Everyone at the CRUISElab would like to extend a warm welcome to its three newest members: Maya Kesler, Rocket Ship Weir and Sonali Patel.

Maya Kesler is the current Post-Doctoral Fellow at Cruiselab. Her PhD in Epidemiology from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto will be officially completed in November 2016. She holds a Masters of Science in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and an Honours Bachelors of Science in Bioethics and Biological Anthropology from the University of Toronto. Maya’s PhD dissertation focused on HIV prevention and sexual behaviours among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in Toronto. More specifically, looking at perceived risk, sexual risk, pre-exposure prophylaxis and HIV non-disclosure prosecution laws. Her Master’s thesis focused on the prevalence of Kaposi’s sarcoma Herpes Virus and Kaposi’s sarcoma comparing the pre and post-HAART eras among men part of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study in the U.S. Maya also has experience as a research assistant, teaching assistant, recruiter and interviewer on multiple studies both in Canada and the U.S.

Sonali Patel is a 3rd year undergraduate student pursuing a double major in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies with a minor in Sexual Diversity Studies and will be working with the team as a work-study student, primarily working on the lab’s social media strategy. Sonali is an LGBTQ+ activist and hopes to broaden her knowledge by working alongside researchers in this field.

Rocket Ship Weir is the new Lab Coordinator for the CRUISElab, and comes to the team having worked most recently with the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance – our partner for the Cruising Counts and #iCruise studies. Rocket Ship recently earned an MA in Gender, Feminist & Women’s studies from York University, where they focussed their research on the ways that the HIV epidemic shaped Ontario’s sex education for LGBT, queer and gender non-normative students over the past 40 years.

Unfortunately, the lab also has to wish a fond farewell to Dr. Nathan Lachowsky. Nathan is moving on to the University of Victoria, where he has been appointed Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy. Nathan spent the last two years as the lab’s post-doctoral researcher and has been a key contributor to the work of the lab and will still continue to be involved as an Investigator on several of the research projects in the lab.