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Who is DERIVE?

DERIVE is a new team science-based initiative that brings together experts from multiple disciplines, including genetic and environmental epidemiology, computational biology, clinical research and practice, and basic science research. With diverse areas of expertise spanning reproductive and developmental biology, pediatrics, human genetics, and environmental health, our team dominates across academic, clinical and government settings.



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Dr. Ryan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Genetics and Pediatrics at McGill University and a Senior Scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada. Dr Ryan's research program is dedicated to identifying and functionally validating the genetic and environmental factors that cause birth defects, with a particular focus on neural tube defects.


Developmental Biologist


Dr. Gupta is a Pediatric Nephrologist and Senior Scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Human Genetics  at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Dr. Gupta's research focuses on understanding the genetic and environmental factors that cause developmental disorders and disease in the kidneys and urinary tracts.

The Co-Investigators


Molecular & Cellular  Biologist

Dr. Haverfield is the Scientific Research Manager of DERIVE.  Dr. Haverfield brings her international experience in academic and government settings to, together with Dr. Ryan and Dr. Gupta, lead the scientific, strategic and operational direction of DERIVE. Dr. Haverfield is also establishing the 3D human organoid pipeline in the lab, to test the impact of various genetic variants and environmental exposures on organogenesis.



Genetic Epidemiologist

The Leadership

Dr. Mann is a Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at McGill University and a Senior Investigator at the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital, in Montreal, Canada. Dr. Mann's laboratory researches the environmental health effects of metals, in particular, the toxic effects of arsenic and tungsten on the immune system and how this can lead to different pathologies.

Dr. Engert is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University and a Senior Scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada. Dr. Engert's research focuses on uncovering the genetic etiology of a wide variety of cardiovascular diseases. His team uses several modern technologies and statistical methods to discover the genes and gene variants underlying these diseases.




Environmental  Epidemiologist

Dr. Weichenthal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Dr. Weichenthal's research program is dedicated to identifying and evaluating environmental risk factors for chronic illnesses, including the development of novel approaches to examine how the urban built environment influences environmental exposures at both the individual and population-level. 

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Environmental  Epidemiologist

Dr.  Lavigne is a Research Scientist with the Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau of Health Canada and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Lavigne's research investigates how human health is affected by atmospheric systems, including air pollution and weather. Much of this work is based on epidemiology, biostatistics, and environmental sciences.

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Population Geneticist


Population &  Medical  Geneticist

Dr. Bhérer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University and a researcher within the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) Program in genomic medicine. Dr. Bhérer uses population and statistical genetics to learn about human biology, evolution and the genetic basis of diseases and traits. Her work focuses on understanding how evolutionary history shapes natural genetic variation in diverse human populations, and how to apply this knowledge to support the discovery and development of genetically-driven therapeutics.

Dr. Awadalla is a Professor of Population and Medical Genomics at the University of Toronto and National Scientific Director of CanPath - Canada's largest population health cohort. Dr. Awadalla leads a population and medical genomics laboratory, and his teams’ primary research interests include developing next-generation genomics and statistical approaches to study developmental and chronic diseases in large family and population cohorts, including many large collaborative programs such as the 1000 Genomes Project.



Pediatric Gastroenterologist

Dr. Chapuy is a Clinician-Scientist at CHU Sainte-Justine and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Pediatric Nutrition and Department of Pediatrics at the University of Montreal, in Montreal, Quebec. Dr. Chapuy's laboratory specialises in the study of adult and pediatric inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Using molecular and protein characterisation techniques at the single-cell scale and high-definition imaging, Dr. Chapuy studies the phenotype and function of innate immunity cells as well as their cellular interactions with surrounding cells, in tissues. lymphoid and non-lymphoid and in the blood.

The Research Team




Computational Biologist


Environmental Epidemiologist


Iris is a Master's student in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Iris earned her Bachelor of Science from McGill University in Montreal Canada, majoring in psychology and minoring in biology. Iris brings skills in computational biology and genomic association studies, and is currently supporting DERVIE's genetic epidemiological investigations with the UK Biobank.

Racha is a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. Her thesis aims to examine the consequences of air pollution on child health. Racha holds two Bachelor of Science degrees from McGill University, majoring first in life sciences and second in ecological determinants of health. She also holds a Master of Science in Public Health degree from the same institution.

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Molecular & Cellular Biologist






Sihem is a Research Assistant with the DERIVE team. Sihem earned her Bachelor of Science from Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 in Lyon, France, majoring in genetics and cellular biology. Sihem obtained a Master's degree from the same university in skin biology, which included a research internship at the Université de Genève in Geneva, Switzerland. Sihem brings extensive experience in 2D and 3D cell cultures and is currently supporting DERIVE's wet lab projects, including establishing human organoid models.

Dr. Favé is a Research Associate in the Awadalla group at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Dr. Favé completed a PhD at McGill University in population genetics and developmental biology, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at CHU St Justine in bioinformatics and statistical genetics. Dr. Favé currently applies bioinformatics, machine learning and deep learning approaches to multi-omics datasets from large population and cancer biobanks, and she is currently supporting DERIVE's gene-environment interaction analyses within the CanPath cohort.

Interested in joining the team?

DERIVE is always looking for enthusiastic trainees and research staff who are passionate about genes, the environment and development. We offer a supportive and inclusive space that empowers our team to achieve their professional goals. If you're interested in joining DERIVE, please send an email to following the instructions below.

Instructions for expression of interest email to join DERIVE:
1. Clearly state your full name, your current position, and the position you are interested in;
2. In 250 words or less, write why you want to join DERIVE and what you can bring to the team; and 

3. Attach your CV.

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