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Centre for Global Child Health

Current Fellows

Debbie Thompson

Debbie completed her medical degree at the University of the West Indies in 1991 and a Diploma in Dermatology at the University of London in 1998. She is currently completing a PhD in Nutrition at the University of the West Indies and will begin as a fellow at the Centre for Global Child Health in July 2017. Since 2009, while working at the Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Debbie has been involved in a range of research projects investigating the effects of early life factors and intermediary metabolites on adult glucose metabolism as well as cardiovascular structure and function. Her current research focus is the association between severe acute malnutrition in early life and adult fatty liver disease. She has authored 12 peer-reviewed articles and one book chapter.

Tessa Clemens

Tessa recently completed a PhD in Kinesiology and Health Science at York University. Her dissertation research focused on the epidemiology and prevention of drowning in Canada, and the reporting and classification of drowning deaths worldwide. Tessa is in her first year of the Global Child Health Fellowship program at SickKids. Her area of focus is the epidemiology and prevention of injuries in low- and middle-income countries. Tessa’s fellowship project involves establishing a hospital based paediatric injury surveillance system in a low-resource setting.


Ashley Vandermorris

Ashley completed her medical degree at Harvard Medical School in 2009, a residency in paediatrics at SickKids in 2012, and a fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at SickKids in 2015.  Ashley works as an Associate Staff Physician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at SickKids, with a clinical focus on adolescents dealing with pregnancy/parenting, eating disorders, chronic illness, sexual health concerns, mental health issues and substance use. Ashley is currently completing an M.Sc in Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and is a Collaborative Program in Public Health Policy Fellow, both at the University of Toronto. Her academic interests focus on novel and integrated approaches to health systems transformation for youth, both within Canada and in the global context.

Barbara Couper

Barbara graduated from Trent University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and began her career at SickKids in 2010. Barbara has since been working on the Multi-Organ Transplant and Medical Specialties unit as a staff RN. She has also been working and volunteering internationally with a focus on providing primary health education to children and young adults in Central America. Barbara is currently completing a Masters in Nursing at The University of Toronto and will begin as a fellow at the Centre for Global Child Health in July 2016. Her area of focus is surrounding the education of nurses locally and internationally to improve health outcomes of children in primary and acute care settings.


Past Fellows


Hasan Merali

Dr. Hasan Merali obtained his undergraduate degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency in paediatrics at  Massachusetts General Hospital and his fellowship in paediatric emergency medicine at SickKids. He also completed his Master of Public Health Degree at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. This year he was awarded the highest scholarship at Johns Hopkins University, the Sommer Scholarship, to complete his MPH. He he is a co-author on 11 peer-reviewed articles and 2 book chapters, and was awarded a 3 year grant from the American Academy of Pediatrics to implement the Helping Babies Breathe Program in rural Cambodia. In addition to this program, he most recently implemented an enhanced birth kit and newborn training program for the Traditional Birth Attendants in the floating villages where he works.