Board of Directors

Peter Jianrui Liu

B.H.Sc. (Hons), M.D. Candidate, D.Phil. Student

Executive Director

Email: executive.director@brightinternational.org

Peter is currently reading for a D.Phil. in Clinical Medicine at the University of Oxford co-supervised by Profs. Jane McKeating and Sir Peter Ratcliffe. He will be completing the final two years of the M.D. Program at the University of Toronto thereafter as a part of his training as a physician-scientist.

Peter’s medical, scientific, and global health endeavors have spanned four continents, including conducting research to unravel mechanisms and novel treatments for cancer in Canada, China, and the U.K., teaching molecular biology at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, and composing a comprehensive list of medical devices for cardiovascular diseases at the World Health Organization, where he also served as Co-President of the WHO Intern Board. As a physician-scientist in training, Peter aims to conduct high impact medical research with partners from around the world. The combination of experiences generating discoveries in medicine, identifying obstacles in knowledge translation, and working with like-minded professionals internationally has made him a firm believer in global collaboration as the solution to effectively implement health innovation. He aspires to unite leaders worldwide to advance health regardless of socioeconomic and geographic boundaries.

Hazel Guerrero

M.D.

Director of Recruitment

Email: recruitment@brightinternational.org

Dr. Guerrero is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medical Sciences at The National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) where she graduated in medicine and surgery. Hazel is also enrolled at the Epidemiology program at the Center for Research and Health Studies (CIES).

For the past five years, Dr. Guerrero has been focused on gaining a better understanding of the pathogenesis of microbes, immunological processes, and their possible applications. She has trained at different Immunology and Microbiology laboratories in Japan, Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica, with the application of laboratory skills to different aspects of the immunology and pathogenesis of infectious diseases and transplantation. Because of her experiences, she has observed firsthand the gap between research and clinical applications, which made her believe that we can create a platform to share expertise from around the world for translating scientific discoveries into action through BRIGHT International. In October 2016, she starts a Master’s Degree program in Immunology at Imperial College London as a Chevening scholar.

Alex Harding

B.Eng., J.D. Candidate

Director of External Affairs

Email: external.affairs@brightinternational.org

Alex Harding is a 2015 3M National Student Fellow and a J.D. candidate at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Having studied and designed implantable devices in Canada and the U.S. during his undergrad, Alex believes that we are on a collision course between the implications of modern medical technology, and the slowly adapting laws surrounding medical practice. To Alex, BRIGHT represents a path to help bridge this gap between engineers and lawmakers by collecting and analyzing the most critical issues at the forefront of medicine today on a global basis so that we can begin to construct a framework for future legal conversation.

Maya Baša

B.Ba. (Hons)

Director of Internal Affairs

Email: internal.affairs@brightinternational.org

Maya graduated as a dean’s list honours student from Acadia university, where she worked part time as a teaching assistant, and later research assistant. She earned a number of scholarships, one of which was the Futures Fund scholarship, an award given to only 10 business students across Canada each year. During this time she also became involved in volunteer work and in her first year raised more money for a student refugee program than any other university. She later won a position on the student’s union, and became one of the first members of the university’s mental health society. This eventually led to her starting a peer-run mental health help line, becoming one of the only (if not the only) undergraduate students in Canada to start and run such a group. She relied heavily on technology accomplish this, and now works at an IT consulting firm.

Vishal Dasari

B.A., M.D. Candidate, M.P.H. Candidate

Director of Research

Email: research@brightinternational.org

Vishal is a third year medical student at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, OH, USA, and is also an M.P.H. candidate at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. His goal is to work in public/global health in the future, specifically with an eye towards program management and policy development.

Though his academic training leans towards the hard sciences, he gained experience on the administrative side of healthcare and research management through his work as a Healthcare Consultant for TriHealth, a Planning and Resource Coordination Intern for the World Health Organization, and as the Director of the Vijay Ganga Kidney Care Center, a kidney and dialysis-focused hospital in Chennai, India. He hopes to leverage his academic and professional training to iron-out inefficiencies and find further innovative ways to make healthcare and the fruits of its research accessible to all.

Linlei Ye

B.Sc. (Hons), M.D. Candidate

Director of Advocacy and Promotion

Email: advocacy@brightinternational.org

Linlei is currently in her first year of the Doctor of Medicine program at the University of Toronto. Central to her studies, she has been engaged in various strata of research from basic sciences to clinical. For the past 3 years, she has been deeply involved in learning about complications surrounding kidney transplantation and ways to improve patient outcomes. She also received a unique opportunity to intern at a clinical research coordination centre where she assisted in managing an international, multi-centre trial comparing two modes of ventilation in treating acute respiratory failure. Apart from her research life, she is also an active member of the University community, serving as the Co-President of the only club on campus dedicated to raising awareness about organ donation (MOTIONS UofT) as well as the Co-President of the Pharmacology & Toxicology Student Association.

Le Tang

M.D., Ph.D.

Director of Operations and Administration

Email: operations@brightinternational.org

Dr. Tang is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Calgary. Throughout her MD-PhD program, from 2005 - 2015, she worked in the Students Union of Harbin Medical University and was the Vice-President from 2013 - 2014. She had won a number of national and provincial awards and scholarships in the past and was supported by Heilongjiang Provincial Innovation Endowment Award for graduate studies from 2012 - 2015 and the Heilongjiang Provincial Endowment Award for International Academic Exchanges for her academic visit to Purdue University, USA, from Feb 2014 - Mar 2015. She was recently granted an Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Postdoctoral Fellow Award for 2016 - 2018. Her research focuses on understanding how pathogens evolve and the molecular mechanisms bacteria use to become distinct pathogens.

James Yuan

B.Sc. (Hons)

Director of Information Technology

Email: it@brightinternational.org

James graduated with high distinction from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor's degree specializing in Computer Science. He is currently employed as an engineer in Intel's Programmable Solutions Group. During the course of his degree, James took an interest in the field of bioinformatics which led him to explore the intersection of software and health care. He believes it will be critical to identify and understand the barriers of adopting new technologies as rapid advancements in computing and artificial intelligence enable innovations in the field of medicine.

Over the course of his 5-year undergraduate program, James interned for over 24 months in a variety of technology related positions in industry and academia, including at Intel. He has experience with a wide array of technologies, such as full stack web programming. He enhances and maintains the BRIGHT International website.

Mauriene Tolentino

B.Sc. (Hons) Candidate

Research Coordinator

Email: research.coordinator@brightinternational.org

Mauriene is in her final year of undergraduate studies at University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC), majoring in Human Biology and Mental Health. Hoping to work in the front lines of health promotion, she has been critically engaged in the intersection of health equity and social justice, with a special focus on the social determinants of health. Mauriene is also passionate in the arts, women’s health, and student engagement on campus.

As a strong supporter for women’s empowerment, Mauriene mentors female high school students who may be facing barriers towards a career in the science and engineering fields. Merging this passion with health equity and research, Mauriene presented as a speaker in a student-led health conference on health disparities between genders due to limitations in research and medical application. She hopes to bring light to such health disparities as a coordinator for University of Toronto International Health Program’s Health and Human Right’s Conference. With a keen interest in student involvement in the research field, Mauriene is the Director of Research for the first undergraduate health journal on campus, which provides a platform for students to express and contribute scientific knowledge and diverse insights on illness and disease to the community.

Her passion for the arts have been just a “hobby” until 2 years ago, when she started working for UTSC’s largest multidisciplinary arts festival. Mauriene is excited to begin the year as the General Manager for next year’s festival, and hopes to encourage individuals from diverse disciplines to challenge the boundaries that limit the reception of art.

Former Members

Trillium Chang

B.Sc. (Hons)

Director of Research (2016 - 2017)

Trillium studied as an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. An aspiring clinician-politician, she is deeply interested in the intersection of health equity, social justice and social innovation. Trillium has received over 18 scholarships over her undergraduate career and is one of the 2016 3M National Scholars.

As the Co-Director of the University of Toronto International Health Program, U of T’s largest student-run charity, Trillium is firmly committed to the principles of social justice and human rights. As an American Association of Cancer Research undergraduate scholar, Trillium is especially interested in the intersection of cancer care with health policy. Trillium developed and conducted the first large-scale global study on parental coping to retinoblastoma, a pediatric cancer of the retina. Through her leadership positions, Trillium is devoted to focusing her energy and heart to create a world where health is not merely an ideal, but an inalienable human right.