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The Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing is committed to student-centred learning that encompasses the principles of empowerment, engagement, discovery, diversity, equity, and knowledge transformation for nursing practice. These graduate, undergraduate and international students, supervised by Monica Parry, are driven to improve health care.

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Ann Kristin Bjørnnes, RN, CNM, MSc, PhD (2016-2018)

Ann Kristin Bjørnnes was the Tom Kierans International Post-Doctoral Fellow at Bloomberg Nursing at the University of Toronto. Her research interests are focused on pain, quantitative research methods, sex and gender, self-management support, heart disease, and intervention research. During postdoctoral training Ann Kristin received the Women’s Heart Health Hackathon Trainee Award; funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICHR) and CIHRs Institute of Gender and Health (IGH). She also received the Tom Kierans International Postdoctoral Fellowship from Bloomberg Nursing at the University of Toronto. Ann Kristin is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Nursing and Health Promotion at Oslo Metropolitan University in Oslo, Norway.

Doctoral Students

Heather Burnside, RN, MN, PhD Student (2018 – current). Email:

Heather is a PhD student at the University of Toronto in the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing. Her experience as a nurse working in rural/remote First Nation communities, as well as coming from a First Nations family who has been impacted by diabetes and its complications, has helped her to understand the significant influence diabetes has on the individual, family, and community.

Heather’s PhD study directly relates to diabetes and my interest in sex- and gender-related influences on risk management. Her study ‘Exploring Sex and Gender Influences on Self-Management Practices of Indigenous Peoples Living with Type 2 Diabetes: A Convergent Mixed Methods Study’ was funded through a Diabetes Action Canada Patient-Oriented Research (POR) Intercentre Trainee Internship Award in Diabetes and its Complications (2019 – 2020, $10,000). Heather was subsequently successful in receiving an esteemed CIHR Fellowship: Patient-Oriented Research Awards – Transition to Leadership Stream – Phase 1 (2020 – 2023, $165,000) and then invited as a Trainee/Co-Investigator to the CIHR Strategy-for Patient-Oriented Research National Training Entity (2021 – 2027, $5,250,000). Indigenous Peoples have experienced a disproportionate amount of historical trauma, which has led to increased rates of T2DM. Prior to colonization, women’s roles included spiritual, political, and economic power, including the power in some Indigenous communities to select political leaders. Following colonization, many Western patriarchal practices and policies targeted the devaluation of women and have resulted in gendered-based colonization practices, such as the rejection of women being involved in political interactions and treaty negotiations, leaving men with the political, economic, and social power. The overall purpose of Heather’s study is to explore how the intersecting identities of sex, gender and Indigenous identity affect self-management practices of those living with T2DM.

Deborah Baiden, RN, MScN, PhD Student (2020 – current). Email:

Deborah is a PhD student at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. Her doctoral research is focused on addressing the cardiovascular health needs of mothers of African descent in Canada who have a history of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. She is addressing a significant gap in knowledge by engaging patient partners and by examining the intersection of sex (e.g., biological) and gender (sociocultural) factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease in women with a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. In Canada, cardiovascular prevention strategies for high-risk populations that include African Canadian women with a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy are urgently needed. Women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are amongst those at highest risk of premature cardiovascular disease and are three times more at risk of dying from a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy compared to women of other racial and ethnic populations. The most widely accepted rationale that links hypertensive disorders of pregnancy to cardiovascular risk is that pregnancy unmasks women who were predisposed to cardiovascular disease prior to pregnancy.

Bobby Thapa: 2022. Title: Gender-Based Cardiovascular Risk Factors Determination and Implementation of Preventative Interventions in Central Nepal.

Salima Hemani, RN, MScN, PhD (2015 – 2022) Email:

Salima Hemani is a former doctoral student. Her PhD study was a multi-method study consisting of a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) and a cross-sectional survey aimed to describe contextual factors and determine the feasibility of implementing a six-week low sodium community-based dietary intervention to improve outcomes in South Asian Canadians with stage one hypertension. She was the first registered nurse to receive the prestigious SANSAR/Burgundy Young Investigator Award in South Asian Health. SANSAR, the South Asian Network Supporting Awareness and Research, focuses specifically on promoting cardiovascular health in the South Asian community through education, community awareness and research. Dr. Hemani’s research was featured at the annual SANSAR Symposium (Fall 2021) entitled ‘Cardiovascular Disease in South Asians: Partnering for a Healthier Future’ and presented at Hypertension Canada’s Annual Congress in 2021. Dr. Hemani is a reviewer for the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (United States) and is currently completing a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Chanchlani Research Centre, McMaster University (Supervisor: Dr. Sonia Anand). Dr. Anand is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University, she holds a Canada Research Chair in Ethnic Diversity and Cardiovascular Disease and was named among the top 100 women by the Women’s Executive Network for her accomplishments in research and medicine.

Abida R. Dhukai, RN, MN, NP, PhD Candidate (2015 – 2022) Email:

Abida Dhukai is a former PhD student whose study was a pilot randomized controlled trial aimed to assess the feasibility (recruitment, retention, engagement, acceptability) of the South Asian women Together in a Health Initiative (SATHI). SATHI was a culturally tailored 12-week peer-based physical activity intervention for young sedentary South Asian women living in Canada. Canadian South Asian women have high rates of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality and the lowest rates of physical activity in Canada, which is a concern as physical inactivity is directly related to increased rates of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and cardiovascular disease risk. Dr. Dhukai received external funding for her PhD study from the Women’s Xchange 15K Challenge Grant (2019 – 2020, $15,000) and the Bertha Rosenstadt Doctoral Research Dissertation Grant (2019 – 2020, $1,000) and is an active member of the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Alliance with three publications as a PhD trainee, all relate to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in South Asian women. The first publication was the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Consensus Statement published in JAHA (Impact Factor 5.117) during the Go Red Campaign in February 2020, receiving > 60 citations in less than one year. The remaining two publications are featured on the homepage of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology (Open) (Impact Factor = 4.524).  Dr. Dhukai is currently working as a Nurse Practitioner at an academic health science centre in Toronto, Ontario.

Ping Zou, RN, NM, PhD (2011-2015)

Ping Zou is a former PhD student at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include developing culturally sensitive interventions to support Chinese Canadians managing chronic illness in the community. During her PhD studies with Monica Parry, Dr. Zou was supported by the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses, and a Bertha Rosenstadt Doctoral Research Dissertation Grant. Dr. Zou conducted a pilot randomized controlled trial of a Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension and Reduce Sodium in Chinese Canadians (DASHNa-CC) during her PhD. She received three research awards from the Registered Nurses Foundation of Ontario for her PhD studies and an Award of Merit for an Outstanding Doctoral Thesis, Sigma Theta Tau International, Lambda Pi-At-Large Chapter in 2017. She also received two grants (2014, Bertha Rosenstadt Doctoral Research Dissertation Grant 2013 – 2014, Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses Small Research Grant) to support her PhD studies. Dr. Zou is a Professor in the Faculty of Education and Professional Studies at the School of Nursing, Nipissing University, Ontario.

Master’s Students

Kyle Danielson was a student in the Master in Nursing (NP Field) Program at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and also enrolled in the Collaborative Specialization in Resuscitation Science at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. I was core faculty in the Collaborative Specialization, which was designed to train students pursuing research in the optimal care of the acutely ill and injured patients and ultimately to create leaders in the discipline. Mr. Danielson received a prestigious CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship Master’s Award (2015 – 2017, $17,500) during his NP studies. I was Mr. Danielson’s primary supervisor for his project entitled ‘The Association between Diabetes Status and Survival following an Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: A Retrospective Cohort Study’. This was presented at the American Heart Association Meeting in 2016 and published as an abstract in Circulation. The manuscript was also published in Resuscitation. This was the first Canadian study to examine the association between diabetes status and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest outcomes. Our findings suggest that diabetes status prior to arrest is associated with decreased survival. The growing prevalence of diabetes globally suggests a future burden related to out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.

Undergraduate Students

Salma El Ali (2020-2022)

Salma is a 2nd-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. She hopes to complete a major in Environmental Studies with a double minor in GIS and French Studies and has a particular interest in health geography and the social determinants of health. Through working with Dr. Parry, Salma has assisted in completing a (now-published) qualitative manuscript on the experiences of women with a disability and heart disease in the Canadian healthcare system and is currently part of a team working on creating patient journey maps based on these women’s experiences. In the future, she hopes to be able to explore other areas of interest in research, such as Muslim women and their experiences in the Canadian healthcare system, as well as obstetrics and lifestyle medicine.

Zoya Zulfiqar (2021-2022)

Zoya is a second-year nursing student at the Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. She has a Life Science degree from McMaster University, in which her passion for clinical research grew. Zoya has a large interest in research surrounding the various social determinants of health, but specifically gender, race, and ethnicity. Her future aspiration is to become a neonatal nurse practitioner and clinical researcher. Throughout her experience as a research student with Dr. Parry, Zoya assisted in completing a protocol paper for the systematic development and testing of patient partner and investigator decision aids. Zoya is currently assisting with recruitment for a pilot randomized controlled trial testing the efficacy of a web-app for women living with cardiac symptoms.

Deeksha Kapur (2021-2022)

Deeksha is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. She hopes to complete a double major in Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences with a minor in Physiology. She also has a particular interest in medical anthropology, specifically the culture of medicine and racial, ethnic, and class disparities in healthcare settings. Through working with Dr. Parry she has assisted in completing a manuscript related to sex and gender correlates of cardiovascular disease in Canadian Indigenous people and is currently working on patient partner videos for the Decision Aids. She aspires to be a Travel Nurse Practitioner someday​​​.

Michelle Duong (2020-2021)

Michelle is currently a second-year nursing student and research assistant at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. She has had the opportunity to explore the field of research and develop a greater understanding of women’s health by contributing to Dr. Parry’s projects. Michelle is currently working towards being better-informed about how policy and sociopolitical factors influence people’s abilities to achieve better health outcomes.

Margaret Harrington (2020-2021)

Margaret is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education at the University of Toronto. She is interested in the impact of sex and gender on physical activity interventions used to prevent and manage chronic diseases and musculoskeletal disorders. Her undergraduate research is focusing on the biomechanical and health outcomes of young female athletes with a hip disorder called femoroacetabular impingement. 

Iman Arain (2020-2021)

Iman recently completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include improving the mental health and well-being of women facing heart problems through the exploration of self-management techniques such as meditation, relaxation, and mindfulness.

Visiting International Doctoral Students

Run Wang (International Student, China), 2022-2023. Developing a self-management model for patients with coronary heart disease based on health locus of control. (Southern Medical University)

Zhan Qu (International Student, China), 2017-2018. A Correlation Study between Self-Management and Health Status in Individuals with Hypertension in China. School of Nursing, Xi’an Jiao Tong University, Xi’an, China. Supervisor: Professor Xiao Mei Li (Xi’an Jiao Tong University).

Huang Yanjin (International Student, China), 2015-2016. Risk Factor Management in Chinese at Risk for Chronic Disease. School of Nursing, Central South University, Changsha, China. Supervisor: Dr. Guoping He (Central South University).

Luo Yan (International Student, China), 2015-2016. School of Nursing, Central South University, Changsha, China. Co-Supervisor: Dr. Judy Watt-Watson (University of Toronto), Supervisor: Dr. Guoping He (Central South University).

Ann Kristin Bjørnnes (International Student, Norway) 2014. A Randomized Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Effect of an Intervention to Enhance Patients’ Pain Management after Discharge from Cardiac Surgery. Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo. Co-Supervisor: Dr. Judy Watt-Watson (University of Toronto), Supervisor: Dr. Marit Leegaard (University of Oslo).

Visiting Global Scholar

Jingcan Xu (Visiting Global Scholar), 2017-2018. Chronic Disease Management: Diabetes. Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Hunan, China.