Board of Directors
Peter Jianrui Liu
B.H.Sc. (Hons), M.D. Candidate, D.Phil. Student
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.
Director of Recruitment
Hazel is a Medical Doctor and recently completed a master's degree in Immunology at Imperial College through the Chevening Scholarship Program.
For the past six years, Hazel 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, Costa Rica and United Kingdom 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.
Director of External Affairs
Gio grew up between Nicaragua and Miami. He is an international development professional with over 7 years of experience working in communities across Mexico and Central America in the areas of human rights, youth empowerment and capacity development for civil society organizations. In the past, he has worked for the Pan American Development Foundation, the humanitarian arm of the Organization of American States and several international NGOs. He received a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellowship to provide technical assistance to grassroots organizations and also taught English to high students in Nicaragua.
Gio holds a Master of Science in Latin American Development from King´s College London, where he was a recipient of the prestigious Chevening Scholarship awarded by the UK government. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree with departmental honors in International Studies and Political Science from the University of Miami (FL) and obtained a Diploma in International Relations from a European Perspective from the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid, Spain, where he was a Benjamin Gilman Scholar.
He is passionate about Central American integration efforts, diplomacy and the role of the private sector in international development. Gio is a foodie and enjoys playing football (Hala Madrid), listening to Latin and Indie music and traveling - having lived in four different countries before settling back in Miami.
B.A., M.D. Candidate, M.P.H. Candidate
Director of Research
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.
B.Sc. (Hons), M.D. Candidate
Director of Advocacy and Promotion
Linlei is in her second 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 investigating complications surrounding kidney transplantation to coordinating a multi-centre clinical trial comparing modes of ventilation in treating acute respiratory failure.
Through her journey in research, she has discovered her passion lies at the intersection of health care, social justice and the social determinants of health. Following her passion, she interned at the World Health Organization in the Department of Ageing and Life Course, where she helped analyze age-friendly policies aimed to make the world a better place to grow old. Linlei hopes to continue to explore the social dimensions of medicine and integrate it into her future practice.
Director of Operations
Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Ontario and a master’s degree from the University of Liverpool, both within the international commerce/management field. Her master’s degree specialized in health care systems, and her thesis focused on assessing strategies and tactics utilized by health care institutions to ensure cultural competency within delivery. One day she hopes to pursue her doctorate, expanding upon this research to evaluate the relationship between patient outcomes and various cultural competency strategies.
Professionally Rachel works for an IT and management consulting company, currently applying her skills and expertise on a multi-million dollar systems transformation program. She is passionate about helping businesses transform and improve their operations through process engineering and business excellence. With her process and project management background, as well as her interest in effective healthcare delivery, Rachel seeks to enhance BRIGHT international’s operations, building effective and efficient processes, to support BRIGHT achieving its organizational objectives.
Director of Information Technology
James graduated with high distinction from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor's degree specializing in Computer Science. He is currently employed as a software 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.
B.Eng., J.D. Candidate
Director of External Affairs (2016 - 2018)
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.
Director of Operations
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.
Director of Internal Affairs
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.
B.Sc. (Hons) Candidate
Research Coordinator (2017 - 2018)
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.
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.