Hello! I’m Kellia, and I’m a postdoctoral research fellow at the Subject Matter Lab, where I started in late 2021.
What’s your role in the Subject Matter Lab?
My main role at the lab is to conduct an analysis of international policies on opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment in primary care settings. Basically, I’m looking at how different countries around the world have developed different strategies and policies to tackle OUD. This research project aims to:
- document the different OUD treatment policies;
- explore how the different country contexts impact these policies; and
- see if and how lessons can be found and applied to the current situation in Canada
What did you do before joining Subject Matter?
I completed a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) at The University of Sydney, and am a registered pharmacist in Australia. I worked in community pharmacy for five years before coming to Toronto and joining the lab at the end of last year.
Just before leaving, I also submitted my PhD, which I undertook at The University of Sydney, under the supervision of Professor Lisa Bero. My PhD research looked at how policies affecting community pharmacy practice are developed, taking a particular look at the political, institutional, and cultural factors that influence policymaking. I examined two health areas — pharmaceutical opioids and vaccinations — before adding the COVID-19 pandemic as a very topical third case study.
I’ve also looked at spin/hype in scientific research (my undergraduate thesis) and have worked as a research assistant on a project on data privacy in medicines-related apps. I’ve also been working with colleagues in Australia and South Korea on a project about doctors’ conflict of interest declarations in published clinical trials. During my PhD, I was a teaching assistant and tutor for research methods and public health courses taken by pharmacy students.
In terms of my research interests, I’m keen to continue exploring the intersection of: 1) what it looks like to be a healthcare professional, particularly a pharmacist; 2) the influences on health policy and services; and 3) the use of evidence in policymaking. Having come from a clinical background, I’m excited to be able to combine my interests in politics and policy into my doctoral research — in the future, I want to continue applying political and social science theories and methods to looking at health/pharmacy policy.
What do you like to do outside of work
Outside of work, I consume a lot of content — ranging from television, podcasts, musical theatre cast recordings, or news articles and essays. I also play the piano and flute, and have done a few side gigs in pit orchestras; now it’s a hobby that I’m keen to pick up again.
Coming from Sydney, I also love swimming, particularly in outdoor pools. I’ve found that it helps when I’m stuck working or thinking about something, and there’s something glorious about cutting through the water with the sun on your back. I’m looking forward to warmer weather and exploring the swimming options around here!
A few more questions, just for fun:
- Would you describe yourself as a morning person or evening person? Why?
Definitely a night person — I have had very productive meetings and thinking/writing sessions between the hours of 10PM and 3AM, and require coffee for anything before 10AM.
- What is the last book you read?
I actually can’t remember the last book I read cover-to-cover. But amongst the policy theory books I read for work (which I genuinely enjoy!), I’m currently making my way through the original Watchmen comic book series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
- Describe an object that is in your work-from-home space – is it functional or for aesthetic purposes?
I have a navy blue mug from The West Wing Weekly podcast that made the trip over with me — it’s great for the 3 or 4 cups of tea or coffee I have during a work day.