Robyn Lee PhD
Dr. Robyn S. Lee is an infectious disease epidemiologist and applied bioinformatician, with expertise in the application of genomics to infectious disease epidemiology and public health. Dr. Lee’s research focuses on integrating classical epidemiology, genomics and bioinformatics approaches to understand infectious disease transmission dynamics and identify risk factors for infection, in order to inform clinical and public health interventions. She has worked extensively on Mycobacterium tuberculosis – particularly among the Canadian Inuit – as well as other pathogens of public health importance, including community and hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycobacterium abscessus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci, among others.
Dr. Lee’s current research includes:
- Investigating potential transmission of M. abscessus among persons with Cystic Fibrosis in Canada
- Examining tuberculosis recurrence and predictors of transmission among the Inuit in the Canadian Arctic
- Investigating transmission dynamics of Staphylococcus aureus and risk factors for skin and soft tissue infection in the US military
- Investigating novel methods for detecting and incorporating within-host diversity in transmission analyses
COVID-19-related work: Dr. Lee is proud to be a part of the Canadian COVID Genomics Network (CanCOGeN), a new cross-Canada initiative led by Genome Canada, which is being supported by $40,000,000 in funding from the federal government. She is also an investigator on a Toronto COVID-19 Action Initiative grant (“Just-in-time pathogenomics for SARS-CoV-2, data for immediate action”) awarded in April of 2020, with colleagues at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, McMaster University, Sinai Health System, University Health Network’s Vector Institute, Public Health Ontario, and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory.
Dr. Lee’s education and training:
- 2017-2019: Postdoc in Infectious Disease Epidemiology / Genomics – the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (USA)
- 2016-2017: Postdoc in Bioinformatics – Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory, The University of Melbourne (Australia)
- 2011-2016: PhD in Epidemiology – McGill University (transfer from MSc)
- 2005-2009: BSc. in Nursing – McMaster University
- 2001-2005: Honours BSc. in Immunology – McGill University
Clinically, she has worked in Intensive Care in Toronto, and in outbreak management, responding to a tuberculosis outbreak in a remote Arctic community in Nunavik, Québec.