Dr. Philip Awadalla
Executive Scientific Director, Ontario Health Study; National Scientific Director, Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (CanPath)
Dr. Philip Awadalla, PhD, has served since 2015 as the Principal Investigator and Executive Scientific Director of the Ontario Health Study. He is also the National Scientific Director for the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (CanPath), Director of Computational Biology at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, and Professor of Population and Medical Genomics at the University of Toronto. More
Senior Program Manager, Ontario Health Study
Kelly completed a B.Sc. in Psychology from McMaster University and an M.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto. She worked as a Research Assistant in a neuroimaging lab before joining the Ontario Health Study Science Team in March 2008.
“The opportunity to work on something with this much research potential is invigorating. So many different things impact our health and quality of life, and rapid advances in technology are making it possible to study aspects of our behaviour and genetics that simply weren’t possible in the past. The Ontario Health Study could provide insight into the causes and risk factors for any number of health conditions, which could then lead to improvements in preventing diseases before they start.”
Alexis completed an Honours B.A in English Literature at Queen’s University, and brings extensive experience in communications and public relations. She has worked in not-for-profit, for-profit and political environments, always in a communications capacity. Prior to joining the Ontario Health Study, she was the Corporate Communications Manager for the Ontario Trillium Foundation, a grant-giving agency of the Ontario Government. Alexis has been a Study participant since 2010.
“Cancer and chronic diseases such as diabetes touches most families. The Ontario Health Study lets participants, like me, actively contribute to local and national research that can help make our lives healthier and boost quality of life.”
Project Lead, Research Operations
Matthew completed an Honours B.Sc. in Biology and Health Studies from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining the Ontario Health Study, Matthew worked as a Research Coordinator at the University Health Network.
“It is truly exhilarating to work alongside like-minded colleagues in the fight to better understand the nature of chronic diseases. It is a privilege to be a part of a research platform that has the potential to positively impact the health outcomes of both our current and future generations.”
Victoria (Vicki) completed a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Yale University, an M.Sc. in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto and a B.Sc. in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University. She completed a fellowship at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics and worked as an Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, and as a Scientist at Cancer Care Ontario prior to joining the Ontario Health Study.
“I am excited to be leading and supporting research activities using OHS data, mentoring trainees, and building collaborations within the scientific community. The OHS has flourished, resulting in high quality databases and biospecimen repositories that can be linked and employed in a wide range of innovative research; it is poised to advance our understanding of the etiology, progression, management and control of cancer and other chronic diseases.”
Senior Communications Officer
Mason completed an Honours B.Soc.Sci. degree in Political Science at the University of Ottawa. He has worked for many public sector institutions in both Policy and Communications capacities.
“The OHS has the potential to positively affect the lives of many people in Ontario and beyond. Helping to build and grow this platform continues to be an extremely rewarding experience.”
Project Lead, Biospecimen Operations
Melissa completed an OCAD in Biotechnology Forensics and has an extensive background in quality assurance and quality control and biospecimen handling best practices. Prior to joining the Ontario Health Study, Melissa worked for the Ontario Tumour Bank and for the Toronto Lung Transplant Program as a Research Biospecimen Coordinator.
“The Ontario Health Study, as one of the largest population-based studies ever conducted, has the potential to change the landscape of healthcare worldwide. It’s very exciting to have the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing team and work on project of such consequence.”
Project Manager, Special Projects
Abiola has an Honours BSc in Biology with vast experience managing biospecimens. Her broad range of experience includes quality control and assurance, as well as biospecimen handling best practices. Abiola worked for the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute as a Research Associate prior to joining the OHS team.
“I am excited to be part an organization that has the opportunity to impact so many lives in a positive way. Knowledge is power!”
Helen completed her Honours B.Math from the University of Waterloo. Prior to joining the Ontario Health Study, Helen worked as a Data Analyst at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
“I am honoured to be contributing to this exciting and innovative study. The study has so much potential to address complex research questions and creating better health awareness for all Canadians.”
Sarah completed an MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto, prior to which she earned her medical degree from Ahfad University in Sudan. Her experience has been and continues to be diverse, spanning across the world of medicine as she worked in both clinical and research capacities, with a strong and growing interest in statistical analysis, epidemiological methods, and population and community health.
“The Ontario Health Study is leading robust and valuable research in developing our understanding of health outcomes at the Canadian population level. I am thrilled to be able to contribute to this understanding – one that will be essential in addressing and reducing disparities within our population.”
Manager, OHS Informatics
Vali completed an M.Sc.in Engineering Sciences from the University of Bucharest. He brings to the OHS an extensive background and experience in IT Enterprise Architectures, technologies and operations as well as methodologies and tools. Vali has had various leadership responsibilities throughout his career, being part of IT Enterprise and Solution Architecture teams with leading technology organizations such as Deloitte, Electronic Data Systems, and Hewlett Packard.
“To be part of innovative and targeted research that could translate from the research bench to Canadian communities is a daily professional motivation. The Ontario Health Study is undertaking one of the biggest health challenges of our times and enables the best and brightest minds in the chronic disease research community in ways that have never been possible before.”
Michael has a Master’s degree in Computer Sciences and has been working as a software developer and infrastructure specialist for more than 20 years. His background includes the design of architecture, software development, and technical support for Java Web applications in various domains including healthcare, financial and telecommunication.
“I am very enthusiastic to bring my knowledge and passion to a study that is capable of providing more information in regards to cancer research.”
Quality Assurance Technician
Igor completed a Bachelor of Economics and Business at Moscow University of Commerce. He has more than 15 years experience in Information Technology in the field of Quality Assurance.
“I am excited to have an opportunity to work for a non-profit organization and I am very grateful to be able to contribute to such a worthy cause as health research.”
Kathleen has a Certificate of Christian Humanities from Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy. She has provided administrative support to various teams at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and is excited to join the OHS team. Previously, she provided EA support to the President of a Project Management company in Montreal that provided services to Inuit and First Nations communities in Northern Quebec and Nunavut.
Community Liaison/Administrative Assistant
Nazanin completed her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto. Nazanin has always had an interest in working for non-profit organizations. Prior to joining the Ontario Health Study in 2013, she worked in both private and public sector organizations.
“I feel very excited to be part of this commendable Study. I feel honoured to serve as a liaison between the OHS and its Study participants, whose participation and enthusiasm play an important role in making a difference in the health of all Ontarians.”