Sepali Photo_edited.jpg

Dr. Sepali Guruge is a Professor and the Research Chair in Urban Health at the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing. Dr. Guruge obtained her education in Sri Lanka, the former Soviet Union, and Canada. She focused her doctoral dissertation in Nursing at the University of Toronto on the influence of gender, racial, social, and economic inequalities on the production of and responses to intimate male partner violence in the post-migration context. Her post-doctoral work at the University of Western Ontario examined the effects of intimate partner violence on women's health. Both her doctoral and post-doctoral studies were supported by Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Fellowships. Dr. Guruge's nursing experience includes practice, teaching, research...[Read More]

Sepali Guruge, RN, PhD

Current Research Staff

Ernest Leung,  BA(s)

Research Assistant

Immigrant Health Research

Ernest Leung is currently an undergraduate student in the English and the French Departments at the University of Toronto. His research interests surround feminist, socialist/Marxist, and (post-)colonial literatures and theories, particularly in the field of Asian world literature. He is interested in investigating ways in rocess of identity formation, resistance, and cultural change. 

Vathsala Jayasuriya, MD, PhD

Research Assistant

Immigrant Health Research

Dr. Vathsala Jayasuriya is a Consultant Community Physician in Sri Lanka and a former Senior Lecturer in Community Medicine at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardene. Dr. Illesinghe has led/collaborated on a number of research projects focused on examining the prevalence, risk factors, and responses to inimate partner violence against women.  She has received several awards/orations for her work in Sri Lanka. She served as the Chairperson of the Expert Committee on Women's Health at the Sri Lanka Medical Association, as a mentor of the South Asian Network to address Masculinities (SANAM) and has also worked with the WHO international network of Violence Against Women (VAW) researchers.

Souhail Boutmira,  MA(c)

Research Assistant


Souhail Boutmira is currently working as Research Assistant at Ryerson University as a member of Dr. Sepali Guruge research staff. He graduated from McMaster University with a Masters in Globalization and Human Condition. His research interest focuses on securitization and global migration; specifically, South/North movements and the impact on migrants’ well-being. He is currently working on a project that aims to study risk factors that lead to older immigrants’ abuse with the objective to prepare preventive interventions. Souhail conducts research applying both qualitative and quantitative methods with an expertise in SPSS data analysis as well as thematic analysis.

HeeJin Zhou,  MSc

Research Assistant


HeeJin Zhou received a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Neuroscience from Queen’s University and has completed a Master of Health Science Education at McMaster University. She is a dedicated education researcher with a strong passion for promoting program accessibility in higher education. Her research interests include learner resilience, diversity and inclusion, and professional identity formation. 

Parvathy Kanthasamy,  PhD

Research Assistant

Parvathy - India.jpg

Dr. Parvathy Kathasamy has been involved in community-based research projects for over 30 years. She is an avid advocate for immigrants' and refugees' rights in Toronto. She is the Founder and current Director of Vasantham, A Tamil Wellness Centre that has been serving the Tamil community in the Greater Toronto Area for over 20 years. Dr. Kanthasamy has received numerous awards that honour her works. She obtained her PhD in Linguistics from Monash University, Australia.

Seoan (Annie) Oh,  MA

Research Assistant

Annie Oh_headshot.JPG

Seoan (Annie) Oh is a graduate from Seoul National University, from which she received a  Master of Arts in Social Welfare. Her research interests include healthy aging, age-friendly communities, and community care, policies, and services for the elderly

Hasina Amanzai, MScN

Research Assistant

IMG-0019 (2).jpg

Hasina Amanzai is a lecturer at the Daphne Cockwell School of nursing and Yeates School of Graduate Studies Nurse Practitioner Program. Hasina has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Ryerson University and a Master of Nursing -Nurse Practitioner degree with Global Health focus. She is currently practicing as an acute care (Emergency) and primary care nurse practitioner. Hasina’s research interests are in the areas of women's health, immigrant population, and well being of the elderly. She is currently working with Dr. Sepali Guruge as a research assistant and conducting research on social distancing among immigrant populations in the GTA within the context of Covid-19.

Sara Sadeghi,  BSc(s)

Research Volunteer


Sara Sadeghi is a Biomedical Science student at Ryerson University. Her research interests include health related topics such as palliative care, elder caregiver support, home care, and the needs of immigrants and newcomers. In the future, she wishes to pursue a medical degree and to explore more research topics.

Manzu Man Ara,  MEd, MAcc

Research Assistant


Manzu Man Ara is has finished her Master degrees in Accounting from University of Dhaka and Master of Education (Thesis Group) from Monash University, Australia. Back home she was Assistant professor in a Government College, Bangladesh. Currently, she is working with TNO- The Neighbourhood Organization as a Community Resource Worker and Admin. She also worked as a trainer and researcher of School Based and Assessment in Bagladesh.

She is a Bengoly poem, article and story writer. She writes poems in News paper, Books and Magazines. She published few books in Begoly. She was engaged with many research projects as an editor, interviewer, translator, research assistant, group leader and data researcher.

Simona Kolarova, MA

Research Assistant

S Kolarova.jpg

Simona Kolarova is an artist, educator and researcher, who has worked in Canada and abroad. Her research looks at the phenomenology of multilingualism and cross-cultural references. Simona has also been developing projects integrating visual art and second language teaching. Simona holds a Settlement Counselor position at TNO – The Neiborhood Organization where she helps newcomers to Canada understand their rights and responsibilities and find the programs and services they need.

James Valenciano, MScN 

Research Volunteer


James Valenciano has a master of nursing degree from Ryerson University.  His research interests include virtual healthcare, health informatics, and how these can help promote healthcare access among marginalized populations. He currently works as a geriatric clinical nurse specialist at the Lakeridge Health in Oshawa, ON, and he also works as a nurse clinician at Dialogue, a virtual healthcare platform based out of Montreal, QC.

Nirmalan Kaththalingam, MD

Research Assistant

Dr.Nirmalan Kaththalingam_NEW.jpg

Dr. Nirmalan Kaththalingam is a father of two kids and has interest in travelling. He obtained his Medical degree in Sri Lanka. There he involved in primary health care research. He completed a post graduate Diploma in Clinical Research with Honors here in Canada. His research interests include community health and mental health.

Previous Research Staff

Mandeep Kaur Sharma                 Research Assistant         2018

Martha Cedeno                                     Research Assistant         2018

Berenice Chavez                                   Research Assistant         2018

Abinet Gebreegziabher                    Research Assistant         2018

Selasi Dorkenoo                                   Research Assistant         2018

Deon Castello                                          Research Assistant         2018

Stephanie Pietrantonio                     Research Assistant        2018

Daniela Maldonado Castaneda Research Assistant        2018

Abeer Omar                                        Research Associate         2018

Christine Soobin Lee                     Research Assistant         2018

Kristina Hyunjee Lee                     Research Assistant         2018

Haya Umar                                       Research Assistant          2018

Shine Jiyoun Chung                       Project Manager                 2018

Thuvaraka Rajaratnam                  Research Assistant         2018

Matthew Maelzer                             Research Assistant          2018

Sen Wang                                          Research Assistant          2018

Mairead Cavanagh                               Research Assistant        2018

Mia Hershkowitz                                 Research Coordinator     2017-2019

Rajini Tarcicus                                 Research Assistant         2017

Anupam Aery                                    Research Assistant         2017

Parthiban Vadivelu                          Research Assistant         2017

Cajaani Velautham                          Research Assistant         2017

Ssad El Hakmi                                 Research Assistant         2017-2019

Younglee Ha                                      Research Assistant         2017

Radamis Zaky                                   Research Assistant         2017

Cindy Ou                                            Research Assistant         2017-2018

Carlos Enrique Pardo                       Research Assistant         2017

Guanglong Pang                                Research Assistant         2017

Paola Ortiz                                         Research Assistant         2017

Ivy Li                                                    Research Assistant         2017-2018

Mari Kozak                                   Research Assistant         2017-2018

Laura Hogarth                              Research Assistant         2017

Dayana Gonzalez                         Research Assistant         2017

Hector Goldar Perrote                 Research Assistant         2017

Lodi Awad                                     Research Assistant         2017

Abir Al Jamal                                Research Assistant         2017

Catherine Maule                          Research Coordinator     2017-2018

Ahmad Kanji                                Research Assistant          2017

Nicole Jeffery                                Research Assistant          2016

Micheline Jackson                       Research Assistant          2016

Kristian Piraino                           Research Assistant          2016

Udit Bhandari                              Research Assistant          2016

Chantel Spade                               Research Assistant          2015

Laura Zahreddine                        Research Assistant          2015

Mary Wei                                      Research Assistant          2015

Mainka Tandon                            Research Assistant          2015

Patricia Julian                              Research Assistant          2015

Sayani Paul                                  Research Assistant           2015

Birpreet Saini                                           Research Assistant           2014-2015

Maria Bernard                                          Research Assistant           2014-2015

Melanie Selvadurai                              Research Assistant           2014-2015

William Moo                                             Research Assistant           2014-2015

Sadaf Grace Seifi                                    Research Assistant           2014-2015

Arthur Ze Yu Wang                     Research Coordinator      2014-2018

Melissa Giacomini                               Research Assistant           2014-2015

Sathiya Sivahurunathan                Research Assistant           2014

Chee-Mei Chan                                        Research Assistant           2014

Alexandra Machacek                         Research Assistant           2014

Hissan Butt                                                 Research Assistant           2013-2014

Shamette Hepburn                               Research Assistant           2013-2014

Valerie Molina                                          Research Assistant           2013

Ferzana Chaze                                          Research Assistant           2013

Mary Susan Thompson                    Project Manager                2011-2014

Nigel Kingwell                                          Research Assistant           2011-2012

Jasmine Kwong                                       Research Assistant           2011

Frederica Gomes                                    Research Assistant           2011

Kimberly Bryce                                        Research Assistant           2010-2011

Chula Madamage                                   Research Assistant           2011


T: 416-979-5000 ext. 554964

© 2020 Sepali Guruge