EDI Advisory Committee
Profiles, EDI Advisory Committee
Diego Herrera, PhD, is the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Specialist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC). He has worked sixteen years as a researcher and practitioner with Indigenous peoples, women, displaced population, and youth affected by armed conflicts in seven countries. He worked as EDI Advisor for Research at the University of Ottawa and as program specialist at UN Women Colombia and at the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) in Canada. He holds a PhD in intercultural communication and development.
Myriam Beauchamp, MS ORT/SLP, PhD, is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) specialized in neurodevelopmental conditions, with expertise in the assessment and support of bilingual speakers. Her postdoctoral work examines language development in bilingual children, as well as the link between bilingualism, narrative skills, social skills, and cognition. Her research also aims to understand the barriers and facilitators to healthcare services for minority-language speakers with neurodevelopmental conditions and their families, and to use this knowledge to improve access to such services.
Julia Burnier is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Oncology and Pathology at McGill University and a Scientist at the RI-MUHC since 2018. She is a William Dawson Scholar, FRQS Junior 1 Scholar, and recipient of the Canadian Cancer Society Emerging Scholar Award. Her research program within the Cancer Research Program of the RI-MUHC aims to uncover the role and mechanisms of tumor-derived molecules in tumor progression and metastasis.
Brett Burstein received his MD and PhD degrees from McGill University (2010) and MPH from Harvard (2018). He trained in General Pediatrics (2013), then Pediatric Emergency Medicine (2015) at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and was subsequently appointed as Clinician-Scientist at the RI-MUHC. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC) consortium, the Board of Directors for the Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK) network, the Research Committee of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) and is a Decision Editor for the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Annabel Fan is a doctoral student in the Baldwin Vision Lab at the RI-MUHC, studying how visual information processing changes with age. Her/their research employs behavioural methods using psychophysics and driving simulators to better understand how vision supports safe driving in older adults. Annabel has experience turning research into web and mobile applications and is enthusiastic about scientific mobilization. From September 2021 to 2022, Annabel oversaw the organization of the EDI committee for the BRaIN program at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre's. The committee provided scholarships, academic and career counselling, and hands-on neuroscience research experience at the Montreal General Hospital to Black and Indigenous students. Additionally, the committee hosts EDI training events and scientific talks on EDI topics as part of the BRaIN seminar series.
Jini John is an experienced Human Resources and Business Management professional, passionate about promoting equity and inclusion. Her experience as a person living with a disability has given her a unique perspective on the hurdles faced by people with disabilities, and the solutions they need to help them succeed. Jini works as research assistant at the RI‑MUHC and is the founder and director of Accelion Human Capital Services, an enterprise providing recruitment and human resources support for clients across the state of Kerala, India.
Alexandra Kindrat, PhD, oversees the Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Program and believes strongly in the Program’s commitment to encouraging diversity of experiences in the research community. Certified in Diversity and Inclusion from the University of Glasgow and in Indigenous Relations from the University of Alberta, Alexandra holds a Doctorate in Education from Concordia University, a Master of Science in Neurology and Neurosurgery from McGill University, as well as a Master of Science in Human Space Flight from the International Space University. With significant EDI research and experience in the youth sector, Alexandra brings to the committee extensive knowledge in encouraging inclusive working and teaching environments and strengthening the EDI skills of all stakeholders. Certified in Management and Leadership from Harvard Business School, she is recognized for her work by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Irina Kudrina MD (Kz), MD CM (Ca), M.Sc., CCFP, is a a clinician scientist, an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and an associate member in the Department of Anesthesia at McGill University. Dr. Kudrina works with marginalized populations living with addictions and chronic pain, and finds the topic of equity, diversity and inclusion highly pertinent to her clinical and research work. Her scientific work focuses primarily on chronic pain, access to health services, pathophysiology and chronic toxicity of opioids and cannabinoids. She has experience working in a variety of settings in two countries and three different languages.
Lisandra Lannes has been the Manager of the McGill International Tuberculosis Centre since November 2020, a designated World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Tuberculosis Research. She worked as a Manager at the International Health Unit of the Université de Montréal and the Francophone branch of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education for several years supporting health policy and program development and implementation, including gender mainstreaming at all levels. She specializes in international development and community development in the health and education sectors. Her experience includes international development project management in Latin America, the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa.
Haidee Smith Lefebvre presently works as a research coordinator at the Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) of the RI-MUHC. She is a dedicated participant in conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion and ability (DEIA). Haidee Smith Lefebvre is committed to reflective thinking, putting into practice her belief that transformational change occurs when she actively grows her mindset, amplifies her empathy, and remains curious. Her work for racial justice is informed by the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission principles. She self-identifies as a Treaty person, accepting her shared responsibility for establishing and maintaining mutually respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Haidee Smith Lefebvre is a mixed race Chinese American whose girlhood experiences inform her lifelong commitment to eliminating inequity.
David Lessard has a PhD in Anthropology and currently works as a Research Associate at the CORE of the RI-MUHC. He worked in social research with the James Bay Cree on experiences of colonization and community empowerment. David Lessard’s current research focuses on the integration of patient and stakeholder perspectives in clinical research involving information technologies through the inclusion of qualitative methods, participatory approaches, and implementation science.
Augusto Montezano graduated in Pharmacy and Biochemistry from the Paulista University, Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2001 and completed his PhD (Pharmacology) in 2006, at the University of Sao Paulo. He is an active member of the hypertension scientific community as Hypertension Social Media Editor and advocates for Early Career Researchers at the executive and mentoring committees of the European Council on Cardiovascular Research, leadership committee of the AHA Council on Hypertension and the mentorship and training committee of the International Society of Hypertension.
Nitika Pai’s global research program is focused on point-of-care diagnostics for HIV and associated co-infections (hepatitis C, hepatitis B, HPV, bacterial STIs) and COVID-19. Her research aims to inform domestic and global policies on point-of-care diagnostics, particularly as related to digital health innovations that expand access, linkage and retention, as well as managing the trajectory of care for patients living with these conditions. Working in the field of diagnostics for the past 15 years, she has experience with research initiatives in four countries and health systems: the United States, Canada, South Africa and India.
Shiva Shahiri is a PhD candidate at McGill University while also a nurse clinician at the McGill University Health Centre. Her clinical and research experience have allowed her to reflect on nursing’s contribution to design, development, and decision-making in bringing innovative technologies to market and nursing practice. Shiva’s doctoral studies explore the validity and clinical applicability of scientific innovations in pain.
André Simard self-identifies with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. He is the Manager of the Institutional Performance Office at the RI-MUHC. He is interested in topics related to discrimination due to race, language spoken, disabilities and neurodiversity. He seeks to understand changes in behaviour or attitudes that can serve to alleviate the suffering inherent in the lack of acceptance of differences. André Simard participated in the creation of the EDI policy of the RI-MUHC in 2021. He recognizes the need to protect invisible minorities as much as visible communities; to recognize discrimination according to hierarchical status; and the need for an attitude of self-reflexivity and humility when addressing EDI topics.