Directors / Managers

Karin H. Humphries, MBA, DSc

Scientific Director

Dr. Karin Humphries is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and holds the UBC-Heart and Stroke Foundation Professorship in Women’s Cardiovascular Health. She is the inaugural Scientific Director for the BC Centre for Improved Cardiovascular Health (ICVHealth). In this role, Dr. Humphries is committed to improving health outcomes for British Columbians at risk for, or living with cardiovascular disease by generating and applying new evidence to improve the delivery of cardiovascular care in BC.

Dr. Humphries has a doctoral degree in epidemiology and a background in biochemistry, kinesiology and experimental pathology. Her primary research focus is on sex differences in the diagnosis, treatment and outcomes of patients with coronary heart disease. She is currently conducting studies on the sex differences in health-related quality of life in young adults (<55 years) and conducting interviews with patients and physicians to understand what influences mid‐life men and women to adopt lifestyle changes following hospitalization for their first heart attack.

Dr. Humphries holds several grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Yinshan Zhao, PhD

Director of Biostatistics

Dr. Zhao has a doctoral degree in statistics from University of British Columbia. As a biostatistician, Dr. Zhao has 12 years of experience in clinical and health care research.

From 2005 to 2015, Dr. Zhao was a Research Associate working with the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) MRI Research Group and the Pharmacoepidemiology in Multiple Sclerosis Research Group at UBC. Collaborating with researchers and clinicians locally and internationally, she has engaged in evaluation of MS therapies in clinical trials and observational settings as well as epidemiological investigations of disease progression and factors that modify or predict progression. She has a strong interest in the development and application of innovative statistical methods to improve clinical trial design and to evaluate treatment response in individual patients.

Dr. Zhao has recently joint the ICVHealth as the Director of Biostatistics. She is committed to the generation and translation of scientific knowledge to advance the care of those with cardiovascular conditions in BC.

Jessica Maiorino, BSc, BA

Operations Manager

Jessica holds two Bachelor’s degrees in Life Sciences and Psychology from the University of Ottawa. She is currently enrolled in UBC’s Master in Health Administration (MHA) program, and plans to complete her postgraduate education by summer 2018.  

Prior to joining ICVHealth, Jessica completed a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) research scholarship in inorganic nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and went on to hold an administrative position within the Canadian Cancer Society (Ottawa Division). Jessica continued to further her experience within the health and wellness industry in various coordinator roles, all while completing her formal education.

At ICVHealth, Jessica manages the administrative processes of the centre and participates in developing and implementing the organization’s strategic plan. She is also part of the centre’s Research Support Team and assists new investigators by facilitating the grant application process. Furthermore, Jessica is responsible for overseeing ICVHealth’s communications, finances, and HR.

In July 2015, Jessica took on the role of national study coordinator for Dr. Karin Humphries’ CIHR-funded study, “Coronary Revascularization: A Tool for Evidence-Based, Individualized, Shared Decision Making (CR-Decide)”. With ICVHealth’s administrative and statistical support, CR-Decide is scheduled to be completed in 2019.

Kimberly Miller, BScPT, MSc, PhD

Knowledge Translation (KT) Leader

Dr. Kimberly Miller is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Knowledge Translation in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. Her position is a partnership between Simon Fraser University, ICVHealth, and Fraser Health Authority.

Dr. Miller has worked as a physiotherapist, educator, and researcher in Canada and Australia. She was a Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne from 1998-2012, where she remains an honorary Senior Fellow, co-supervising PhD students. She completed her Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of British Columbia in 2015, where has an Associate appointment in the Department of Physical Therapy. Her clinical research work has generated evidence to inform the selection of therapeutic interventions and measurement of outcomes in people with neurological conditions.

Dr. Miller’s current research focusses on knowledge translation in health care, applying education and knowledge translation science and practice in designing strategies to close the ‘know-do’ gap. Her interests include the development of knowledge tools/products, barriers and enablers to evidence-informed practice and the application of technologies to support physical and therapeutic activities in people with stroke and chronic disease. At ICVHealth her research supports translation of evidence into practice to optimize cardiovascular care, including processes for care and support for evidence informed shared decision-making with patients. Dr Miller currently holds a Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon Knowledge-to-Action grant.

Shirley Wong, PhD

3M TAVR Project Manager

Dr. Wong holds a Master of Science in Human Kinetics and a PhD in Experimental Medicine, both awarded by the University of British Columbia. Her research interests lie in the effects of exercise on cardiovascular health in clinical populations.

Prior to joining ICVHealth, Dr. Wong worked as a Research Manager in the School of Nursing at UBC, coordinating a multi-centre trial investigating treatment-seeking behaviour of cardiac patients that present to the emergency department. She was actively involved in the implementation and management of several study sites. She also contributed to the development of a pilot study investigating depression in cardiac patients in acute clinical settings. Dr. Wong has extensive experience working in clinical settings with clinicians and patients, having spent a lot of time during her graduate career investigating cardiovascular outcomes in people with spinal cord injury.

At ICVHealth, Dr. Wong is the project manager for The Multidisciplinary, Multimodality, but Minimalist (3M) Approach to Transfemoral Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Study. This is an international study with 9 participating sites across North America. As an alternative to open heart surgery, this study is investigating a less invasive procedure known as the Vancouver 3M Clinical Pathway. With this procedure, selected patients are awake when they undergo TAVR and are then safely discharged home the following day.
 

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Mona Izadnegahdar, PhD

Epidemiologist

Dr. Izadnegahdar completed her PhD degree in Epidemiology at the University of British Columbia, School of Population and Public Health and her Master degree in Epidemiology at the University of Calgary, Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine.

Dr. Izadnegahdar’s main research interests include cardiovascular epidemiology, quality of life, access to care and in particular, understanding the contributing factors to the poor outcomes and health status of younger adults following a heart attack. Her doctoral thesis examined sex differences in outcomes of younger adults following a heart attack and was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Frederick Banting and Charles Best Doctoral Award and the Canadian Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Team (CCORT).

Over the last 10 years, she has developed expertise in the area of cardiovascular research, working at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcomes Sciences, the Providence Health Research Institute and Cardiac Services BC. At ICVHealth, Dr. Izadnegahdar provides epidemiological support for provincial projects and advice on study design as part of the grant support services team.

May Lee, MSc

Senior Statistician

May holds a Master of Science in Statistics from Simon Fraser University and has 10 years of experience providing support to clinicians and epidemiologists on clinical outcomes research in cardiovascular disease.

May’s expertise lies in working with administrative databases, carrying out complex linkages and analyses. Much of her research experience has been focused in the areas of cardiology and cardiac surgery. She was the analyst responsible for investigations arising from the Canadian Registry of Atrial Fibrillation (CARAF), a multi-center registry of patients enrolled at the time of their initial diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. As a senior statistician at Cardiac Services BC, she played an integral role in the annual provincial evaluations of hospital and physician performance in cardiovascular surgery and percutaneous coronary intervention. As part of PHSA’s Population and Public Health Program, she was a vital team member in survey research aimed at developing an understanding of health-related lifestyle patterns in British Columbians.

In 2010, May joined Dr. Karin Humphries’ Women’s Cardiovascular Health program at the Providence Health Care Research Institute. Her projects focused on evaluating sex differences in cardiovascular disease, as well as short and long-term outcomes following various cardiac procedures in BC.

As the senior statistician at ICVHealth, May has a leading role in the creation and execution of statistical analysis plans for ICVHealth projects. She also provides mentorship to the junior members of the Biostatistics and Epidemiology team. 

Julie Park, MMath

Statistician

Julie joins ICVHealth with over 6 years of experience in the healthcare setting.  She holds a Bachelor of Science, with a major in Statistics and minor in Mathematics, from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Mathematics in Biostatistics from the University of Waterloo.

Upon completing her Master’s degree, Julie returned to Vancouver and accepted a position with the Statistical Genetics team at the UBC James Hogg Research Centre. There, her projects focused on identifying genetic and environmental risk factors for asthma, allergies and related phenotypes.

In 2011, hoping to build her career in Biostatistics, she joined the Women’s Cardiovascular Health research team at the Providence Health Care Research Institute. Her projects focused on evaluating ethnic differences in the progression of cardiovascular disease and survival following various interventional cardiac procedures.

Julie made the transition to ICVHealth and currently works as a member of the Biostatistics and Epidemiology team. Her expertise lies in performing longitudinal data analysis, survival analysis, and RCT.

Maja Grubisic, MSc

Statistician

Maja holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in statistics from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and a Master of Science in mathematics and statistics from Acadia University.

Prior to joining ICVHealth, Maja worked as a biostatistician at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHEOS) and the Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC. Her responsibilities included conceptualizing study plans in collaboration with researchers, providing recommendations for data creation/merging/refinement and analysis, and preparing/interpreting results for presentations, academic manuscripts and grant proposals. She also provided statistical guidance and supervision to graduate students, advising on projects and co-lecturing a course on statistical methods and their application to the investigation of health outcomes.

Maja feels lucky to be a member of the ICVHealth team, an exceptional group of individuals dedicated to improving cardiovascular care in BC. Currently she is working with Dr. Jamil Bashir on a project examining outcomes in BC patients who received an internal cardioverter defibrillator lead between 2003 and 2010. This comprehensive examination of outcomes will help to address concerns surrounding recent recalls from two major lead manufacturers.

In her spare time, Maja lectures a first year statistics course at Langara College. Her goal is to pass on her knowledge to future statisticians, arming them with the tools to take on the data-driven world.

Meijiao Guan, PhD

Statistician

Dr. Guan holds a PhD in Mathematics and a Master degree in Statistics, both from the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Guan has worked on the statistical analysis of data from clinical trials for multiple sclerosis and cardiac related diseases.  She specializes in methods used in these analyses, including negative binomial model for count data with random effects, linear mixed effects models for longitudinal data, meta analysis for Bayesian method, survival analysis, Markov chain and Monte-Carlo simulation.

Dr. Guan’s interests lie in exploring a wide variety of statistical modeling methods for cardiovascular research. As a statistician at ICVHealth, her work includes data cleaning and validation, statistical modeling and manuscript preparation.

Defen Peng, PhD

Statistician

Dr. Peng completed a PhD in economics with a major in statistics from Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, in China in 2001. She furthered her education by completing a Master of Science degree with a major in statistics from McMaster University in Ontario in 2009. Dr. Peng worked as a senior research fellow at the Center of Bio-statistics at the University of Limerick in Ireland from 2010 – 2012.

Dr. Peng has published widely and developed interests in statistics; particularly in survival analysis with frailty, bivariate survival analysis, longitudinal analysis and in the stability of regression models with categorical covariates.

Patrick Daniele, BSc

Data Analyst

Patrick holds a Bachelor of Science in Statistics from Simon Fraser University. In September 2013, he joined ICVHealth for a cooperative education position as a Data Analyst, and in December of 2014 he joined as permanent staff.

Prior to joining ICVHealth, Patrick had been involved in several administrative database projects through UBC and UNBC on a variety of topics including student retention, women’s health, and ultrasound imaging.

At ICVHealth, Patrick is responsible for data access and management. Patrick primarily assists ICVHealth’s team of statisticians by coordinating data access, and preparing research datasets for statistical analysis.