Meet Our Team

We are a multidisciplinary team of scientists and physicians at the University of Calgary and other universities with expertise in clinical research, biomedical science, prediction and mechanisms of preterm labour, bioinformatics and management of big data sets, management of high-risk pregnancies and preterm infants, brain imaging, child neurodevelopment, and longitudinal cohorts, representing expertise across disciplines including neonatology, nursing, obstetrics, psychology, child development, medical imaging, and epidemiology.

AMY METCALFE

PhD, P3 Cohort Team Lead

Dr. Metcalfe is an Associate Professor with the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. Her research focuses on optimizing the management of chronic disease during pregnancy by: 1) examining the impact of medical management of chronic disease in pregnancy on maternal and fetal health; 2) evaluating the ability of alternative models of prenatal care to improve disease control and obstetrical outcomes; and 3) assessing the risk of long-term disease complications following pregnancy. Underlying this program of research is a focus on validation of existing data sources for use in research and application of novel statistical methods to answer clinically relevant questions.

DONNA SLATER

PhD, P3 Cohort Team Lead  

Dr. Slater is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Physiology & Pharmacology and Obstetrics & Gynecology, and the Co-Director for Biomedical Sciences Stream in the Bachelor of Health Sciences Undergraduate Program, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. She is the biobank lead for the All Our Families Project. Her research focuses on the human uterus, to investigate the molecular mechanisms that lead to pregnancy complications such as preterm labour, and the role of inflammatory biomarkers. The lab has developed a number of cell based models for these studies, which can be used to safely test targets for potential new treatments. The long-term goals of the research are to identify and develop better options for the prevention and treatment of preterm labour.

LARA LEIJSER

MD, PhD, MSc, P3 Cohort Team Lead  

Dr. Leijser is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Calgary and is a Neonatologist at the Foothills Medical Center and Rockyview General Hospital. Her research interests are in the areas of: 1) brain injury and development, neuroimaging and neurodevelopmental outcomes in vulnerable neonatal populations and 2) adverse outcomes associated with preterm birth. Her current research work focuses on gaining a better understanding of the brain of preterm infants across the gestational age spectrum and subsequent neurodevelopmental and behavioral outcomes. The overall goal is to improve brain health and outcomes for children and their families by identifying new and more individualized approaches to intervention for common brain injury types (such as intraventricular hemorrhage) and for neuroprotection and prevention.

KAREN BENZIES

PhD, RN, Project Lead

Dr. Benzies is a Professor with the Faculty of Nursing, and Adjunct Research Professor with the Departments of Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. With clinical training as a nurse and midwife, she leads a program of research in early parent and child relationships with a focus on infants at risk for developmental delays She has contributed many important advancements in this area through academic journals, technical reports, media interviews and numerous presentations to community and professional groups. Recent positive results from her adaptation and evaluation of Family Integrated Care (FICare) led to wide-scale implementation in neonatal intensive care units across Alberta and now in China. Dr. Benzies’ most satisfying accomplishments come from creating evidence that accelerates policy and practice changes to improve the health of young children and their families.

KATIE CHAPUT

PhD, Project Lead

Dr. Chaput is an Assistant Professor with the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. Her area of expertise is in perinatal epidemiology and maternal mental health and substance use in pregnancy. Her research program aims to find modifiable factors that contribute to maternal mental health, and its negative impacts on children, and to develop new interventions to support maternal mental health, as well as to explore the associations between substance use, parenting and child development. Some examples are: identifying how the fetal brain is impacted by depression in pregnancy, in order to develop new treatments in the future, developing and testing a phone-based peer-counselling program to prevent postpartum depression in high risk mothers, and developing a new parenting support program for parents in recovery from addiction. Reducing the prevalence and impact of maternal mental health issues will improve the health of mothers and children in Canada.

NILS FORKERT

PhD, Project Lead

Dr. Forkert is an Associate Professor with the Departments of Radiology and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary. The focus of his research is to develop and evaluate new image processing methods, algorithms, and software tools for the analysis of medical images. This includes the image-based extraction of clinically relevant parameters and biomarkers describing the morphology and function of organs. In doing so, he aims to support clinical studies and preclinical research as well as developing and improving computer-aided diagnosis and patient-specific prediction models with a special focus on, but not limited to, the human brain. Additionally, he is developing advanced machine learning models for various diseases using multi-modal data sources, not limited to image-based features.

MARY MALEBRANCHE

MD, Project Lead

Dr. Malebranche is an Assistant Professor with the Division of General Internal Medicine at Dalhousie University. She is an academic general internist and sub-specialist in medical disorders of pregnancy. She has a particular clinical and research interest in reducing barriers to health care access and improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations including refugee women and pregnant women with substance use disorders.

SHEILA MCDONALD

PhD, Project Lead

Dr. Sheila McDonald is Lead Scientist of the All Our Families cohort, and a Research Scientist in Maternal Child Health in the Department of Research and Innovation in Alberta Health Services. She is also an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. She has methodological skills in research methods, complex data sets, and longitudinal analysis, and content expertise in maternal mental health, birth outcomes, and child development. She is a co-investigator on a number of provincial and nationally funded research projects in maternal and child health. Her contributions to the field have included development of a psychosocial screening tool for poor maternal mental health using information in the prenatal period, and modeling the impact of life course stress and allostatic load on the risk for poor birth outcomes. Other interests and contributions include work on Adverse Childhood Experiences and childhood resilience.

KARA NERENBERG

MD, MSc, Project Lead

Dr. Nerenberg is an Associate Professor with the Departments of Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary, and a General Internist working in Obstetrical Medicine at the Foothills Medical Centre. Her clinical and research interests are in the epidemiology and prevention of cardiovascular disease in post-partum women with pregnancy-related complications (preeclampsia, gestational hypertension and gestational diabetes).

LAURA SYCURO

PhD, Project Lead

Dr. Sycuro is an Assistant Professor with the Departments of Microbiology, Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Calgary. The broad goal of her research program is to harness the microbiome to promote maternal and child health. Her lab is working to advance the precision with which we define the composition of the microbiome and mechanistically link its species and genes to health outcomes. She is studying how select members of vaginal microbiome are able to ascend, remodel the cervix, and gain access to the amniotic fluid. Her research focuses on poorly understood bacteria, including Sneathia and Prevotella species, which are tightly linked to premature birth.

LIANNE TOMFOHR-MADSEN

PhD, Project Lead

Dr. Tomfohr-Madsen is an Associate Professor with the Departments of Psychology and Pediatrics at the University of Calgary. Her lab is investigating ways to intervene and change health trajectories in vulnerable populations. Research is focused on (1) better understanding how maternal adversity is associated with infant and child health problems and (2) testing interventions in pregnancy that aim to reduce maternal stress, anxiety, and insomnia and reduce postpartum mood problems. Research in the lab is also testing whether reducing high levels of maternal psychological distress and insomnia in pregnancy can positively impact pregnancy related and infant health trajectories.

SUZANNE TOUGH

PhD, Project Lead

Dr. Tough is a Professor with the Department of Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary and a MaxBell Foundation Burns Memorial Fund Policy Fellow. She was formerly a Health Scholar supported by Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions. She is the principal investigator of the All Our Families (formerly All Our Babies) cohort and the overall vision of her research program is to optimize birth and childhood outcomes by creating evidence that informs the development of community and clinical programs and influences policy. Dr. Tough has undertaken research in delayed childbearing, reproductive technology, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, preterm birth, prenatal care, maternal mental health and child development.

STEPHEN WOOD

MD, MSc, Project Lead

Dr. Wood is a Professor with the Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary and an Obstetrician Gynecologist at the Foothills Medical Centre. He conducts research in the areas of term and preterm labor, cesarean section and neonatal asphyxia prevention and stillbirth.

AYMAN ABOU MEHREM

MD, Co-investigator

Dr. Abou Mehrem is Neonatologist and a Clinical Associate Professor with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Calgary. His research interests include neonatal resuscitation, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, telemedicine, and health informatics.

SOFIA AHMED

MD, MSc, Co-investigator

Dr. Ahmed is a Nephrologist and Professor with the Department of Medicine at the University of Calgary and is the lead of the Institute’s Women’s Cardiovascular Research initiative, CV&Me. Dr. Ahmed’s research interests are in the areas of sex and gender, hormonal changes and postpartum care.

DAVE ANDERSON

PhD, Co-investigator

Dr. Anderson is an Instructor with the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is interested in the intersection between molecular functions, biochemistry and evolution. He is focused on the ways in which physical interactions between mutations at different sites (i.e. epistasis) govern the set of evolutionary pathways that are available to a given protein at a given point in its evolutionary history. To investigate this, he has developed a suite of different statistical analysis tools that estimate the effect of distinct mutations on a single quantitative function, which allows for the simultaneous assessment of potential molecular interactions between them.

AMINA BENLAMRI

MD, Co-investigator

Dr. Benlamri is the director of the Calgary Neonatal Follow-up Clinic. She is a Neonatologist and Clinical Assistant Professor with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Calgary. Her area of expertise is neonatology and developmental pediatrics.

SIGNE BRAY

PhD, Co-investigator

Dr. Bray is an Associate Professor with the Departments of Pediatrics and Radiology at the University of Calgary. She uses functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study learning and cognition, with a focus on cognitive development and the effects of neurodevelopmental disorders on the brain. Her research goals are to apply neuroimaging to better understand how developmental changes in brain architecture affect information processing, and how structural alterations, resulting from developmental disorders, lead to cognitive difficulties. She is also interested in the effects of learning and practice on brain activity, structure and behavior.

MEREDITH BROCKWAY

PhD, Co-investigator

Dr. Brockway is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of Manitoba. Her research interests are in health promotion interventions that contribute to increased breastfeeding rates and maternal breastfeeding self-efficacy.

DAVID CAMPBELL

MD, PhD, Co-investigator

Dr. Campbell is an Assistant Professor with the Departments of Medicine, Community Health Sciences & Cardiac Sciences at the University of Calgary. His area of expertise is social determinants of health and diabetes outcomes.

HELEN CARLSON

PhD, Co-investigator

Dr. Carlson is a Research Assistant Professor of Pediatrics with the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. She is the lead for the Calgary Pediatric Stroke Program Imaging Group and has extensive experience in researching brain neuroplasticity in children with perinatal stroke through multimodal neuroimaging. Dr. Carlson examines pre/post treatment modulations in neural networks and works to explore development of future treatment avenues for kids and families affected by stroke to improve lifelong motor function.

WENDY DEAN

PhD, Co-investigator

Dr. Dean is Professor in the Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy at the University of Calgary, and Director of Biomedical Laboratories at the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute. Dr. Dean combines world-leading expertise in embryology and epigenetics. Her research interests are in the areas of early post fertilization reprogramming and epigenetic mechanisms underpinning normal development and reproduction.

GISELLE DEVETTEN

MD, Co-investigator

Dr. DeVetten is the clinical physician lead with the Lougheed Maternity Group and a Clinical Lecturer with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Calgary. After residency, she studied tropical medicine at Cayetano Heredia University and currently works with refugees at the Mosaic Refugee Health Clinic in Calgary. She also works at The Alex Youth Health Centre providing care to at-risk youth.

MICHAEL ESSER

MD, PhD, Co-investigator

Dr. Esser is a Pediatric Neurologist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, the Director of the Pediatric NeuroCritical Care and Translational Research Program and a Clinical Associate Professor with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Calgary. His main area of research is pediatric brain injury, and the neurobiology of selective cellular vulnerability, and resistance.

ELSA FIEDRICH

MD, Co-investigator

Dr. Fiedrich completed her pediatrics and neonatology training in Edmonton. She has practiced full service pediatrics in Iqaluit, Yellowknife and Red Deer. In 2017, Dr. Fiedrich returned to neonatology in Calgary and has a special interest in neonatal follow-up and developmental pediatrics. Dr. Fiedrich is the Medical lead for Southern Alberta Neonatal Transport Service Outreach Education Program to support regional centres' neonatal education. She is the proud mother of a vivacious toddler.

SUSAN GRAHAM

PhD, Co-investigator

Dr. Graham is a Professor with the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary and Director of the Owerko Centre at the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, which is dedicated to studying neurodevelopmental disorders and child mental health. Her research program examines child development with specific focus on delineating the interactive trajectories of early language, cognitive, and social-cognitive development. The research examines how young children form and use concepts to organize their words. It also examine how children become effective communicators, taking other speakers’ perspectives and emotions into account.

MYRIAM HEMBERGER

PhD, Co-investigator

Dr. Hemberger is a Professor with the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Medical Genetics. She is the Program Director for Precision Medicine and Disease Mechanisms Program and holds a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Developmental Genetics and Epigenetics. A key focus of her research is on studying the impact of the placenta on healthy development, in particular during the earliest stages of pregnancy when key steps in formation of the placenta take place.

LEONORA HENDSON

MD, Co-investigator

Dr. Hendson is a Clinical Associate Professor with the Department of Pediatrics. Her research is on developmental trajectories of high risk neonates in and after the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The Neonatal Follow-up Clinic assesses populations at high risk of neurodevelopmental difficulties, provides an audit/quality improvement function, and assists families and health care providers through assessment and audit.

ERIN HETHERINGTON

PhD, Co-investigator

Erin Hetherington is a CIHR postdoctoral fellow at McGill University in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational health. Her research focuses on social factors that contribute to inequalities in maternal and child health in marginalized populations. Erin’s work includes the analysis on large scale administrative data as well as the evaluation of programs and health care systems innovations to improve perinatal health outcomes.

JO-ANN JOHNSON

MD, Co-investigator

Dr. Johnson is a Maternal Fetal Medicine Physician with the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medical Imaging at Foothills Medical Centre, and Professor with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is the Medical Director for the Early Risk Assessment Program. Her research interests are in the areas of maternal health, pregnancy and prenatal diagnostics.

ELIZABETH KEYS

PhD, Co-investigator

Dr. Keys is an Assistant Professor with the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests are in child, youth and mental health, mental health and social determinants of child and youth development.

CATHERINE LEBEL

PhD, Co-investigator

Dr. Lebel is an Associate Professor with the Department of Radiology and an Adjunct Associate Professor with Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. She is the Program Director for the Child Brain and Mental Health Program and the Canada Research Chair in Pediatric Neuroimaging. Her research uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study brain development in children and adolescents. Using a variety of MRI techniques, she studies how brain structure and function change with age, or in response to treatments and interventions. The aim of her research is to better understand brain changes, with the ultimate goal of providing earlier identification and more effective treatments for children with developmental disorder.

SCOTT MCLEOD

MD, Co-investigator

Dr. Scott McLeod is a Developmental Pediatrician and Clinical Assistant Professor within the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Calgary. Clinically, he works within the Neuromotor Clinic at Alberta Children's Hospital seeing children and youth with cerebral palsy. His research interests include facilitating the early detection and diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

CARLY MCMORRIS

PhD, Co-investigator

Dr. McMorris is an Assistant Professor with the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Her research focuses on improving the health and well-being of children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD), such as autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and cerebral palsy.

DEBORAH MCNEIL

PhD, Co-investigator

Dr McNeil is the Scientific Director for the Maternal Newborn Child and Youth Strategic Clinical Network at Alberta Health Services and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing and the Department of Community Health Sciences in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. Deb led research departments in Alberta Health Services for close to 20 years using integrated knowledge translation to generate and mobilize scientific evidence for practice and decision making. She has expertise in a variety of research approaches including epidemiology, qualitative research, implementation science, synthesis and systematic evidence reviews. Her research interests include Family Integrated Care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Perinatal Depression and Anxiety, Childhood Immunization, Health Equity and the Social Determinants of Health. Deb is a board member of the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools.

ALEKSANDRA MINEYKO

MD, Co-investigator

Dr. Mineyko is the Pediatric Neurology Program Director, Neurologist with the Pediatric Neurocritical Care Program, and Clinical Associate Professor with the Department of Pediatrics and Clinical Neurosciences. Her area of research interests is in the use of biomarker technology to determine pathophysiology of pediatric neurological diseases such as perinatal stroke and pediatric vasculopathy.

KHORSHID MOHAMMAD

MD, MSc, Co-investigator

Dr. Mohammad is a Staff Neonatologist at Alberta Health Services, Calgary Zone, and a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. In 2014, Dr. Mohammad established the Neonatal Neuro-Critical Care program in Calgary in collaboration with Pediatric Neurology. Dr. Mohammad is a founding member of the Sonographic Clinical Assessment of the Newborn (SCAN) program. Dr. Mohammad’s main areas of interest are innovation in education and Quality Improvement. Dr. Mohammad established a neonatal brain monitoring simulation lab including cranial ultrasonography phantoms and simulators, Neonatal EEG simulator, Neonatal neurological exam using Virtual reality, and smart phones applications. He developed several teaching modules in Neonatal Neurology and organized several conferences, workshops, and courses in Neonatal Neuromonitoring. Dr. Mohammad’s quality improvement work led to significant reduction in mortality and brain injury in extremely premature infants and term infants suffering from asphyxia and seizure. Dr. Mohammad’s areas of research interest are education, brain perfusion, monitoring, and Quality Improvement neuroprotection strategies.

KHARAH ROSS

PhD, Co-investigator

Dr. Ross is a Health Psychologist and an Assistant Professor with the Department of Psychology at the Athabasca University. She has a specialization in maternal-child health and psychoneuroimmunology, or the study of the connections between psychosocial states (e.g. stress, close relationship quality) and immune activity. Her research encompasses three broad areas: (1) Close relationships and health, (2) Health disparities at the intersection of race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status, and (3) Understanding normative physiological activity during pregnancy, the postpartum period and early childhood.

CYNTHIA SEOW

MBBS (Hons), MSc, FRACP, Co-investigator

Dr. Seow is a Gastroenterologist and an Associate Professor with the Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. Her research interests include the effect of chronic disease, specifically, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) on maternal and infant outcomes. She has a dedicated research registry and biorepository.

AMY SHAFEY

MD, MSc, Co-investigator

Dr. Shafey is a Neonatologist and Clinical Assistant Professor with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta. She has received her Masters in epidemiology for her work on the experiences of fathers in a FICare program. She has an interest in family integrated care and long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of preterm infants.

HUSSEIN ZEIN

MD, MSc, Co-investigator

Dr. Zein is a Neonatologist and the Medical Site Lead of the NICU at the Rockyview General Hospital. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor with the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Calgary. His area of interest is in neuroinflammation and preterm birth injury. He is the Lead of the Preterm Brain Injury Working Group in Calgary.

FARAH BANDALI

RD, BSc, MSc

Ms. Bandali is the Director of Healthy Children and Families Department, Healthy Living, Provincial Population and Public Health in Alberta Health Services with over 19 years of health-related experience working in a variety of roles and settings from clinical to population and public health. Ms. Bandali has led a number of health promotion and disease prevention areas with local and provincial scopes such as community development, public participation, childhood obesity prevention, school health promotion and population and public health nutrition. Currently, she is responsible for leading provincial program areas addressing preconception to children 18 years of age and their families. Healthy Children and Families will apply the results from the P3 Cohort research program and will facilitate dissemination of the findings to program areas across the maternal and child continuum of care in order to benefit initiatives that work to improve the health of Albertans.

SIMRIT BRAR

MD

Dr. Simrit Brar is an Obstetrician Gynecologist at Foothills Medical Centre and Clinical Assistant Professor with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Calgary. As the Medical Informatics Lead for Women’s Health in the Calgary Zone for the Alberta Health Services, Dr. Brar has been involved in the development of Connect Care, which is a new integrated electronic medical record that is being implemented in hospitals and AHS clinics across the province.

JULIO GARCIA FLORES

PhD

Dr. Garcia Flores is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Radiology at the University of Calgary. His research focuses on cardiovascular 4-dimensional flow (4D Flow) imaging. He has developed biomedical imaging technologies to assess heart valve disease, aortopathies, pediatric and adult congenital diseases. He leads the larger 4D Flow program in Canada at the Stephenson Cardiac Imaging Centre.

RAYLENE REIMER

PhD, RD

Dr. Reimer is a Registered Dietician, a Professor with the Faculty of Kinesiology and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Associate Dean Research for the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. Her research is focused on understanding the full potential of nutrition to prevent and treat obesity and type 2 diabetes. Her research spans basic science aimed at determining the mechanisms through which diet, particularly during pregnancy and early post-natal life affects the risk of chronic disease, through to human clinical studies evaluating the effectiveness of dietary interventions aimed at modifying the gut microbiota. The long-term goal of her work is to identify novel nutritional therapies to prevent and treat chronic disease.

XING-CHANG WEI

MD, MSc, FRCPC

Dr. Wei is a Pediatrics Neuroradiologist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and Clinical Associate Professor with the Department of Radiology, University of Calgary. As a collaborator with the role of inflammation in brain injury and development of preterm infants project, he will share his expertise on brain magnetic resonance imaging and assessments of the acquired magnetic resonance images.

JANICE SKIFFINGTON

MSc, Program Team Lead

Janice is the Program Team Lead for the P3 Cohort, and works for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Calgary. She has a Master of Science degree from the University of Manitoba and is published in the areas of perinatal health as well as avian behavioral ecology. Outside of work, Janice enjoys spending time in nature, hiking, reading and spending time with her family.

INDIRA ALVAREZ

MSc, Research Assistant

Indira is a Research Assistant for the P3 Cohort, and works for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Calgary. She has a Master of Science degree from McGill University. She has been involved in research areas such as: the study on neural correlates of perceptual awareness, and memory reconsolidation blockade to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Outside of work, Indira enjoys reading and working with cold porcelain clay as well as spending time with her family.

AMY BERGERON

RN, BScN, Research Nurse

Amy is the Research Nurse for the P3 Cohort and REDUCE-I research studies. Amy's passion is in women's health. She first was introduced to research nursing when she had the opportunity to join the REDUCED Trial team and work towards decreasing cesarean section rates in first time moms across Alberta. Outside of research, Amy's practice has been in maternal fetal medicine through fertility nursing, primary care, in addition to labour and delivery nursing. Outside of work, Amy enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and baking bread!

SHAZIA DHARAMSI

BSc, Research Assistant

Shazia is a Research Assistant for the P3 Cohort, and works for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Calgary. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with a major in Health Promotion and a minor in Chemistry. She also has her Clinical Medical Assistant Certification and has previously worked as a Contact Tracer/Case Investigator for COVID-19, a Research Assistant at the UTEP School of Nursing, and a Phlebotomist at the UTEP School of Pharmacy. Outside of work, Shazia enjoys spending time in nature, baking, hiking, and being with her family.

SELMA LOW

MSc, Research Assistant

Selma is a Research Assistant for the P3 Cohort, and works for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Calgary. She has a Master of Science degree in Ecology from the University of Alberta, and has previously worked as a science educator and environmental consultant. Outside of work, Selma enjoys exploring the outdoors with her family, reading, and indoor climbing.

TERESA MACGOWAN

Program Coordinator

Teresa is a Program Coordinator for the P3 Cohort and the Alberta Provincial Surveillance Program for Moderate to Severe Neonatal Hypoxic-ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE). She works for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Calgary. Outside of work, Teresa can often be found reading, gardening, or throwing pottery.

ERIN FENSKY

RN, BN, Research Nurse

Erin is the Research Nurse for the P3 Cohort and REDUCE-I research studies. Erin also works casually as a nurse on the Foothills labour and delivery unit, as well as at the Riley Park Maternity Clinic. Erin has been passionate about encouraging and supporting pregnant women since the beginning of her nursing career. Outside of work Erin enjoys training for her first triathlon, learning how to hip-hop dance, and investing in as well as encouraging teenage girls.

CHLOE PEKARSKY

Social Media Research Assistant and Coordinator

Chloe is the Social Media Research Assistant and Coordinator for the P3 Cohort. She is in her third year of Health and Society in the Bachelor of Health Sciences at University of Calgary. Previously she has worked as a camp counsellor, a ski instructor and a cashier at Canadian Tire. In her free time, Chloe can be found skiing, hiking, camping, paddling (she paddled for 40 days down the Mackenzie River) or cheering on the Edmonton Oilers.

MIKYLA STEHMEIER

RN, BN, Research Nurse

Mikyla is a casual Research Nurse for the P3 Cohort and REDUCE-I research studies. She also works as a labour and delivery nurse at Foothills Medical Centre. Mikyla has worked in labour and delivery for 7 years and is excited to continue to support women's health by working to improve the labor experience and health of the maternity population. Outside of work, Mikyla loves being active at her gym, and getting outside and to the mountains as much as the weather will allow. Additionally, Mikyla loves cooking and making sourdough.

SELPHEE TANG

BSc, Data Management Advisor

Selphee is the Data Management Advisor for the P3 Cohort. She works for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Calgary Neonatal Follow-up Clinic. She provides data analysis and data management support for research and quality improvement projects with a focus on perinatal health and outcomes of infants born very premature or extremely low birth weight. Outside of work, Selphee enjoys knitting, singing in a choir, and spending time with family.

MELINDA WANG

MD, Lab Research Technician

Melinda is a Lab Research Technician for the P3 Cohort. She works in Dr. Slater's lab as part of the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at the University of Calgary. Melinda started her professional career as an MD in China before moving into scientific research. With over 30 years research experience in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, she has worked in infantile spasms, autism, concussion, and Alzheimer research. Melinda is passionate about science and research and thoroughly enjoys learning about different cultures and their food, and meeting new people.

RAMON CORTEZ

MSc, PhD

Dr. Ramon Cortez obtained his master's degree in the department of Medicine (Obstetrics) and his doctorate in the department of Pharmacy (Pathophysiology and Toxicology), both in Brazil. During his PhD, Dr. Cortez investigated the effect of maternal colostrum administration on the microbiome of premature newborns. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Sycuro Research Group at the University of Calgary, Dr. Cortez is participating in projects aimed at observing the role of microbiome in maternal and child health.

KYLIE HORNADAY

BSc, PhD Candidate

Kylie is a doctoral student in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology. Her research involves investigating biomarkers for the prediction of preterm birth and investigating mechanisms underlying spontaneous preterm birth, with a focus on the role of inflammation and prostaglandins.

KAREN LITHGOW

BSc, PhD

Dr. Karen Lithgow obtained her BSc in Immunology & Infection from the University of Alberta and a PhD in Biochemistry & Microbiology from the University of Victoria. During her PhD, Dr. Lithgow investigated the molecular pathogenesis of the syphilis bacterium, Treponema pallidum. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Sycuro Research Group at the University of Calgary, Dr. Lithgow’s research aims to advance our understanding of women’s health by investigating how the vaginal microbiome impacts sexual and reproductive health outcomes.

KIRA PLETTL

MEng, PhD Candidate

Kira is a doctoral student with the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Calgary. Her doctoral research focuses on investigating the effects of maternal, sociodemographic, and environmental factors on pediatric neurodevelopmental outcomes using machine learning techniques, as well as modelling patterns of pediatric neurodevelopment.

NIKKI STEPHENSON

MSc, PhD Candidate

Nikki is a doctoral student within the Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. Nikki’s doctoral research is centered around identification of developmental trajectories for children born before term, and understanding how parenting and childcare influence those trajectories

JAMES WONKYU JUNG

HBSc, MPsych student

James WonKyu Jung is a master’s student in the clinical psychology program at the University of Calgary. His research focuses on investigating the barriers faced by ethnic and racial minority mothers when using digital platforms to receive remote psychological interventions for depression and anxiety, as well as how those barriers impact the intervention outcome.

EILIDH WOOD

BSc, MSc student

Eilidh is a MSc student in Dr. Slater’s lab in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at the University of Calgary. Eilidh has a Bachelor of Science degree from Queen's University and she is currently studying the mechanisms of preterm labour.