Advisors &

Past Members

 
 

Dr. Terry Hebert

Faculty Advisor

Terry is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at McGill University. His research focuses on GPCR signalling in the cardiovascular system. He is interested in developing translational training for medical students, undergraduate students, and graduate students. Not only is Terry a driving force behind the scenes for rareDIG, but he is also involved in curriculum development in the undergraduate medical program and strives to learn something new about medical education every day.

Dr. Kyle St. Louis

Advisor and Previous Vice President Finance

Kyle is a pediatric resident at the University of Ottawa. He graduated McGill medical school in 2018. He holds a BSc in Biochemistry and an MSc in Neuroscience - his thesis investigated a novel pharmcotherapeutic strategy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Kyle was introduced to rare diseases through his work with pediatric patient populations, inspiring him to help with the founding of rareDIG in 2017. He hopes to continue advocating for individuals with rare disease throughout his residency training and beyond.

Dr. Jessie Kulaga-Yoskovitz

Co-Founder and Previous President

Jessie is a pediatric neurology resident at the University of Montreal. She holds a BSc in Anatomy and Cell Biology, a MSc in Neuroscience and an MDCM from McGill. Her thesis work, conducted at the Montreal Neurological Institute, was focused on the neuroimaging of temporal lobe epilepsy. She was first introduced to rare diseases as clinical research coordinator in a lab at the MUHC Research Institute which studied peroxisome biogenesis disorders, a rare genetic disorder. In this role, she also served as a scientific advisor on the committee of the Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders. Here, she learned about the exceptional challenges people with rare diseases and their families face.

 

Jessie founded rareDIG in September 2017 in an effort to improve the care of people with rare diseases by raising awareness of the challenges they face among medical students.

Dr. Nikola Wilk

Co-Founder and Previous Vice President Communications

Nikola is an internal medicine resident at McGill University. He holds an MDCM from McGill University. He entered medical school through the Med-P program after studying for one year mandarin language and Chinese culture in Jinan University, China. His interest in rare diseases stems from a summer studentship in the field of paediatric rheumatology, where he was exposed to children affected with a panoply of rare disorders, which were often very difficult to understand for patients, overwhelming, and significantly impacted their lives. This budding passion for rare diseases and their management has lead Nikola to contribute in the creation of rareDIG. Nikola has also made Noémie’s idea of a “Humans of Rare Diseases” series a reality, which constitute a platform for patients to talk about their rare disease, and in by doing so, hopefully broaden the knowledge of medical students.

Dr. Andrei Aldea

Co-Founder and Previous Vice President Communications

Andrei is a resident in Family Medicine at the University of Calgary. He graduated from McGill medical school. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Ottawa in Biopharmaceutical Science and has a background in biotech industry with a focus on point-of-care genetic testing with Spartan Bioscience. Andrei was first exposed to the rare disease community during a volunteer opportunity at the Centre d'activités récréatives et éducatives in Montreal. Having to assist individuals with activities of daily living, he experienced one extreme of the spectrum of disability that rare diseases can inflict. With the help of amazing colleagues, Andrei has contributed to the development of an inspiring and innovative group, rareDIG McGill. 


Alongside his VP communication partner Nikola, Andrei focused on website and infographic design, propagating support for projects through multimedia platforms and recruiting advocate collaboration. 


"With goals of priming future physicians to be able to to deal with rare disease and provoking practice changing discussion, it's hard not to be motivated by the wave rareDIG has put in motion."

Dr. Kristin Hunt

Co-Founder and Previous Vice President External

Kristin is pediatric resident at Queen's University. She holds a BSc in Microbiology and Immunology, a MSc in Immunology and an MDCM from McGill University. Kristin’s experience with rare disease began when she was 12 years old and diagnosed with a rare autoimmune bleeding disorder called Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP). As a rare patient herself, she wanted to raise awareness of her condition which is why she first teamed up with the Platelet Disorder Support Association (PDSA) to help other patients with ITP. Since 2010, Kristin has held many roles with PDSA including fundraiser, sitting on the patient research panel and starting a 3-day summer camp for kids with ITP. Becoming one of the founding members of rareDIG allowed Kristin to continue helping rare patients on a much broader scale. As VP external, Kristin is rareDIG’s main liaison with the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) as well as other rare disease groups outside McGill. On top of her involvement with other rareDIG projects like the Rare Disease Day event, Kristin also spearheads rareDIG’s Patient Perspective Series.

Dr. Noémie Villeneuve-Cloutier

Co-Founder and Previous Vice President Professional Development

Noémie is a resident in Genetics at the University of Ottawa. She holds a BSc in Honours Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo and an MDCM from McGill University. She became involved in genetic research on autism spectrum disorder through the cooperative work terms she completed during her degree, which fostered her interest in rare and genetic conditions. Noémie learned about the diagnostic odyssey with which rare disease patients are often faced. She helped found rareDIG in order to address this challenge and to learn directly from patients how best to collaborate with them to manage their condition.

Dr. Sean Munoz

Co-Founder and Previous Vice President Professional Development

Sean is a resident in Family Medicine at Queen's University. He graduated from McGill medical school in 2020. He completed his BSc in Life Sciences at Queen’s University, during which he developed his passion for human anatomy and physiology. This lead him to pursue an MSc focused on the effects of the host microbiota on intestinal inflammation, and subsequently, a career in medicine. During his first year of medical school Sean was exposed to the obstacles faced by people living with rare diseases and was drawn to rareDIG because of its core aim of preparing medical students to respond positively to these challenges. He enjoys rareDIG’s approach of learning directly from patients about their disease and how to best support them in their journey.

Mahdi Hassan

Previous Vice President Outreach and Advocacy

Mahdi is a medical student at McGill University. He holds a B.Sc. in Biomedical Science from the University of Ottawa. During his undergraduate degree, he worked at the CHEO Research Institute in the MacKenzie Lab as part of the Care4Rare Initiative and his work in this setting allowed him to meet with various scientists conducting rare disease research across Canada. Mahdi joins rareDIG in hopes of supporting rare disease advocacy work both at McGill and in the community at large.

© 2020 rareDIG McGill

Last Updated: May 9th, 2020

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