Our Leadership

Senior Leadership

Senior Leadership

Kelli Buckreus, Executive Director

Kelli Buckreus has 20 years of experience in program management, community-based participatory health research, and stakeholder engagement, including more than a decade collaborating with Indigenous research partners. Kelli previously worked in Canadian immigration law as a policy/legal analyst and communications executive. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in Bioethics, and an interdisciplinary Master’s degree specializing in Education. She studied Journalism at the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU; formerly Ryerson University), and has served a term on TMU’s Board of Governors. Kelli is currently completing a Doctor of Education degree; her dissertation research is exploring emerging technologies and pedagogies in medical education. Kelli has also completed executive training in artificial intelligence and business strategy through MIT.

Dr. Finlay McAlister, Scientific Director

Dr. Finlay McAlister, MD, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Alberta. He is the Scientific Director of the Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit and previously led Alberta SPOR’s Data Platform from its inception. He has won numerous research and teaching awards, is a former President of the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine, and is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Tim Murphy, Nominated Principal Applicant

Tim Murphy, MBA, CPA, CMA, is Vice President, Health at Alberta Innovates, with responsibility for the health research and innovation investment portfolio. Within his role at AbSPORU, he brings a deep commitment to partner collaboration, community asset development and impact assessment to transform and strengthen Alberta’s health system.

Dr. Jeff Bakal, Co-Lead, Data & Research Services
Dr. Elizabeth Oddone Paolucci, Lead, Capacity Development
Dr. Hude Quan, Co-Lead, Data & Research Services
Dr. David Johnson, Co-Lead, Learning Health System
Dr. Stephanie Montesanti, Co-Lead, Learning Health System
Tracy Wasylak, Co-Lead, Learning Health System
Dr. Maria Santana, Lead, Patient Engagement

Operational Leadership

Dr. Yazid N. Al Hamarneh, Scientific Officer

Dr. Yazid N. Al Hamarneh, PhD, is the Scientific Officer of the Alberta Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research Unit and has been with the Unit since its inception. His main research interests are chronic disease prevention and management with special interest in cardiovascular disease and pharmacy practice research. Dr. Al Hamarneh has a vast experience in research design and methodology and helping investigators navigate the research landscape. He has been the recipient of multiple research awards and supported many successful grant applications who have received from a variety of funding agencies, including the Canadian Institute of Health Research.

Bing Li, Co-Associate Director, 
Data & Research Services

Bing Li, MSc, is a team lead with the Alberta Health Services Analytics. He holds a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Calgary.

Erik Youngson, Co-Associate Director, 
Data & Research Services Team

Erik Youngson, MMath, is a biostatistician and co-associate director of AbPSORU Data and Research Services/Co-Lead of AHS Health Research Methods and Analytics. He obtained his Master of Mathematics degree from Waterloo and has been working with health services data in various roles for the past 15 years.

Denise Thomson, Associate Director,
 Learning Health System

Denise Thomson, MA MBA, is the Associate Director of the Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit Learning Health System Team. She has many years of experience in health promotion, health research and knowledge translation. Denise holds an MBA with a specialization in knowledge transfer in the Canadian health care sector, as well as a MA and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta, studying health system policymaking about climate change impacts.

Dr. Paul Fairie, Associate Director, 
Patient Engagement

Dr. Paul Fairie, PhD, is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. Drawing on a social science PhD, Paul is involved with various research projects involving community engagement approaches, as well as those trying to better understand and measure the patient experience, either through traditional surveys or new natural language processing techniques. As Associate Director of Patient Engagement, Paul leads a diverse team of health services research and patient engagement experts. Outside of work, Paul is actively involved in a variety of civic and community projects.

Chloe Burnett, Associate Director, Capacity Development

Chloe Burnett, EdD Candidate, MSc MEd, is the Associate Director of the Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit Capacity Development Team. She has broad experience in planning continuing professional development programs for health professionals. Her research interest is in education program evaluation as well as examining education practice.

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3330 Hospital Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 4N1


College Plaza
1702, 8215 112 St NW
Edmonton, AB T6G 2C8

Land Acknowledgment

The Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit operates on and acknowledges the lands that are the traditional and ancestral territory of many peoples, presently subject to Treaties 6, 7, and 8. Namely: the Blackfoot Confederacy – Kainai, Piikani, and Siksika – the Cree, Dene, Saulteaux, Nakota Sioux, Stoney Nakoda, and the Tsuu T’ina Nation and the Métis People of Alberta. This includes the Métis Settlements and the Métis Nation of Alberta. We acknowledge the many First Nations, Métis and Inuit who have lived in and cared for these lands for generations. We make this acknowledgment as a reaffirmation of our shared commitment towards reconciliation, and as part of AbSPORU’s mandate towards fostering health system transformation.