)

Mentors: James L. Kennedy (primary), Andrew Paterson, Lei Sun.
Project title: Variability of the DRD4 gene in behavioural phenotypes.
Term: Sep 2011 - Aug 2013

Marie Pigeyre

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Endocrinology Division, McMaster University (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Guillaume Paré (primary).
Project title: Identification of novel biomarkers to predict vascular complications of Type 2 diabetes: A Mendelian Randomization approach.
Term: Dec 2017 - Jun 2019

Alejandra E. Medina Rivera

Junior Faculty, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Campus Juriquilla; Research Associate, International Laboratory for Human Genome Research (updated on 2022).

Mentors: France Gagnon, Jo Knight, Michael Wilson (primary).
Project title: Leveraging functional genomics data to enhance GWAS analyses and causal variant identification.
Term: Sep 2014 - Mar 2015

Razvan Romanescu

Assistant Professor, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Shelley Bull (primary), Irene Andrulis, Julia Knight.
Project title: Pathway-based detection of rare mutations in affected relatives.
Term: Dec 2017 - Jan 2020

Delnaz Roshandel

Senior Bioinformatician, The Hospital for Sick Children (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Shelley Bull (primary), Irene Andrulis, Julia Knight.
Project title: Pathway-based detection of rare mutations in affected relatives.
Term: Dec 2017 - Jan 2020

Talisa Silzer

Medical Communications Writer at Sixsense Strategy Group (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Lisa Strug (primary), Dehan Kong.
Project title: Genetic and environmental influences on pediatric neuropsychiatric traits.
Term: Sep 2021 - Oct 2021

Fodé Tounkara

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream of Statistics at University of Toronto (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Laurent Briollais (primary), Julia Knight.
Project title: Extending risk prediction models for hereditary breast ovarian cancer (HBOC) families.
Term: Jul 2018 - Dec 2018

Yan Yan Wu

Associate Professor, Office of Public Health Studies, University of Hawai'i at Manoa (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Laurent Briollais (primary), Julia Knight, Stephen J. Lye.
Project title: Development of statistical methods for BMI growth curves estimation and analysis on longitudinal GWAS data in relation to metabolic traits in children.
Term: Aug 2012 - Aug 2014

Lizhen Xu

Senior Principal Biostatistician, PHRI Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Hamilton Health Sciences (updated on 2022)

STAGE Details
Mentors: Wei Xu (primary) Andrew Paterson.
Location of research: University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
Project title: Development of statistical methods for BMI growth curves estimation and analysis on longitudinal GWAS data in relation to metabolic traits in children
Term: Jul 2013 - Oct 2014

Yildiz Yilmaz

Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Statistics, Memorial University (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Irene L. Andrulis, Shelley B. Bull (primary), Julia Knight.
Project title: Statistical methods for molecular genetic analysis of breast cancer.
Term: Jan 2011 - May 2013

Yanyan Zhao

Assistant Professor, Shandong University (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Lei Sun (primary), Lisa Strug, Johanna Rommens.
Project Title: A unified regression framework for polygenic risk score, PrediXcan, and TWAS tests.
Term: Dec 2017 - 2021

Visiting Faculty

Hance Clarke

University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and University Health Network (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Jo Knight (primary), Andrew Paterson, Michael Wilson.
Project title: Chronic post surgical pain - A pilot genome-wide association study.
Term: Jul 2013 - July 2014

Sara Good

Professor, Biology Department, University of Winnipeg (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Jo Knight (primary), Andrew Paterson, Michael Wilson.
Project title: Using imputed gene expression values to look for genetic risk factors associated with complications of Type 1 diabetes.
Term: Jan 2017 - Dec 2017

Marc Woodbury-Smith

Clinical Senior Lecturer/Hon Consultant, Newcastle University (updated on 2022).

Mentors: Andrew Paterson (primary), Stephen Scherer, Lei Sun.
Project title: Identifying functional rare variants in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) families.
Term: Jan 2012 - Dec 2013