The increasing interest of the scientific community for multi-centre collaborations has brought about the need for tools and resources facilitating data harmonization and co-analysis across studies. In 2012, the Maelstrom Research project was created in order to meet this need. Maelstrom Research builds on the support of our five founding partner organizations: the Public Population Project in Genomics and Society (P3G), the Biobank Standardisation and Harmonisation for Research Excellence in the European Union (BioSHaRE), the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP), Integrative Analysis of Longitudinal Studies of Aging (IALSA) and Quebec’s Ministère de L’Économie, Innovation et Exportation (MEIE).

Maelstrom Research brings together an international team of epidemiologists, statisticians, and computer scientists to answer some of the challenges of cross-cohort research collaborations. Maelstrom Research activities are founded on to the data harmonization methodology developed under the DataSHaPER project , the OBiBa software application suite (, and the federated data analysis methodology developed under the DataSHIELD project ( The overall goal is to facilitate collaborative epidemiological research through rigorous data documentation, harmonization, integration and co-analysis. Since its inception, Maelstrom Research has worked with a number of study consortia to implement data harmonization and data sharing models geared towards collaborative epidemiological research. We encourage you to read through our site to learn more about our activities and our partnerships.


Maelstrom Research activities are supported by the following partners.

Maelstrom Research activities are supported by the following funding agencies:





The Maelstrom Research program brings together an international team of epidemiologists, statisticians, and computer scientists who develop methods and open-source software which facilitate data harmonization and co-analysis across collaborating epidemiological studies. Drs. Isabel Fortier and Vincent Ferretti lead Maelstrom Research’s head office located at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center (RI-MUHC) in Montreal (Canada). Investigators from research institutions in North America and Europe are central to the achievement of Maelstrom Research’s activities. These activities are organized within three operational teams:

  • Software Development team Under the leadership of Drs. Vincent Ferretti and Paul Burton, the Software Development team ensures the development of software, websites and information technology tools and supervises the implementation of data infrastructures required by partner projects.
  • Methods Development team Under the leadership of Drs. Edwin R. van den Heuvel, Lauren Griffith, Paul Burton, Scott Hofer and Isabel Fortier, the Methods Development team ensures development of methods, statistical approaches and specialised tools required to support Maelstrom activities, and promote quality of the data harmonization process. 
  • Harmonization and Support team Under the leadership of Dr. Isabel Fortier, the Harmonization and Support team is responsible for creating and maintaining the Maelstrom repository. In addition, the team is supporting partners in the creation of study catalogues and achievement of data harmonization and integration processes.


Team & Contact

Principal Investigators

Isabel Fortier , Ph.D.
Research Institute of McGill University Health Centre, Canada
+1 (514) 934 1934 ext 44448

Vincent Ferretti , Ph.D.
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Canada
+1 (416) 673 8509


Benoît Mâsse , Ph.D.
Applied Clinical Research Unit (URCA), Research Center of the Sainte-Justine University Hospital, Canada

Edwin R. van den Heuvel , Ph.D.
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Graciela Muniz-Terrera , Ph.D.
Centre for Dementia Prevention, University of Edinburgh, Scotland UK

Lauren Griffith , Ph.D.
Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics McMaster University, Canada

Paul Burton , Ph.D.
Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, United Kingdom

Scott M. Hofer , Ph.D.
Department of Psychology and Centre on Aging at the University of Victoria, Canada

Research Team

Audrey Bégin , M.Sc.
Research Assistant

Cindy Flick , M.Sc.
Research Assistant

Dany Doiron , MPP
Research Associate
+1 (514) 934-1934 ext 71688

Ferima Sanogo , M.Sc.
Research Office Manager
+1 (514) 934-1934 ext 71689

Fouzia Dekakra-Bellili , B.Sc.
Research Assistant

Ghislain Rocheleau , Ph.D.
Project Manager
+1 (514) 934-1934 ext 71873

Julie Bergeron , M.Sc.
Project Manager
+1 (514) 934-1934 ext 71871

Karla Ordonez , B.Sc.
Research Assistant

Nataliya Dragieva , M.Sc.
+1 (514) 934-1934 ext 71874

Rachel Massicotte , Ph.D.
Research Operations Manager
+1 (514) 934-1934 ext 71464

Rita Wissa , B.Sc.
Research Assistant

Sarah Jemima Samoely Lala , M.Sc.
Research Assistant

Youssef Amadou , M.Sc.
Research Assistant

Software Development Team

Cédric Gael Fontin
+1 (514) 934-1934 ext 71713

Ramin Haeri Azad
Programmer Analyst
+1 (514) 934-1934 ext 71695

Rima Bouchakri
IT Project Manager
+1 (514) 934-1934 ext 71690

Romain Roces
Programmer Analyst
+1 (514) 934-1934 ext 71696

Samir Ben Sghaier
Programmer Analyst
+1 (514) 934-1934 ext 71692

Stéphane Mbatchou
Quantitative Research Analyst
+1 (514) 934-1934 ext 71687

Yannick Marcon
Senior Programmer Analyst
+1 (514) 934-1934 ext 71696