CANSSI Ontario STAGE Welcomes PhD Trainee Xiaoyu Men

Xiaoyu Men

Xiaoyu Men, recipient of CANSSI Ontario STAGE Trainee Program.

CANSSI Ontario STAGE is pleased to announce Xiaoyu Men as one of three selected CANSSI Ontario STAGE Trainees.

Xiaoyu is a PhD student at the Department of Pharmacology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. She works under the supervision of James Kennedy, Daniel Felsky, and Vanessa Gonçalves.

Xiaoyu’s research interest is in statistical genetics and psychiatry treatment, specifically the association between pharmacokinetic and other multi-gene risk factors with the adverse effects to venlafaxine medication in late-life depression. She has published research articles and presented research findings in the areas of pharmacotherapy and pharmacogenetics.

Xiaoyu received this year’s award for the project: Predicting Venlafaxine-Induced Adverse Effects in Late-Life Depression using mPRS and Population Pharmacokinetic Modelling.

The goal of her project is to develop a predictive model for antidepressant-induced adverse effects, analyzing the contribution of multiple genetic risk factors in the variability of antidepressant-induced adverse effects. Furthermore, the study will examine whether drug exposure, estimated by population pharmacokinetic (PK) models, mediates the impact of genetic factors on adverse effects.


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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