Dr. Nazanin Esmaili (CIHR-NIH Post-Doctoral Fellow)
Nazanin joined the lab in November 2019 and was a CIHR-NIH Post-Doctoral Fellow in Mathematical Modeling. She conducted her fellowship at the University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital of Unity Health Toronto in close collaboration with Johns Hopkins University. Nazanin holds a PhD and MSc in Operations Research from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA and a BSc in Industrial Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology. She was previously a postdoc at Northeastern University as well as data scientist at Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre.
As a part of Nazanin’s fellowship, she supported the NIH-funded Siyambapilli trial in South Africa. The trial is evaluating the implementation of decentralized versus intensive case-management strategies, as compared with maintaining standard of care, to achieve sustained viral suppression among marginalized women living with HIV. Nazanin assisted in the development of a new semi-Markov micro-simulation model and the identification of optimal intervention strategies across gradients of intervention intensities deployed via a sequential multi-component adaptive trial design. The findings of her research could be used to inform the implementation of and scale-up of HIV treatment services in South Africa. Nazanin is currently working as a Senior Data Scientist with the Ministry of Labor at the Government of Ontario.
Nasheed Moqueet (CTN Post-Doctoral Fellow)
Nasheed Moqueet was a CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN)-funded postdoctoral fellow (2017-2019), working with Drs. Sharmistha Mishra and Ann Burchell on the mathematical modeling and epidemiology of HIV-Hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection in the context of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) implementation and changing sexual mixing patterns.
She completed her PhD in Epidemiology from McGill University, supported by grants from the CIHR and the Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (CanHepC). She also holds an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research interests include longitudinal study design and methods; transmission models of infectious diseases and STIs (especially HIV and HCV); clinical and molecular epidemiology; and public health of key populations like people who use drugs and men who have sex with men.
Nasheed presented her modeling work at the 2018 Canadian Canadian Association for HIV Research and for which she was awarded the 2018 New Investigator Award. Nasheed co-authored the following publications with the lab:
- Wang L, Moqueet N, Lambert G, Grace D, Rodrigues R, Cox J, Lachowsky NJ, Noor SW, Armstrong HL, Tan DH, Burchell AN, Ma H, Apelian H, Knight J, Messier-Peet M, Jollimore J, Baral SD, Hart TA, Moore DM, Mishra S. (2019). Population-level sexual mixing by HIV status and pre-exposure prophylaxis use among men who have sex with men in Montreal, Canada: implications for HIV prevention. Am J Epidemiol. Epub ahead of print. doi:10.1093/aje/kwz231.
- Thavorn K, Kugathasan H, Tan DHS, Moqueet N, Baral SD, MacFadden D, Simkin A, Mishra S. (2018). Economic evaluation of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis strategies: protocol for a methodological systematic review and quantitative synthesis. Syst Rev, 7(1), 47.
Summer/Work Study Students
Alisa Antypova (Mitacs Globalinks Intern)
Alice joined the lab in 2019 as via the Mitacs Globalinks summer research internship. Her summer project involved identifying patterns of clustering of HIV vulnerabilities among marginalized young women in Ukraine. She is in her final year of a bachelor degree at the National University of Kyiv, Faculty of Computer Science and Cybernetics. Her areas of interest are math, data science, and statistics.
Busola is a graduate of McMaster University’s Masters of Public Health program. Her research interests include infectious disease epidemiology and health equity. During her MPH program, Busola conducted a work-study program with the Mishra Lab (2018) where she led a comprehensive literature review to support mathematical modeling of HIV transmission in Southern Africa. Specifically, she created a database to parameterize the prevalence of condom use among female sex workers in South Africa. Busola is currently working in a research/data analysis capacity in the public sector.
Josh is interested in using machine learning to inform policy aimed at reducing health inequalities. As a data scientist in both clinical and public health settings, he has worked on projects including analyzing electronic medical records to measure the socioeconomic disparities in cancer screening and processing news articles to identify epidemics around the world. As a Keenan Research Summer Student at the Mishra Lab (2016), he examined the relationship between syphilis re-infection and epidemic control. He is currently pursuing a Master of Data Science at Harvard University, where is further studying the connections between data analysis and the social determinants of health, while wrestling with the ethical and legal challenges of using algorithms to create public policy. He holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics from Dalhousie University with a minor in Contemporary Studies. For this project, Josh was awarded the best student poster award at the 2017 Association for Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (AMMI) national conference. Josh’s project with the lab includes the following publication:
- Feldman J, Mishra S. (2019). What can the proportion of re-infections tell us about the basic reproductive number in syphilis epidemics: A modeling study. Infect Dis Model, 4, 257-264.
Christina is a recent graduate from the Master of Public Health, Epidemiology specialization program at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Christina worked with Mishra Lab (2017-2018) as a junior epidemiologist through the University of Toronto’s work-study program during the first year of her Master’s program. She conducted literature review, data extraction, and data visualization from publically available data to support HIV transmission modeling in South Africa. Christina’s experience in the lab inspired her continued work in the area of HIV and communicable diseases, and she is currently with the Peel Public Health’s Infection Prevention and Surveillance Division as a Communicable Diseases Epidemiologist.
Xinyi Liu (Mitacs Globalinks Intern)
Xinyi joined the lab in 2019 via the Mitacs Globalinks summer research internship. She is in her fourth year of undergraduate studies in the in the Mathematics and Statistics department at the Beijing Institute of Technology where she is majoring in Statistics. For her summer project, she conducted a transmission modeling project to examine the mechanisms and timing of rebounds in the incidence of syphilis. She has a strong interest in mathematics, especially in ordinary differential equation systems. She is interested in using math modeling to inform public health policies.
Faheel is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public Health at McGill University. He completed his HBSc in Biochemistry and Global Health at the University of Toronto and worked with the Mishra Lab (2017-2018) as a junior epidemiologist through the University of Toronto work-study program during his final year of undergraduate studies. He worked with publically available datasets to generate estimates on the HIV care continuum for mathematical modeling of HIV transmission in Sub-Saharan Africa. Faheel’s work in the lab encouraged him to pursue graduate studies focused on the epidemiology of infectious diseases. His current research at the McGill University Health Centre is focused on diagnostic techniques for infectious diseases such as HIV and syphilis.
Elizabeth is currently studying in the Honors BSc in Global Health and Immunology program at University of Toronto. She is interested in studying the impact of social, political, and economic factors on access to healthcare. Elizabeth worked on the Transitions project during her Keenan Research Summer Studentship (2018) with the Mishra Lab, followed by a junior epidemiologist role through the University of Toronto work-study program (2018-2019). Elizabeth conducted a descriptive study using secondary data to examine the prevalence of sexual, structural, and reproductive vulnerabilities among young sex workers in Mombasa, Kenya, and how vulnerabilities varied by access and uptake of local health care programs designed to reach and serve sex workers. After graduation, she plans on continuing her consulting work at a global management consulting firm. Her lab experience solidified that population health could be greatly impacted by addressing the social, political and economic factors which limit access to care. Elizabeth’s project with the lab includes the following publication which is currently in preprint:
- Roberts E, Ma H, Bhattacharjee P, Musyoki HK, Gichangi P, Avery L, Musimbi J, Tsang J, Kaosa S, Kioko J, Becker ML, Mishra S. (2020). Low program access despite high burden of sexual, structural, and reproductive health vulnerabilities among young women who sell sex in Kenya. BMC Public Health, 20, 806. doi:10.1186/s12889-020-08872-6.
Varun grew up in Mississauga, Ontario, and completed a Bachelor of Health
Sciences degree at McMaster University. During his undergraduate degree, he had the opportunity to work at Mishra Lab through the Keenan Summer Research Program in 2016. He worked on a systematic review and meta-analysis that examined the HIV prevalence and sexual partnerships among clients of female sex workers in Sub-Saharan Africa. He presented the preliminary results of the study at the Canadian Association for HIV Research annual conference (CAHR 2017). Following the summer studentship, he completed medical school at McMaster University. Varun is currently doing his Family Medicine residency at Queen’s University.
Shatabdy worked with Mishra Lab as a Keenan Summer Research Student (2016), Institute of Medical Science Summer Undergraduate Research Student (2017) and as a junior epidemiologist via the University of Toronto work-study program (2017-2018) during the academic year. She worked on a systematic review and meta-analyses of to quantify the HIV care cascade among men who have sex with men in Sub-Saharan Africa. She was awarded a best poster award at the 2017 Institute of Medicine Summer Student Research Day. Following her summer studentships, Shatabdy completed a Masters of Public Health (epidemiology stream) at the Dalla Lana School of Public at the University of Toronto. She is now a Research Analyst/Epidemiologist at Toronto Western Hospital (Krembil Research Institute), where she examines various health and social outcomes of arthritis.