Students

Current Students

Mavra Qamar

Mavra is a Master of Public Health (MPH) student in Epidemiology with a Collaborative Specialization in Global Health at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Her interest in occupational epidemiology stems from her undergraduate degree in Occupational and Public Health along with her experience working in the field of occupational health and safety. During Mavra’s time at OCRC, she explored the cancer and occupational epidemiology of workers in the metal manufacturing sector using the Occupational Disease Surveillance System (ODSS). Specifically, Mavra conducted a retrospective cohort study using Cox proportional hazards models to estimate risks of a variety of cancers and non-cancer diseases among workers in the metal manufacturing sector. Mavra also explored work-related risk factors of disease including exposure to carcinogens and other hazards. She created an infographic to summarize her results and share them with diverse audiences.

Stephanie Ziembicki

Stephanie is a PhD student in Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Toronto. She became interested in cancer epidemiology while working at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s Department of Epidemiology on the association between alcohol consumption and breast density, both known risk factors for breast cancer. In her professional Master of Public Health program, Stephanie became interested in occupational diseases, specifically causes of occupational cancer. At OCRC, she will be working on the review of how work-related cancers are evaluated in Ontario to ensure that the most current medical science is used to determine whether a former worker ought to receive compensation. She will also be working on OCRC’s Occupational Disease Surveillance System (ODSS) for workers under federal jurisdiction.

Tenzin Norzin

Tenzin is a Master of Public Health (MPH) student in Epidemiology at the University of Toronto. Her interest in cancer epidemiology stems from her undergraduate training in Biomedical Sciences and work experience as a research assistant studying cancer biomarkers. She became interested in occupational exposures after learning about their ubiquitous role in various health conditions. At OCRC, Tenzin will be studying occupational epidemiology among workers in the protective services industry using the Occupational Disease Surveillance System (ODSS).

Xiaoke Zeng

Xiaoke Zeng is a PhD Public Health Science student at the University of Toronto. Xiaoke first became interested in exposures from the occupational and environmental sources and its related diseases from her undergraduate research experience of investigating lung functions among Chinese miners as well as evaluating indoor and outdoor particulate matter level among urban residential homes in China. In 2014, she moved to Saskatchewan to study whole body vibration exposure among Canadian Prairie farmers when they are using different farming equipment, where she also got chances to enjoy the magnificent farming view during data collection visits. Upon completion of her MSc studies, she worked a year with the Ergonomics Laboratory, part of the National Agricultural Industrial Hygiene Laboratory at the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture. At ErgoLab, she further studied occupational exposures and injuries in the food-animal industry among bovine practitioners and swine farmers. Xiaoke started her PhD in September 2017. At OCRC, she looks forward to further learning occupational exposure and cancer epidemiology in the Ontario mining industry via linking multiple administrative databases at the population level.

Student Alumni

Amanda Veglia

Amanda completed a Master of Public Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, studying Occupational and Environmental Health and Public Health Policy. She was also a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellow in Public Health Policy. Amanda completed her research practicum at the OCRC, working on the burden of occupational cancer project with a focus on hair dressers and bladder cancer. Her main interests in the area of occupational health include: cancer prevention research, knowledge translation and public health policy analysis and evaluation. Amanda is looking forward to applying her training in public health policy to assist with public health research activities.

Avinash Ramkissoon

Avinash completed a practicum at OCRC and joined as staff after graduating from his MPH in 2018. During his undergraduate degree, he studied the biological effects of chemical and radiologic exposures, which most commonly occur among occupational groups. This led to an interest in occupational health and safety, and understanding workplace hazards. At the OCRC, Avinash worked on a project using the Ontario uranium miners cohort to better understand various relationships between cumulative radiation exposure and cancer incidence and mortality. He worked on developing a dose-reconstruction model to estimate annual gamma dose prior to systematic monitoring, and developing survival models for all-cancer risk and leukemia risk.

Christine Carthew

Christine completed a Masters of Public Health in Health Promotion at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. During her practicum placement at OCRC, Christine worked on two qualitative research projects: Sun Safety at Work Canada and Completing the Picture. In health promotion practice, it is crucial to address both immediate and underlying determinants of health. A healthy workplace and safe working conditions are determinants of health, and actions to promote and improve workplace health and safety are, therefore, among key concerns for health promotion practitioners. Christine was excited to learn more about the intersection between work and health in her placement with OCRC. Christine also enhanced her understanding of workplace intervention research and theory-based approaches to Knowledge Transfer and Exchange.

Christy Bou Fadel

Christy completed her research practicum at the OCRC in 2016, as part of her Master of Public Health degree in Occupational and Environmental Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Christy first became interested in cancer prevention research after completing her undergraduate thesis project at the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute at McMaster University. At the OCRC, Christy worked on characterizing exposure to antineoplastic drugs among healthcare workers. Her main interests in the area of occupational health include: cancer prevention research, risk assessments, and analysis and evaluation of public health policy.

Desiree Latour

Desiree completed a practicum at OCRC while working towards a Master’s degree in Public Health at the University of Toronto. Previously, she had the opportunity to work at the Public Health Agency of Canada, in the area of chronic disease surveillance. During the first semester of her second year she decided to explore the area of occupational epidemiology and she enrolled in a course on the topic. This led to her becoming interested in exploring the field further. She joined the OCRC team as a practicum student from January to May of 2012, where she contributed to identifying occupational exposures associated with the risk of lung cancer.

Eliane Kim

Eliane joined OCRC while completing her Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She is interested in knowledge translation and healthy public policy. She previously worked in clinical research and child and family health research at the local public health level. At OCRC, Eliane worked on a research project using the 1991-2006 Canadian census mortality and cancer cohort to study cancers related to occupational exposure to wood dust.

Jeavana Sritharan

Jeavana joined OCRC while completing her PhD in Medical Science at the University of Toronto. She became interested in cancer epidemiology and occupational and environmental risk factors while working at an environmental health clinic and while taking on various health research projects. She completed a Masters degree that explored the relationship between environmental factors and colorectal cancer in Ontario communities. At the OCRC, Jeavana examined occupational risk factors for prostate cancer across multiple Canadian population based datasets.

Joanne Kim

Joanne was inspired to pursue occupational health research while working as a volunteer (and later as a research student) at the St Michael’s Hospital Occupational and Environmental Health Clinic. Joanne joined the OCRC as a student during her Masters, and later as staff. She worked to coordinate the overall Burden of Occupational Cancer project, and led the analyses of the burden of cancer due to diesel engine exhaust. Joanne is currently pursuing a PhD at McGill University.

Kate McBride

Kate joined OCRC while completing a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology at the University of Toronto. Kate’s interest in occupation cancer epidemiology arose from her years living in Northern Alberta in oil sand country where exposures were not limited to only workers. She is particularly interested in environmental cancers and ecosystem health. Kate enjoys writing in the third person as it gives biographical blurbs a bit more credibility. While at OCRC, Kate worked on the conceptual framework and measurement tools for a series of occupational sun exposure studies which validated her anxiety around sunburns and tanning beds.

Kim Finuliar-Beckford

Kim completed her student practicum at the OCRC in 2016, as part of her Master of Public Health degree in Occupational and Environmental Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. At the OCRC, Kim worked on a project on asbestos exposure among custodial workers in schools. She hopes to one day further explore the relationship between occupational and environmental factors and their human health effects, specifically particulate matter in air and arsenic levels in food and water.

Madar Talibov

Madar became interested in epidemiological research while doing his Master’s in Public Health at Umeå University in Sweden. He joined the OCRC as a visiting researcher in 2014, while pursuing his PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Tampere in Finland. As part of his PhD, he was involved in the Nordic Occupational Cancer (NOCCA) studies project, and studied associations between multiple work-related agents and leukemia subtypes. At the OCRC, Madar worked on the North American Pooled Project, looking at pesticides, agricultural exposures and cancer.

Maisah Syed

Maisah Syed joined OCRC as a Masters of Public Health student at the University of Toronto. Maisah completed her practicum placement working on the Occupational Disease Surveillance System (ODSS) project. During her placement, Maisah developed an evaluation plan for the 3-year project including identifying indicators, developing data collection tools, collecting information on an ongoing basis, and preparing the final report template.

Marcella Jones

Marcella joined OCRC while pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) designation in Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She is interested in chronic disease prevention, healthy public policies, and health equity. Marcella is attracted to occupational cancer research since it identifies risk factors that can potentially be modified through occupational health policies in order to reduce the risk of cancer. As a summer practicum student at the OCRC, Marcella worked on an occupational cancer research project using the 1991-2006 Canadian census mortality and cancer cohort.

Melissa Ramprashad

Melissa completed her Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Toronto. She first became interested in occupational cancer after taking a course while completing her undergraduate degree in Health Studies and Gerontology at the University of Waterloo. She has also completed a screening report for Cancer Care Ontario’s screening department which examined factors affecting colorectal cancer screening habits. At OCRC, Melissa worked on estimating the burden of cancer in Canada attributable to iron and steel founding.

Michelle Nguyen

Michelle Nguyen graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, with majors in Integrative Biology and Psychology. She joined OCRC while completing her Bachelors of Applied Science in Occupational Health and Safety at Ryerson University. Her passion for research in occupational cancer and public health drew her to OCRC, where she is contributed to a research project on occupational exposure to isocyanates.

Natalie Troke

Natalie completed a placement at OCRC in 2018 as a Master of Public Health (MPH) student specializing in Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Her interest in occupational health research stemmed from exposure to course material during her graduate degree, including taking classes entitled Occupational Epidemiology, Cancer Epidemiology, and the Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases. She became passionate about studying public health, and interested in using her research and epidemiology background to identify occupations and/or industry groups at high-risk for acute myocardial infarction in Ontario, and promote preventative measures against workplace hazards.

Patricia Liu

Patricia completed her Ph.D. in May of 2011 at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University Toronto. She specializes in the history of twentieth-century biology and medicine. Patricia was at the OCRC from January to May of 2011, where she worked on a report that examines the history of research on occupational cancer in Ontario.

Richard Chung

Richard joined OCRC while completing a Masters of Public Health in Occupational and Environmental Health at the Dalla Lana school of Public Health, University of Toronto. His interest in occupational cancer research developed during his undergraduate studies in biomechanics at the University of Waterloo, where he gained work experience at federal, provincial, and municipal levels. At OCRC, he studied diesel exhaust exposure among firefighters in Ontario, by quantifying respirable carbon in various fire halls located within the province.

Roseanna Presutti

Roseanna completed her Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Toronto. She first became interested in cancer epidemiology while working as a clinical research assistant at the Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto as an undergraduate co-op student. She is particularly interested in risk factors for cancer and cancer prevention strategies. At the OCRC, Roseanna completed a thesis-equivalent project to estimate the burden of occupational cancer due to benzene exposure.

Sadaf Sanaat

Sadaf completed a placement at OCRC during her Master of Public Health (MPH) in Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Toronto. Her interest in the field sparked when she took an environmental health course in her undergraduate degree; upon completion of her degree she went on to work at CAREX Canada as a knowledge translation assistant. Sadaf is interested in studying the connections between the workplace environment and health outcomes; at OCRC, she worked on the Occupational Exposure in Ontario Nail Salons project assessing various hazards in the workplace.

Selena Hussain

Selena Hussain completed her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Toronto in 2019. Selena is passionate about improving population health, with research interests in cancer control and prevention. Prior to joining OCRC, Selena worked at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, where she conducted a microsimulation analysis of the clinical and economic impacts of achieving a 5% smoking rate by 2035 in Canada. While at OCRC, Selena continued her research in lung cancer, where she led an analysis of the risks of different subtypes of lung cancer among occupation and industry groups in Ontario.

Trevor Van Ingen

Trevor completed a practicum placement at OCRC as part of his Masters of Public Health degree in Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. His interest in the connections between health, the environment, and public policy drew him to OCRC. Previously, he worked at the Epidemiology and Quality Assurance sections at Ottawa Public Health, conducting an analysis of employee immunization behaviour, and program evaluation. At the OCRC, he studied occupational cancer epidemiology by analyzing the 1991-2006 Canadian census mortality and cancer cohort.