U OF S HEALTH RESEARCHER WINS PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL AWARD
Nazeem Muhajarine, assistant professor of community health and epidemiology, will receive a $250,000 National Health Research Scholar Award from Health Canada, one of only three awarded nationally.
The award is given to promising young university-based researchers in the early stages of their career. It provides salary support for five years, enabling the researchers to devote a significant proportion of their time to projects with important societal benefits.
"This is a tremendous accomplishment for Prof. Muhajarine and a real coup for his department," said Barry McLennan, assistant dean of research for the College of Medicine.
"The area of research he is in - population health - is an area where we can really make a difference nationally. For example, we have created SPHERU (Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit) and I predict Prof. Muhajarine will play a vital role in that new research unit."
Criteria for selection include the candidate's research productivity, the institutional setting, and the demonstrated potential for the research to benefit society through programs and policies.
Prof. Muhajarine, who is a social epidemiologist, will examine how parental lifestyle factors (such a drinking, smoking and drug use) during the pre-natal period affect children's early development. He will use data from the recent Saskatoon Pregnancy and Health Study which involved 1,200 pregnant women and some male partners.
He'll also look at how a stressed socio-economic environment affects young children. "Studies have show that drinking, smoking and drug use tend to continue during and after the pregnancy. These are among the coping mechanisms some parents use in order to respond to the stresses in their lives," he said.
He hopes to contribute to a better understanding of how health risks are passed down from one generation to the next and how this cycle can be broken.
Muhajarine's work has included understanding why some women continue to practice health-damaging behavior during pregnancy, as well as describing the prevalence of physical abuse and its determinants during pregnancy. He also studies how socioeconomic and lifestyle factors are related to use of health care services for cardiovascular diseases.
For more information, contact:
Research Communications Officer
Office of the Vice-President Research
Assistant Professor, Community Health and Epidemiology
University of Saskatchewan
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