Doctoral & Post-Doctoral Fellows


sonia.castiglione [at] mcgill.ca (Sonia Angela Castiglione)

Sonia Castiglione is a Part-Time Faculty Lecturer and doctoral student at McGill’s Ingram School of Nursing. After graduating from the direct-entry Master of Science (Applied) in Nursing program (McGill), Sonia held the position of Clinical Nurse Specialist at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). She developed a keen interest in nursing practice development and patient/family-centered care. In 2011, Sonia transitioned to the role of Evidence-Informed Decision-Making Advisor with the Department of Nursing, (MUHC). Through this role, Sonia helped set organizational expectations, and developed evidence synthesis services and knowledge exchange activities in fostering evidence-based practice (EBP). Most notably, she co-developed knowledge translation workshops, co-authored a CIHR EBP implementation guide, implemented a rapid review service, and facilitated a Community of Practice for nursing research and EBP. She enjoys working closely with frontline nurses, nurse leaders, scientists and students. Sonia’s doctoral research will explore shared nursing leadership for the implementation of EBP.

Area of Interest

  • Evidence-based practice and knowledge translation
  • Nursing leadership
  • Nursing practice development
  • Mixed research methodology (quantitative and qualitative)

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Sonia Semenic, RN, PhD, Associate Professor and Director, PhD Program, Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University

Dr. Melanie Lavoie-Tremblay, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University


aimee.castro2 [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Aimee R. Castro)

Aimee R. Castro, MSc(A) RN, Aimee Castro is a graduate of McGill University’s direct-entry Master of Science (Applied) in Nursing program. She is a doctoral student in Nursing at McGill University. She has worked as a homecare provider and as an entrepreneur making mobile technologies more accessible to older adults. Aimee is interested in the co-design of digital health technologies that support family caregiving and nursing. For more information on her work, visit https://aimeecastro.com/.

Areas of Interest

  • Family caregiving
  • Digital health
  • Artificial intelligence in nursing
  • Aging
  • Cancer control
  • User-centered design

Supervisor(s)

Argerie Tsimicalis, PhD RN, Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University

Antonia Arnaert, PhD RN, Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University


nathalie.clavel [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Nathalie Clavel)

Nathalie Clavel is a postdoctoral fellow (FRQS award- 2020-2022) in the Ingram School of Nursing at McGill University. She completed in 2019 a Ph.D. in Public Health at the University of Montreal in the School of Public Health. She is also a graduate of the Master of Health Administration from the University of Montreal. The focus of her postdoctoral research is on patient and family engagement in infection prevention and control in the context of a pandemic, using mixed research methods. Her study currently takes place at the McGill University Health Center, in collaboration with the Center of Excellence on Partnership with the Patients and the Public and Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement. As part of her doctoral research, Nathalie studied the implementation of patient and family engagement in direct care and quality improvement activities and structures in diverse healthcare organizations and contexts of care (mental health, oncology) in Canada.

Areas of Interest

  • Implementation and management in healthcare
  • Quality and safety improvement
  • Patient and family engagement

Supervisor(s)

Mélanie Lavoie-Tremblay, Ph.D., RN, Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University

Alain Biron, Ph.D., RN, Assistant Professor, Ingram School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University and Assistant Director, Department of Nursing, McGill University Health Center


michele.desmarais2 [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Michèle Desmarais)

Michèle Desmarais is PhD student at McGill’s Ingram School of Nursing. She has clinical experience as a mental health nurse and also as a lecturer, college teacher, research assistant, and research coordinator. During her master’s degree in nursing (2015-2018), she conducted a qualitative research in which she developed a teaching intervention for nurses aiming at increasing self-knowledge for competencies development and mental health. For her PhD (2019-ongoing), she is interested in children’s and adolescents’ mental health. More specifically, she wants to further knowledge on eating disorders and suicide in children and adolescents. Her doctoral research is funded by the Programme MEES-Universités – Bourses d’études doctorales and by the Quebec Nursing Intervention Research Network.

Areas of Interest

  • Suicide
  • Eating disorders
  • Mental health
  • Nursing
  • Concept analysis
  • Qualitative methodologies
  • Participatory research approaches

Supervisor(s)

Marjorie Montreuil, RN, PhD, assistant professor, Ingram School of Nursing

Mélanie Lavoie-Tremblay, RN, PhD, associate professor, Ingram School of Nursing


emilie.hudson3 [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Emilie Hudson)

Emilie Hudson is a PhD student at the Ingram School of Nursing, where she also completed her BNI and MSc(A). Emilie developed a passion for research through her nursing studies, working on a variety of projects in different areas at McGill, Universite de Montreal, and other institutions. Currently, she is working on a COPD telemonitoring project with Dr. Antonia Arnaert. Emilie’s doctoral research is in the field of mental health, where she aims to understand the experience of mental health crisis through the patient, clinician, and police officer perspective. She aims to develop an intervention to improve the nurse to police officer handover of individuals experiencing crisis in the ER. Emilie is also interested in the disclosure of mental health problems in the workplace. She hopes to become an advocate for the many clinicians, researchers, and students who live with mental health issues.

Areas of Interest 

  • Mental health
  • Knowledge synthesis
  • Nursing education

Supervisor(s)

Dr Antonia Arnaert, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, ISoN

Dr Melanie Lavoie-Tremblay, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, ISoN


lydia.ouldbrahim [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Lydia Ould Brahim)

Lydia Ould Brahim is a PhD student in Nursing and registered nurse (RN) with a BASc in Environmental and Political Science (McGill University) and MSc in Nursing (McGill University). Her research interests lie primarily in the domain of mental health with a focus on caregivers and self-management. Her current research centers on adapting and pilot testing a self-management depression intervention for people with chronic illness and their caregivers. She has contributed to a number of research projects related to self-management of depression as well as addressing the broader needs of caregivers. She has also conducted research aiming to improve mental health care for inpatients with dual diagnoses.

Areas of Interest

  • Caregivers
  • Mental Health
  • Chronic illness
  • Depression
  • Self-management
  • Intervention research

Supervisor(s)

Supervisor: Dr. Sylvie Lambert, Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing McGill University

Co-supervisor: Dr. Nancy Feeley, Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing McGill University


isabelle.savard [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Isabelle Savard)

Isabelle Savard is a McGill graduate of the primary health care nurse practitioner (PHC-NP) programs (M.Sc. and Graduate diploma) that she completed in 2013 and 2014 respectively. She also holds a Master's degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (University of London) which she completed in 2019. Although she has been practicing as a nurse since 2008, it is since 2014 that she has been practicing as a PHC-NP, first in a general primary care practice in a rural area, and since 2018, in the clinic of a community health organization, working with marginalized people in vulnerable contexts. She is also a clinical professor at the Université du Québec en Outaouais where she teaches in the NP programs. Her doctoral project focuses on the added value of the role of the PHC-NP with people in vulnerable situations.

Areas of interest

  • Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Access to primary health care
  • Care for people in vulnerable situations
  • Sexual health
  • Trans-affirmative care for transgender and non-binary persons

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Kelley Kilpatrick, RN, PhD. Dr. Kilpatrick is an associated professor at Ingram School of Nursing. She holds the Susan E. French Research Chair in Nursing and Innovative Practices and is a FRQS Junior 2 (2017-2021) Fellow. She is a regular researcher at the Centre de recherche du Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux de l'Est de l'Île de Montréal (CIUSSS-EMTL) in the nephrology and evaluative research axis, a member of the Réseau de recherche en interventions en sciences infirmières du Québec (RRISIQ) and a researcher at the Canadian Centre for Advanced Practice Nursing Research at McMaster University.


shiva.shahiri [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Shiva Shahiri)

Shiva Shahiri is a doctoral student in nursing science at McGill University. Shiva is also a nurse clinician in the operating room at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). Her research interests align with her clinical background in pain measurement and management. Shiva has a master’s degree in nursing from McGill University where her research explored an innovative technology designed for this purpose, the Nociception Level (NOL) Index. Shiva’s clinical and research experience has allowed her to reflect on nursing’s contribution to design, development and decision-making in bringing innovative technologies to market and nursing practice. Her doctoral studies will expand on her master’s project and explore the validity and clinical applicability of scientific innovations in pain research and nursing care.

Areas of Interest

  • Pain assessment and measurement
  • Physiological indicators of pain
  • Critical care nursing
  • Nonverbal adult patients

Supervisor(s)

Céline Gélinas, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University, Nurse Scientist and Project Director, Centre for Nursing Research at the Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish General Hospital


zhida.shang [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Zhida Shang)

Zhida Shang is a PhD student with a BSc in Nursing (McGill) and a MSc in Nursing (McGill). His current research is on the use of telehealth technologies, clinical decision support systems and stroke care. Zhida has previously worked as a nurse at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He has previous research experience investigating the use of telemental health for Indigenous patients in Northern Quebec. In his spare time, he enjoys weightlifting, hiking and travelling.

Areas of Interest

  • Stroke care
  • Qualitative methodologies
  • Telehealth technologies
  • Clinical decision support systems

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Antonia Arnaert, RN, PhD. Associate Professor. Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University

Dr. Argerie Tsimicalis, RN, PhD. Associate Professor. Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University


marianne.sofronas [at] mcgill.ca (Marianne Sofronas)

Marianne is a doctoral candidate and faculty lecturer at McGill University’s Ingram School of Nursing. Her academic background is in medical anthropology and nursing. She graduated with an MA in anthropology from The New School for Social Research. Under the supervision of Drs. Rayna Rapp and Veena Das, she examined voice, silence, consent, and agency among women institutionalized for mental illness. Since graduating with an MSc(A) in Nursing from McGill in 2010, Marianne has practiced as a nurse clinician in the Intensive Care Unit of the Montreal Neurological Hospital. Her research interests are in nursing ethics, neuroscience nursing, neuropalliative care, critical care, and qualitative methodologies. Supervised by Drs. Franco Carnevale and David Wright, Marianne’s doctoral project is an ethnography of neuropalliative care. Marianne has received several awards including the Richard and Edith Strauss Clinical Research Doctoral Fellowship (2016-2018) and a Doctoral Training Award from the Fonds de Recherche Santé du Québec (2018-2022), and the Canadian Journal of Nursing Research Award for Writing Excellence (2019).

Areas of Interest

  • Palliative and Neuropalliative Care
  • Nursing Ethics
  • Neuroscience Nursing
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Qualitative Methodologies
  • Ethnography
  • Medical Anthropology

Supervisor(s)

Franco Carnevale, RN, PhD (Psych), PhD (Phil), Professor, Ingram School of Nursing, Associate Member, Department of Pediatrics, Affiliate Member, Biomedical Ethics Unit, Adjunct Professor, Counseling Psychology, McGill University

David Kenneth Wright, PhD, RN, CHPCN(C) Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Academic Lead, Palliative Care and Nursing Ethics Hub, Centre for Research on Health and Nursing,Director at Large – Research, Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Nurses Group


yujia.tang2 [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Yujia Tang)

Yujia Tang is a doctoral student at Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University. She completed her undergraduate studies at Wuhan University (2017) and received a master’s degree in nursing from Central South University (2020) in China where her research examined the effects of a postpartum intensive lifestyle modification program on physiological health outcomes (weight-related variables, type 2 diabetes development, insulin resistance) among women with prior gestational diabetes mellitus. Building on previous research and clinical experiences, Yujia is pursuing doctoral studies to explore built and social neighbourhood environment features as they relate to the adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviours among adolescents enrolled in weight management care using both qualitative and quantitative research approaches.

Areas of Interest

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes and pre-diabetes
  • Children and adolescents
  • Lifestyle behaviors
  • Public health nursing
  • Neighborhoods and health
  • Mixed research methodology (quantitative and qualitative)

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Andraea Van Hulst, RN, PhD, Assistant Professor, Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University

Dr. Sonia Semenic, RN, PhD, Associate Professor; PhD Program Director, Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University


wing.tock [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Wing Lam (Jessica) Tock)

Wing Lam (Jessica) Tock is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno (BSc in Nursing in 2016; MSc in Nursing, specializing in Clinical Nurse Leadership in 2019), and a current doctoral student at McGill University, Ingram School of Nursing. In her graduate academic career, she had contributed to research projects investigating the diversification of health-information seeking behavior, information source preferences, and decision-making process surrounding sexually transmitted infections and cancer screening among ethnic minorities in the United States. Jessica’s current research interest lies primarily in the field of cancer survivorship care with a focus on psycho-social adaptation and post-treatment reintegration among young adult cancer survivors (YACS). Dedicated to fostering a culture of best practice regarding comprehensive cancer care, she is committed to researching cancer survivorship care that targets YACS throughout the illness trajectory, which includes health promotion, coping, self-management, and survivorship empowerment.

Areas of Interest

  • Cancer survivorship
  • Health psychology
  • Psychosocial oncology
  • Cancer rehabilitation
  • Cancer prevention
  • Social determinants of health

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Christine Maheu, RN, PhD, Associate Professor, Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University


jacqueline.vanwijlen [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Jacqueline van Wijlen)

Jacqueline is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University (BScN with Advanced Major, 2012), Dalhousie University (MN-NP: Family/All-Ages, 2016) and a current PhD student at the Ingram School of Nursing. The focus of her doctoral research is a feminist post-structural exploration of parents’ experiences with infant feeding decision-making in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Her nursing practice career began in pediatric critical care before transitioning to neonatal intensive care where Jacqueline worked until completing her MN in 2016. In conjunction with her PhD studies, Jacqueline currently holds a tenure-track position in the Rankin School of Nursing at St. FX University, teaching courses in research methods, maternal-child & family health, and transition to professional practice. Jacqueline has collaborated on a range of national and provincial research and community-oriented projects, including maternal pertussis immunization, parent-led infant pain care, and the implementation of breastfeeding & family-friendly community spaces.

Areas of Interest

  • Infant Feeding
  • Neonatal Critical Care
  • Perinatal Health
  • Child & Adolescent Health
  • Family Health & Wellbeing

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Sonia Semenic, PhD, RN: Associate Professor & PhD Program Director at the Ingram School of Nursing at McGill University

Dr. Megan Aston, PhD, RN: Professor at Dalhousie School of Nursing, Associate Director of Research and International Affairs and Director at the Centre for Transformative Nursing & Health Research (CTNHR), Dalhousie University

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