Newly appointed Applied Public Health Chair tackles substance use-related harms in Vancouver youth

March 27, 2024

Congratulations to School of Public Policy associate professor Kora DeBeck who has been appointed as an Applied Public Health Chair (APHC) by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). As one of the twelve researchers from across Canada joining the 2024 cohort, DeBeck's research aims to tackle the toxic drug crisis for young people who use drugs in British Columbia. 

A recent recipient of the Dorothy Killam Fellowship, DeBeck is also a research scientist with the BC Centre on Substance Use and the principal investigator for the At-Risk Youth Study (ARYS)—a longitudinal cohort of more than 1,200 street-involved youth who use drugs in Vancouver.

DeBeck specializes in substance use and drug policy. With a background in social epidemiology, she draws on longitudinal cohort methodologies and innovative approaches to inform and evaluate policy interventions that promote the health and well-being of people who use drugs and their surrounding communities.

With an investment of $13.8 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada, the APHC program supports researchers in addressing some of the country's biggest public health challenges. With the knowledge generated through their research, the Chairs and thieir teams work with decision makers from various sectors and communities, foster partnerships in and out side of public health, and support evidence-informed decisions that improve health and health equity.