CATA Executives

Lindsay Wall
Internal Affairs
Lindsay is a PhD Candidate in Clinical Psychology at York University, where she studies pain from a clinical epidemiological point of view. She completed her MSc in Experimental Medicine as a CIHR Skin Research Training Scholar at UBC and Arthritis Research Canada. She is a recipient of a CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Doctoral Research Award. She is supervised by Dr. Joel Katz, Canada Research Chair in Health Psychology, who leads the Human Pain Mechanisms Lab. Lindsay enjoys hiking, theatre, and playing fantasy football.
Insaf Hadjab
External Affairs
Insaf is a Ph.D. Candidate in Biomedical Engineering Institute at Polytechnique Montréal. Her supervisor is Prof. Michael Buschmann who leads the Biomaterials and Cartilage Laboratory.She has a M.Sc.A in Biomechanics from Claude Bernard University in France; and a B.Eng in mechanical engineering and thermal energy from USTHB in Algeria. She is working on the electromechanical assessment of human cartilage and the development of diagnostic medical device for osteoarthritis. She is the recipient of the MÉDITIS award.
Yann Becker
PhD Student, Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec, Université Laval
Natalie McCormick
Natalie is a PhD candidate at UBC, Collaboration for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, and Arthritis Research Canada. She is co-supervised by Drs. Antonio Aviña-Zubieta and Carlo Marra. Her research examines the economic burden of systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARDs), a group of inflammatory arthritis disorders including systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, Sjogren’s syndrome, poly/dermatomyositis, and systemic vasculitis. She is the recipient of a CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Doctoral Research Award.
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Clayon Hamilton
Communications Officer
Clayon is a postdoctoral fellow at UBC and Arthritis Research Canada. He is supervised by Dr. Linda Li. He has a PhD and MSc both in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences from Western University. His research interest includes the practice and science of patient engagement in research. He holds a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Fellowship Award.
Melissa O’Brien
Regional Director, Nova Scotia
Melissa is a PhD student at Dalhousie University and is supervised by Dr. Jason McDougall. She is researching the role of inflammatory mediators in generating pain in osteoarthritis using in vivo electrophysiology.
Keith Colaco
Regional Director, Toronto
Keith earned his Bachelor of Science at the University of Waterloo and Master of Science in Global Health at McMaster University. After completing his Master’s degree, he began working at Women’s College Hospital, where he managed the hospital’s newly established Psoriatic Arthritis Research Program. Excited by this area of research, Keith decided to pursue a PhD in Medical Science at the University of Toronto. He is currently in his first year, working under the supervision of Dr. Lihi Eder and Dr. Dafna Gladman. Keith’s thesis work is exploring the development of a clinical algorithm to predict cardiovascular risk associated with atherosclerosis progression and serum biomarkers in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Pontius Tang
Regional Director, Toronto
Pontius is a MSc. candidate at the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. He is supervised by Dr. Peter Kannu, a physician-scientist who investigates inherited skeletal disorders. His research seeks to investigate the role of Aquaporin-9 in bone development to study a novel pathway by which the growth plate is subject to change.
Caitlin Blaney
Regional Director, Manitoba
Caitlin is a PhD student at University of Manitoba. She is supervised by Dr. Renée El-Gabalawy. She has a MA in Clinical Psychology (University of Manitoba) and BSc in Neuroscience (Dalhousie University). She is researching the relationship between anxiety and indicators of disease severity and complexity among people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Jo Anne Stratton
Regional Director, Alberta
Jo Anne Stratton is currently completing her postdoctoral training with Dr Jeff Biernaskie, Dr John Matyas and Dr Rajiv Midha at the University of Calgary studying the effects of immune cells on pain and regeneration. She completed her PhD at the Florey Neurosciences Institutes with Dr Tobias Merson and Prof Trevor Kilpatrick attempting to understand the complex relationship between function, pathology, plasticity and regeneration initiated following myelinating glia death. JoAnne has been awarded several best oral and/or poster presentation prizes at international and national conferences for her work, and is currently funded by the Arthritis Society. In addition to her academic success, Jo Anne has excelled at leading the young generation of medical researchers. She was elected as president of the student society at her PhD institute, and cofounded the State-wide medical research network for young researchers, SOBR. She has represented trainees on several committees, including the Society for Neuroscience Chapter and the University Neuroscience Graduate Research Course steering committee, and now here, on CATA, as the representative for Calgary-based arthritis researchers. Jo Anne believes it to be important to bridge the gap between the community at large and scientists. She has been an invited speaker to present to lay communities, including high schools, special interest groups and Rotary Clubs across Australia and Canada. Jo Anne’s dedication to contribute meaningful scientific advances that will impact the lives of disease sufferers and communicate these findings, as well as her passion to support and mentor current and future young medical researchers, makes her a valuable asset.
Jenny Leese
Regional Director, British Columbia
Jenny Leese is completing the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD program at the University of British Columbia. She received her Master’s of Arts degree and her Joint Honours Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Leeds, U.K. Jenny has been involved in multiple research studies at Arthritis Research Canada, focusing on evaluating new approaches in knowledge translation to support self-management in musculoskeletal care. She plays a key role in coordinating the ‘Arthritis Care in the Digital Age’ project, which aims to improve understanding of how online physical activity monitoring tools can be used to support people with arthritis in managing their disease. Her current research interests involve ethics, patient engagement, and e-health. She enjoys running, yoga, and travel.
Maria Celia Bazan
Co-Regional Director for Quebec (Montreal)
Maria is doing a Master’s program in Biomedical Sciences, working on a knee Osteoarthritis’ project at the CHUM Research Centre – Laboratoire de recherche en imagerie et orthopédie (LIO) in Montreal. Since 2012, she has been working as a clinical research coordinator at the Rheumatoid Arthritis clinic, The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal. She has a bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy and in Medical Doctor. She is interested in the musculoskeletal system.