CANSSI Ontario STAGE Welcomes PhD Trainee Mei Dong

Mei Dong, recipient of CANSSI Ontario STAGE Trainee Program.

CANSSI Ontario STAGE is pleased to announce Mei Dong as the selected CANSSI Ontario STAGE Trainee for the project “Novel Mendelian Randomization Approach for Time-to-event Outcomes. 

Mei is a PhD student in the Division of Biostatistics at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, currently working under the supervision of Wei XuGeoffrey Liu, and Linbo Wang. 

Mei’s research interest is in statistical genetics and causal inference. Mei has publications in the areas of lung cancer, Crohn’s disease, and microbiome data, which brings a robust research portfolio to her studies. Before embarking on her doctoral journey, she earned a Master of Science in Statistics from the University of Saskatchewan. She is also a recipient of Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology and DSI doctoral student fellowship.

Mei’s CANSSI Ontario STAGE project aims to introduce an innovative method for unbiased causal hazard ratio estimation, utilizing polygenic risk scores (PRS) as instrumental variables (IV). This involves developing novel statistical techniques to tackle complex inquiries within genetic epidemiology. Her research will investigate the causal effects of smoking cessation on lung cancer survival and cause-specific survival.


CANSSI Ontario STAGE (Strategic Training for Advanced Genetic Epidemiology) is a formal and comprehensive training program in Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics, the first of its kind in Canada and one of few in the world.

The program offers training and career development opportunities designed to cross-train individuals at the interface of genetics and population health sciences in genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics—two disciplines currently facing a massive shortage of qualified individuals in Canada and elsewhere.

The overall goal is to improve prevention and management of complex diseases by increasing capacity in genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics research.

CANSSI Ontario is the Ontario Regional Centre of the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute (CANSSI). Its goal is to strengthen and enhance research and training in data science by developing programs that promote interdisciplinary research and enable multidisciplinary collaborations.

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