Susanne Aufreiter PhD

Research Associate

Susanne was born in Vienna, Austria and grew up in Montreal.  She came to the O’Connor research group with Masters degrees in Chemistry (applied radioanalytical chemistry, surveying elemental levels in environmental samples) and Chemical Engineering (imaging of enzymes adsorbed on mineral surfaces).  She worked in botany/environmental studies briefly (adaptation of plants and algae to industrial pollution) and then supervised a small nuclear facility dedicated to element analysis, teaching and training students and researchers in Neutron Activation Analysis.  While she maintained an interest in environmental chemistry, participation in projects relating to animal and human ingestion of soils provoked an interest in nutrition, leading to doctoral work under Dr. O’Connor in Nutritional Sciences (University of Toronto 2010).  Her PhD thesis focused on microbially-produced colonic folate and its transport across the human colon.  Currently she is the Lab Manager for the group and has continued research related to folate metabolism and folate analysis.

Dubraiicka Pichardo MSc

Clinical Research Project Coordinator

Dubraiicka was born in Mexico, she has over 15 years experience as a paediatric dietitian and conducting clinical studies in academic and industry research. In 2010 she completed her Masters of Science at the University of Toronto and Sickkids. Her research focused on the effect of nitrous oxide exposure during surgery on the homocysteine concentrations of children. Following the completion of her master’s degree, Dubraiicka moved back to Mexico where she worked in a tertiary care children’s hospital and as lecturer of infant nutrition at the Monterrey Institute of Technology. Her professional expertise and experience as a mother inform her passion for researching human milk. Dubraiicka currently works as a Clinical Research Project Coordinator and is involved in the development and management of the MaxiMoM individualized fortification trial.

Aneta Plaga BA

Clinical Research Project Coordinator

Aneta was born in Poland.  Just three years after arriving to Canada, Aneta secured an entry scholarship to the University of Waterloo where she completed her Bachelor of Arts majoring in English.  She has been supporting Dr. O’Connor from the very beginning, year 2000.  Aneta has over 15 years of experience in facilitating preparation of research grants, ethics approvals, data entry, and manuscripts for CIHR and NSERC funded research grants.  Currently Aneta is enrolled in the Clinical Research Graduate Certificate Program at the Michener Institute, which she surely enjoys.