Dr. Carli Dr. Francesco Carli, M.D.

President of Peri Operative Programme Péri-Opératoire (POP) & Principal Investigator

Dr Francesco Carli is Professor of Anesthesia and Associate Professor in the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition at McGill University, and retired anaesthesiologist at the Montreal General Hospital campus of the McGill University Health Centre. Dr Carli’s research interests are in the areas of surgical stress and prehabilitation.

Dr Carli is a founding member of the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) society, an international organization that trains clinicians in implementing evidence-based multidisciplinary perioperative programs aiming at accelerating the recovery process following major surgery.

Dr. Carli is a founding member of Peri Operative Programme (POP) and a Principal Investigator in prehabilitation research.

Rashami AwasthiRashami Awasthi

Bsc, CSEP-CPT Research Coordinator and Kinesiologist

Rashami Awasthi, a certified personal trainer, completed a Bachelor of Science from the division of Exercise Science: Clinical Exercise Physiology from Concordia University in 2011. She has worked with a variety of different populations, such as asthma, cardiac, cancer and dialysis patients, to help personalize an individualized exercise program. Her goal is to help make a difference in an individual’s quality of life with the use of exercise.  Rashami is also responsible for coordinating the research program, as well as a team of kinesiology students. She is currently working on her M. Sc at Concordia.

Victoria Greco


Bsc, Interim Research Coordinator and Kinesiologist

Victoria Greco, completed a Bachelor of Science from McGill University, in kinesiology. She came to us to do an internship and stayed on to work with the POP team for the last year. She is very interested in working with cancer patients and the effects of exercising on these patients before they have surgery.

As interim Research Co-Ordinator, she is also responsible for coordinating the research program, as well as a team of kinesiology students.

Mary Guay


Administrative Assistant, Volunteer

Mary is Vice-President of Laué Guay Inc., a consulting practice in strategic planning and marketing in the Wood Products Industry. Mary has worked voluntarily for the MGH Auxiliary for 10 years and joined Peri Operative Program (POP) in 2012 as a Research Assistant and Administrative Assistant for POP. She work with all of the staff and takes care of finances for POP.

Shawna Birman



Shawna Birman, a registered dietitian, has completed a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and Human Nutrition at McGill and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a specialization in neuroscience, at Concordia. She works in many hospitals, primarily with rehabilitation, long term care, and primary care patients, and privately for corporate nutrition programs and individual counselling. Shawna is responsible for the delivery of an individualized nutrition plan for patients in the Peri Operative Program.

Alexandra Schram



Alexandra has been with POP for just over two years, starting in January 2015. She has a Bachelors degree in Kinesiology and recently acquired her Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology at McGill University. Alex is very interested in the cancer population and works as a Kinesiologist for POP.

Meagan Barret-Bernstein

Meagan Barrett-Bernstein


Meagan Barrett-Bernstein completed a Bachelor of Arts in Honours Psychology at Concordia University and is now working towards a Master of Science in Psychiatry at McGill University. Her research interests are in psychological health and specifically, how it can influence physical functioning and recovery follow surgery. The focus of her master’s research is to gain a better understanding of the psychological needs of patients in the program and how to reduce distress in those awaiting curative resection for colorectal cancer.

Enrico Minnella

Enrico M Minnella, MD

Medical Doctor and Research Fellow

Dr Enrico Minnella is a research fellow and co-coordinator of clinical studies concerning Cancer Prehabilitation. He completed his degree in medicine in 2011, at the University of Milan, Italy. He is still in training as a resident in anesthesia and critical care at the same University.  Dr Minnella’s interests are in the fields of surgical and cancer stress. He developed an expertise in clinical assessment and intervention in functional capacity in patients with cancer, addressing physical, nutritional and psychological issues.

Celena Scheede-Bergdahl

Celena Scheede-Bergdahl, PhD.

Consulting Kinesiologist

Celena Scheede-Bergdahl holds a BSc in Exercise Science (Concordia University), MSc in Kinesiology (Montreal) and PhD in Medical Physiology, with a specialization on the use of exercise as a therapeutic intervention to improve glucose clearance and endothelial function (Copenhagen). Postdoctoral research experience includes work in the area of inflammation in cancer and the effects of chemotherapy on skeletal muscle health (McGill). Current research interests primarily focus on insulin resistance, inflammation and the use of exercise in the spectrum of cancer treatment. Presently a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Dr. Scheede-Bergdahl has been a practicing kinesiologist for the past 15 years. This is her 4th year working with Dr. Carli and the Perioperative team.

Vanessa Ferreira

Vanessa Ferreira


Vanessa Ferreira completed a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at McGill University and is currently completing her Master of Science in Exercise Physiology. She has worked with people living with Parkinson’s disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and orthopedic injuries in a rehabilitation/adapted exercise clinic. Recently, her research interests have focused on how prehabilitation and rehabilitation can improve recovery in the surgical cancer population.

Isabel Shuster

Isabel (Ibby) Shuster, N, B.A.

Volunteer, Stress Management

Ibby received her nursing diploma in 1963 at the Jewish General Hospital and her B.A. in 1985. For 40 years she worked in Pediatrics, Geriatrics (doing research with Alzheimer patients) and in Oncology (where she worked in a Psycho-Social research project).

Simultaneously, for the past 16 years Ibby coordinated the McGill Mini programs. She retired in April 2016 and has been volunteering in POP since May 2016, offering Stress Management techniques to the participants.

Michael Hull

Michael Hull


Michael Hull completed his Bachelors degree in nutrition and kinesiology at George Mason University, outside of Washington D.C. While there, he completed a 1.5 year internship working under the GMU sports dietitian as well as a 700 kinesiology internship. He is currently completing his masters in nutrition at McGill University. For his thesis work, he will be studying the effects of prehabilitation in colorectal patients on lean mass accrual and loss in the pre- and post-surgical periods. This research aims to help us better understand how changes in lean mass can affect patient recovery from surgery. In addition to working in the POP lab, Michael works as a researcher for Examine.com – an independent website dedicated to interpreting the scientific research on supplements and nutrition.