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DLSPH appoints Olli Saarela as PHS Graduate Coordinator

April 30/2020

Olli Saarela was appointed Graduate Coordinator of the Master’s and PhD programs in the Graduate Department of Public Health Sciences (PHS) at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health on May 1, 2020.

Saarela is an Associate Professor of Biostatistics whose areas of interest include Bayesian inference, causal inference, epidemiological study designs, statistical methods for early detection and prediction of chronic diseases, and analysis of survival and event history data.

Saarela joined the DLSPH in 2014. He works collaboratively with interdisciplinary research teams to adapt causal inference methods to answer questions in epidemiological, clinical and health services research. Last fall he received a Connaught New Researcher Award to develop statistical methods to target quality of care improvements for Ontarians with urological cancers.

He holds a PhD and Master of Social Sciences in Statistics from the University of Helsinki. Before joining U of T, Saarela held assistant professor and postdoctoral positions with McGill University’s Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health. During his PhD studies he also worked as a statistician at the National Institute for Health and Welfare of Finland.

In the role of Graduate Coordinator, Saarela will work closely with Professor Dionne Gesink, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs and the Graduate Office to co-create innovative student learning experiences and support teaching across all PHS programs. He will advise PHS students, ensure program directors meet enrolment targets, and support student award competitions.