Co-Investigators 2021-09-29T20:30:27+00:00

Co-Investigators

Jennifer Stinson, RN-EC, PhD, CPNP

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, Canada

Dr. Jennifer Stinson is the Mary Jo Haddad is Nursing Chair in Child Health and a Nurse Practitioner in the Chronic Pain Program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Her major clinical research interests are in the area of pain and symptom management and the use of e-health (internet) and m-health (mobile phones) technologies to improve the assessment and management of pain and other symptoms in children with chronic illnesses.

Activity 3 Lead – Integrated Precision Medicine eHealth Platform

Deborah Marshall, PhD

University of Calgary
Calgary, AB, Canada

Deborah Marshall holds a Canada Research Chair, Health Services and Systems Research as a Professor at the University of Calgary and Arthur J.E. Child Chair of Rheumatology Outcomes Research in the McCaig Institute of Bone and Joint Health. She is the Director of Health Technology Assessment at the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute, a Senior Scientist at Arthritis Research Canada, and a member of the O’Brien Institute of Public Health.

She has experience in technology assessment agencies, academia and pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry research settings in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Her health technology assessment and health services research program focuses on patient preferences and patient engagement research, cost-effectiveness analysis, and simulation modeling of health services delivery to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of health care services in the context of precision medicine.

Dr. Marshall is an active member of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) as the Past President of the Board of Directors and various Task Forces, and a member Board of Directors for Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi).

Activity 2 Lead – Integrated Health Economic Analysis

Joseph Cafazzo, PhD, PEng

University Health Network and University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, Canada

Dr. Joseph Cafazzo is Lead for the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, University Health Network, a state-of-the-art research facility devoted to the evaluation and design of healthcare technology, hosting seventy researchers and staff.

As a biomedical engineer, he has spent his entire career in a hospital setting. By observing healthcare delivery from the inside, he works on ways to keep people out of hospital by creating technologies that allow for self-care at home. At the same time, Joe and his team are the biggest critics of poorly designed health technologies and their ineffectiveness. He surrounds himself with whip-smart, and passionate engineers and designers who are creating technologies that are spirited, modern, people-focused, and truly improve the patient experience.

He is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, in the areas of clinical engineering, human factors, and health informatics and is the recipient of the Career Scientist award by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

Activity 3 Lead – Integrated Precision Medicine eHealth Platform

Stephen Scherer, PhD

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, Canada

One of the most highly cited scientists in the world, Dr. Scherer and his team contributed to the landmark discovery of global gene copy number variation (CNV) as a common form of genetic variation in human DNA. His group then identified that CNVs are associated with autism and many other disorders. He founded the Database of Genomic Variants that facilitates hundreds of thousands of clinical diagnoses each year. Dr. Scherer has won numerous honours, including the Steacie Prize, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholarship, and the Premier’s Summit Award for Medical Research. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. In 2014, he was selected as a Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate in the field of Physiology or Medicine for “the discovery of large-scale CNV and its association with specific diseases.” Dr. Scherer holds the GSK-CIHR Endowed Chair in Genome Sciences at The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto, and is Director of the U of T McLaughlin Centre and The Centre for Applied Genomics at SickKids.

Activity 1 Lead – Genomic Science Program

Anna Goldenberg, PhD

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, Canada

Dr. Anna Goldenberg is a Scientist in the Genetics and Genome Biology Program at the SickKids Research Institute, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, and a fellow at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), Child and Brain Development Group. Dr. Goldenberg trained in machine learning and statistics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, with a post-doctoral focus in computational biology and medicine. She is an expert in developing machine learning approaches for biological data, network methods and most recently, data integration of omics profiles and clinical data. The current focus of her lab is on developing methods that capture heterogeneity and identify disease mechanisms in complex human diseases. Her translational focus is on methods that efficiently combine many types of patient measurements to refine diagnosis, improve prognosis and personalize drug response prediction for cancer patients. She was recently awarded an Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Research and Innovation.

Activity 1 Lead – Genomic Science Program
Activity 2 Lead – Integrated Health Economic Analysis

Cynthia Guidos, PhD

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, Canada

Activity 1 Lead – Genomic Science Program

Quaid Morris, PhD

University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, Canada

Dr. Quaid Morris is a faculty member and associate professor at the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular research at the University of Toronto where he holds cross-appointments in the Faculty of Medicine, Arts and Sciences and Applied Sciences. He is currently the Co-director of the Graduate Stream in Computational Biology, Department of Molecular Genetics. Dr. Morris pursued graduate training and research in machine learning at the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, University College London, England and obtained his PhD in Computational Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His areas of research include Computational Biology, Machine Learning, Cancer Genomics, RNA-binding proteins, Functional Genomics, Post-transcriptional regulation, Electronic Health Records and Health Informatics.

Activity 1 Lead – Genomic Science Program
Activity 2 Lead – Integrated Health Economic Analysis

Michael Brudno, PhD

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, Canada

Activity 1 Lead – Genomic Science Program
Activity 3 Lead – Integrated Precision Medicine eHealth Platform

Maarten IJzerman, PhD

University of Twente
Twente, Netherlands

Maarten J. IJzerman is a full professor of Health Technology & Services Research at the University of Twente and dean of Health and Biomedical Technology in the School for Science and Technology, responsible for the academic programs in Technical Medicine, Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences.

Maarten and his team work on methods to evaluate the benefits of diagnostic and imaging technologies for personalized medicine and on the application of outcomes research to evaluate stakeholders value and the health economic impact of medical technologies in development. Maarten is a pioneer in the field of early Health Technology Assessment and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis for healthcare. He currently is involved in several initiatives to develop emerging good practices for applying Simulation Modelling in Healthcare Delivery research. Maarten IJzerman has more than 170 peer-reviewed articles in the intersection of engineering, medicine and outcomes research. He is an active member of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) and has served on numerous national and international boards and advisory committees.

Activity 2 Lead – Integrated Health Economic Analysis

Marvin Fritzler, MD, PhD

University of Calgary
Calgary, AB, Canada

Dr. Marvin Fritzler received his PhD in 1971 and MD in 1974 from the University of Calgary. In 1976, he went to The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA in and then to the University of Colorado as a research fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Eng M. Tan. After the post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado, he joined the University of Calgary in 1978 where he is currently Professor in the Cumming School of Medicine. His clinical and research activity is devoted to biomarker identification and autoantibody testing. From 2001 to 2015, he served as Chair of the Alberta Research and Innovation Authority, a strategic policy advisory board of the Government of Alberta. He has published over 420 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has over 11,000 citations. He has received numerous awards including most recently Master of the American College of Rheumatology (2013), Order of the University of Calgary (2014), and Carl R Jolliff Award for Lifetime Achievement in Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology from the American Association of Clinical Chemistry (2016). He is the Director of Mitogen International Advanced Diagnostics at the University of Calgary.

Activity 1 Lead – Genomic Science Program

Nico Wulffraat, MD, PhD

Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital and University Medical Center Utrecht
Utrecht, Netherlands

Dr. Nico Wulffraat is the Director of Paediatric Rheumatology, Immunology, Hematology and Infectious Diseases at Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, as well as the Supervisor of the Paediatric Rheumatology Postgraduate Clinical Fellowship at University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU). He supports the Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) Patient Council in setting the research agenda at UMCU for childhood inflammatory diseases.

Dr. Wulffraat also serves as the Project Coordinator of the European initiative of SHARE (Single Hub and Access point for Paediatric Rheumatology in Europe), which aims to document standards of care and treatment recommendations for paediatric rheumatic diseases throughout Europe. He is also the Coordinator of PHARMAChild, a pharmacovigilance project belonging to Paediatric Rheumatology European Society (PRES) and Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organization (PRINTO), which observes children with JIA undergoing treatment with methotrexate or biologic agents for three to ten years to collect adverse events.

Dr. Wulffraat is the Principal Investigator for a number of studies, including those evaluating immunizations in children with rheumatic diseases, the use of mesenchymal stem cells in refractory juvenile rheumatic diseases and a collaborative Canadian-Dutch project on precision medicine in JIA (UCAN CAN-DU). He also started the use of autologous stem-cell transplantation in autoimmune diseases. Dr. Wulffraat has served on a number of national and international scientific boards, including the Board of the Dutch Paediatric Rheumatology Society, the Scientific Advisory Council of the Dutch League for Rheumatology, various Program Committees of the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) – such as those for Translational Adult Cell Research and Priority Medicines for Children – and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) expert group for Paediatric Rheumatology.

Activity 1 Lead – Genomic Science Program

Joost Swart, MD

Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital
University Medical Center Utrecht
Utrecht, Netherlands

Dr. Joost Swart is a board-certified paediatrician immunologist & rheumatologist since 2008. He works in the largest Dutch group of Paediatric Rheumatology and Immunology.

He is a member of the Paediatric Educational Committee and educates students in both the and Summa medical curricula in Utrecht and is a certified instructor for the Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS) course from the Advance Life Support Group. Dr. Swart trains interns, residents, and fellows in paediatrics and rheumatology at the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU).

His research focuses on the comparative effectiveness and safety of drugs and treatment strategies in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). He has also analyzed the effects of mesenchymal stem cells in JIA patients. Furthermore, he is a researcher and a member of the Steering Committee of PHARMAchild – an international pharmacovigiliance database with clinical data from over 9,000 JIA patients and blood and synovial samples from over 1,700 JIA patients – and UCAN CAN-DU.

He is a member of the Dutch Rheumatology Association, Paediatric Rheumatology European Society (PRES), and the Dutch Association Against Quackery. He is a council member of the Dutch Association for Paediatric Rheumatology and the Paediatric Rheumatology International Trial Organization (PRINTO).

Activity 3 Lead – Integrated Precision Medicine eHealth Platform

Bas Vastert, MD, PhD

Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital
University Medical Center Utrecht
Utrecht, Netherlands

Dr. Bas Vastert is a paediatric rheumatologist at the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital. Dr. Vastert obtained his PhD on the mechanisms of disease and therapy in severe juvenile idiopathic arthritis in 2013. From 2017, he is Co-Lead for the Loosdregt-Vastert group in the Laboratory of Translational Immunology at the University Medical Centre Utrecht, focusing on novel therapeutic strategies in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) through the translation of cutting-edge basic science into clinical benefit.

He is currently leading a multi-centre prospective trial implementing a biomarker-driven stop strategy for recombinant IL-1RA therapy in systemic JIA in the Netherlands and setting up a clinical trial studying the potential of Nicotinamide (vitamin B3) in therapeutic strategies for non-systemic JIA.

In 2016, he organized, together with Klaus Tenbrock (Aachen, Germany), a fundraising cycling tour from Utrecht, the Netherlands to Genoa, Italy. The UCAN Ride for Arthritis has boosted international research collaboration and received major media attention in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.

Activity 1 Lead – Genomic Science Program

Marinka Twilt, MD, PhD

University of Calgary
Calgary, AB, Canada

Dr. Marinka Twilt is a clinician-scientist at Alberta Children’s Hospital. She was born and raised in the Netherlands. Dr. Twilt graduated from medical school at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, where she subsequently successfully defended her PhD and completed an MSc in Clinical Epidemiology. She enrolled in the paediatric core residency at Leiden University Medical Center before moving to Toronto for her rheumatology fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children. After the core rheumatology fellowship, she became the first vasculitis fellow. Before joining the team in Calgary, she worked as a consultant paediatric and adolescent rheumatology at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in the UK and as an associate professor at the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark.

Activity 3 Lead – Integrated Precision Medicine eHealth Platform

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