Julia Smith (left) and Muhammad Zohaib Anwar (right).

FHS researchers recognized as Michael Smith Health Research BC 2022 Award winners

September 15, 2022

Award recipients for the Michael Smith Health Research BC 2022 Scholar and Research Trainee competitions were recently announced. 71 scholars and research trainees were chosen, with 2 award winners from the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Julia Smith

MSHRBC Scholar Award - Julia Smith

The MSHRBC Scholar program supports early career health researchers, helping them form their own research teams, train the next generation of scientists and develop world-leading research programs.

Towards transformative pandemic response, recovery, and preparedness: An intersectional gender analysis of the secondary effects of COVID-19 on women and healthcare providers.

The response to COVID-19 has exacerbated gender inequity and gender inequities have limited the effectiveness of the COVID-19 response. This vicious cycle has been entrenched in past pandemics and will recur with future outbreaks, unless it is interrupted by intentionally transformative pandemic preparedness, response and recovery. This requires interdisciplinary research to better understand and respond to COVID-19's secondary effects -- defined as those caused by non-medical interventions to prevent primary effects (infection, morbidity and mortality). Secondary effects have long term health equity implications, with women and healthcare providers disproportionately affected. This research program aims to: 1) advance evidence of secondary effects among women and healthcare providers and 2) determine whether, how and to what effect public health policy has responded to these secondary effects. Three core projects and two collaborating projects will document the lived experiences of women and healthcare providers, while linking municipal, regional, provincial, and national level analysis to inform and promote equity-based pandemic response, recovery, and preparedness in BC and beyond.

Muhammad Zohaib Anwar

MSHRBC Research Trainee Award - Muhammad Zohaib Anwar

The MSHRBC Research Trainee program Supports the best and brightest health researchers in training to enable career development and support world-class health research in BC.

Improving genomic epidemiology methodologies and practice through interdisciplinary data integration and analysis

Infectious diseases as shown by the COVID-19 pandemic, remains a serious threat. Genomic sequencing has revolutionized the detection and characterization of pathogens for surveillance and outbreak investigation, creating the new field of genomic epidemiology. During this ongoing pandemic, we have witnessed several gaps in establishing effective global responses that require coordinated action such as our ability to quickly adapt analytical methods to new pathogens and the ability to integrate several data sources to generate knowledge for enabling evidence-informed decision making. In this proposed research, I aim to further this field of genomic epidemiology by developing advanced data analysis methods. Additionally, I aim to optimize these methods to be capable of adapting to datasets from various pathogens, saving time to develop again for every outbreak. Finally, I want to combine genomics and advanced data analysis (bioinformatics) to establish a method of integrating epidemiological, political, and other contextual information with genomic data to improve public health preventive measures. This project will develop a program to use intersectoral genomic epidemiology for countering infectious diseases.