CNODES Training Newsletter
February 2019

Naomi Hamm, University of Manitoba
Naomi Hamm is currently in her second year of a PhD program in Community Health Sciences with a concentration in epidemiology methods at the University of Manitoba. Her PhD supervisor is CNODES Database Team Lead Dr. Lisa Lix.

Naomi started working with CNODES as a part of the Visual and Automated Data Analytics Training Program (VADA) when she completed an internship with the CNODES Manitoba Site Lead Dr. Dan Chateau. At the CNODES Semi-annual meeting in Victoria, BC in November 2019, Naomi presented research on using high dimensional propensity scores (HDPS) to account for confounding related to the social determinants of health. We interviewed Naomi about her research and experiences working with CNODES.

"I am definitely interested in pharmacoepidemiology research in a way that I was not before! CNODES has opened a lot of doors for me to explore, especially as I start to carve out my own research area."

Read the full interview with Naomi and see other profiles on the Trainee Profiles page

If you are a CNODES trainee and would like to see yourself and your research profiled here, please email us at
PDS journal showcases CNODES' research
If you haven't already seen it, check out the Special Supplement of the Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety (PDS) journal published in January 2020. Guest edited by Drs Nicholas Moore and Robert Platt, the Supplement showcases CNODES research, and CNODES trainees are lead authors on many of the articles. Congratulations to all of the authors, editors, and other contributors to this impressive volume. 

Citation: Platt RW, Henry DA, Suissa S. The Canadian Network for Observational Drug Effect Studies (CNODES): Reflections on the first eight years, and a look to the future. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2020;29:103-7.
CNODES Analyst Training Program - Volunteers Needed
The first modules of the CNODES Analyst Training Program will soon be ready for user testing. We are looking for volunteers to test modules and to provide feedback on functionality, usability, and accessibility among other things. If you are an analyst, student, or someone with an interest in epidemiology, we welcome your involvement.

About the Training Modules:
The training modules walk learners through the interpretation and implementation of a pharmacoepidemiology statistical analysis plan, and provide hands-on learning using simulated datasets. Topics will cover SAS coding, working with administrative health data, applying statistical methods, and basic pharmacoepidemiology. We hope our training materials will be useful for students and analysts working in other organizations who conduct drug safety and effectiveness research.

If you would like to volunteer to do some user testing or to be involved in another capacity, please e-mail We look forward to hearing from you.
Conference | Women in Data Science
The Women in Data Science conference will take place at Stanford University in Stanford, California March 2, 2020. The popular conference is sold out for in-person attendance; however, the proceedings will be live streamed online for individual attendance or you can attend through a regional WIDS event. Women in Data Science (WIDS) brings together leaders in data science from academia, industry, non-profits, and government for a 1-day technical conference addressing topics such as data ethics and privacy, healthcare, data visualization, and more. The conference is open to all genders.

Join the Women in Data Science conference live streaming starting March 2, 2020 at 9:00 am PST.
Conference | Big Data Health Conference 2020
The 2nd annual Western Canadian Universities Big Data Health Conference (WCUC2020) will take place March 26-27, 2020 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The 2-day conference includes keynote presentations, hands-on training workshops, and poster presentations on using large-scale data analysis and technology to improve human health. This year's theme is "Practical Solutions to Complex Problems" and will include topics such as precision health, distributed analytics, novel data sources, and knowledge translation. Learn more and/or register for the conference
Workshop | KT Program  
The Knowledge Translation Program at St. Michael’s Hospital will present an in-person 4-day workshop on Practicing Knowledge Translation (PKT) April 14-17, 2020 at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Ontario.  

This professional development workshop focuses on how to apply KT science to real-world projects. Specifically, the workshop will provide instruction on how to: 
•    Map barriers and facilitators to change using theories and frameworks
•    Systematically select and operationalize implementation strategies to address barriers and facilitators
•    Plan for implementation, evaluation, and sustainability

Application deadline is February 28th at 11:59 EST. Apply now
Courses | ISPE's Mid-Year Meeting Pre-Conference Courses

ISPE's 2020 Mid-Year Meeting, April 18 to 21, 2020 in Orlando, Florida will include two pre-conference courses on pharmacoepidemiology: 

1: Introduction to Pharmacoepidemiology is an introductory course on the basic principles, concepts, and study designs of pharmacoepidemiology. 

2: Machine Learning in Pharmacoepidemiology is a half-day interactive course in pharmacoepidemiology for participants with an advanced level of understanding of pharmacoepidemiology. The course will cover multiple applications of machine learning in pharmacoepidemiology, providing participants with a practical framework and tools to apply the principles of machine learning to their own research. 

Early bird registration is available for the Mid-Year Meeting until March 9, 2020. Learn more and/or register for the pre-conference courses on the ISPE website
Course | Episummer@columbia
Episummer@columbia (formerly known as EPIC) is an epidemiology summer institute at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York City from June 1 to 30, 2020. Condensed courses in epidemiology are offered both on campus and online (distance learning), including:
  • Agent-based Models for Population Health (online)
  • Epidemiologic Analysis Using R (online, and on campus)
  • Introduction to Machine Learning for Epidemiologists (online)
See the website for details and register by April 1st to receive a 10% discount. Scholarships are available for select classes.
Course | McGill Summer Session in Pharmacoepidemiology
The Summer Session in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec offers intensive short courses in pharmacoepidemiology in May and June 2020. Health professionals and trainees learn about the principles of epidemiology and biostatistics, and students can earn academic credits during the summer term (2 sessions). Courses may also be taken toward a Professional Interest Certificate. Courses include: 
  • May 21-22: Confounding in Pharmacoepidemiology: Modern Control Techniques
  • May 25-28: Pharmacoeconomics for Health Technology Assessment
  • June 1-4: Introduction to Pharmacoepidemiology
  • June 8-11: Intermediate Pharmacoepidemiology
  • June 15-18: Advanced Pharmacoepidemiology
If you are interested in attending, learn more on the website and apply as early as possible. 
Course | Graduate diploma in clinical epidemiology
The Graduate Diploma in Clinical Epidemiology (GDCE) is a part-time, online program offered by the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI) at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The program is geared to working professionals, students or post-graduate trainees from anywhere in the world. Courses include:
  • Fundamentals of Health Research and Evaluation Methods
  • Introduction to Research Methods for Randomized Controlled Trials
  • Systematic Review Methods
  • Introduction to Biostatistics
The application deadline is March 31, 2020. For more information. refer to the program flyer.
Seminars | TI Methods Speaker Series

TI logo

The Therapeutics Initiative (TI) at the University of British Columbia is hosting monthly seminars as part of its TI Methods Speaker Series. The presentations are free to attend in person or online. 

The following highlighted seminars are now available for viewing online:  Learn more about the Series and see the list of past (2019 Series) and upcoming (2020 Series) seminars on the Therapeutics Initiative website. 
Travel awards | Fuse International Conference
The call for abstracts is now open for the fifth Fuse International Conference on Knowledge Exchange in Public Health in Newcastle, UK, September 22-23, 2020. The theme is "Learning from setbacks and successes." Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) is offering travel and registration funding awards for BC-based trainees with accepted abstracts. Email Gayle Scarrow, Director, Knowledge Translation at MSFHR, (

"This conference aims to create a safe space in which academics, practitioners and policy makers can reflect together on the potential threats to successful knowledge exchange, in order to develop important lessons on how knowledge exchange practices and research can be improved, turning setbacks into successes."

Conference registration opens March 30, 2020; early-bird rates until May 14, 2020. Visit the conference website for more details. The deadline for abstract submissions is February 28, 2020. 
Opportunities | Cochrane seeks early career researcher
The Cochrane Collaboration Scientific Committee is looking for new members to start in May 2020, including one mentored position for an early career researcher. This position will be filled by a candidate who is "developing a relevant methodological track record in evidence synthesis, which could be qualitative evidence synthesis and/or other synthesis methods." Applications accepted until March 25, 2020Learn more or apply.

Also, for those of you on Twitter, Cochrane invites PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, and new independent researchers to join the Cochrane Early Career Professionals group on Twitter.@CochraneECP, Email for information. 
Invitation | DSECT Book Club
You are invited to join the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Cross-Disciplinary Training (DSECT) Book Club on March 11, 2020. The book club facilitates discussions on books relevant to drug safety and effectiveness, related health care topics or scientific concepts. On the agenda for the March 11th club meeting is Jerome Groopman's book "How Doctors Think." 

If you are interested in joining the discussion, email for more information. 
Writing toolkit | How to write a great research paper
The EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research) Network website hosts the writing toolkit: "How to write a great research paper using reporting guidelines."

The EQUATOR library also includes the most up-to-date version of STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) and extensions; guidelines for writing protocols, SRQR (Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research), and other resources.  
Leadership resource | 'Giving Voice to Values'
Giving Voice to Values (GVV) is an approach to values-driven leadership developed by Dr. Mary Gentile of University of Virginia's Darden School of Business. GVV was developed for business education but is relevant to students, trainees, and future leaders everywhere.

"Whether you are a professor, student, corporate leader or practitioner in business, government, medicine or another field, Giving Voice to Values (GVV) provides the practical tools and skills needed to effectively voice and act on your values in the workplace."

For an overview of the GVV approach, see this 3-minute video on YouTube. And for more information and access to free and practical GVV resources visit the University of Virginia website. 
Open access | CMAJ removes paywall

As of mid-January 2020, all new content in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) will be available free of charge to all readers. The paywall has been removed to allow open access to the publication. Previously published CMAJ material will be available on March 1, 2020. Read about this change on the CMAJ website.


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