Our Team

David Brennan

David (he/him) is the founder and director of CRUISElab. He has been directly involved in the HIV epidemic since 1983 in many social work roles, including case manager, clinical supervisor, psychotherapist, program manager, and researcher. David’s research focuses on HIV and STI risk and resiliencies for GB2M. He examines the ways in which GB2M who are marginalized by gender identity, race, age, HIV status and other social identities access health and social service information and services.

David Collict

David (he/him) is currently a PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology at UofT and is passionate about the mental health and well-being of queer individuals. He was awarded the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for his proposed PhD dissertation on discrimination, resiliency and eudaimonic well-being among South Asian, Black, Latinx and caucasian gay and bisexual men. Beyond school, David volunteers with Pflag York Region as their Director of Support & Resources, to provide support to parents, friends, allies and members of the LGBTQ2 community. David also has experience working with queer populations within therapeutic settings on issues relating to addiction, mental health and HIV diagnosis. He is an avid swimmer and thoroughly obsessed with Trixie Mattel from Rupaul’s Drag Race.

Jermane Hall

Jermane Hall is a queer creative and activist dedicated to advocating for health equity for the 2SLGBTQ+ community and environmental justice. With a BA in Human Rights and Equity studies from York University, Jermane brings a deep understanding of social issues and a commitment to creating positive change. Currently serving as a community peer research assistant on the Unzipping Prevention study, Jermane actively contributes to the advancement of knowledge and the empowerment of marginalized communities. Through their work, Jermane strives to address health disparities and advocate for a more just and sustainable future for all.

Kiarmin Lari

Kiarmin (he/they) is a settler in Tkaranto, a meeting place for many Indigenous nations, otherwise known as the city of Toronto. He is currently completing his MSW at Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work with a special focus on mental healthcare. Previously, he has worked in the community-based healthcare organization called HIM for three years, where he co-created a multitude of sexual, mental, and social public health campaigns and initiatives for queer cis and trans guys and non-binary and Two-Spirit people.Engaging with healthcare in a holistic way, Kiarmin completed a practicum at Toronto General Hospital working with alcohol-related liver-disease patients, and is currently doing his practicum at TMU student counselling centre. In their free time, they enjoy cooking, dancing, and passionately relaxing.

Elle Nardi

Elle (she/her) works at the lab through U of T’s work study program. She joined the CRUISElab in 2022. Elle is a third-year undergrad student majoring in Literature and Critical Theory. She is interested in many different aspects of social work and health, specifically trans health issues, and hopes to apply these interests by working with the lab to support the trans community. Elle is also a research assistant at CRUISElab, running the lab’s social media and website, and is the new Assistant Coordinator of the Investigaytors program. Outside of school, she plays the piano, is obsessed with Taylor Swift, and is writing her first novel.

Maxime Charest

Max (he/him) is a PhD student in Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa. He joined the CRUISElab in 2019, as he was completing his MA in Clinical and Counselling Psychology at the University of Toronto. Max has been working, volunteering and conducting research in the field of sexual health for over 10 years. His main research interests include sexual minority health, HIV prevention and improving the quality of people’s sex lives. In his spare time, Max loves photography and playing board games.

Matthew Conroy

Matthew (he/him) is an Advanced Standing MSW student who currently supports 2SLGBTQ+ youth as a counsellor and has previously worked in program coordination and supportive housing roles. He is a recent Bachelor of Social Work graduate from Toronto Metropolitan University, where he held the position of Co-Chair of the Social Work Students’ Union. Matthew seeks opportunities to critically engage, learn, and reflect with marginalized populations and communities, and hopes to do so with his practicum at the CRUISElab!

Abdi-Aziz Hassan

Abdi (he/him) completed his Bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences and Communication Studies at McMaster University. He is currently working as a peer researcher with the GetCheckedOnline team at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, with a focus on queer Black and Indigenous communities. Abdi’s interests are in queer research, public health, and communications and media. Outside of work, he enjoys exploring the city, finding Toronto’s best restaurants, and NYT’s daily crosswords.

Drew McLean

Drew (they/them) is beginning their Master of Social Work at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work this fall and has been hired as a Research Assistant at the CRUISELab. Drew completed their undergraduate degree in Health Science from McMaster University with an Interdisciplinary Minor in Social Justice from McMaster’s School of Social Work. After graduating, they worked as a Research Analyst at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) within the forensic research department. Drew is interested in a wide range of topics focused on improving health and social outcomes for marginalized groups and has many years of experience working within queer and trans communities. They are very excited to be involved in community-based research projects with the CRUISELab. In their free time, you will find Drew cooking, enjoying bubble tea, and biking around the city.

Zarin Tasnim

Zarin Tasnim, M.A. (they/she) is a mixed-methods researcher with 4+ years of experience leading foundational and generative studies. They are currently completing their doctoral studies at the University of Toronto in socio-cultural anthropology. Zarin is passionate about understanding the experiences of marginalized, under- represented, and de-centered “others,” especially LGBTQIA+ folks of colour.