Dr. Colin Dormuth, ScD
Colin Dormuth has extensive experience using administrative health care databases to evaluate pharmaceutical policy changes and physician prescribing behaviour. He has been a member of the Therapeutics Initiative since 1995. His research focuses on drug safety and effectiveness, as well as the design and evaluation of reimbursement policies for prescription drugs. He has training in economic theory, applied econometrics, epidemiology, health services outcome research and biostatistics. Dr. Dormuth holds a Sc.D. and S.M. in epidemiology from Harvard University, an M.A. in economics from the University of Victoria, and a B.A. in economics from the University of Manitoba.
Dr. Ken Bassett, MD, PhD
Ken Bassett conducts systematic reviews of the efficacy and safety of new and established drugs, as well as pharmaco-epidemiologic studies of serious adverse events associated with prescription drug therapy in British Columbia. His ongoing research interests are in the systematic review of drug therapy and drug funding policy.
Dr. James M. Wright, MD, PhD, FRCP(C)
James (Jim) Wright obtained his MD from the University of Alberta in 1968, his FRCP(C) in Internal Medicine in 1975 and his PhD in Pharmacology from McGill University in 1976. He is a practicing specialist in Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the Therapeutics Letter. He sits on the Editorial Boards of PLoS One and the Cochrane Library.
Dr. Wright’s research focuses on issues related to appropriate use of prescription drugs (particularly antihypertensive and lipid lowering drugs), Clinical Pharmacology, clinical trials, systematic review, meta-analysis and knowledge translation.
Dr. Thomas Perry Jr., MD, FRCP
Dr. Tom Perry graduated from McGill University Medical School in 1978. He achieved Fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, and took additional training at the Karolinska Institute Department of Clinical Pharmacology in Stockholm in 1986 and at UBC until 1989, when he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. He served as Opposition Health Critic from 1989-1991, as Minister for Advanced Education, Training & Technology from 1991-93, and as a government MLA from 1993-96. These experiences alerted him to the importance of getting good value for money in health care, in order to maintain an effective universal health service in Canada.
After returning to clinical medicine in 1996 Tom practiced general internal medicine with sick patients at Delta Hospital, UBC Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital until 2014. He now teaches clinical pharmacology through seminars, lectures and elective student clinical training at UBCH. His outpatient practice focuses on pharmacological treatment of chronic pain and high blood pressure and reduction of pointless or dangerous polypharmacy. He has a special interest in the use of videography to teach students and doctors about drugs and about human pathophysiology.
Tom chairs our Education Working Group, participates in the Drug Assessment Working Group, and is primary author for a number of TI Letters. His other interests include wilderness canoeing and hiking, environmental conservation, peace and social justice issues, music, reading, and his wife (an experienced RN) and two children. One thing he likes especially about working with the Therapeutics Initiative is continuous thinking and learning about medicine and drug therapy, and meeting the smart and dedicated health care colleagues with whom we have the opportunity to teach and learn.
Dr. Malcolm Maclure, PhD
Dr. Vijaya Musini, MD, MSc, MSc
Vijaya Musini has conducted and supervised over 200 systematic reviews and meta-analyses on prescription drug therapy. She is an Editor of the Cochrane Hypertension Review Group and has been actively involved in teaching Cochrane Collaboration systematic review methodology and critical appraisal skills on evidence based drug therapy to undergraduate, graduate, medical students and residents.
Dr. Musini graduated from Mumbai University Medical School in 1982. After completing her rotating internship she joined the Department of Community Medicine in 1984 and graduated with a Diploma in Public Health from Mumbai University Medical School in 1985.
She has worked as a Family Practitioner and as a Medical Officer in primary health care centres in Mumbai, India for several years. She also worked as a research assistant in the Departments of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, and Health Care and Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University. She immigrated to Canada in 1996 and graduated with a Masters Degree in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from the University of British Columbia in 2000.
Dr. Aaron Tejani, BSc (Pharm), PharmD
Dr. Aaron M Tejani, is a researcher with the Therapeutics Initiative (co-chair of the Education Working Group and the Drug Assessment Working Group), an editor with the Cochrane Hypertension group, a clinical assistant professor with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (University of British Columbia), and Medication use evaluation pharmacist with Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services (Vancouver, BC). He completed his BSc(Pharm) at UBC (Vancouver) and Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Creighton University (Omaha, Nebraska).
He currently serves as a peer reviewer for several biomedical journals. Dr. Tejani has published scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals (including authoring 11 Cochrane systematic reviews) and presented to healthcare professional groups at local, national, and international conferences. He is particularly interested in teaching healthcare professionals how to critically appraise research publications and systematic reviews on medical interventions. He is the lead author of a number of Therapeutics Letters.
Dr. Casey van Breemen, DVM, MSc, PhD
Cornelis (Casey) van Breemen received his DVM at the Ontario Veterinary College in 1960. He pursued clinical veterinary medicine for one year before enrolling as a graduate student at the University of Alberta where he earned an MSc in Physiology in 1962 and a PhD in Pharmacology in 1965. He subsequently did post-doctorate studies in the Department of Polymer Sciences at the Weizman Institute, Israel and the Department of Physiology at the University of Leicester, UK.
In 1967 he was appointed Assistant Professor in Pharmacology at the University of Florida and in 1969 moved to the University of Miami where he was promoted to Professor of Pharmacology in 1977. In 1993 he was recruited by UBC as Head of the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics from where he officially retired in 2002, but continued on his productive research career (over 250 publications) in the area of vascular physiology and pharmacology.
From the early sixties to the present Dr. van Breemen has investigated the signaling systems within blood vessels, both of the endothelium and smooth muscle. At present his laboratory focuses on the critical role of nanodomains resulting from complex membrane ultra-structure in vascular control in health and diseases such as Marfan Syndrome and Diabetes. He has trained many successful graduate students and post-doctorate fellows. He has received several distinctions and awards:
- Established Investigator for the American Heart Association, 1972
- Invited visiting Professor at the University of Louvain, 1972
- Sigma-Xi, University of Miami, Professor of the Year, 1991
- Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Senior, US Scientist Award, 1992
- Distinguished Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine, The University of British Columbia, 1995
- Ciba-Geigy Canada Ltd., Prestigious Award for Outstanding Contributions to Pharmacology in Canada, Pharmacological Society in Canada, Bath, UK, July 1996
- UBC Killam Research Prize for 1997
- Invited distinguished professor at Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain
Dr. Rita McCracken, MD, CCFP, PhD
Dr. Jessica Otte, MD, CCFP
Dr. Jessica Otte is a family physician in Nanaimo, BC. She has always been passionate about helping patients find the right health care according to the evidence and their needs and values, and she practices this daily with a focus on care of the elderly and palliative care. Dr Otte is deeply engaged in sharing this approach through continuing medical education, an active social media presence (@LessIsMoreMed), and teaching family practice residents.
Together with clinical expertise and patient values, Dr. Otte champions the values of the Therapeutics Initiative – rigorous and unbiased review of evidence – in her quality improvement, policy, clinical guideline, and health technology assessment (HTA) contributions at the provincial and national levels.
Dr. Lorri Puil, MD, PhD
Dr. Lorri Puil obtained her MD from the University of Toronto and has postgraduate training in internal medicine, hematology and clinical pharmacology. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto in molecular biology (signal transduction), a field directly applicable to the development and assessment of novel therapeutics such as targeted molecules and biologics.
Dr. Puil has 15 years of experience in conducting systematic reviews and directing multidisciplinary knowledge synthesis teams in the evaluation of health care interventions. She is actively involved in teaching research synthesis methods, the critical appraisal of clinical trials and non-randomized studies, and evidence-based drug therapy to health professionals and students. Dr. Puil’s ongoing research interests are the benefits and harms of prescription drugs, including their molecular effects, and methods to improve the quality of evidence syntheses to support policy and clinical decision making.
Dr. Puil is a senior member of the Drug Assessment Working Group, a contributor to Therapeutic Letters, an Editor of the Cochrane Hypertension Group, and a member of the Cochrane & Campbell Equity Methods Group, which aims to improve the applicability of evidence to diverse populations.
Dr. Barbara Mintzes, BSc, PhD
Barbara Mintzes is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney, Australia, and an Affiliate Associate Professor with the School of Population and Public Health at UBC. She has worked with the Therapeutics Initiative’s Drug Assessment Working Group to carry out systematic reviews of the effectiveness and safety of new drugs since 1999, and was in the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics and School of Population and Public Health at UBC until March 2015.
Dr Mintzes researches the effects of drug promotion, including direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medicines, on prescribing, medicine use and thresholds for disease diagnosis. She co-authored the book, “Sex, Lies and Pharmaceuticals” with Ray Moynihan in 2010.
At the University of Sydney, she works with the Charles Perkins Centre, a multi-disciplinary research centre focusing on obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She co-leads the Charles Perkins Centre’s Evidence Synthesis Node, and is a member of the Bias and Research Integrity Node. Dr Mintzes holds a doctorate in epidemiology from the University of British Columbia. She has also worked for many years with consumer and women’s health organizations, in Canada and internationally.
In 2014-2016, Barbara Mintzes was a paid expert witness on behalf of plaintiffs in two Canadian class action suits, on cardiovascular risks of testosterone treatment, and on hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer. She has no other conflicts to declare.
Mr. Greg Carney, BSc
Greg Carney holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Victoria in applied economics. He has a unique skill set which combines business analysis, economics, statistical programming, and epidemiology. Since 1999 he has worked as an economist, business analyst, health researcher, statistician, and epidemiologist. His research focuses on post market pharmaceutical surveillance and pharmaceutical outcomes using large health care utilization databases.
Dr. Anat Fisher, MD, MHA
Anat Fisher obtained her M.D. degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. She also has a Master of Health Administration from the Tel Aviv University in Israel. She worked as a family practitioner for many years and managed a Hospital Department in a Managed Health Organization. She is an experienced researcher and an expert in data analysis and trend analysis. She has conducted several systematic reviews on safety and efficacy of new drug therapies and is an author of Cochrane systematic reviews.
Ms. Carolyn Green, BHSc(PT), PhD
Carolyn J Green, PhD research interests are organized around providing health care decision makers with research based as well as contextualized research. An active and producer of health technology assessment (HTA) from 1992 she builds on a foundation of research synthesis methodologies, incorporating critical appraisal, meta-analysis, utilization analysis and decision analysis using data from administrative databases, systematic reviews and clinical trials.
Doctoral and postdoctoral training has added health informatics and qualitative research perspectives and approaches to her investigations into how knowledge is used in socio-technical systems. To this end she has used institutional ethnography to map health care practice, management and governance systems in relation to regional health boards as well as chronic disease management systems.
Carolyn has a BHSc(PT) from McMaster, a MSc from the Department of Health Care and Epidemiology at UBC, a PhD in Health Informatics from the University of Victoria, and has completed a CIHR sponsored postdoctoral fellowship in Knowledge Translation at the University of Alberta. She currently contributes to evidence development in British Columbia through a number of innovative research programs.
Dr. Benji Heran, PhD
Balraj (Benji) Heran received a B.Sc. (Hon.) in Physiology at the UBC and joined the TI in 2000. He recently graduated from the Ph.D. program in the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, UBC. Under the supervision of Dr. Jim Wright, he conducted two systematic reviews of the dose-related blood pressure lowering efficacy of ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers for primary hypertension. He is also a contributing author of a number of systematic reviews and protocols published in the Cochrane Library. From 2003 to 2009 he has served on the editorial team of the Cochrane Collaboration Hypertension Review Group as the Trial Search Co-ordinator, since 2009 has been an Editor with the Cochrane Hypertension Group and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Cochrane Heart Group. He has a keen interest in cardiovascular research.
Mr. Richard Morrow, MA
Richard Morrow holds an MA in Economics from the University of Victoria and a BA in English Literature from McGill University. His expertise includes policy analysis, communications, health economics, statistical methods and programming. Since 2004, he has worked as a research analyst in the areas of pharmaceutical policy and post-market drug safety and effectiveness.
Dr. Cait O’Sullivan, BA, BScPh, PharmD
Cait O’Sullivan has a clinical pharmacy background in acute general medicine, residential care, and community practice. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Brunswick (Honours, Medical Anthropology), a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Dalhousie University, and a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the University of Washington. Cait has a research interest in the drug approval process and clinical practice guideline methodology.
Mr. Doug Salzwedel, MLIS
Douglas M Salzwedel is a health sciences librarian and has worked as Information Specialist for Cochrane Hypertension since June 2009, provided user support for the Cochrane Register of Studies software from 2011 to 2014, and was a member of the Cochrane Information Specialists’ Executive from 2011 to 2017. From 2015 to 2018 Doug was a member of Cochrane’s Information Specialists’ Support Team, providing mentoring and ongoing support to Cochrane Information Specialists across Cochrane’s international network. Within the Therapeutics Initiative, he works primarily with the Drug Assessment Working Group and on communications activities.
Douglas was previously the information specialist for the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) Review Group, then based in Ottawa. Prior to that, he worked as a librarian/information specialist, providing instruction on evidence-based medicine and information resources to primary care clinicians in a randomised controlled trial at the Institute of Population Health in Ottawa, Canada. He obtained a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario in 2001.
Dr. Emma Reid, BScPharm, ACPR, PharmDEmma Reid graduated with a BScPharm from Dalhousie University, and completed a hospital pharmacy residency program with the Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services in Vancouver. She recently completed Doctor of Pharmacy training at the University of Alberta. Emma currently works as a clinical pharmacist with the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, primarily in critical care. Her research interests include risk of bias assessment and systematic review methodology.
Dr. Paramdeep Kaur, PhD
Paramdeep has joined the APT Department as Statistician for the Surgery Quality Outcome Reports (SQOR) project in 2017. She has experience in using administrative data bases and is currently providing statistical support to TI’s Quality Prescribing Working Group (QPWG). She is currently doing her Professional Specialization Certificate in Population Health Data Analysis (PHDA) from the University of Victoria.
Paramdeep obtained a Master in Statistics (with distinction) and a PhD in Statistics from the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India. She worked as Lecturer in Statistics at the Khalsa College Amritsar, India from 2008 to 2010. She worked as Assistant Professor in the Community Medicine Department at Christian Medical College & Hospital (CMC), Ludhiana, India for 4 years and during this period she also provided Statistician support to the CMC Stroke Research Team. She was the lead statistician for India’s first population based stroke registry that was sponsored by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Government of India, performed analysis of randomized controlled trials (https://n.neurology.org/content/83/11/1012.short, https://n.neurology.org/content/80/6/528.long) and is co-author for more than 25 research publications, including a completed systematic review and meta-analysis. Before immigrating to Canada, Paramdeep worked for 2 years as Medical Statistician at the University of Oxford, UK.
Mr. Jason Kim, BHS, MPH
Jason is a Research Analyst at the Therapeutics Initiative, specializing in epidemiological methods, data analysis, and statistical programming. He graduated with a Bachelor of Health Sciences from McMaster University and a Master of Public Health from the University of British Columbia, which was supported by a CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship. He has particular interests in causal inference methods for observational studies, modern approaches to data visualization, as well as developing reproducible statistical programs for collaborative research. Jason is especially passionate about analyzing large data to evaluate health care systems and policy. At the Therapeutics Initiative, he works with linkable administrative health databases to answer questions about pharmaceutical outcomes, policy, and prescription drug utilization as a member of the Pharmaco-Epidemiology Group.
Mr. Alan Cassels, BA,MPA
Alan Cassels has decades of experience researching and writing on pharmaceuticals, particularly drug benefits policies, and the politics of pharmaceutical research, marketing, and coverage. His main specialties are documenting the gap between marketing and science in the pharmaceutical and medical screening industries, and trying to improve the quality of medical reporting. His journalism aims to take high quality evidence-based medical information and make it simple and understandable for consumers.
Alan has written an international bestseller on the pharmaceutical industry’s role in the creation and marketing of illness, Selling Sickness, with Ray Moynihan (Greystone, 2005), an illustrated poetry book on disease mongering, The ABCs of Disease Mongering: An Epidemic in 26 Letters (EmDash, 2007) and a book on medical screening (Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease (Greystone, 2012). His latest book is The Cochrane Collaboration: Medicine’s Best Kept Secret, (Agio, 2015).
Mr. Ciprian Jauca, BA, DBM
Ciprian Jauca studied linguistics at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (major in Romance Languages, minor in Germanistic Studies) from 1986 to 1990. In 1991 he earned an International Diploma of Business Management and Intercultural Communication from the University of Osnabruck, Germany. He speaks several languages and has worked as translator and simultaneous interpreter, as well as managing social development projects for non-profit organizations. Ciprian joined the Therapeutics Initiative at its inception in 1994. He is the Managing Editor for the Therapeutics Letter and has been the Program Coordinator for the Therapeutics Initiative from its inception in 1994 until 2018. He created the Therapeutics Initiative website in the late 1990s and has been serving as its webmaster. He has been involved in the international Cochrane Collaboration since 2001, serving as the Managing Editor for Cochrane Hypertension. He has been involved in the International Society of Drug Bulletins since 2003, was elected as a member of the Executive Committee in 2008 and was elected Secretary General of the organization in 2016. Ciprian served as an elected member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff (AAPS) at the University of British Columbia from 2011 to 2015. Ciprian is currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Laurier Institution, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of Colibri Learning Foundation and Vice-Chairman of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’í Community of Canada.
Mr. Patrick Salamé, MSc
Originally from Montreal, Patrick studied pharmacology and obtained both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from McGill University. He took on several business development and management roles in the corporate world before dedicating his career to non-profit health research for advancement of medical sciences and the greater good. Prior to joining the Therapeutics Initiative, he was managing the extensive research portfolio of the cancer centre at Purdue University ranging from fundamental research to clinical trials. As the TI general manager, Patrick oversees daily operations, safeguards financial health, and provides strategic support to the working groups. What he appreciates the most working with the TI is its non-biased policy, openness to the world, and relentless pursuit of clinical evidence for drug therapy.
Mr. Gregory Bullard, PMP
Gregory Bullard brings over 20 years of Project and Program Management experience to his role as Research Project Coordinator within the Quality Prescribing Working Group of the Therapeutics Initiative. A transplant to Canada, by way of Texas, Gregory is excited to help build the infrastructure and rigor to enable long-term success for the QPWG.
Ms. Ellen Reynolds, BA, MPA
Ellen is a Research Project Manager at the Therapeutics Initiative. Originally from the East Coast, she has a BA in French Literature from Dalhousie University and a Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing from UVic. She received her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Victoria in 2015. The focus of her master’s research was physicians’ experiences and attitudes toward interactions with pharmaceutical sales representatives. She began working as a research coordinator at UBC in 2008, and previously worked extensively with women’s health organizations, including the Canadian Women’s Health Network and DES (diethylstilbestrol) Action Canada. She is currently the Project Manager for a grant looking at the impact of international safety advisories on prescribing, and also works on various TI and CNODES projects.
Ms. Maud van Breemen, BFA, MFA
Maud graduated from the University of Miami, Florida, USA. She has worked as the graphic design and desktop publisher for the Therapeutics Initiative since 1994. She has also provided assistance with graphic design for the annual Drug Therapy Course.
Mr. Stephen Adams, BSc
Dr. Scott Garrison, MD, PhD
Scott Garrison has degrees in engineering physics and medicine, as well as a PhD in experimental medicine from the University of British Columbia. He has worked in Richmond, BC as a full-time office and hospital-based family physician since 1992 and has been a member of GPAC working groups producing the current BC provincial guidelines for the management of hypertension, stroke and cardiovascular risk reduction. He sat on the Primary Care Advisory Council for the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and was the President of the Medical Staff for Richmond Hospital. He is also a clinical assistant professor with the UBC Dept of Family Practice and the principle investigator of a clinical trial exploring the role of magnesium in muscle cramping.
Dr. Marco Perez, MD, PhD
Marco Perez obtained his MD degree at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1991. He completed his specialty in Intensive Care Medicine in 1996. He worked as practicing specialist in an intensive care unit for several years. He obtained his PhD in Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia in 2010, specializing in hypertension and hypertensive emergencies. During his PhD, he conducted two Cochrane systematic reviews and a randomized controlled trial. He has also been a contributing author of a number of systematic reviews published in the Cochrane Library and other peer-reviewed medical journals. Since 2006 he has served on the editorial team of Cochrane Hypertension. He has also been actively involved with the Therapeutics Initiative in the drug assessment-working group, since 2003; and as a clinical reviewer with the Common Drug Review, since 2007. He has completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Institut de la Sante et Recherche Medicale (INSERM) in the Université de Lyon, France, working in an international (French/Canadian) hypertension research project.
Dr. Gavin Wong, BA, BSc, PhD
Gavin Wong obtained a Bachelor in Economics at the Ohio State University in 2002, a B.Sc in Allied Medical Professions (Respiratory Therapy) at the Ohio State University in 2006, a RRT in the National Board for Respiratory Care, USA in 2006 and a PhD in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from the University of British Columbia in 2016. He is an Associate Member of the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists and an author of Cochrane systematic reviews with the Cochrane Hypertension Group. He has conducted several systematic reviews and meta-analyses on prescription drug therapy.
Ms. Kendra Lawrence, BSN
Kendra Lawrence began conducting research with the Therapeutics Initiative and the Cochrane Collaboration while studying for her BSN. During this time, she saw her clinical practice transform as critical thinking was encouraged and reinforced. A true passion for the evidence was discovered as a result of this opportunity to work and learn with the DAWG. Kendra now holds a firm belief that participation in unbiased, independent research instills greater confidence and depth in the relationship she shares with her patients and colleagues. She worked as a Registered Nurse in Acute Medicine and Palliative Care, and is the author of two Cochrane reviews in progress. She is currently a PhD candidate in Public Health in Salt Lake City, UT.