Leong Fellows

Christina B

Dr. Christina Belza

Supervisor: Dr. Eyal Cohen, SickKids

Christina Belza, NP, PhD has been a nurse practitioner for the past 13 years in the pediatric intestinal failure program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. In her clinical capacity she manages inpatient and outpatients on long-term parenteral nutrition with intestinal failure. Academically, she recently completed her PhD in clinical epidemiology with a focus on evaluating burden of care for caregivers of children with intestinal failure. Future research directions include further exploration of the impact of caregiving on caregivers long-term physical and mental health with the goal of implementing services and programs to support the high level of care that they provide in the home setting. Christina is incredibly excited to work with Dr. Eyal Cohen and the Leong Centre for Healthy Children, as caregivers are an integral part in promoting child health. The impact of caregiving on mental and physical health has lasting effects on the caregiver, as well as the children themselves. Through exploring the factors that contribute to caregiver burden and understanding the long-term physical and mental health outcomes we can have a direct impact on improving outcomes for children and their caregivers, allowing the entire family to thrive.


Julia B

Dr. Julia Brandenberger

Supervisor: Dr. Astrid Guttmann, SickKids, ICES

Julia Brandenberger, MD MIH PhD is a pediatrician from Switzerland who is specialized in pediatric emergency medicine. While doing humanitarian work with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), she started to develop a special interest in migrant health and over the last 5 years has conducted research in the field of pediatric migrant health. While completing her Masters in International Health (MIH) at the University of Basel, she focused on key challenges in migrant health and completed qualitative research analyzing the perspective of migrant families on the quality of care. During her PhD at the University of Bergen (Norway) she conducted quantitative migrant health research projects using routine data, focusing on epidemiological aspects, migrant children in need of complex care and ambulatory care sensitive conditions in migrant children. It is a privilege for Julia to work with Astrid Guttmann at the Leong Centre for Healthy Children. Her main research focus will include the effects of COVID-19 on the health of pediatric migrants. She will also explore innovative ways to reduce language barriers for migrant families during health encounters. She hopes that her research can help reduce inequities in pediatric health care to reach the goal that all patients independent of their country of origin receive the support they need to live a healthy life.


Andi C

Dr. Andi Camden

Supervisor: Dr. Astrid Guttmann, SickKids, ICES

Andi Camden is a Postdoctoral Fellow and Epidemiologist who specializes in maternal and child health. Andi’s research leverages health administrative data to investigate medication use (including opioids) in pregnancy, among people with and without disabilities, and associated maternal and child health outcomes. She holds a PhD in Public Health Sciences in Epidemiology and an MPH in Epidemiology from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She is currently affiliated with the Department of Health & Society at the University of Toronto Scarborough, Leong Centre for Healthy Children at SickKids, and ICES. Andi is grateful to work with Dr. Astrid Guttmann at the Leong Centre for Healthy Children to generate information to promote healthy development in children with prenatal opioid exposure, and to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on opioid-related toxicity and mortality in the perinatal period.  



Dr. Jessica Omand

Supervisor: Dr. Catherine Birken, SickKids

Jessica Omand is a registered dietitian Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Child Health Evaluative Sciences at The Hospital for Sick Children and limited term faculty with the School of Nutrition at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University). Following her clinical training at St. Michael’s Hospital, Jessica completed her MSc and PhD in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto with funding support from CIHR and the Clinician Scientist Training Program at The Hospital for Sick Children. During her PhD, Jessica led the inaugural linkage of the TARGet Kids! database with health administrative data at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. Using these linked datasets, she examined whether vitamin D was associated with health service utilization for respiratory diseases. The specific aims of her postdoctoral fellowship are to determine if nutritional and lifestyle exposures in early life are associated with a child’s school outcomes including their readiness to start school and academic achievement