Meet the team of PHDA Instructors

PHDA 01 Working with Administrative Data

Alvin LiAlvin Li is currently a Scientist for Alberta Health Services. He has over 10 years of research experience and has conducted multiple projects using large health administrative datasets on various topics including COVID-19, cancer prevention, kidney transplantation, immigrant health and the evaluation of health policies.

He completed his PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University where his doctoral research focused on epidemiological studies on organ and tissue donation. Subsequently, he conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at the Ottawa Health Research Institute where his research project focused on evaluating an intervention promoting donor registration in family physician offices using a stepped-wedge, cluster randomized controlled registry trial design. He has a strong interest in teaching and has also taught lessons on data analytics.

PHDA 02 Epidemiological Statistics

Mohsen Soltanifar

Mohsen Soltanifar, PhD(biostat), MSc(biostat), MSc(math) is currently a Senior Biostatistician at Cytel Canada Vancouver office. His main area of expertise is statistical inference and biostatistical methodology development in neurology, clinical trials and public health. His current responsibilities include biostatistical methodology development, manuscript publication in journals and poster presentation in international pharmaceutical conferences in the areas of network meta-analysis, Bayesian adaptive trials, and simulations. In addition, he serves as consulting biostatistician for various clients. He brings eight years’ experience of data analysis and biostatistical methodology development at the time of joining University of Victoria Division of Continuing Studies.

Prior to joining UVic, he served as instructor at the University of Toronto (2017-2021), and research assistant in three institutions including the SickKids Hospital in Toronto (2015-2020), Canadian Center for Health and Safety in Agriculture in Saskatoon (2014), and Saskatchewan Population Health Research Evaluation Unit in Saskatoon(2012-2014). His developed skills in the mentioned positions include data analysis of various designs, statistical programming with BUGS, R, SAS, STATA and SPSS, presentation at various national and international statistical conferences.

PHDA 03 Population Health and Geographical Information Systems

Lizz PiccoliLizz Piccoli is a data analyst at the Population and Public Health Observatory at Fraser Health where she works as part of several portfolios including non-communicable diseases, toxic drug poisoning and planetary health. She completed her MPH and MID at the University of Pittsburgh where she was a FLAS fellowship recipient and a graduate teaching assistant for upper-level undergraduate courses. Her primary research interests focus on the impact of natural disasters and migration on the continuation of care for ongoing health conditions. She is extremely passionate about the ways in which geospatial sciences can be used in partnership with epidemiological best practices to increase health equity by improving healthcare system planning and optimization. Lizz has over 5 years of geospatial mapping experience using R, ArcGIS and Geoda, and over 10 years of experience using a variety of statistical software including R, SAS, STATA, SPSS and Python. Her previous research has taken her all over the world, where she has had the unique opportunity to manage or assist with research in India, Namibia, South Africa, China and the United States.

PHDA 04 Spatial Epidemiology and Outbreak Detection

Joey SyerJoseph (Joey) Syer is a senior Geomatics Specialist at Hemmera, an Ausenco Company. Joey has over 10 years of experience in GIS and spatial analysis. He holds a BGIS from BCIT, is a registered GISP and a graduate of the PHDA program. To expand on these skills Joey is also studying epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Much of his time is split between the development of novel data analysis & data collection systems and exploring the uses of GIS technology in epidemiology & environmental science. Joey’s interests are in macro geographic processes, spatial epidemiology, ecology and disease transmission (One Health), and python programming.

PHDA 05 Longitudinal Analysis and Multi-level Modeling of Population Health Data

Monica YeQian (Monica) Ye is a senior statistician working in the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE), Canada’s largest HIV/AIDS research, treatment and education facility. She completed her MSc, and is pursuing her PhD degree in statistics in the Department of Statistics at University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Her research interests lie in innovative statistical models analyzing longitudinal and survival data, and their applications in the field of epidemiology and public health.

In her current role at BC-CfE, Monica works with population-based administrative cohort data sets to support comprehensive research aiming to improve the health of British Columbians with HIV and related diseases. She has more than 10 years data analysis experience in both professional and academic fields, which involve a broad range of statistical methodologies and extensive programming using various statistical software including SAS, R, Python, etc.

PHDA 06 Health Services Program Monitoring and Evaluation

Marla SteinbergMarla Steinberg has been a professional evaluator for over 25 years.  She has conducted evaluations in a wide range of areas including early childhood development, health promotion, research capacity building, organizational development, leadership, partnerships and coalitions, health services, research impact, and knowledge transfer and exchange.  Her work has examined strategies, policies and programs at the federal, provincial, and community levels.  She has extensive experience in teaching and professional development that spans developing and delivering graduate level courses, in-service coaching support for health service professionals, in-person workshops, and e-learning courses.  She brings to her work a passion for evaluation and a focus on engaging and experiential learning.


Course overview

Watch this video for an introduction to the PHDA course.