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Integrative Molecular Epidemiology Research Group

Staff and Fellows

Teresa MacKinnon, PCPHR Coordinator

Teresa MacKinnon, PCPHR Coordinator

Teresa is the Administrative Coordinator for the Prosserman Centre for Population Health Research and Manages the Administrative Assistant Staff at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. She has over 40 years of administrative experience in health care and research. Teresa studied Bioethics at the University of Toronto. She is a member of the University of Toronto Bioethics Society. Teresa is also a member of the Association of Administrative Professionals.

Sera Thomas, MSc. Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Quantitative Data Coordinator

Sera Thomas, MSc. Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Quantitative Data Coordinator

Sera is an Epidemiologist with a Master’s of Science degree from Western University. She has a multidisciplinary background in population health, health economics, and data analytics. Her research focuses are on the quantification of cancer risk factors, the evaluation of targeted screening methods for early detection of cancer, economic outcomes; and she is involved in the development of biomarker research evaluation. Sera is also the primary Data Coordinator for the International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO) which consists of over 80 studies around the world.

Yonathan Brhane, MS. Math; Biostatistician

Yonathan Brhane, MS. Math


Yonathan holds a Master’s degree in Statistics-Biostatistics from the University of Waterloo. He works as a Biostatistician in Dr. Rayjean Hung’s research group at Prosserman Centre for Population Health Research, Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute. Yonathan has experience in analyzing large-scale genomic, epigenetic, and clinical data of multiple cancers from international consortium. He is currently studying the utility of polygenic risk scores for lung cancer risk stratification. His research interests include using machine-learning approaches to develop and validate risk predictive models related to cancer etiology and progression.

Elham Khodayari Moez, Ph.D. Epidemiology; Postdoctoral Fellow

Elham Khodayari Moez, Ph.D. Epidemiology

Postdoctoral Fellow

Elham received her Master’s in Biostatistics from Tarbiat Modares University, Iran, and Ph. D. in Epidemiology from the University of Alberta, Canada in 2018. Her research interest is to understand complex genetic mechanisms of human diseases and traits via development and application of advanced bioinformatics tools for omics data. She is currently investigating the genetic modifications underlying the effect of maternal cytomegalovirus infection on the children’s cognitive functions.   She is also working on the pleiotropy of multiple embryonal tumors. 

Matthew Warkentin, Ph.D Candidate, Epidemiology; Doctoral Fellow

Matthew Warkentin, Ph.D Candidate, Epidemiology

Doctoral Fellow

Matt received his BSc in Medical Sciences and MSc in Epidemiology from Brock University. Matt is currently a PhD candidate in Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and a Doctoral Fellow at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. Briefly, his research focuses on the molecular epidemiology of cancers. In particular, his work includes integrating genomics into high-risk stratification models for lung cancer screening, and using deep learning to analyze biomedical images to aid in the clinical-management of screen-detected pulmonary lesions.

Sanjeev Budhathoki, Ph.D. Epidemiology; Postdoctoral Fellow

Sanjeev Budhathoki, Ph.D. Epidemiology

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sanjeev received his PhD in Medical Science from Kyusyu University. He worked at National Cancer Centre of Japan between 2013 and 2018. He joined the Prosserman Centre for Population Health Research, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Sinai Health System as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2019 to pursue advanced training in genomics and molecular epidemiology under the supervision of Dr. Rayjean Hung. Sanjeev has experiences in analyzing longitudinal population cohort data and is interested in understanding cancer etiology through the integration of biologic and environmental factors. In particular, he is currently working on epigenomics and genomics analysis for cancer early detection and developing absolute risk models for upper aero-digestive tract cancers.

Hamad Al-Sawaihey, MBChB, MPH, FIBMS; Diagnostic Imaging Research Fellow

Hamad Al-Sawaihey, MBChB, MPH, FIBMS

Diagnostic Imaging Research Fellow

Hamad received his radiology board certification in Baghdad, Iraq and completed an MPH at the University of Oklahoma in the United States. From 2016 to 2019, he contributed to neuroradiology and oncology research projects at Sunnybrook Research Institute and Princess Margaret Research Institute, respectively. Hamad joined the Prosserman Centre for Population Health Research, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Sinai Health System in 2019 as a Diagnostic Imaging Research Fellow. He is currently working on an NIH-funded research program, focusing on the analysis and processing of CT scans in lung cancer screening studies. Hamad’s research interests include oncological and hybrid imaging.

Samantha Lee, MPH candidate, Epidemiology; Research Assistant

Samantha Lee, MPH, Epidemiology

Research Assistant

Samantha is receiving her MPH in Epidemiology from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at University of Toronto in 2020, after a practicum placement in Dr. Rayjean Hung’s group. Samantha has experience managing and analyzing longitudinal population data and her primary research interests include pediatric and perinatal epidemiology, as well as communicable/non-communicable disease epidemiology.  In particular, Samantha’s current research involves project coordination and etiological analysis of childhood cancer and birth cohorts.

Catherine Brown, MSc. Epidemiology; Scientific Associate

Catherine Brown, MSc. Epidemiology

Scientific Associate

Cathi received a M.Sc. in Epidemiology from McGill University and is a Scientific Associate at the Prosserman Centre for Health Research and UHN. She is coordinating the molecular and genetic epidemiological study of childhood brain tumours, and  coordinates the clinical outcomes repository for the International Lung Cancer Consortium (COS-ILCCO), and the Collider Bias Mendelian Randomization (CMR) working group.

Jenny Lye, B.Sc Biology, MPH trainee; Research Assistant

Jenny Lye, B.Sc Biology, MPH trainee

Research Assistant

Jenny received her B.Sc in Biology from Queen’s University. She joined the Prosserman Centre for Population Health Research as a Research Assistant in 2018 to recruit and follow-up with children in the Ontario Birth Study (OBS-Kids). She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health in the Schulich Interfaculty Program in Public Health at the University of Western Ontario. Jenny’s primary research interests are in early child development and global health. She is currently investigating the relationship between perinatal factors and early child development in the Ontario Birth Study cohort.

Sierra Cheng, MPH Candidate, Epidemiology; Epidemiology Research Analyst

Sierra Cheng, MPH Candidate, Epidemiology

Epidemiology Research Analyst

Sierra is currently completing her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She has been working on the case-control study on childhood brain tumor study in Ontario and her primary research projects are to investigate the relationship between children’s early life determinants as well as mother’s medical histories with the risk of childhood brain tumours.