Research Ready Mentor Spotlight: March 2022

Each month, a Research Ready mentor from the Community of Practice hosts an online workshop to share best practices and highlight exceptional processes. Be sure to sign up for the March Workshop to learn about cultivating diversity in research. And don’t forget to join the Research Ready Community of Practice for ongoing discussion after the event.

Cultivating Diversity in Research: Learnings from the Sickle Cell Community

On March 8th join us for a discussion with Mrs. Lanre Tunji-Ajayi of the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario (SCAGO) on diversity in research. Major themes that will be discussed include the importance of diversity in clinical trials, steps towards building trust and awareness of clinical trials in specific communities, and practical tips on working with diverse communities participating in research.


Lanre Tunji-Ajayi, M.S.M, President/Chief Executive Officer, Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario (SCAGO)

Lanre is the president/CEO of the Sickle Cell Awareness Group of Ontario (SCAGO) and the founding president/CEO of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada (SCDAC). She is also a co-founder and the immediate past president/CEO of the Global Alliance of Sickle Cell Disease Organizations (GASCDO).

Lanre also served as the chair, Network of Rare Blood Disorder Organizations; member, National Liaison Committee of the Canadian Blood Services; board member, Black Health Alliance; Chair, Governance Committee of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Canada, and board member, Kerry’s Place.

Furthermore, the Ontario Hemoglobinopathy Patient Association (OHPA) and the Racialized Health Initiative Working Group (RHIWP) are two of the informal groups orchestrated by Lanre in order to address disparities in care, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

She has led and co-investigated research studies and received numerous awards including the Senate Canada 150 Award, 100 Accomplished Black Canadian (ABC) Women Award, and most recently, the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) conferred by the Governor-General of Canada, Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Julie Payette.

Dawn Richards, PhD, Director of Patient and Public Engagement, Clinical Trials Ontario

Dawn Richards, PhD, is the founder of Five02 Labs Inc., and Director of Patient and Public Engagement at Clinical Trials Ontario. With a PhD (Analytical Chemistry) from the University of Alberta, and experience in a variety of roles during the past 20 years, it is her diagnosis with rheumatoid arthritis ten years ago that instigated a journey to combine her passion for science with making the most of her diagnosis. In her role at CTO, Dawn is charged with executing on CTO’s strategic pillar of patient and public engagement.

As a patient advocate and volunteer, Dawn is Vice President of the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance, a Research Ambassador for the Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research), and a member of The BMJ’s Patient Panel Reviewers, and was the first Patient Advisor of the Canadian Medical Association’s Wait Time Alliance. She advocates for arthritis awareness, access to treatment, the inclusion of patients in decision-making and as research collaborators, and the importance of research.

Online Workshop Details:

Date: March 8, 2022

Time: 1pm to 2pm

Registration: click here

Can’t make it to the workshop? A recording will be posted on the Research Ready page shortly after.

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