Spotlight paper in the Journal of Liver Transplantation: Chloe Wong-Mersereau

The Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program (CDTRP) wishes to congratule Chloe Wong-Mersereau, a trainee with the CDTRP and research assistant on the Frictions of Futurity and Cure in Transplant Medicine project, for her article titled “Layered Methodologies: Innovating Multimodal Qualitative Research in Liver Transplantation” published in the Journal of Liver Transplantation. Fraser Allan Best (CDTRP patient partner) and Alexandra Frankel (CDTRP trainee) are also co-authors along with colleagues and Co-PIs, Dr. Suze Berkhout and Kelly Fritsch.

These collaborative efforts stem from 2022 CDTRP Research Innovation Grant for the project “Temporalities of Cure: A qualitative study of psychosocial support needs and long-term survivorship in liver transplantation” (read more here).

Chloe’s exceptional skills and dedication to advancing liver transplantation research are evident in her exploration of innovative qualitative research methods and her ability to integrate various methodologies. Her contributions to the field are invaluable, and we are proud to have her as a member of the CDTRP.

We have asked Chloe a series of questions about the article, that you can read below.

How does the article address the complexity of liver transplantation and the need for a multidisciplinary approach?

The “Layered Methodologies” article brings attention to aspects of liver transplantation that are difficult to put into words by engaging with multiple ways of understanding a transplant recipient’s experience. A multidisciplinary and multimodal approach, in this case, connecting storytelling, filmmaking, with discourse and social science research, became the necessary way of exploring the unarticulated complexities of liver transplantation.

Are there any specific insights or findings mentioned in the article that could potentially impact the field of liver transplantation?

The insights invite qualitative research in transplantation to critically engage with power dynamics that implicate liver transplant recipients in both the clinic and the research spaces. Health care professionals who viewed the films, were reminded that their patients are people leading full complex lives. While this reminder is not revolutionary, the weight of transforming people into patients through clinical interactions is a powerful one.

What are some of the potential applications or implications of the layered methodologies discussed in the article?

Layering methodologies enable a wider range of exploring experience by engaging people with their multiple senses and means of expression. Co-creation grants transplant recipients the power to reclaim control and agency over the creation and retelling their stories.

What are the next steps for the Frictions of Futurity in Transplant Medicine project team and how could CDTRP help out?

The Frictions of Futurity team is entering a new phase of analysis, dialogue and sharing the research creations. The CDTRP has generously hosted avenues for us to share the films through screening events and engage in meaningful discussion with patients, families, and donors.


Qualitative liver transplantation studies frequently explore quality of life and offer insights for integrating patient-oriented outcomes into conventional research strategies. The scope of qualitative research in liver transplantation tends to be limited, however, with respect to engagement with critical theories, leaving certain aspects of lived experience unexamined. We describe the process of layering multiple modes of critical qualitative research in liver transplantation, exploring how experiences in liver transplantation are structured through power and words, and what aspects of recipients’ stories are not easily spoken or shared. This study pairs a critical discourse analysis of patient manuals from a Canadian liver transplant program with the digital storytelling of liver transplant recipients. A common narrative emerges from patient manuals that does not adequately capture the complexity of lived experience of liver transplant survivors. Digital storytelling opens new narrative possibilities by layering sensory aspects of the transplant experience, which are often difficult to articulate through words. This complicates common ideas of survivorship, who is considered a “good” patient, and the cultural tropes that transplant stories frequently engage.

Read the full paper here.

Special Feature in Ars Medica Journal: Frictions of Futurity, Curative Tensions, and Artistic Reimaginings of Transplantation

Chloe, Kelly and Suze have also co-edited a special issue of the arts and health journal, Ars Medica which is a special issue on transplantation. Their editorial, titled “Frictions of Futurity, Curative Tensions, and Artistic Re-imaginings of Transplantation“, features creative works by people with lived experience of transplant and families of transplant recipients as well as donors and people in health care, who are working in the arts and health.

Read the full Ars Medica issue.

About the Journal

Ars Medica is one of Canada’s first health humanities journals. Launched in 2004, we transitioned in 2014 to a web-only format. Ars Medica provides an online venue for dialogue, meaning-making, and the representation of experiences of the body, health, wellness, and encounters within the medical system. Content includes narratives from patients and health care workers, including fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. We also include sections on writing by and about children, international health, and other voices routinely silenced in the healthcare system.

About Chloe Wong-Mersereau

Chloe Wong-Mersereau (she/her) completed her master’s in social cultural anthropology at the University of Toronto. She is currently a research trainee with the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program and a research assistant on the Frictions of Futurity and Cure in Transplant Medicine project. Her research interests include patient engagement in research; aging and temporality; diaspora studies; mental health and psychosocial challenges among marginalized peoples. Methodologically Wong-Mersereau engages with a layered approach to critical discourse analysis, multimodal sensory ethnography, and digital storytelling. Over the pandemic, she worked with the Canadian Red Cross in long term care homes, COVID-testing clinics, homeless shelters, and on the housing crisis project.