Maria is a staff scientist in the Mental Health and Addictions Program at ICES. She completed a PhD in health services and outcomes research and an MSc in epidemiology from the University of Toronto, and recently completed two post-doctoral fellowships funded through a CIHR Post-Doctoral Award. Having worked at ICES for the past eight years, she has extensive experience leading studies involving large survey, clinical and administrative health data bases. Maria has expertise in the sociocultural determinants of health; in particular, she is interested in examining racial/ethnic differences in chronic disease risk. Her current research is focused on the sociocultural determinants of mental health and addictions, including disparities in illness severity, health care utilization, quality of care, and health outcomes.
She has led several landmark studies on ethnic differences in cardiovascular and diabetes risk factors in Canada and has published in the CMAJ, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of American College of Cardiology, American Heart Journal, and Circulation.
Maria has received numerous awards for her work, including the CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship where she ranked first in Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation Grants, and CIHR-IHSPR Rising Star Award. As principal investigator and co-investigator, Maria has been successful in obtaining peer-reviewed grants totaling over $26 million. She is an active mentor and tutor at the University of Toronto and she is a member of the Board for the American Heart Association (AHA) Early Career Committee and the AHA Minorities Committee.