Knowledge Synthesis Group

Group Director

Brian Hutton
613-737-8899 x73842 (

Dr. Hutton is a Senior Scientist with the OHRI's Clinical Epidemiology Program, Director of the Knowledge Synthesis Group and an Assistant Professor within the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Epidemiology and Community Medicine. His primary research interests currently lie in the realm of network meta-analysis, systematic reviews and other forms of evidence synthesis. He is a leader in the OHRI's CIHR-funded knowledge synthesis group which conducts network meta-analysis research projects for the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network, and also holds several current research grants as Nominated PI involving evaluations of therapies for opioid use disorder, chronic rhinosinusitus, Meniere’s Disease, Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss, and Prevention and Treatment of Delirium in the ICU. Dr. Hutton was a 2013 recipient of a 5-year New Investigator Award from CIHR for his plans to expand applications of network meta-analysis in the area of drug safety. He has also led the development of the extension of the PRISMA extension statement for reporting of network meta-analyses, published in 2015. Dr. Hutton also contributes time to the Ottawa Hospital Methods Center and Ottawa Regional Cancer Center in the roles of methodologist and biostatistician. His past research includes works in the realms of oncology, transfusion medicine, infectious diseases, mental health and a variety of other clinical fields.

The Research Team

The Knowledge Synthesis (KS) group is comprised of a talented group of professionals with expertise in various disciplines including epidemiology, medicine, pharmacology, statistics, and other health and behaviours sciences.  Dr. Hutton and the KS Group team have published more than 60 knowledge syntheses and more than 50 articles concerning knowledge synthesis methodology over the past five years. Thus, the KS Group has been instrumental in generating empirical evidence to inform the appropriate conduct and reporting of systematic reviews and is recognized around the world for their work.

Come meet the team......

Our Team

Raymond Daniels
613-737-8899 x73924 (
Raymond Daniel has been an Assistant Information Specialist with the Knowledge Synthesis Group (UO-EPC) since 2004. He supplies support in database management and document procurement for knowledge synthesis projects. Raymond holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from Carleton University as well as a Library and Information Technician Diploma from Algonquin College. As well as providing database and document retrieval services, Raymond’s past work also includes assisting with Evidence-Based Librarianship investigations regarding database search sources, and updating of systematic reviews.
Leila Esmaelisaraji
Leila Esmaelisaraji
Leila Esmaeilisaraji joined the Knowledge Synthesis Group as a Clinical Research Assistant in 2016. She earned her degree in Medicine from the Azad University in Iran and worked as physician in family medicine for four years. While in Iran, Leila contributed to several studies, contribution to her passion for research. After immigrating to Canada, she continued to train and develop her skills in research methodology at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Leila is currently enrolled in the MSc program in Health Science, Technology and Policy (HSTP) at Carleton University. In April 2016, her longitudinal study on Levothyroxine dosage requirement during pregnancy in well-controlled hypothyroid women was published in the Global Journal of Health Science, Canadian Centre of Science and Education. Leila has been involved in several of the KS Group’s ongoing systematic reviews including an overview of systematic reviews regarding preventable adverse drug reactions as well as systematic reviews related to different forms of hearing loss (currently funded by CIHR). She is also currently working on a large systematic review studying the benefits associated with different forms of psychosocial therapy for treatment of opioid use disorder.
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Mona Hersi
613-737-8899 x 73921 (
Mona Hersi is a Senior Clinical Research Associate with the Knowledge Synthesis Group (KS). She obtained a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa. During her time with the KS group, Mona has been involved in several rapid, scoping, and systematic reviews on a variety of topics including rapid review methodology, pain, substance use disorders, and maternal and child health. Mona has also led reviews used to inform clinical practice guidelines on prevention of Ebola Virus Disease and treatments for tobacco smoking cessation for the World Health Organization and Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care, respectively.
Danielle Rice
613-737-8899 x 73930 (
Danielle Rice joined the Knowledge Synthesis Group in 2017 as a visiting fellow. Danielle is currently completing her PhD in Clinical Psychology at McGill University and was awarded a Vanier Graduate Scholarship to support this work. Danielle has experience conducting systematic reviews and scoping reviews focused on individuals with chronic health conditions. Her work with the KS Group has focused on conducting systematic reviews and supporting the development of core outcome sets for research related to mental health and addictions.
Bev Shea
613-737-8899 x 73853 (
Dr. Shea has been involved in the production of more than 40 systematic Reviews. More recently, she has contributed to the creation of new knowledge in the field of quality assessment and qualitative data analysis. This includes the development of quality assessment instruments for assessing systematic reviews, most recently the AMSTAR-2 tool (PMID: 28935701). She is an editor for the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Review Group, and co-convenor for the Cochrane non-randomized methods working group. She is a Clinical Scientist at the Bruyère Research Institute, Senior Methodologist at the Ottawa Health Research Institute, and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine at the University of Ottawa.
Dianna Wolfe
Dianna Wolfe
Dr. Wolfe is a Senior Clinical Research Associate with the Knowledge Synthesis Group. Dianna has a unique background as a licenced Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, with many years in clinical practice, and a Masters and PhD in epidemiology. These foundations have resulted in a valuable fusion of a keen epidemiologic mind with extensive quantitative skills, exceptional scientific writing, and broad clinical expertise. Dianna’s research interests include the use of network meta-analysis to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of interventions, other statistical methods, infectious disease epidemiology, and One Health. With the Knowledge Synthesis Group, Dianna has led and contributed to numerous systematic reviews, scoping reviews, and rapid reviews on such diverse topics as the treatment of latent tuberculosis infection, reduction of transition from acute to chronic pain, interventions for opioid use disorder, preventable adverse drug reactions, drug-induced pancreatitis, sudden sensorineural hearing loss, cannabis use in the elderly, and influenza vaccination during pregnancy. Dr. Wolfe previously worked with colleagues at the University of Guelph, Iowa State University, and York University (UK), conducting scoping reviews and systematic reviews on topics related to food safety and animal health and welfare for the European Food Safety Authority. She has experience in both quantitative and qualitative research methods.