Strength in diversity

CDIC proudly brings together a multidisciplinary team of physicians, biostatisticians, health economists, nutritionists, researchers, project managers and more. The diverse skills and training of our staff give us a uniquely comprehensive and holistic approach to our work, which includes using big data to inform best practices in a clinical or business operations setting, exercise trials and implementing innovative healthcare strategies, to name a few.

Our clinical scientists are the anchors of the CDIC. They work collaboratively to apply next-generation disease prevention, supportive technologies, and related medical advancement into health care practices and chronic disease management for patients. Read more about them below.

Dr. Paul Komenda, MD, MHA, Founder, completed his Masters in Health Administration at the Sauder School of Business, in addition to a research fellowship at the University of British Columbia. He is the Research Director at SOGH and is currently the Chief Medical Officer of Quanta Dialysis Technologies.

Since 2008, Dr. Komenda has published over 140 peer-reviewed articles in health services research and clinical nephrology. Having completed the EXTRA (Executive Training for Research Applications) program funded by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, he has obtained provincial and national level grants in excess of 4 million dollars.

Learn more about Dr. Komenda’s research

Dr. Claudio Rigatto, MD, MSc, Founder, received his medical training at the University of Manitoba, including a BSc. in Medicine, and at Memorial University in Newfoundland, where he received his MSc. in Medicine.

The recipient of numerous major research grants, Dr. Rigatto is currently a lead investigator for the Canadian Study of Prediction of Risk and Evolution to Dialysis, Death and Interim Cardiovascular Events Over Time.

Learn more about Dr. Rigato’s research

Dr. Navdeep Tangri, MD, PhD, Founder, is working on a clinical research program that is also translational, focusing on the improvement of clinical decision making for patients with advanced chronic kidney disease. He developed and validated the Kidney Failure Risk Equation (KFRE) to predict the need for dialysis in patients with chronic kidney disease, and is currently engaged in multiple validation and implementation exercises to increase the uptake of the KFRE.

Learn more about Dr. Tangri’s Research

Dr. Clara Bohm, MD, MPH, attained her medical degree at McMaster University and her Masters of Public Health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She is also a chair of the Organizing Committee of the Global Renal Exercise Network (GREX). Dr. Bohm’s research focuses on characterizing the effects of exercise and physical activity on functional status, quality of life, and adverse outcomes in individuals with all stages of chronic kidney disease.

Learn more about Dr. Bohm’s research

Dr. Rebecca Mollard, PhD, completed her PhD in Human Nutritional Sciences in 2005, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto in 2011. Over the past decade, Dr. Mollard has conducted and published multiple acute and long-term clinical trials investigating the acute and long-term effects of foods and food components on satiety, glycaemia, and cardiometabolic outcomes. Her current areas of research interest include nutrition, diabetes, obesity, clinically managed weight loss, and chronic kidney disease.

Learn more about Dr. Mollard’s Research

Dr. David Collister, MD, PhD, completed his MD at the University of Manitoba, Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Alberta, Nephrology Fellowship at the University of Manitoba, and his PhD in Health Research Methodology at McMaster University. His research focuses on symptom management in patients with kidney disease and, in particular, randomized controlled trials of therapies to alleviate symptoms in chronic kidney disease and dialysis.

Learn more about Dr. Collister’s research

Our highly specialized and motivated team work together in a vibrant corporate culture to improve health care delivery. CDIC has attracted a new generation of millennial scientists – a world-class group of curious, talented, and inspired young professionals.

Carrie Solmundson, MSW, President and Chief Executive Officer of CDIC
Carrie Solmundson is President and CEO of the Seven Oaks Hospital Chronic Disease Research Innovation Center. Prior to CDIC, Carrie served as President and COO of Seven Oaks Hospital (SOGH) for over ten years, and in this role was responsible for several regional and provincial clinical programs.

Carrie began her career at Seven Oaks General Hospital as Executive Director of the Wellness Institute. Under Carrie’s leadership, the Wellness Institute expanded its model of chronic disease prevention and management to hospitals in China. In 2018, Carrie led the development of a joint venture to bring a new model of preventive healthcare to China. Carrie is a recipient of the Manitoba Woman of Distinction Award for her leadership and achievements in health and wellness. Carrie holds a MSW in Organization Policy and Administration from the University of Manitoba.

Michelle Di Nella, MA, Research Manager, holds a Master of Arts in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Manitoba, Department of Psychology. As the Research Manager, she provides general administrative oversight and management of the overall program, including research projects, contracts, finances, business development and CDIC personnel.

Ranveer Brar, MSc, Statistician and Research Coordinator, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biopsychology, and a Master of Science degree in Community Health Sciences. He works on a longitudinal prospective cohort study exploring trajectories of physical activity, physical function, and mental health in people with late-stage Chronic Kidney Disease. He is also working on multiple other projects that utilize administrative health data to assess long-term health outcomes and patterns of healthcare utilization at the population-level.

Katrina Cachero, BSc RD MSc, Research Coordinator, completed her Bachelor of Science in Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba in May 2017, the Manitoba Partnership Dietetic Education Program in June 2018, and her Master of Science in Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba in June 2021. As a practicing Registered Dietitian, she is passionate about weight management interventions. The main focus of her Master’s thesis involved conducting an evaluation of a weight loss program at the Wellness Institute, aiming to ensure the program is based upon the most current scientific literature in addition to providing data for future research applications.

Sarah Curtis, BA, Research Coordinator, completed her Bachelor degree in Psychology at the University of Manitoba. As a Research Coordinator, she assists with various studies and has authored and co-authored multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Thomas Ferguson, MSc, Health Economist and Biostatistician, completed his Master of Science at the University of Manitoba, Department of Community Health Sciences. His role at CDIC is to supply expert advice on cost effectiveness for many academic projects and commercial collaborations.

Emilie Ford, MPH, Research Coordinator, completed her Masters of Public Health at the University College of Dublin in Ireland with a focus on chronic disease in older adults. As a Research Coordinator, she is involved with the Renal Rehab study that is looking at the effects of an exercise rehabilitation program on symptom burden in adults on hemodialysis.

Anna Glybina, MD, Clinical Trials Coordinator, has a medical degree from Ivanovo State Medical Academy in Russia, where she practiced as a nephrologist. Her research interests include internal diseases and nephrology. As the Clinical Trials Coordinator at CDIC, she works on various studies evaluating new investigational drugs. This includes a current trial for the treatment of metabolic acidosis in people with chronic kidney disease, and another study examining anticoagulation strategies for people with atrial fibrillation on dialysis.

Oksana Harasemiw, MSc, Research Coordinator and Data Analyst, completed her Master of Science in Community Health Sciences with a graduate specialization in aging from the University of Manitoba. As a Research Coordinator at CDIC, she oversees a multi-provincial randomized trial that aims to improve the quality of care provided to people with chronic kidney disease in the primary care setting. She also works as a data analyst primarily on retrospective cohort studies using provincial administrative health databases, examining health outcomes in the areas of nephrology as well as urologic oncology.

Yasmin Iman, BSc, Research Assistant/CORR Coordinator, has a degree in Human Nutritional Sciences from the University of Manitoba. She primarily collects and updates patient information for the Canadian Organ Replacement Registry (CORR) and for the Electronic Kidney Health Record (eKHR). She is also involved in various active research studies at CDIC.

Emily Krupka, BSc, Research Clerk, completed her Bachelor of Science from the University of Manitoba and is looking forward to a career in health sciences. Her role at CDIC is to collect and update patient information to the Electronic Kidney Health Record (eKHR) and Canadian Organ Replacement Registry (CORR) to improve access to patient records. She is also involved in assisting in active research studies.

Silvia Leon, MD, MSc, Data Decision and Support Analyst, has a medical degree from Rosario University in Colombia, where she worked as an emergency department physician, as well as a graduate diploma in Clinical Epidemiology from McMaster University. She completed her Masters of Science in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. For her Masters, she evaluated the impact of angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor (ACE inhibitor) prescription discontinuation after an episode of hyperkalemia in people with chronic kidney disease. Her current research is focused on pharmacoepidemiology using administrative health databases.

Rachelle Mabini-Robles, BSc, Administrative Assistant, completed her Bachelor of Science in Biology with a focus on Genetics from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and has also completed the Office Technician Certificate and the Human Resource Management Certificate from Red River College. She worked as an administrative assistant for 10 years at HSC before joining our team. As the Administrative Personnel for CDIC, she is responsible for providing effective and efficient administrative support for the GFT Physicians and their research staff. 

Heather Martin, BSc, Research Coordinator, has a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Manitoba and a Certificate of Completion from the Manitoba Dietetic Education Partnership Program. She currently works with CDIC’s Kidney Check Program, which is offered in Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. Kidney Check is a mobile program that provides on-the-spot screening results for diabetes, blood pressure, and kidney health in rural and remote Indigenous communities.

Doug Nanton, Director of Business Development, also has cross-responsibilities for business development with the new integrated data platform called MindSet, and the Centre for Healthcare Innovation at the University of Manitoba. A graduate of the University of Winnipeg, Doug brings extensive experience to his position having been on senior staff with the Manitoba Medical Association, former Executive Director of the Society of Pharmacists, followed by 20 years as a lobbyist and external affairs specialist for the pharmaceutical industry. Most recently, Doug was Chief-of-Staff to the Manitoba Minister responsible for economic development, post-secondary institutions, and Research Manitoba.

Tess Peter, DHRM, Business Office Manager, completed the Human Resource Management program at Red River College and brings three years of industry experience to her position at CDIC. Her role includes the management of financial and human resource activities for the Research Division.

Mark Pinder, MSc, Clinical Trials Coordinator, completed his Master of Science degree in Human Nutritional Sciences at the University of Manitoba. He has previously worked on a variety of research studies examining the effects of exercise and nutrition/supplementation. As a Clinical Trials Coordinator at CDIC, he oversees several projects that utilize novel exercise and pharmaceutical interventions to reduce symptom burden and increase quality of life for people on dialysis.

Melanie Talson, MA, Research Project Coordinator, is a medical anthropologist with a background in the social determinants of health research. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Victoria. Melanie is an experienced qualitative researcher who has a passion for patient engagement and participatory research, ensuring patients are co-creators of knowledge. Melanie has spent the past two years working in the field of kidney health research as the Coordinator for Triple I: Improving Information, Interactions and Individualization to improve in-centre Hemodialysis Care, as a qualitative research consultant and as an independent research consultant for the National Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Haizhou Wang, BSc, Research Coordinator, completed his Bachelor of Science in Food Science at the University of Manitoba. Previously, he has worked on several human nutritional acute studies focusing on glycaemia and insulin response, and projects exploring potential treatments for people with genetic disorders. Currently, he is working on the remote ischemic conditioning study at CIDC.

Reid Whitlock, MSc, Data Decision and Support Analyst, holds a Master of Science in Community Health Sciences from the University of Manitoba. He has authored and co-authored numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals, and has led and coordinated various cohort studies and systematic reviews evaluating outcomes in relation to frailty, diagnostic tools, and medication for diabetes and chronic kidney disease. He also assists with building reports, compiling statistics, and data management for the Manitoba Renal Program.

Mentoring the next generation of researchers

We have a successful mentorship program focused on providing a supportive environment for students at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Our objectives are to provide students with tailored, hands-on training in research methods, epidemiology, and biostatistics. This allows students to obtain the skills necessary to become successful in their future research careers or to work in related industry positions.

Ryan Bamforth, BA, Masters Student, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Manitoba, and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. His thesis is focused on evaluating the use of marginal kidneys in Manitoba’s transplant patient population from an economic perspective.

Priscila Ferreira da Silva, BA, Research Assistant, holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Indigenous Studies from the University of Saskatchewan and is currently pursuing a Masters in Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. She currently works with Dr. Clara Bohm in the Can-SOLVE CKD Network Triple I project. Her involvement with the project has led her to conduct an ethnographic study for her thesis to identify the constellation of barriers and facilitators particularly influencing the wellbeing and quality of life of Indigenous patients on hemodialysis in Winnipeg. This proposed study also seeks to understand how the structural barriers that Indigenous patients face are connected to a broader history of settler colonialism in Canada.

Krista Rossum, BSc, Research Assistant, holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of North Texas, and is currently pursuing a dual MD and Master of Science in Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba. Her thesis is focused on developing an algorithm to predict appendicular lean body mass from regional hip and spine DXA scans.

Dr. Sean Armstrong, MD is the Medical Director of Hemodialysis at Seven Oaks General Hospital, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Manitoba Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Chair of the North American Peritoneal Dialysis University and Medical Director, Interventional Nephrologists. Dr. Armstrong is a leader in training physicians in bedside catheter insertion globally, a technique that has dramatically improved access to Peritoneal Dialysis and helped alleviate painful fluid buildup for certain cancer and other patients.

Dr. Ricardo Lobato de Faria, MD is the former Medical Director for the Seven Oaks Hospital Emergency Department. As a Family Physician and Process Engineer Dr. de Faria has a passion for process efficiency in Emergency Medicine. He was responsible for the innovative implementation of Patient Order Sets at Seven Oaks Hospital and has collaborated on the creation of a computer model to capture all relevant ER activity for virtual testing of improvements.