Past Students

2016 Cohort2015 Cohort | 2014 Cohort | 2013 Cohort

2016 Cohort

Neil Brett is a PhD candidate in the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition at McGill University and holds the Donald Mackenzie Munroe Fellowship from McGill University. He graduated with a BSc. in Nutrition and Food Science (Nutrition Major) from the University of Alberta. For his PhD, Neil is investigating whether current Canadian vitamin D recommendations are correct for 2-8 year old children by seeing if meeting recommendations during winter improves vitamin D status as well as bone, muscle and immune health. He is also exploring what parents know about vitamin D and milk products and how this affects the intakes of their children. Neil’s research has already been broadly used by Health Canada in improving national policies on vitamin D food fortification. He aims to continue to use his work to improve national and international health policies and translate his results into useable information for parents and children. Neil is also actively involved in improving health and wellness policies on McGill campus by being on the McGill Wellness Strategy Advisory Committee and the coordinator of the McGill Macdonald Campus Peer Helper Program.

Sierra Clark is pursuing a Masters of Science (MSc) degree in Epidemiology at McGill University and holds a BA (Hon) in Geography (McGill U). Her research interests are in global environmental exposures that are harmful to health, and interventions to address them. Sierra’s Masters research is an assessment of the potential air pollution and cardiovascular health benefits of an improved cook stove and fuel intervention in the Tibetan Plateau. Sierra just returned from the rural field site in China where she collected data for her thesis, as well as data on intervention stove uptake, adoption, and sustained use, using questionnaires and novel sensor-based monitors. Sierra is currently a CGS-CIHR Master’s award holder, a National Geographic Young Explorer and a Mitacs Globalink International Research Award holder, and she is an active member of the Baumgartner Research Group at McGill.

Darcie DeAngelo is a PhD student in Anthropology at McGill. She specializes in the anthropology of medicine and psychological anthropology. She holds a BA in Anthropology from Harvard University and a MPhil in Visual Cultural Studies from the University of Tromsø in Norway. She has previously worked in the fields of mental health research and trauma with the researchers at the newly founded Health Equity Research Lab in Cambridge, MA and the Harvard Program for Refugee Trauma. Her current research focuses on the trauma and resilience of former combatants in Cambodia. As part of her fieldwork she spent fourteen months studying a pilot program for the training of mine detectors who work with rats that can scent out TNT and thus detect landmines. These rats are imported biomedical technologies that can be trained to scent TNT and Tuberculosis; they have been used successfully in Africa for both objectives and currently detect landmines in Cambodia. The deminers are a team of former victims and combatants of the Khmer Rouge, a genocidal regime that killed millions in the 1970s and continued on in smaller wars in the 1990s. Her dissertation incorporates Science and Technology Studies, Cambodian Buddhist understandings about love and spirits, as well as histories of violence in Cambodia as ways to investigate modes of reconciliation and resilience.

Michelle Dimitris is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health under the supervision of Dr. Jay Kaufman.  Broadly, Michelle's research interests include intervention-based research in global health, evaluation of policies and programs, perinatal epidemiology, and causal methods.  Prior to beginning her PhD, Michelle obtained a BSc Honours (Life Sciences) and MSc (Epidemiology) at Queen's University.  Subsequently, she worked as an Analyst and a Data Analyst at the Canadian Institute for Health Information and in the Centre for Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children, respectively.  In her doctoral dissertation, Michelle intends to apply her extensive analytical and global health experience to examine mechanisms on the causal pathway between intervention and maternal/child health in low and middle-income countries.

Alina Geampana is a PhD candidate in the department of Sociology at McGill University. Her current work focuses on the regulation and risk/benefit assessment of hormonal contraceptives. She is particularly interested in different models of expertise and research trajectories that affect contraceptive development. In her thesis, Alina explores debates about the safety of the pill that have come to the fore in recent years in Canada in light of the public outcry over deaths allegedly caused by popular contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin. In the new context of marketing by pharmaceutical companies and a climate of increasingly complex risk/benefit analysis, there are multiple competing cultural discourses about new contraceptive pills. Alina's research explores contraceptive risk as a socially contested process in order to reveal: 1) how the level of acceptable risk is determined and negotiated 2) what cultural and scientific factors play a role in risk evaluations of controversial pills and 3) how evaluations incorporate the perceived and promoted quality of life benefits of these technologies. This research is meant to advance scientific and technological debates about risk, contraception, and medicine. Alina's more general research and teaching interests include sex and gender, women's health, sexuality, medical sociology, science and technology studies, and the sociology of risk. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Sociology from York University, Toronto and her work has also been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Wolfe

Skye Miner is a PhD candidate in Sociology with a Women and Gender Studies’ emphasis. Her current research interests are in the intersections between science, technology, ethics and gender. She is presently conducting qualitative semi-structured interviews with Canadian fertility patients and fertility care providers for her dissertation, which will examine the experiences of couples who travel across national borders for in vitro fertilization treatments involving egg donation. She also works as a research assistant at the Jewish General Hospital where she is working with a team of psychologists, physicians and other health care practitioners to develop a mobile health application for couples who are undergoing fertility treatment. Her work focuses on the social and ethical aspects surrounding women’s health and people’s use of new medical technologies. She holds a MA in Sociology from Brandeis University and completed her bachelor’s in Sociology and Gender Studies at Gonzaga University. 

Hessey Ohm is a MSc. student in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University, working under the supervision of Dr. Patricia Li and Dr. Isabelle Vedel. Her thesis project investigates the impact of Québec primary care reforms, namely the implementation of Family Medicine Groups, on the accessibility of primary care for adolescents and health inequities. Adolescents are one of the most vulnerable, yet underserved populations in health care. Though perceived to be generally healthy, adolescents suffer from high rates of injury, homicide, suicide, substance use, sexually transmitted disease, and pregnancy. By shedding insight into the state of adolescent primary health care in Québec, she hopes to foster a call for action among clinicians, researchers, and policy makers to improve adolescent health care. Prior to beginning her MSc. degree, she completed a BSc. of Science at McGill University in 2015, majoring in Pharmacology and minoring in Psychology.

Kira Riehm is an MSc candidate in the Department of Psychiatry. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at McGill University in Honours Psychology, and during her degree, she worked as a floor fellow in McConnell Hall Residence and volunteered for McGill Students’ Nightline. From these experiences, she developed interests in treatment dissemination, correlates of treatment seeking, and barriers to care for adolescents and young adults seeking treatment for mental health issues. For her thesis, she will be using data from the Health Behavior of School-Aged Children survey to determine the extent to which human resources and health expenditure for mental health at the country level predict self-reported adolescent mental health under the supervision of Dr. Frank Elgar. Kira has previously worked on projects examining the diagnostic accuracy of commonly used depression screening tools and the registration status of randomized controlled trials published in behavioral health journals. In the future, she intends to pursue a PhD in health services research.

Alyssa Wilbur is a graduate student in the Department of Geography at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Alyssa received her undergraduate degree in International Development Studies and Geography from McGill and has worked as a research assistant in McGill’s Geography department for the past three years. Her research broadly examines urban development and cultural politics in post-colonial new cities across the globe. Her MA research explores urban policies and cultural representations in urban spaces, primarily in new cities in Indonesia.

Sakiko Yamaguchi is a PhD student in Social and Transcultural Psychiatry at McGill. Her research focuses on alcohol misuse among the Andean highland population in Peru. She aims to explore the ways in which the indigenous people make sense and generate meaning-making of drinking in their lives and social processes after the 20-year lasting political violence. Prior to her studies at McGill, she worked on many social development projects on health and education in Asia (Philippines, Vietnam, Afghanistan), Latin America  (Nicaragua, Peru, Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras), and Africa (Sudan). She holds a Master of Science in Mental Health Services and Population Research from Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK and a Master of Science in Planning from University of Guelph, Ontario.

2015 Cohort

Nichole Austin is a PhD candidate in Epidemiology at McGill University. Her research is broadly rooted in social epidemiology with an emphasis on assessing the causal impact of social policies on women’s and children’s health. In her doctoral work, Nichole will examine how reproductive health policies – particularly those restricting access to abortion and contraception – affect access to essential health care services and women’s health outcomes in developed countries. Although literature exists on the economic effects of reproductive policy shifts, little is known about the causal effects of restrictive policies on health; a better assessment of this relationship is vital in predicting the potential impact of these policies. Prior to enrolling in the doctoral program, Nichole obtained an MSc in Epidemiology from McGill and a BA in Psychology from Mount Holyoke College.

Nufar Avni is a PhD Candidate at the School of Urban Planning at McGill University. Nufar completed her Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Master of Urban Planning at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, where she developed her interest in the social implications of urban planning policies. Her Master’s dissertation compared informal housing policies and their relations to urban citizenship and ethnic relations in Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, Israel, and in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where she carried out her fieldwork. Following graduation, Nufar worked as an urban planner specializing in environmental planning in the largest environmental NGO in Israel. Nufar’s doctoral research is conducted under the supervision of Professor Raphael Fischler and Professor Lisa Bornstein, focusing on issues of social equity in waterfront redevelopments. Her research interests also include urban cultural policy, governance and urban policy, and urban mega projects. She has organized several conferences and public events on planning policy, and has recently begun writing for an online urban magazine on contemporary urban issues in Montreal and Tel-Aviv.

Geoffrey Battista is pursuing a doctorate in geography. His research untangles the roots of social equity in active transportation policy, from decision-maker values to the physical and cultural characteristics of cities. He examines the formulation of equity using tailored methods including, but not limited to, surveys, content analysis of transportation master plans, and audio-visually-recorded walking interviews analyzed in a qualitative geographic information system. He strives to make his results accessible to non-academic communities in order to inform more inclusive policies in transportation planning and governance.

Tal Cantor is a Masters of Science student in Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University. Her research is focused on the “social determinants of health” and she is interested in health care policy and reform, including social policy implementation, primary health care access for vulnerable populations, and equitable access to health and social services. Before beginning her Masters degree, in 2013 she completed an Honours Bsc in Environment at McGill, studying the “ecological determinants of health” from a cellular perspective. Currently Tal works for Dr. Anne Andermann and is involved in piloting and developing the CLEAR toolkit, the first training tool developed to provide frontline health workers with practical skills on how to take a broader view when treating patients and to empower health workers to improve health and social outcomes for disadvantaged children and families. Beyond the academic setting Tal works on a weekly basis in a Special Needs program where she both shadows a child who is autistic and helps teach art to adults having special needs.

Helen Cerigo is a PhD student in Epidemiology at McGill. Her current research seeks to understand how health system characteristics contribute to health inequalities. More specifically, she will assess the impact of health insurance policies and regulation on social inequalities in health status and health care access across developed countries with universal health insurance systems. Helen completed her MSc in Epidemiology at McGill and her BSc Honours in Biology at Queen’s University. Prior to returning to study at McGill she worked as a project manager on a public and private health insurance policy data collection project and as a public health epidemiologist focusing on child and family health. Her previous research has focused on mental health care systems and Inuit women’s health.

Natalia Manay is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in School and Applied Child Psychology. Natalia holds a B.A. degree in Psychology and Child and Youth Studies from Brock University and a M.A. degree in Educational Psychology from McGill University. Natalia completed the IHSP McBurney Latin America Fellowship in 2013. Since completing this fellowship in Ecuador, her interest in health and social issues pertaining to children and families has become part of her academic and clinical work. Under the guidance of Dr. Delphine Collin-Vezina and Dr. Steven Shaw, her current research focuses on adolescents´ disclosures of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). More specifically, the main objective of her dissertation is to understand the process of CSA disclosure, including barriers and facilitators of disclosure, outcomes of disclosure, and the impact of peer disclosures on future disclosures to parents, professionals, and legal authorities. Working with supervisors from the Social Work and Educational and Counselling Psychology departments, her research, much like her clinical work, is grounded in interdisciplinary work. Throughout her clinical work, and in particular, her field placement within a multidisciplinary team at the Childhood Disorders Day Hospital at the Jewish General Hospital, Natalia has learned first-hand the importance of multidisciplinary work for achieving the best possible outcomes for the children and families that she works with.

Nadia O’Brien is a doctoral student within the department of Family Medicine at McGill, supported by Dr. Alexandra de Pokomandy and Dr. Neil Andersson. Her research is conducted within the Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study (CHIWOS), where she aims to identify mechanisms by which we can facilitate the transfer of CHIWOS knowledge to practice towards the improved care of women living with HIV. Indeed, HIV infections among women have grown steadily in Canada, however, care services have not adapted in tandem to address specific healthcare needs (e.g. gynaecological screening, contraceptives, pregnancy planning) and differentially experienced social determinants of health (income, housing, violence). Her work with CHIWOS brings together her interests in participatory research approaches, sexual and reproductive health, vulnerable populations, and the potential for targeted interventions to redress health inequities. She is a graduate of the Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Simon Fraser University, where she worked with sex worker collectives in India, and of Medical Anthropology (BA) from the University of Toronto, where she explored Faith-Based responses to HIV/AIDS in Namibia.

Pauley Tedoff is a PhD candidate in Epidemiology at McGill University and part of the Environmental Epidemiology Research Group. Pauley holds a BA in Anthropology and an MSc in International Environmental Health and has worked in the overarching field of international development since 2006. In 2009, after several years designing and implementing social inclusion programs in low-income countries, Pauley formally transitioned to the global health sector. She has worked for various ministries of health, intergovernmental organizations, international NGOs, and academic institutions in North America, South America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her desire to conduct translational research that may inform environmental and health policies is what attracted her to study under the advisement of Dr. Jill Baumgartner, who is jointly appointed in the Institute for Health and Social Policy and the Department for Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health. In April of 2015, Pauley received a Vanier Scholarship. She will be designing her doctoral thesis proposal this year and is presently considering several topics pertaining to the impacts of air and water quality on the health of rural populations in South America. Pauley is excited to be a part of IHSP, where she looks forward to exploring her interest in social and behavioral determinants of health, as well as environmental health justice.

2014 Cohort: Milaine Alarie | Blanaid Donnelly | Fadi Hamadani | Alex Legrain | Sarah Mah | Fahimeh Mianji | Rebecca Pitt | Guido Powell | Matthew Secrest | Gilla Shapiro

Milaine Alarie is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at McGill University. She specializes in sexuality, romantic relationships, identities and alternative lifestyles, and she is particularly interested in how gender shapes people's experiences of intimacy. Her doctoral research is on middle-aged women's sexuality and romantic relationships, more specifically on women who choose younger men as their sex partner or spouse (often referred to as ‘women who engage in age-hypogamous sexual relationships’). The overarching research question guiding her sociological inquiry is: How do middle-aged Canadian women experience age-hypogamous sexual and/or romantic (heterosexual) relationships? More specifically, she explores four facets of women’s experiences, namely: a) identity choices/negotiations and gender performances; b) motivations for challenging the age hypergamy norm and expectations regarding the future of the relationship; c) feelings towards cultural representations of older women, and stigma management; d) perceived benefits, disadvantages and risks (e.g. STIs, social stigma, self-esteem, body image, etc.) associated with age hypogamy. In other words, Milaine is interested in understanding how older women navigate sexist and ageist social norms and stereotypes constraining women’s sexuality, how women challenging the age hypergamy norm experience their sexual and romantic life, and how relationships with younger men affect their personal well-being. Prior to her doctoral research, her masters’ research project focused on bisexuality among Canadian youth. She also completed a B.Soc.Sc. in Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa.

Blanaid Donnelly is a PhD Candidate at McGill University and an IDRC Doctoral Research Award recipient working on Indigenous Health and Climate Change with a focus on the potential impact of livestock on the health of indigenous Ugandans with Dr Lea Berrang Ford. She completed her Bachelor of Science, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Master of Public Health degrees at the University of Guelph where she developed her interest in epidemiology and ecosystems approaches to health. She is particularly passionate about international development and evidence-based practice and has spent time in South East Asia working with Veterinarians without Borders / Vétérinaires sans Frontières Canada and the International Livestock Research Institute.

Fadi Hamadani is a Resident in General Surgery at McGill. He completed his Masters in Epidemiology under Dr. Razek and Dr. Schwartzman at McGill University where his thesis characterized Northern Quebec's remote trauma system. He is now pursuing his PhD with the trauma group at McGill under Dr. Deckelbaum's supervision. His PhD focuses on the use of emerging technologies in trauma system development, injury surveillance, and surgical capacity building in low resource settings. As part of this project he has travelled to Mozambique, which is characterised by a heavy clinical burden and scarce human and material resources, to help introduce and develop a trauma registry in several hospitals. His studies at the IHSP under Dr. Nandi's supervision will help him develop strategies to set the foundation for policy making with a goal of scaling up this project and reducing injury incidence. He will pursue a career in trauma and critical care surgery with a focus on conflict medicine. 

Alex Legrain has strong interests in transportation, urban economics, and equity issues.  Growing up in rural Tennessee, he moved to Montreal to pursue an Honours degree in Philosophy.  For his thesis he researched the idea that work and labour are foundational human activities, and this has deeply influenced his current work in urban planning and transportation. He is presently researching the effect commuting has on health and the equitable availability of public transit.  He hopes to further focus his studies on the relationship between transportation and urban economics.

Sarah M. Mah is a Masters student in Epidemiology at McGill. Her broad research interests center around advancing women's health and economic security, and stem from her front-line work experience in equality-seeking women's organizations. The effects of women's poverty on reproductive health care provision have clear epidemiological, public health, economic, and social policy implications. Under the guidance of Dr. Nancy Ross and Dr. Sam Harper, her thesis project aims to assess whether there is evidence of increased hospital burden related to birth events for women with low socio-economic status, and what the implicated costs of low socio-economic status are to the healthcare system. To address this question, she is utilizing the Canadian Community Health Survey as well as the Discharge Abstract Database, which contain key variables on hospitalized individuals, such as demographics, and the nature and cost of care. Previously, Sarah received her Bachelor of Science in Biology with honours at the University of British Columbia in 2010.

Fahimeh Mianji is a PhD candidate in Social and Transcultural Psychiatry at McGill University and a Global Health Research Doctoral fellowship recipient working on the globalization of American psychiatry in Iran. Her research focuses more specifically on the over-diagnosis of bipolar disorder in Iran. She aims to explain the professional, sociocultural, and political uses of a new concept of bipolarity called “bipolar spectrum” or “soft bipolar” diagnosis. The first phase of her research, titled “The Uses of ‘Bipolar Disorder’ in Iran: Vicissitudes of a Diagnosis,” studies the history of the emergence of bipolarity in this country, how bipolar diagnosis and treatment are understood and applied among Iranian psychiatrists today and in comparison with the past, and the controversy about the use of this diagnosis in Iran. In the next phase of study, Fahimeh is looking for the patient and general population understanding of bipolarity in Iran. Prior to her studies at McGill University, she obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology and a PhD in Exceptional Children Psychology from Iran. 

Rebecca Pitt is pursuing her Masters in Nursing within the Global Health Studies stream of the McGill Ingram School of Nursing. She holds a B.Sc (Nursing) from McGill and is returning to graduate studies after 17 years of clinical practice in West Africa, Toronto, and mostly Montreal. Rebecca’s years at the front lines of nursing practice have helped her to realize the profound impact that her discipline can and should have on the direction of research that informs health policy reform and implementation. Her time in The Gambia, West Africa contributed to her interest in the challenges that poverty and cultural difference pose for health promotion and health equity, while her many years nursing among a culturally and socially diverse population in Canada have fostered a deep engagement with “Global Health at home”. Rebecca’s current research examines the health challenges of working poor families who access the Welcome Hall Mission, a charity that serves Montrealers living in poverty. Using a qualitative design, Rebecca seeks to elucidate pathways between social factors and health outcomes that characterize working poor families in an urban setting. In the future, Rebecca expects to continue integrating her nursing research and practice, with a particular focus on how to address the health inequities that exist between population groups in Canada.

Guido Powell is a Masters student in Epidemiology at McGill. He is broadly interested in the evaluation of mental health services. His current research examines the effects on quality of life of the At Home/Chez Soi project, the world’s largest experiment in a “Housing First” strategy for homeless individuals suffering from mental illness.  More specifically, his research seeks to identify and adjust for a bias in self-reported quality of life, known as response shift. A frequently observed problem in the field of medical research, response shift can occur in longitudinal studies when a treatment changes the expectations or values of participants that determine their reported outcomes. Adjusting for this bias would give a more accurate picture of the impact of Housing First on quality of life and assist policy makers in their choice of mental health policy. Prior to embarking on his Masters degree, Guido worked as a research assistant on the economic analysis of the At Home/Chez Soi project conducted by his current co-supervisor Dr Eric Latimer (he is also supervised by Dr Nancy Mayo). He holds a BA in Psychology with a minor in Political Science. 

Matthew Secrest is an MSc student in the department of Epidemiology at McGill. His research interests include the environmental determinants of human health in general and the effect of air pollution on health more specifically. He is currently working with Dr. Jill Baumgartner to develop exposure assessment tools to quantify the benefits of interventions that reduce solid fuel use on air quality and human health, and to demonstrate the application of these tools in a novel energy intervention program in rural China. Matt received his BS in chemistry from Wake Forest University in 2010. Before coming to McGill, Matt received a Fulbright Fellowship to be an English Teaching Assistant in France, where he was exposed to population research through a sociological study of French students. He also received a MacCracken Fellowship to perform chemical research in synthetic organic methodology. More recently, his interests have turned to public health, where he hopes to build a foundation for health policy through his research into air pollution.

Gilla Shapiro is completing her PhD in clinical psychology at McGill University. Gilla began her studies at the University of Cambridge, where she earned her BA and MA (Cantab) in Social Psychology. To further develop her interest in public policy, Gilla completed the MPA/MPP dual degree program at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Hertie School of Governance. Gilla has conducted research for the Hospital for Sick Children, St. Michael’s Hospital, the Global Public Policy institute, and the Social Science Research Center Berlin. Gilla’s current research is being conducted at the Psychosocial Oncology Lab, Jewish General Hospital, under the supervision of Dr. Zeev Rosberger. Her doctoral research investigates decision-making related to the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. 

2013 cohort:  Nicole D'souza | Anthony Kevins | Rachel Krause | Caroline Lyster | Lauren Maxwell | Vincenza Mazzeo | Leticia Morales | Kelly Ann Renwick | Rania Wasfi

Nicole D’souza is a Doctoral student in the Department of Social & Transcultural Psychiatry. Her doctoral research seeks to understand the relationship between violence and mental health outcomes for at-risk, inner city primary school children living in Kingston, Jamaica who are exposed to daily forms of violence. She will be working in collaboration with a larger evaluation study, to identify risk and resilience outcomes of boys and girls who are participating in an early intervention program aimed at evading the problem of violence in Jamaica. Specific information derived from this empirical research could be important in guiding program developers, health care providers and policy makers take a course of action that will improve the early environments of disadvantaged children.  Nicole’s research interests intersect on the micro perspectives of global health, which recognize the direct consequences of social, economic and political problems at the local level, as well as on the transnational impacts of globalization and the political ecology of social inequalities that lend themselves to these health problems. Prior to her doctoral research, Nicole completed her M.Sc in Psychiatry at McGill and received her B.Sc in Psychology from the University of Toronto.

Anthony Kevins was pursuing his PhD in Political Science during his time as a Research Fellow. He holds an MSc in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA (Hon.) in Political Science and Law and Society from York.While at the IHSP, Anthony developed his understanding of the effects of access to the welfare state on health outcomes. He also completed his dissertation on the determinants of policies shaping social policy coverage and benefit standardisation, focusing on healthcare and income support for the unemployed in France and Italy. More broadly, Anthony is interested in the impact of public perceptions of need and desert on who has access to the welfare state, as well as the interplay between technocratic and social scientific arguments for social policy reform. In the future, he hopes to further explore these research interests while working in academia. 

Rachel Krause is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Parasitology of McGill University and the McGill School of Environment. She holds a Master of Science in Biology from Concordia University and a Bachelor of Science (honours) in Environmental Sciences from the University of British Columbia. Her current research grows out of an interest in ecology, environment and global health. In her doctoral work, she has combined these interests through field research in rural Panama. Her research uses an ecohealth approach to explore the joint problems of intestinal parasite infections and malnutrition in preschool children, within the context of poor, rural communities practising subsistence agriculture. Further, through collaboration with the Panama Ministry of Health, she is examining the influence of a food security intervention program on the relationships between infection, nutrition and agriculture. Her current research is supported by a Doctoral Research Award from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and an NSERC Doctoral Scholarship.


Caroline Lyster is an MA student in the department of Philosophy, specializing in Biomedical Ethics.  Her undergraduate work was done at the University of Alberta: BSc (biological sciences) 2007, BA (philosophy) 2012.  While working on her BA she was lucky enough to complete an internship with the SSHRC/CURA funded project, "Living Archives on Eugenics in Western Canada."  Being involved in the project introduced her to a number of issues surrounding disability including the way that the perspectives of individuals with disability are often ignored in ethics and moral philosophy.  This has affected her current research, which seeks to introduce these important perspectives to the issues of physician-assisted death and selective termination.

Lauren Maxwell is a PhD student in Epidemiology at McGill.  She is broadly interested in the effect of gender based violence on health outcomes for women and children.  Her current work focuses on the association between intimate partner violence and women’s access to family planning in low and middle income countries.  She received her MPH in Maternal and Child Health from the University of North Carolina.  Before coming to McGill, Lauren worked in research on access to family planning and safe abortion in North Africa and Latin America and on the effect of immigration on maternal mental health and infant feeding patterns.  Lauren has a particular interest in evaluating programs that address unmet need for family planning and neglected tropical diseases in immigrant and refugee populations.  She is also interested in measuring the impact of policies that address intimate partner violence and child marriage on reproductive health outcomes for women and girls. 

Vincenza Mazzeo joined McGill’s Department of History and Classical Studies as a PhD Candidate in 2013.  While at the University of Toronto, she explored ideas of race science, law and medicine in transnational discourses through the Arts and Sciences.  As a MA student at Carleton University, Vincenza studied the development of Bantu Gynaecology – a branch of gynaecological knowledge which sought to probe, measure and quantify the bodies of indigenous South African women – and its correlation to the genesis of South African segregationist policies. Vincenza’s current interests build upon her previous research and experiences as an intern in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Ghana in 2011 by investigating the history of childbirth and confinement care in South Africa during the twentieth-century.  Through an examination of medical records, academic articles, news sources and oral interviews, Vincenza’s dissertation explores women’s responses to medicalized childbirth which challenged South African ideals regarding the body, reproduction and sexuality, and illuminates the forms of resistance to, and the selective incorporation of, western medicine by patients in South Africa’s metropolis. Vincenza believes that history affords us the opportunity to unravel and solve contemporary struggles related to the politics of reproduction.  Her research seeks to raise questions about the utility of bio-western medical care and health care delivery for Canadian women more generally.

Leticia Morales is a Fellow at the IHSP and the Faculty of Law. She obtained her PhD in Law from Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona) in 2013 with a dissertation on the legitimacy of the constitutional protection of social rights. She also holds an LLB in Law and a Master in Political Philosophy from the National University of Mar del Plata, Argentina. She held an FPI Fellowship at the Department of Law at Pompeu Fabra University (funded by the Spanish Government) and has been a visiting student at the University of Genova (2007, 2008), the University of Edinburgh (2009) and the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (2010). Her research focuses on the topic of social and economic rights and their constitutional protection, with specific reference to issues of philosophical justification and democratic legitimacy. Leticiaʼs current research project examines the role of democratic constraints on the judicial protection of the right to health, combining philosophical analysis with comparative legal analysis of jurisprudence and case law on right-to-health decisions in Canada and Latin America.

Kelly Ann Renwick is a health geographer with research interests that include the social determinants of health, health inequalities, and population health. During her time as a research fellow with the IHSP she was a PhD student at McGill focusing on the impact of low social support among low socioeconomic status elderly populations on mortality and hospitalization burden in Canada.  She received both her Bachelor of Science in Biology (2004) and Master of Arts in Geography (2010) from Appalachian State University (United States). Prior to beginning her PhD at McGill she taught geography and world studies as an adjunct instructor at Appalachian State University. As a research fellow Kelly focused on the best way in which her research could inform public health and health care policy, particularly the issue of elderly populations living and aging alone in Canada. Her research fellowship culminated with an op-ed titled ‘The Cost of Living Alone’.

Rania Wasfi is a PhD candidate at the Department of Geography at McGill University working under the supervision of Prof. Nancy Ross. Her research interest is in health geography, specifically looking at the social determinants of health and the role of active transportation in the production of health. Her research focuses on the role of environmental factors— such as a neighbourhood’s physical characteristics (built environment), socio-economic characteristics and transportation systems— in shaping travel behaviour, physical activity and body weight of urban Canadians, using longitudinal and cross sectional datasets. Rania received her Bachelors in Architectural Engineering from Alexandria University, Egypt and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University, Oregon, USA. She has four publications in peer reviewed journals. Prior to joining McGill, Rania was a research fellow at Oregon Health and Science University and University of Minnesota respectively. Her work during that period concentrated on conducting community environmental assessments for people with physical disabilities and measuring the transportation needs for seniors and people with developmental disabilities.