Dr. Alison Krentel
Alison Krentel completed her postgraduate studies at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine receiving her PhD in Public Health (2008) and her MSc in Public Health in Developing Countries (1999). She is an Assistant Professor in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa, a scientist at Bruyère Research Institute, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Knowledge Translation, Technology Assessment for Health Equity. Alison is one of the founding members and current chair of the Canadian Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (www.cnntd.org).
Alison’s main area of research interest and expertise involves understanding and facilitating community acceptance of new health initiatives for the control and elimination of infectious diseases, specifically neglected tropical diseases. She is interested in identifying ways to improve community participation in public health programmes, understanding patterns of non-participation and crafting mixed methods research and interventions to improve uptake. Alison worked with the DOLF research group at Washington University in St. Louis (https://dolfproject.wustl.edu/) as part of a multinational team to assess the safety, efficacy and acceptability of a new treatment regimen for lymphatic filariasis in five countries, leading the acceptability study across the five sites. Her current research portfolio involves understanding the motivations and stressors faced by community health workers and how to build more supportive community programs to enhance their performance. She is one of the lead PIs for a study understanding the transition to scale of proven interventions to address female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) in Ghana and Madagascar (the FAST Package).
As a consultant, Alison has worked with the World Health Organization, for the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO-TDR), the Pan American Health Organization, the Task Force for Global Health, UNICEF and the German government (GIZ).
THREADS Lab Team
Research Project Coordinator
Dr. Kazeem Arogundade is a public health enthusiast with progressive experience in clinical practice, research and in the design, coordination, implementation of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH), Family Planning, HIV/AIDS and Neglected Tropical Disease (Female Genital Schistosomiasis) programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. He graduated with a Master of Public Health Degree (MPH) degree from Staffordshire University, United Kingdom, medical degree from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria and Post Graduate Certificate in Applied Clinical Research at McMaster University, Canada. Kazeem is passionate about utilizing evidence-based interventions to improve the lives of people, specifically women, young girls and children in resource-constrained settings.
Currently, he works as the Research Project Coordinator at the Bruyere Research Institute, Ottawa (under Dr. Alison Krentel’s team) for the FGS Accelerated Scale Together (FAST) package project in Ghana and Madagascar, funded by Grand Challenges Canada.
Advocacy & Policy Officer
Tina has worked within the non-profit sector for more than 20 years, with nearly 10 years of proposal development & design experience including with international agencies such as Plan International Canada, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF), among others. She has worked in Kenya and Zambia, conducted training in Djibouti and Uganda and has visited many other countries in South America, Africa and Europe. She has experience developing multi-country programs, primarily in health and education in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Tina loves the intersection between gender, health and human rights; knowledge translation in health; and learning from others in the global health community. Tina holds an Honours B.A in Political Science and Human Rights from Carleton University, and a post-graduate degree in International Project Management from Humber College, and is completing an MSc in Global Public Health from Queen Mary University London. Tina is really excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with such a bright, passionate and diverse team to advance the policy and advocacy agenda of the CNNTD.
Dr. Dukharmel Nazaire received his medical degree from Université Notre Dame d’Haiti (Haiti). Later, he obtained his Master of Public Health (MPH) degree and a Post Graduate Certificate in Global Health from University of Massachusetts-Amherst, USA. Currently, he is completing another master's degree in Program Evaluation with École nationale d'administration publique (ÉNAP) in Gatineau, Quebec.
As a professional, he worked for several years as a Clinician, Program Supervisor and Care and Treatment Coordinator alternately for NGOs and the Ministry of Public Health in Haiti in various programs, such as Prevention, Care and Treatment of HIV / AIDS, Tuberculosis and Sexually transmitted diseases. He has relevant experience in research, implementation, coordination, and evaluation of Global Health projects in resource-limited settings. At the Bruyere Research Institute, he works as a Research Project Coordinator under Dr. Alison Krentel for the FGS Accelerated Scale Together (FAST) package project in Ghana and Madagascar.
Dr. Aashka Sood has a bachelor's degree in dentistry and a master's degree in oral pathology and microbiology. She has extensive experience in both academic and research settings. During her master's program, Aashka developed a keen interest in teaching and mentoring students, which led her to pursue a career in academia. During her time as a Senior Lecturer in the department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology in India, she guided undergraduate and graduate students in their academic and professional pursuits and worked on multiple academic research projects. Later, she transitioned to public health, working as a research coordinator for a maternal and child health project led by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in collaboration with Maulana Azad Medical College in India. After moving to Canada, she worked as a Research Assistant at Sunnybrook Research Institute in Ontario. Currently, Aashka is responsible for managing multiple multi-country NTD research projects at the Bruyère Research Institute.
Aashka is passionate about the health policy development cycle, starting from designing policies to implementation and monitoring. Aashka's interests in health policy stem from her experience working on the ground level in public health projects. She is keen on ensuring that the policies developed are relevant and effective in addressing the health needs of the community.
Community of Practice Manager
Rachel is the Community of Practice Manager for iCHORDS. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Nutraceutical Sciences at the University of Guelph. She then completed a Master of Occupational Therapy at McMaster University and worked as an occupational therapist in multiple community and hospital settings primarily with older adults experiencing a variety of mental health, cognitive and physical diagnoses. She then returned to the University of Guelph to complete her Master of Public Health. Rachel’s interests focus on knowledge translation strategies particularly for those who are most impacted by the social determinants of health.
Dr. Carol Vlassoff (PhD, Pune, India) is an Adjunct Professor with the School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa and the Bruyère Research Institute, where she conducts research and teaching activities in the field of global health, gender, human rights and equity. Formerly, she worked with the World Health Organization for 17 years, including as Chief, HIV/AIDS (PAHO) in Washington, D.C., WHO Representative in Suriname, and Deputy Director, Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, WHO in Geneva, Switzerland. She has also held key posts in the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, and the Canadian International Development Research Centre (now Global Affairs Canada). Dr. Vlassoff has more than 80 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of gender, health systems, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, tropical diseases and human rights. She currently divides her time between Canada and Costa Rica.
THREADS Lab PhD Students
Jeremiah is a Doctoral Candidate in Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, working under Dr. Alison Krentel's supervision. He has a multidisciplinary background. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Ghana, and Master of Science degrees in Community and Population Health Sciences and Telemedicine and E-Health from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Tromso, respectively.
Jeremiah has work experience in Ghana's community mental health care system and previous research experience in assessing mental health outcomes in developing countries using mixed methods, systematic reviews, and meta-analysis. He also has industrial work experience using advanced statistical modelling methods, including Machine Learning, statistical prediction, and Natural Language Processing.
Jeremiah's current research focuses on using mixed methods to explore the impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) comorbid disability on access to cross-campaign community health care services in Ghana.
Claudia is a doctoral student focusing her research on the spatial epidemiology of malaria and co-infections in children in Northwestern Tanzania. She completed her MPH in Epidemiology at Drexel University, where her thesis examined the association between environmental factors and the prevalence of hookworm infection among school aged children in Tanzania. She previously conducted fieldwork monitoring large mammals in Cameroon and worked on WASH-related projects in Zambia while completing a BS in Biomedical Engineering. Her main research interests are in spatial epidemiology, malaria, neglected tropical diseases and WASH.
Katarina is a Doctoral Candidate in Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa working under the supervision of Dr. Alison Krentel and Dr. Manisha Kulkarni. She completed her MPH at the University of Washington, where her thesis focused on the way in which sociodemographic characteristics modify the relationship between climactic variables and malaria in Kanungu, Uganda. Currently her research focuses on strategies to prevent and control Lyme Disease in the Ottawa area and will incorporate elements of acceptability and feasibility research to help inform future interventions.
James Kotuah Sakeah
James Kotuah Sakeah is a doctoral student in Epidemiology under the supervision of Dr. Krentel. His research revolves around community drug distributors or volunteer resilience over time, variations of resilience across health campaigns and the association with the mental health. James has previous work experience in health research in several studies at the Navrongo Health Research Centre in Ghana, and the Universities of Lethbridge and Calgary in Canada. He also worked as the research and evaluation lead for Primary Care in rural Alberta. James holds an MSc in Health Sciences from the University of Lethbridge and a BA in Sociology and Social work from the University of Ghana.
Moussa Sangare received his medical degree in 2011 from the University of Bamako in Mali and holds a Masters of Science in Disease Control from the Institute of Tropical medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. He is currently undertaking a doctoral degree in Population Health at the University of Ottawa. Moussa has an interest and passion for healthcare delivery in developing countries desiring to help in solving the problem of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
Moussa’s research has focused on lymphatic filariasis (LF), which is caused in Mali by the parasitic worm Wuchereria bancrofti. During the past 3 years, he has been involved in a multi-center, double-blinded, randomized, 24-month study to assess the efficacy of doxycycline in improving filarial lymphedema. In parallel, he and his team are interested in improving mass drug administration (MDA) coverage among vulnerable populations including nomadic communities, internally displaced persons, and seasonal workers.
Moussa also participates in operational research, monitoring and evaluation that supports Malian National NTD Programs, including lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis and schistosomiasis, and the implementation of integrated strategy approaches. His research interests include neglected tropical diseases epidemiology in developing countries and how they modulate the host immune response.
Charles Thickstun is a Doctoral Candidate in Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa and a Research Assistant on the Threads team. He works closely with Dr. Krentel, in-country partners, and the Threads team to provide quantitative analyses of social acceptability measures for mass drug administration to inform public health messaging. Charles has also led on the ground training of data collectors for Threads projects in Guyana and Papua New Guinea.
Olivia is a Doctoral Candidate in Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, working under Dr. Alison Krentel's supervision. Her research is focused on Harm Reduction in incarcerated populations. Olivia previously worked as an infectious epidemiologist with Correctional Services Canada and in the area of HIV/AIDs at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Before PHAC, she worked as a research fellow with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and epidemiologist with WHO, and UNAIDS both in the field, Geneva and London. Olivia has a background in Microbiology from McGill University and a masters in Control of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
THREADS Lab Summer 2023 Students
Chloe is a graduate student in the Master of Science program in Global Health at McMaster University.
She completed her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Certificate in Forensic Science at Saint Mary’s University in 2017. Her research focus is on services aimed at addressing female genital schistosomiasis and other sexual and reproductive health concerns in low- and middle-income countries. Chloe currently serves on the editorial team for the Global Health: Annual Review, a student-led, peer-reviewed publication.
Lauren is receiving her Honours Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Ottawa and aims to complete her Master’s in Global Health. She joined the Threads Lab as a volunteer student with a driving interest in infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries that are left vulnerable to their effects. With previous work experience in the field of HIV/AIDS and the Onchocerciasis Elimination Project, Lauren hopes to expand her knowledge and research experience in the field of epidemiology and global public health.