Research Team

Tarun Katapally, Ph.D., M.Sc., M.B.B.S

Dr. Tarun Katapally is an Associate Professor and Patient-Oriented Research Leader at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. He holds an adjunct faculty position in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and is a research affiliate with the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre and the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research. Internationally, he is the India lead for the generation of the Global Report Card on physical activity of children and youth, a knowledge translation endeavour to inform policy on active living across 49 countries. Dr. Katapally’s expertise is linking advanced mixed-methods and complex analytical techniques with citizen science and community-based participatory research to understand the impact of policy and policy-driven contexts and systems on the health and wellbeing of populations. Increasingly, his focus is on the usage of digital epidemiological tools in informing population health surveillance, intervention and evaluation.

Jasmin Bhawra, Ph.D., M.Sc. 

Climate Change, Nutrition and Evaluation Lead

As a Co-Investigator of the Smart Platform, and a CIHR Banting Postdoctoral fellow, Jasmin leads all climate-change and nutrition-related projects of the DEPtH Lab. Her research primarily focuses on historically disenfranchised populations and her work with Indigenous partners is rooted in self-determination and governance. She takes a climate equity lens in developing community-led solutions for food security and mental health in the Canadian north. She implements her applied research by co-conceptualizing policy solutions with Indigenous communities using Smart Platform’s citizen science approach. Moreover, as a program evaluation expert, she ensures that all evidence-based policy solutions she leads are empirically assessed. She is also the India Co-Leader for the development of Global Reports Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, and uses her evaluation expertise to translate knowledge across low-, middle-, and high-income countries. Her other research interests include public health nutrition, chronic disease prevention, and health policy. Apart from her research, she brings a wealth of experience to DEPtH Lab based on her work with global health partners, public health units, non-profit organizations, and leading institutes such as the Hospital for Sick Children.

As a Co-Investigator of the Smart Platform, and a CIHR Banting Postdoctoral fellow, Jasmin leads all climate-change and nutrition-related projects of the DEPtH Lab. Her research primarily focuses on historically disenfranchised populations and her work with Indigenous partners is rooted in self-determination and governance. She takes a climate equity lens in developing community-led solutions for food security and mental health in the Canadian north. She implements her applied research by co-conceptualizing policy solutions with Indigenous communities using Smart Platform’s citizen science approach. Moreover, as a program evaluation expert, she ensures that all evidence-based policy solutions she leads are empirically assessed. She is also the India Co-Leader for the development of Global Reports Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, and uses her evaluation expertise to translate knowledge across low-, middle-, and high-income countries. Her other research interests include public health nutrition, chronic disease prevention, and health policy. Apart from her research, she brings a wealth of experience to DEPtH Lab based on her work with global health partners, public health units, non-profit organizations, and leading institutes such as the Hospital for Sick Children.

Pinal Patel, Ph.D., MSc.

Research Associate

Dr. Pinal Patel holds a Ph.D. in Public Health. She has research and teaching experience spanning across 11 years, which includes leading and collaborating population health research projects, mentoring students, and implementing knowledge translation. She brings to the DEPtH Lab her experience as a Research Facilitator at the University of Regina, where she managed high value/impact research opportunities for the University. Currently, she is focused on physical and mental health research among populations across different jurisdictions using the SMART Platform.

Luan Manh Chu, M.Sc.

Data Analyst

Luan Manh Chu is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department/College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), Canada. After three years of working at the National Institute for Food Control (Vietnam), Luan moved to Saskatoon with an undergraduate degree in Public Health from the Hanoi University of Public Health in Vietnam to pursue his further study. He completed his MSc program in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology in August 2014. Luan’s interest in innovative digital tools led him to the DEPtH Lab, where he is part of the analysis team that is leveraging data from ubiquitous tools to advance epidemiology. Email: cml779@mail.usask.ca LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/luan-manh-chu-8b99408b/

Eric Kwabia, M.Sc., B.Sc.

Ph.D. Candidate

Eric Kwabia is a registered nurse by profession. He acquired his BSc Nursing degree from the University of Ghana in 2009 and completed his MSc in Telemedicine and eHealth at The Arctic University of Norway in 2015. Prior to moving to Regina, Eric worked with the Ministry of Health in Ghana as a Program coordinator for Telenursing and eHealth. Currently, he is completing a Master’s degree in Public Policy at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy and working as a Graduate Research Assistant at the DEPtH Lab. He is interested in health research interventions using the SMART Platform. Eric’s career objective is to become an eHealth policy expert and a renowned researcher in academia. Email: ekx152@uregina.ca

Kayla Stevenson, B.A. (Honours)

MPP Candidate

Kayla Stevenson joined Dr. Katapally’s research team in Winter 2017 as a student Research Coordinator. Kayla recently graduated from the University of Regina with a B.A. Hons. Psychology and will complete her Bachelor of Health Studies in April 2017. Kayla had the opportunity to grow up in a rural community and continues to live in a rural area. Kayla would like to complete a Master’s degree in Public Policy at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy to further her research abilities. Once complete, she will apply to a Canadian medical school in hopes to provide healthcare services to rural populations. Email: stevekay@uregina.ca

Ann Dorion, BHS

MPP Candidate

Ann Dorion is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and her grandparents in northern Saskatchewan raised her. Ann joined Dr. Katapally’s research team in the winter of 2018. Ann is interested in health intervention research, with a specific focus on the Indigenous populations. Ann’s research will be part of the SMART Platform, which combines Indigenous methodologies with citizen science and community-based participatory approaches in implementing a land-based active intervention among Indigenous youth – SMART Indigenous Youth. Ann believes that embracing cultural backgrounds and interests while engaging in physical activity is meaningful and sustainable. In September 2018, she joined the Masters of Public Policy program at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy under Dr. Katapally’s supervision.

Susannah Walker, BA, MSW

Ph.D. Candidate

Susannah Walker is Waganakising Odawa (from northern Michigan) and grew up in the U.S. She has worked as a teacher in Texas and Colombia and completed her MSW in 2012 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her work experience in Saskatchewan has been in the non-profit sector, and as an instructor in Indigenous Social Work at the First Nations University. Her research interests include health disparities among Indigenous people, especially access differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, and culturally responsive, community-based participatory research approaches for Indigenous communities. Susannah joined the DEPtH Lab in June 2018. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy under Dr. Katapally’s supervision, and her research will be part of the SMART Platform.

Prasanna Kannan, BA, MPhil

Ph.D. Candidate

Prasanna graduated with double degree masters in European Public Health from the United Kingdom and France. She also holds a MPhil degree in Medical and Psychiatric Social Work from India. Prasanna believes in transforming public health research into policy and action. This further motivated her to pursue a Ph.D. in Public Policy at Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy under the supervision of Dr.Katapally. Prior to that, she worked over a decade as a WHO Consultant with Central and State governments, and other non-profit organizations coordinating national health programs, behavioral interventions, population research and leading health program evaluations. She is passionate about community-based participatory research to promote physical and mental health and addressing substance use among children and youth using the innovative SMART platform.

Kushal Manvar 

Mitacs Accelerate Intern

Kushal Manvar is pursuing his Master’s in Applied Computing at the University of Windsor. Kushal identifies himself as a team player who enjoys a fast-paced work environment and interdisciplinary collaborations. Kushal’s expertise in software development and machine learning algorithms led him to obtain the Mitacs Accelerate Internship with the DEPtH Lab. Currently he is working under the supervision of Dr. Katapally to develop the CO-Away platform, with a particular focus on digital dashboards for decision-making.

Harshil Parikh, MS

Mitacs Accelerate Intern

Harshil Parikh is currently pursuing his post graduate diploma in Web technologies. Having acquired his Masters in Software Engineering from California Baptist University, he is focusing on how his research could help shape the digital era in Healthcare industry. Harshil’s research interests are primarily in the areas of Biometrics, Artificial Intelligence and Software development. His passion to develop next generation digital health technologies led him to join the research and development team of the CO-Away platform as a Mitacs Accelerate Intern.

Chaitanya Movva, M.Sc.

Research Associate

Chaitanya graduated with a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Concordia University (Edmonton, AB) in 2020. His education in Computer Science gave him profound insight into developing software applications that leverage artificial intelligence. He has experience of completing multiple data science projects by utilizing machine learning approaches. He brings this expertise to DEPtH Lab in developing a patient-oriented digital mental health platform to respond in real-time to the risk of anxiety and depression.

Maryna Moskalenko, M.P.P., B.Sc.

Research Assistant

In 2016 Maryna Moskalenko graduated from the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Science, Majoring in Computer Science, Great Distinction. Her passion includes looking for ways data analytics could be used to leverage pools of information to drive effective insights. This passion led her to start a quantitative research project under the supervision of Dr. Tarun Katapally and join Conexus Credit Union in the role of Data Scientist. In 2018 she successfully defended her thesis as a part of the JSGS Masters of Public Policy program. Maryna’s thesis fits with the vision of the DEPtH Lab in utilizing innovative tools to develop policy recommendations for promoting mental health.