August 4, 2020

Research Team

Paula Braitstein
Dr. Braitstein is an epidemiologist living and working in Kenya since 2007. Most of her research has been oriented around major health and social issues in East Africa including HIV prevention, treatment, and the cascade of HIV care, and high risk children and youth including those who have been orphaned (from HIV and other causes), separated, abandoned, and those who are street-connected. Dr. Braitstein is a CIHR Chair of Applied Public Health Research, and won the 2017 CIHR Institute of Public and Population Health Mid-Career Trail Blazer Award for her work with street-connected and homeless youth in East Africa. In addition to doing her own research, Paula is Co-Field Director of Research for the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) Consortium in which University of Toronto (Faculty of Medicine and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health) is a partner.
David Ayuku
Dr. Ayuku’s research interests have focused on Mental Health and Child Development especially with Street Children and their Developmental Milestones, Nutrition, Health, Sexuality, HIV/AIDS, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Addiction. His activities have included both administrative leadership positions and leading research teams. In addition, he has been involved, as team leader, in development of curricula in the University including; Bachelor and Masters of Science in Medical Psychology and Clinical Psychology for the Department of Behavioural Sciences, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences.
Edward Ou Jin Lee
Edward Ou Jin Lee is an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at the Université de Montréal. Edward’s research and practice interests are within the realms of a) critical, decolonzing and anti-oppressive social work, b) critical, participatory and digital media research methodologies and c) social policy advocacy & community organizing with Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (QTBIPOC) communities and in particular queer and trans migrants with precarious status. Edward recently completed a SSHRC funded scoping review that assessed the state of knowledge about LGBTQ migrants living in Canada in relation to an emerging global LGBTQ rights agenda. Edward is also involved in a number of community-based initiatives in Montreal.
Katie MacEntee
Dr. Katie MacEntee is a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the use of participatory visual methodologies to address HIV and AIDS and gender-based violence and for the study of sexual and reproductive health. Along with her involvement with the Peer Navigator Project, Katie is Principal Investigator (PI) for the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research and SSHRC funded study, Celling Sex study, which is investigating young women experiences of transactional sex in Toronto, Canada, through cellphilms (participant produced videos using cellphones). Katie has extensive experience facilitating digital storytelling, photovoice, collage, documentary and cellphilm method with Indigenous, rural and urban communities in Canada, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. Katie is a leader in the development of cellphilm method. In 2016, she published the edited book, What’s a Cellphilm? Integrating mobile technology into research and activism (Sense Publishers).
Sue-Ann MacDonald
Sue-Ann MacDonald is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the Université de Montréal and a researcher at CREMIS (Centre de recherche de Montréal sur les inégalités sociales et les discriminations), where she is co-responsible for developing and facilitating knowledge mobilization activities related to homelessness. She worked for more than a decade as a social worker on a mental health outreach team with people experiencing homelessness in Ottawa, primarily working with youth. Her research lens focuses on marginalized people’s understandings and their experiences of oppression. She is concerned by the various tensions embedded in discourses and practices (social, health and judicial) affecting the lives of marginalized people. Sue-Ann explores the intersecting forms of oppression in various contexts, in mental health courts, and various forms of hidden homelessness, including rural experiences, women, youth, trans and noncisgender youth’s experiences, as well as people that attempt to access health and social service programs and the professionals that dispense services to the homeless.
Abe Oudshoorn
Dr. Abe Oudshoorn is an Assistant Professor in the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing at Western University and an Associate Scientist with Lawson Health Research Institute. Having worked as a nurse with people experiencing homelessness, Abe’s research focuses on health equity through housing stability. This includes concepts such as gender, trauma, policy and poverty, and particular focus on women, refugees, and people experiencing mental health concerns. Abe is past Chair of the London Homeless Coalition, a Canada 150 medal recipient, and remains a tireless advocate for those experiencing housing loss in the London area.
Amy Van Berkum
Amy is an Advanced Practice Nurse who has worked in a variety of contexts including academia, research, professional practice, and acute and community care. Her time spent working as a nurse alongside marginalized populations motivated her to further explore trauma, homelessness, health equity, primary prevention, and the social determinants of health throughout her Master’s in Nursing. Amy has continued to pursuit similar research interests within the London, ON. community alongside Dr. Oudshoorn and is keen to be participating in the Peer Navigator Project as a Research Assistant.
Alex Abramovich
Dr. Alex Abramovich has been addressing the issue of LGBTQ2S youth homelessness for over a decade. He is an internationally recognized leader in the area of LGBTQ2S youth and young adult homelessness and is one of few Canadian researchers studying this issue. Over the years, he has advocated continuously for policy and practice changes to improve the lives of LGBTQ2S youth as a Research Scientist at the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and an Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. His program of research focuses on homelessness, housing, healthcare, and family rejection, as it relates to and impacts the lives of LGBTQ2S young people. Dr. Abramovich’s research has led to ground breaking practice and policy reform, including the launch of Canada’s first dedicated transitional housing program for LGBTQ2S youth – YMCA Sprott House, mandatory LGBTQ2S cultural competency training for all City of Toronto shelter staff, and Canada’s first provincial strategy to address LGBTQ2S youth homelessness. He has worked closely with all levels of government to develop strategies that address the needs of queer and trans youth experiencing homelessness and is committed to research that successfully and ethically engages marginalized communities and is centred on the voices and experiences of LGBTQ2S young people.
Thai Son Tang
Thai-Son Tang is a 1st year PhD student studying Biostatistics at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Olli Saarela. He previously received his BSc in Biochemistry at McMaster University and recently finished his MSc in Biostatistics at the University of Toronto. His research interests include causal inference, longitudinal data analysis, and survival analysis, with emphasis on healthcare research methodology.
Ollo Saarela
Olli Saarela is an Assistant Professor at the Biostatistics Division of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. He studied statistics at the University of Helsinki, obtaining his Master of Social Sciences degree in 2004 and PhD in 2010; during his PhD studies he also worked as a statistician at the National Institute for Health and Welfare of Finland. He came to Canada for a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health of McGill University, before joining University of Toronto as faculty in Summer 2014. Olli has long experience in collaborative statistical work, and his methodological research is often motivated by the collaborations. His background is in causal inference and survival and event history analysis; recently he has been interested in particular in adapting causal inference methods to answering questions in health services research, as well as using causal models in planning and analysis of randomized trials for subgroup effects.
Renata Fuchs Militzer
Renata is a Master’s student in Social Work at Université de Montréal working as a research assistant with Dr. Edward Ou Jin Lee. She is also a psychosocial counselor at the ER of Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont in Montreal’s east end. Renata has a background in Psychology, Women’s Studies and Studio Arts and has been involved community organising in Halifax and Montreal for several years through initiatives related to sexual assault education, food security, girls’ empowerment and LGBTQ migrant solidarity. Anti-oppressive, intersectional and community-based approaches are central to both her professional and research practices.
Her current research interests include cultural, religious and spiritual practices among LGBTQ people as well as community-based research project design. In addition to the PNP, Renata is also currently working with Dr. Lee on the development of a training program on the realities and needs of migrant and racialized LGBTQ people, to be delivered to health and psychosocial workers in Quebec public health services network.
Dr. Edith Apondi
Dr. Edith Apondi is a pediatrician at Moi Teaching and referral hospital (MTRH), a consultant for Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) and an honorary lecturer with Moi University. She has been involved in various HIV care studies around child and adolescent health. Edith is the Kenyan secretary of the AMPATH pediatric research working group and a member of the Kenya National HIV/AIDS pediatric and adolescent technical working group.
Dr. Juddy Wachira
Dr. Juddy Wachira is a lecturer at the Department of Behavioral Science in Moi University; currently she’s the social behavioral lead for the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH). Her research interests are centered on applying mixed methods to explore and promote positive care seeking behaviors among patients with chronic diseases including HIV in Kenya. This interest has expanded over the years to include sexual health of children and adolescents with the goal of promoting adolescent friendly services in Kenya.
Reuben Kiptui
Reuben Kiptui is a research coordinator at the Academic Model Providing Access to healthcare (AMPATH). He holds a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences and currently a Master’s of Science candidate in International Health research ethics and management in the behavioral science department, college of health sciences in Moi University. He has interests in research ethics, qualitative research and monitoring and evaluation. He has worked in various research studies that revolve around key population and street connected youth.