Susanne Aufreiter PhD
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.
Nicole Bando MSc
Clinical Research Project Manager
Nicole completed her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biological Science and Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph. Her interest in clinical research began during her MSc when she coordinated a clinical trial examining oat beta-glucan and its effect on cholesterol levels in adults. Nicole worked on research studies for chemotherapy regimens and diets of breast cancer patients before joining The Hospital for Sick Children in 2011 as the Clinical Research Project Coordinator of the DoMINO trial. In 2013, she stepped into a new role as Clinical Research Project Manager and is currently involved with the management of the DoMINO, microDoMINO, OptiMoM, and MaxiMoM projects and related studies.
Aneta Plaga BA
Clinical Research Project Assistant
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.