Dr. Vivian Huang MSc MD FRCPC is an Associate Professor and Clinician investigator in the Division of Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto.  Dr. Huang completed medical school and Internal Medicine residency at Queen’s University, followed by a gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Toronto, and an Advanced IBD fellowship at the University of Alberta. She practices P4 (predictive, preventive, personalized, participatory) medicine to optimize maternal, fetal and neonatal outcomes in IBD through clinical innovations in patient and physician education, and e-health strategies.  She developed the Northern Alberta Preconception and Pregnancy in IBD clinical research program and the Mount Sinai Hospital Preconception and Pregnancy in IBD clinical research program in Ontario.  She also created the Multidisciplinary Care in IBD (MCIBD) CME program for clinicians who care for people with IBD.  She received the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and Pfizer Canada Women in IBD: Emerging Researchers Award in 2020 and the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology Young Scholar in Quality Innovation Award in 2023 for her work in Pregnancy and IBD management and education.  She is lead author or co-author of over 60 research articles and 2 book chapters, and is one of 2 Canadian committee members of the upcoming Global Consensus Conference: Pregnancy and IBD.


Dr. Cynthia Maxwell MD FRCSC DABOM (Obesity Medicine) is a Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist and Division Head at Mount Sinai Hospital and Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University of Toronto. Her clinical and research interests center on medical disorders of pregnancy, with a focus on pregnancy affected by Inflammatory bowel disease and gastrointestinal conditions. Dr. Maxwell is a member of the Provincial Council on Maternal and Child Health – serving on the Maternal and Neonatal Committee (MNC – MFM Lead) and the Maternal-Child Transport Advisory Committee (M-CTAC – MFM ex officio member). She serves as a Member of the Executive Committee of the Southern Ontario Obstetrical Network (SOON), representing Sinai Health System.

More information about the Special Pregnancy Program at Mount Sinai Hospital can be found at

Dr. Parul Tandon is a Clinical Associate at the University Health Network and Mount Sinai Hospital. He completed his IBD Fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital, and is pursuing a PhD of Clinical Epidemiology at the Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation. He was also awarded the University of Toronto Department of Medicine Eliot Phillipson Clinician-Scientist Fellowship for 2020-2022. He completed medical school at Michigan State University and his internal medicine residency at the University of Ottawa. 



Katie O’Connor is the program’s research assistant.  She completed her Masters of Science with a focus on nutrition at University of Guelph before joining the PregIBD team and keeping the research studies running.

Gajuna Mathiyalagan is the program’s research assistant. She completed her Masters of Science in Nutrition at the University of Guelph and is now pursuing further education in public health with an interest in disease prevention. Joining the PregIBD team in 2021, Gajuna is supporting ongoing studies within the research program.

Francesca Maiocco is the newest member of the team. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Engineering. She joined the program in spring 2022 as a volunteer, and then joined as student research assistant in June 2022, and finally is the newest program research assistant.


Dr. Youstina Hanna is currently completing her internal medicine residency at the University of Toronto and graduated medical school from University of Ottawa.  She is interested in researching pregnancy outcomes of women with IBD, specifically regarding placental pathology and preeclampsia. @youstinahanna13

Sarah House is a second-year medical student at the University of Toronto. She is investigating the impact of J-pouch surgery on pregnancy outcomes in women with IBD.

Serena Perera is one of the program’s student researchers. She is currently an undergraduate at the University of Toronto studying physiology and health & disease.

Dr. Grace Wang is an Internal Medicine resident at the University of Toronto. She is interested in improving patient education, shared decision-making, and quality of life for reproductive-aged women with inflammatory bowel diseases. She is also examining the impact of a multidisciplinary care clinic for preconception and pregnant women with IBD. @gracewang_ca

Dr. Richard You Wu is a general internal medicine resident at the University of Toronto. He previously completed MD/PhD training at University of Toronto where he studied the effects of prebiotics on intestinal microbiota and the intestinal barrier function in animal models of IBD and NEC. He is currently studying neonatal outcomes of active disease flare-up in women with IBD. His recent abstract was awarded ePoster of Distinction at CDDW, and he was previously a Vanier scholar. Dr. Wu is studying breast milk composition in women with IBD.


Rohit Jogendran is a medical student at the University of Toronto.

Noa Boulakia is a student helping the IBD Team in their research studies. She fluent in English and French. Outside of school, Noa is a martial artist, competitive swimmer, and an avid pianist and vocalist. Noa has a passion for seniors health, having volunteered at Baycrest and worked at Chartwell Retirement Residences.

Derek Nguyen is a student who has joined to help the team with the research studies. His study looks at gestational weight gain in pregnancy in women with IBD.

Previous Research Trainees

Dr. Vivek Govardhanam is a general internal medicine resident at the University of Toronto.  He is studying pregnancy outcomes in IBD, and will be studying rates of c-section in IBD.

Dr. Kristel Leung is a gastroenterology resident PGY-4 at the University of Toronto.  She is studying fetal outcomes in IBD.  Upon completion of her GI training, she will pursue advanced training in hepatology.  She completed her internal medicine residency at University of Ottawa

Dr. Jessie Tao completed internal medicine residency at the University of Toronto. Her research looks at the timing biologics and their relation to pregnancy and neonatal outcomes in IBD patients.

Kinza Yaqoob is one of the program’s student researchers and is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at Ryerson University studying biology. She currently works with SickKids Hospital and is doing research with Mount Sinai Hospital in IBD complications

Research presentations

Canadian Digestive Diseases Week (CDDW) 2023, Halifax, NS

Canadian Digestive Diseases Week (CDDW) 2021, Digestive Diseases Week (DDW) 2021, and University of Toronto Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research Day

Dr. Hanna presents on pre-eclampsia risk in pregnant IBD and aspirin prophylaxis.

Research presentations at Canadian Digestive Diseases Week (CDDW) 2020 in Montreal, Canada