Our team

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Current staff

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Dr. Andrew Pinto is the founder and director of the Upstream Lab. He is a Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialist and family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital. He is a Scientist at MAP/Centre for Urban Health Solutions, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, appointed to the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and with status appointments at Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Institute for Health, Policy, Management and Evaluation. He serves as the Associate Director for Clinical Research at UTOPIAN and is the lead for artificial intelligence at EXITE.

Andrew’s publications on Google Scholar.

Itunu Adekoya is a Research Coordinator in The Upstream Lab. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from the University of Windsor as well as a Master of Science degree in Molecular Genetics from the University of Toronto. Following a shift in interest to public health and primary care research, Itunu joined the CLEANMeds team at St. Michael’s Hospital where she supported an 800-participant RCT measuring the effect of distributing essential medicines for free as part of an ongoing effort to inform and improve Canada’s pharmacare policy. She also evaluated and compared countries’ essential medicines lists to The World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines. She is currently working on the SPARK study, focusing on investigating ways to implement and improve sociodemographic data collection in Canadian health care, while ensuring uniformity across different health care settings, data privacy and equitable downstream use of the data. 

Amy Craig-Neil is a Research Coordinator in The Upstream Lab. She completed her Bachelor of Science Honours degree at Queen’s University in Life Sciences in 2009 and  her Master’s degree in Global Health at McMaster University in 2014.

Pinky Hapsari is a Research Coordinator in The Upstream Lab.  She holds an MSc from the University of British Columbia with specialization in epidemiology. Pinky currently manages the EMPOWER study, which seeks to understand how the work condition of Personal Support Workers (PSWs) in GTA may impact their health outcomes. This community-based project is unique in that we are actively seeking and receiving guidance from an advisory committee made up of PSWs to steer our research agenda. Pinky also supports a number of systematic reviews and quantitative analyses in the lab. Prior to the Upstream Lab, she work for Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction in BC, where she managed a multi-year project funded by BC MoH, aimed at developing ideal suites of services for mental and substance use disorders.

Julia Ho holds a PhD from the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, Julia worked in the home and community care sector for over ten years in various roles, including personal support worker supervisor and community case manager. Inspired by her experiences with patients, family caregivers and health and social care professionals, Julia is interested in employment conditions, social needs, and aging policy. Julia’s dissertation is entitled: “The coordination of community services for older adults with health and social care needs”. At the Upstream Lab, Julia is working on employment and health projects. Julia is assisting in the analysis of the EMPOWER study, a study that examines working conditions for personal support workers in the Greater Toronto Area. Julia is supporting the writing of manuscripts for the SECURE study and the EMBER intervention study. Julia is also supporting the development of new processes for knowledge translation at the Lab. 

Liane Steiner is a Research Coordinator in The Upstream Lab.  She holds a Bachelor of Health Science from the University of Western Ontario and a Masters of Health Studies from Athabasca University. She has been part of the Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital since 2017 and have held multiple research positions, many of which involved working with marginalized populations. Her most notable research projects have focused on essential medicines- both comparing lists among countries and a randomized controlled trial of providing essential medicines at no charge; opioid prescribing guidelines, mental health and employment; social isolation in adults and transitions in care for urban underserved communities.

Rose Wang is a Research Coordinator in The Upstream Lab.  She holds an MPH with a specialization in Epidemiology. At the Upstream lab, she helps to support a number of RCTs including the IGNITE study, SPARK RCT, and ANTICIPATE study. She also helps to support the AI initiatives in the lab. She is passionate about upstream research focused on improving the health and well-being of marginalized individuals, communities, and populations.

Current Graduate Students

Amir Allana – MSc, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME), Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (2019-2021)

Nada Dali – MSc, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (2019-2020)

Rebecca Johnson – MSc, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (2019-2020)

Victoria Davis – MSc, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (2020-2022)


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