About us

The goal of this capstone project is to describe how government expert groups make decisions about the implementation of pharmacogenetic testing in Ontario. Using a case study approach, we have selected the Ontario Health Pharmacogenomics (PGx) Working Group as our case to learn about the system-level translation of PGx testing.

PGxOH Team - Sam Neumark & Mary Schmitz at the LMPRC 2023


This research addresses a current gap in understanding around translational processes, government decision-making, and the development of recommendations for the adoption, implementation, and dissemination of the novel health technologies transforming public healthcare in Canada. This study will advance understanding of PGx implementation and foundational knowledge about how translation is being done currently in the Ontario public health space. Further, this work will contribute to promoting the transparency and replicability of decision-making practices of government expert groups making implementation recommendations.

Capstone defense video

Watch the capstone defense video

Team members

Sam Neumark - TRP Alumni 2023

Sam Neumark

Throughout his undergraduate degree, Sam worked as a Support Worker providing care for adults with developmental disabilities. He has been involved with numerous research projects focusing on evidence synthesis in the areas of substance use, chronic pain, and telemedicine. As a volunteer with Hamilton Health Sciences in the Michael G. DeGroote Pain Clinic, Sam led the implementation of telemedicine services to improve clinical operations.

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Mary Schmitz

Mary Schmitz

Mary has an academic background in psychology, education, linguistics, and basic sciences. Professionally, she has held diverse roles in administration and clinical operations, currently working at the Ontario College of Pharmacists. Mary completed a research project with the Cancer Pain Research Unit at UHN, updating a systematic review looking at age-related patterns of depression in cancer patients experiencing pain, and is working on another 5-year update currently.

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Project Advisory Committee

Daniel Gillespie

Senior Specialist, Program Design and Improvement, Ontario Health

Sandra has spent more than 25 years in leadership positions in the corporate, not for profit, and education sectors. After 14 years with Microsoft Canada, Sandra held leadership roles at SickKids Foundation, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and, most recently, at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Prof. Zubin Austin

Professor, University of Toronto

Professor Austin’s work focuses on multisectoral collaboration to define and address the professional and personal needs of the healthcare workforce in a proactive manner, to support best possible health care delivery and outcomes. Professor Austin is the only U of T Faculty member to ever have received both the President’s Research Impact Award (for societal significance of his work) and the President’s Teaching Excellence Award (for sustained contributions as a teacher).

Dr. Ayeshah Mohiuddin

Research Assistant Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH), University of Toronto

Ayeshah is currently working as a research assistant at the Neurogenetics Section at CAMH supporting the IMPACT (Individualized Medicine: Pharmacogenetic Assessment and Clinical Treatment) study and other studies. She aspires to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience with specialization in Molecular Genetics and practice as a clinician-scientist in the future.

TRP Supervisors

Director Dr. Joseph Ferenbok

Dr. Joseph Ferenbok

TRP Director

Driven to improve patient care, Prof. Ferenbok catapults projects forward with passion, wisdom, and a contagious chuckle. He is an Associate Director of the Health Innovation Hub, a Faculty of Medicine initiative intended to connect, align, serve, and facilitate the translation, innovation, and commercialization of 'Health Matters'.

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