CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Annalijn Conklin has been awarded a 2021 Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) Scholar Award, announced today. Her Scholar project is entitled “A program of social epidemiology and metabolic outcomes research (SEMOR) to support healthy aging.” Specifically, Dr. Conklin’s work will focus on the social causes of obesity in women compared to men, and on how social causes reinforce each other. Her research program aims to facilitate better designed and more effective interventions to prevent and manage chronic conditions.

Dr. Annalijn Conklin

One part of this project is focused on co-developing novel ways to promote heart health among Indigenous women, one of Canada’s most marginalized groups and one that faces a profound burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD). As a first step in addressing this unmet health promotion need, in 2019, Dr. Conklin and fellow CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Karin Humphries partnered with Dr. Jeff Reading of the I-HEART Centre and Elder Roberta Price. Together they formed a collaboration with local urban Elders to lay the foundation for co-development of novel CVD prevention approaches for heart health among Indigenous women.

Overall, Dr. Conklin’s research examines the broader social-level factors that influence nutrition-related behaviours and outcomes among adult populations, with a strong policy interest in better designing and evaluating interventions to prevent and manage chronic conditions. She is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC.

Also announced today were the recipients of the 2021 MSFHR Trainee Awards. Among the 54 awardees are two CHÉOS trainees: Drs. Kirsten Marchand and Krista Glowacki, both postdoctoral fellows at UBC.

Dr. Marchand’s project aims to determine how to best help youth who use opioids. The project will engage youth, caregivers, and service providers to explore priorities for opioid use treatment delivery and to determine how to best define the benefits these treatments for youth. The findings of Dr. Marchand’s work will help service providers and policy makers to deliver opioid treatments in a way that will better meet youths’ unique needs.

Dr. Glowacki’s project will explore how physical activity programming can be included as a service offered through Foundry centres. The project will involve the use of photographs to understand youth needs, development of a working group to consider how to add services, and co-creation of a physical activity program.

Both Drs. Marchand and Glowacki are supervised by CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Skye Barbic. Dr. Glowacki is also supervised by Dr. Guy Faulkner, Professor, UBC School of Kinesiology.