Faculty Members

Dr. Sunita Vohra

Director/CARE Program

Department of Pediatrics

Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine
    Contact details are for academic matters only.

About Me

Dr. Sunita Vohra is a pediatrician and clinician scientist. Her work focuses on methods research, i.e., how to do clinical research better. As 70% of Canadians use complementary therapies, Dr. Vohra's research evaluates questions that are important to patients: do they work? are they safe?

To evaluate if therapies work, Dr. Vohra and her team conduct randomized controlled trials, systematic reviews, and N-of-1 trials.

To evaluate if therapies are safe, Dr. Vohra and her team conduct systematic reviews as well as active surveillance to improve the identification and reporting of adverse events.

Dr. Vohra is the founding Director of the Integrative Health Institute (uab.ca/ihi) and the CARE Program.



Team Members

Our Team

Director
Dr. Sunita Vohra, MD, MSc, FRCPC, FCAHS, Pediatrician
Dr. Sunita Vohra is a pediatrician and clinician scientist, with a Master's degree in clinical epidemiology and fellowship training in clinical pharmacology. She is a Professor at the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Alberta, with a cross-appointment in the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry. Dr. Vohra is the founding director of Canada’s first academic pediatric integrative medicine program, the Complementary and Alternative Research and Education (CARE) program. In 2013, she was awarded the Dr. Rogers Prize for excellence in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and elected into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, one of the highest honours for individuals in the Canadian health sciences community.

Dr. Vohra is recognized as an expert in Complementary Medicine (CM) by Health Canada and has worked with them to strategize and set priorities for the use of natural health products in children. She was invited to write the Canadian Pediatric Society statement on the use of natural health products in children.

Dr. Vohra’s expertise in CM has also been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally with invitations to sit on various committees and editorial boards. She chaired the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Integrative Medicine. Dr. Vohra was the founding director for Canada’s first fellowship program in pediatric integrative medicine as well as the Canadian Pediatric CM Research and Education Network (PedCAM), which was at one time, the world's largest pediatric CM network.


Clinical Director
Dr. Hsing Jou, MD, FRCPC, Pediatrician
Dr. Hsing Jou is the clinical director for the CARE Program and the University of Alberta’s Integrative Health Institute. She was also the program director of the Pediatric Integrative Medicine fellowship from 2009-2010. She has a special interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine and completed the University of Alberta’s Certificate Program in Medical Acupuncture in 2002. Dr. Jou is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta and, since 2000, has been a pediatric emergency physician at the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta.

CARE Staff

Patricia Belton, Administrative Assistant
Patricia Belton is the Administrative Assistant to the Director of the CARE program.

Melissa Gutland, Research Assistant

Susanne King-Jones, PhD, Research Librarian
Susanne holds a doctoral degree in biology from the Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) and a Master of library and information studies from the University of Alberta. She specializes in systematic review searches, provides key resources for the team, trains students in how to use library resources and databases, assists with manuscript preparation and submission as well as grant proposal writing.

Antony Porcino, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Salima Punja, BSc, PhD, IHI Executive Director
Salima Punja holds an Honors Bachelor of Science in physiology, human biology and linguistics from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Public Health (Epidemiology) from the University of Alberta.

Amy Wolgemuth, BA, Research Assistant
Amy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Alberta. She provides general research and administrative support for the CARE team.

Liliane Zorzela, MD, PhD, Pediatrician, Research associate
Liliane's research has a primary focus on studying adverse events of interventions and improving methods of adverse events identification and reporting. During her PhD thesis, under Dr Vohra's supervision, Liliane developed the PRISMA Harms, a guideline to be used on systematic reviews assessing adverse outcomes. Liliane is also involved in systematic review development. Liliane works as a clinical associate at Pediatric Intensive Care at Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton-Alberta.


Graduate Students

Morgan Basiuk, PhD student
Morgan received her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy with distinction from the University of Alberta and is currently working as a clinical pharmacist at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Her graduate work is in the Study Of Natural health product Adverse Reactions (SONAR), specifically in the area of oncology.

Samaneh Khanpour Ardestani, MD, PhD student
Samaneh holds an MD degree from Iran. Her clinical research experience includes working as a researcher in a university research center in Iran during medical school and after graduation. Her work here at CARE is focused on efficacy and safety of probiotics in antibiotic-associated diarrhea in the pediatric population by performing a large well-designed clinical trial study.

Tyler Marshall, PhD Student
Tyler is a PhD student in the Department of Psychiatry. He is investigating shared decision-making between health care providers and adult patients who have addiction and/or mental health disorders in community outpatient settings. The scope of his work aims to inform provincial policy and practice regarding mental health reform, partially in response to the opioid overdose crisis. Prior to studying at the University of Alberta, Tyler earned his master’s degree in public health from the University of Memphis, and earned his bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Rhodes College in his home state of Tennessee. Tyler has had a longstanding interest in the opioid crisis and drug policy reform.  At Rhodes, he was the founder and president of the Student’s for Sensible Drug Policy chapter. He led a student campaign with Memphis city officials to reduce opioid overdose by expanding access to the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone. He also received additional research training from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the Integrative Health Institute. Tyler is currently supervised by Dr. Sunita Vohra, MD, Msc.

Katie Pohlman, PhD Student
Katie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from The Ohio State University, a doctor of chiropractic degree from the Palmer College of Chiropractic, and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research from the Palmer College of Chiropractic. Her research interest is the effectiveness and safety of spinal manipulation therapy, especially in the pediatric population. She is the SafetyNET Project Coordinator.

Adjuncts 

Cecilia Bukutu, PhD
Cecilia holds a Masters and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Cambridge (UK). Cecilia is actively involved in various CARE research projects (e.g. N-of-1, reviews) and writing research articles. 

Candace Necyk, MSc
Candace is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She is actively involved in CARE research projects especially in the Study of Natural Health Product Adverse Reactions (SONAR).