Bohdan Nosyk

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HIV/AIDS health economics chair a first for B.C.

February 28, 2014
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Bohdan Nosyk, associate professor of health sciences, has been selected to hold the new St. Paul’s Hospital CANFAR Chair in HIV/AIDS Research.

It is the first chair in B.C. to conduct health economics research with a view to treating HIV/AIDS patients in a more cost-effective and efficient manner.

The chair is the result of a partnership between the Faculty of Health Sciences, St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation and the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS at St. Paul’s Hospital.

Nosyk, who is is also a research scientist at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS at St. Paul’s Hospital, says: “The research this Chair will enable me to perform will be of tremendous benefit in helping us understand where we need to target our funding and focus our efforts in the fight against HIV and AIDS in this province.

“I am honoured and excited to lead research focused on patient well-being and preventing further transmission of HIV.”

People living with HIV face unique health issues

While HIV-related morbidity and mortality in B.C. has declined by more than 90 per cent since 1995, people living with HIV face age-related health issues unique from the general population. In addition, there are still some gaps in engaging and retaining people living with HIV in life-saving treatment programs.

Nosyk will help develop approaches to maximize the beneficial effects of available interventions to fully contain the spread of HIV and AIDS, while increasing the cost-effectiveness of treatment.

Research to include students

He plans to engage undergraduate and graduate students in the new research program, and work with clinicians to ensure that the research translates into meaningful programs and policies.

Health economics is a relatively new research area that uses methods such as statistical and mathematical modeling to evaluate ways that health care programs can operate more effectively. Fewer than a hundred researchers in Canada are trained in health economics, with only a handful specializing in HIV and AIDS.

SFU and St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation each contributed $1.5 million to create the Chair. St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation’s contribution includes proceeds from its 2013 Brilliant! Fundraiser and from donors such as the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR), whose support is reflected in the title of the Chair. 

“Overall, we’re witnessing the positive impacts of British Columbia’s efforts to fight HIV and AIDS,” says Dr. Julio Montaner, director, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. “This new position will ensure we continue to develop world-leading treatment and care for British Columbians and people living with HIV around the world. Our province will benefit tremendously from this partnership between SFU and St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation.”

Says SFU President Andrew Petter: "This partnership exemplifies SFU's vision of being an engaged research university. We are grateful to St. Paul's Hospital Foundation and the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS for helping us create this vital new chair whose work will advance knowledge and benefit society."

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