Lisa Strug

Lisa Strug, PhD
Senior Scientist

Senior Scientist | SickKids Research Institute

Associate Director | The Centre for Applied Genomics

Professor of Statistical Sciences | University of Toronto

Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Genome Data Sciences

Dr. Lisa Strug is a Senior Scientist in the Genetics and Genome Biology program at SickKids, an Associate Director of The Centre for Applied Genomics, and an Associate Professor of Biostatistics at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.  Strug completed her graduate work in Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Toronto under the supervision of Drs. Charles Rohde and Paul Corey, contributing to a theory of statistical evidence. Strug joined SickKids after a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Susan Hodge and a faculty appointment in Statistical Genetics at Columbia University in the City of New York.  Strug’s research program focuses on the development of novel statistical approaches to identify genetic contributors to human disease.

Scientific contributions
Google Scholar

Current members

Staff

Jiafen Gong

Jiafen Gong, PhD
 Senior Biostatistician

Dr. Jiafen Gong earned a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Computational Mathematics from Wuhan University in China. She then moved to the University of Alberta for her PhD in Applied Mathematics specializing in Mathematical Biology, followed by another M.Sc. in Biostatistics from the University of Toronto. Currently she is a Senior Biostatistician and the Research Manager in the lab.

Scientific contributions
Naim Panjwani

Naim Panjwani, M.Sc.
Senior Biostatistician

Naim Panjwani completed his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Waterloo, followed by an M.Sc. in Dr. Daniel Drucker’s lab at Mount Sinai Hospital conducting atherosclerosis research in the context of diabetes. Next, he completed another M.Sc. in Biostatistics where he discovered his passion for statistical genetics through a practicum placement in Dr. Lisa Strug’s lab studying the genetic epidemiology of cystic fibrosis. He now works as a Senior Biostatistician evaluating and understanding genetic associations in non-coding regions of the genome.

Scientific contributions
Katherine Keenan

Katherine Keenan, HB.Sc.
Clinical Research Project Manager

Katie Keenan completed her HB.Sc. in Human Biology and Psychology at the University of Toronto. She began working at SickKids in her final year of studies and has since been involved in several different research projects. She currently functions as a project manager for international newborn screening and genetic modifier studies in cystic fibrosis.

Scientific contributions
Fan Lin

Fan Lin, M.Sc.
Research Technologist II

Fan Lin completed her Bachelor of Science and Master of Genetic Toxicology degrees in China. She has been working on the Cystic Fibrosis Gene Modifier Study for over 12 years. Lin has much expertise in preparing samples for high-throughput technologies, and contributes to genotyping and gene expression analyses for both our cystic fibrosis and epilepsy studies.

Scientific contributions

Scott Mastromatteo, M.Sc.
Senior Bioinformatician

Scott Mastromatteo completed his M.Sc. in Applied Computing at the University of Toronto and his B.Sc. at the University of British Columbia in Computer Science and Molecular Biology. Scott is a data scientist with a particular infatuation for genetics. He has experience with all levels of the informatics pipeline from data storage to processing and analysis.

Scientific contributions
Zeynep Baskurt

Zeynep Baskurt, PhD
Research Associate

Dr. Zeynep Baskurt completed her B.Sc. in Statistics at the Middle East Technical University. She earned M.Sc. degrees in Industrial Engineering at Bosphorus University and in Statistics at the University of Toronto. She holds a PhD in Statistics from the University of Toronto. During her PhD studies, she contributed to new theories of statistical evidence.  She is currently a research associate, developing methods and software to integrate heterogeneous next generation sequence data.

Scientific contributions

Mohsen Esmaeili, PhD

Research Associate

Dr. Mohsen Esmaeili achieved his BSc in Microbiology from University of Isfahan, Iran. Next, he earned his MSc in Human Genetics from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran. He then accomplished his PhD at Institute of Human Genetics, Jena University Hospital in Germany under the supervision of Dr. Aria Baniahmad, analyzing functional inhibition of androgen receptor. Mohsen joined Dr. Strug’s lab as a post-doctoral fellow to study how modifier genes contribute to cystic fibrosis disease.

Scientific contributions

Angela Chen, M. Binf

Bioinformatician

Angela Chen completed her M.Binf from the University of Guelph and B.Sc from the University of Waterloo. While working in her various undergraduate placements, she fell in love with bioinformatics and decided to pursue a bioinformatics masters program. Angela joined the lab as a graduate student and is now a bioinformatician studying genetic phasing in genome sequencing.

Scientific contributions

Delnaz Roshandel, PhD

Bioinformatician

Dr. Delnaz Roshandel got her MD from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran. She also has an MSc in bioinformatics and a PhD in genetics both from The University of Manchester, UK. She joined SickKids in 2014. Her main focus of research is on genetics and epigenetics of common human diseases.

Scientific contributions

Postdoctoral Fellows

Graduate Students

Sangook Kim

Sangook Kim, PhD Candidate

Sangook completed his B.Math and M.Sc. in Statistics from Carleton University and is currently a PhD candidate in Biostatistics at the University of Toronto. His current research focuses on the development of a new phenotype to assess and quantify lung disease severity in cystic fibrosis.

Lehang Zhong, PhD Candidate

Lehang Zhong completed his HB.Sc in Statistics, M.Sc. in Biostatistics and is currently a PhD student in Biostatistics at the University of Toronto. He is interested in theories of statistical evidence, and his research project focuses on the method for differential gene expression analysis to RNA-seq data from patients with Cystic Fibrosis.

Fan (Crystal) Wang, PhD Candidate

Fan received her HB.Sc in Statistics from University of Toronto in 2015 and right now she is a PhD candidate in Department of Statistics at University of Toronto, co-supervised by Dr. Strug and Dr. Sun.

Yu-Chung (Jerry) Lin, PhD Student

Jerry completed his B.ASc in Electrical Engineering and M.Sc in Statistics at the University of Toronto before enrolling in PhD  program in Biostatistics at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He joined the lab as a Practicum student in Fall 2017. Under the supervision of Dr.Strug, he is currently building predictive models for Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes (CFRD) and severity of CF Lung Disease using sequencing data from Canadian patients.

Gengming He

Gengming He, M.Sc.
Biostatistician

Gengming He completed his first M.Sc. in Physics at McMaster University investigating the magnetic properties of ultra-thin metal films. He then pursued another M.Sc. in Biostatistics and joined the lab as a practicum student. He enjoyed his statistical genetics training in the Strug lab and he joined the lab as a Biostatistical Analyst and for his PhD studies, to study the role of gene modifiers in cystic fibrosis lung disease.

Scientific contributions

Current Stage Trainees

Yanyan Zhao, PhD
Yanyan Zhao, PhDPostdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Yanyan Zhao achieved her M.Sc. degree in Southwest Jiaotong University, supervised by Prof. Haitao Zheng. And she completed her PhD in Statistics from Nankai University under the supervision of Prof. Zhaojun Wang and Prof. Changliang Zou. She has accumulated experiences on rare variants association studies and on model specification test in massive data. Yanyan is currently a CIHR STAGE Postdoctoral fellow receiving mentorship from  Dr Lei Sun, Dr. Lisa Strug and Dr. Johanna Rommens. Her current research interest is in set-based association analyses based on summary statistics.

Lin Zhang
Lin ZhangPhD Candidate

Lin received her HB.A in Statistics and B.A in Economics from University of California, Berkeley in 2012, and received her M.A in Applied Statistics from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2015.  Lin is currently a PhD candidate in Statistics Department at University of Toronto, working with Dr. Lei Sun. Her current research focuses on robust association studies, multiple hypothesis testing and meta-analysis with applications in genetics and genomics in the presence of heterogeneity. Lin is also a trainee of the CIHR STAGE training program at University of Toronto with Dr. Strug in her STAGE committee.

Summer Students

Please contact Dr. Strug at lisa.strug@utoronto.ca for any summer student queries.

    The Centre for Applied Genomics Statistical Genetics Team

    Liz Li

    Liz Li, PhD

    Manager

    Jingjing Cao, M.Sc.
    Clinical Research Project Coordinator

    Nicole Roslin, M.Sc.
    Statistical Geneticist

    Alumni

    Bowei Xiao
    2015-2019
    Now pursuing his PhD studies at McGill University

    Gengming He
    2015-2018
    Now pursuing his PhD studies in our lab

    Liz Li, Biostatistician
    2007-2011
    Now works full time as Service Manager for TCAG at SickKids

    Andreea Cojocaru, Biostatistician
    2009-2010

    Xin Li, Biostatistician
    2010-2011

    Dong Su, Biostatistician
    2011-2012

    Lizhen Xu, Statistical Geneticist (TCAG)
    2015-2017
    Now working at Apotex

    Melissa Miller, PhD
    2012-2015
    Now manager at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

    Elizabeth Corfield
    2017-2018
    Currently Research Scientist, Norwegian Institute of Public Health

    Christie Burton
    2013-2015
    Currently Research Associate at The Hospital for Sick Children

    Xin Li
    2009-2019
    Presently a Statistician at Scotiabank

    Zeynep Baskurt, PhD
    2009-2014
    Now working as research associate in our lab

    Fouad Yousif, Practicum student
    2009-2010
    Currently a Bioinformatician at Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

    Liz Li, PhD
    2010-2015
    Now working as Service Manager for TCAG at SickKids

    Naim Panjwani, Practicum student
    2012-2013
    Now working as Biostatistician in our lab

    Lauren Erdman, Practicum student
    2013-2014
    Now pursuing graduate studies in Computer Science

    Simon Czajkowski, Practicum student
    2013-2015

    Gengming He, Practicum student
    2014-2015
    Now pursuing his PhD in our lab

    Bowei Xiao, Practicum student
    2014-2015
    Now PhD Candidate at McGill University

    Gemini Lam,Practicum student
    2015-2016
    Currently Bioinformatician, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

    David Soave, PhD
    2012-2016
    Now faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University

    Yue Yin, Practicum student
    2016-2017

    Cheng Wang
    2017-2018
    Joined our lab as Biostatistical Analyst

    Angela Chen
    Summer 2019
    Joined our lab as Bioinformatician

    Liz Li
    2010-2015
    Now working as Service Manager for TCAG at SickKids

    David Soave
    2011-2016
    Now faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University

    Jessica Dennis
    2011-2016

    Melissa Miller
    2012-2015
    Now manager at Pfizer

    Yue Jiang
    2012-2014

    Christie Burton
    2013-2015
    Now Research Associate at SickKids

    Angelina Pesevski
    Summer 2015

    Benjamin Dekoven
    Summer 2017

    Adam Eisen
    Summer 2017

    Allen Bao
    Summer 2018

    Benjamin Dekoven
    Summer 2018

    Allen Bao
    Summer 2019

    Clodagh Curran
    Summer 2019