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Banting-CANSSI Discovery Award Winners
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Banting-CANSSI Discovery Award Winners

The Banting Research Foundation and CANSSI Ontario are pleased to announce that the 2021 Discovery Award in Data Science scholars are Drs. Glen McGee and Alanna Weisman.

Dr. Glen McGee intends to develop statistical tools to characterize and correct biases that arise from the analysis of electronic health records of patients with autism spectrum disorder. Research on relationship between complex diseases, like autism and other potentially related conditions, often relies on electronic health records–a key source of data owed to their vast sample sizes. However, patients with autism tend to visit the doctor more often than others, meaning they have more opportunities to have diagnoses of other conditions noted in their records. This disparity causes analyses to be biased and can lead to reporting spurious associations in the medical literature. This disparity causes analyses to be biased and can lead to reporting spurious associations in the medical literature.

Despite being motivated by autism research, Dr. McGee’s research may be applied more broadly, as the proposed methods have the potential to improve the way medical research is conducted whenever conditions of interest increase a patient’s contact with the medical system.

Dr. McGee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science at the University of Waterloo. He completed his PhD in Biostatistics at Harvard University and previously received a BScH in Mathematics from Queen’s University. His research interests focus on developing statistical tools to solve problems in epidemiology, environmental health, and health policy.

Dr. Alanna Weisman’s study using anonymized provincial healthcare data to determine whether factors such a sex, income, and socioeconomic factors are barriers to insulin pump use for people with type 1 diabetes and the impact that has on health outcomes for people living with the disease.

Dr. Weisman recently joined Mount Sinai Hospital and University Health Network as a Clinician Scientist and Staff Endocrinologist. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, a Clinician Scientist at the Lunenfeld Tanenbaum Research Institute, and an adjunct Scientist at ICES.

Dr. Weisman attended medical school at Queen’s University and completed residencies in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology & Metabolism at the University of Toronto. Following her clinical training. She completed a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology, Metabolism at the University of Toronto. Following her clinical training, Dr. Weisman completed a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology; Health Care Research in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Dr. Weisman’s research program uses epidemiologic and health services research methods to study determinants of outcomes in type 1diabetes, which ultimately will inform the design of novel interventions to improve outcomes for people living with type 1 diabetes.

About the Banting–CANSSI Ontario Discovery Award in Data Science:

In 2019 the Banting Research Foundation and CANSSI Ontario partnered to offer two Banting-CANSSI Ontario Discovery Award in Data Science for new investigators appointed at Ontario universities. These new investigator awards are a one-year grant of up to $25,000 and are intended to support statistical or computational research related to a health or biomedical problem. 

See here for more information about the Banting Research Foundation.