Oct. 13, 2021

2021 O’Brien Institute Award winners exemplify excellence and leadership

Awardees recognized for outstanding contributions to public health, and commitment to leadership, research and societal impact
O'Brien Awards

For their commitment to creating meaningful change in public and population health, and for outstanding contributions to health research, five O’Brien Institute for Public Health researchers are being recognized with O’Brien Institute Awards.

The 2021 awardees represent the diversity of expertise and experience within the O’Brien Institute membership, says Institute scientific director Dr. Tom Stelfox, MD, PhD.

“Using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, Institute population health and health systems researchers are improving the health of Albertans, Canadians and people around the world,” he says.

“The O’Brien Institute is incredibly fortunate to have these outstanding scholars who are advancing public health through research excellence.”

The 2021 O’Brien Institute Awardees are:

Dr. David Campbell, MD, PhD: The 2021 O’Brien Institute Emerging Research Leader Award

Dr. David Campbell is an emerging leader in the field of mixed methods research applied to health services research, and a passionate advocate of those who are vulnerable due to factors such as homelessness, poverty, ethnicity, or mental health concerns. Dr. Campbell has won several prestigious awards and is a prolific author with 53 papers to-date published in high-impact journals.

Dr. Campbell supervises graduate students, numerous undergraduate students, and mentors other trainees just starting out in qualitative and mixed methods research. His prior training in anthropology has equipped him with both qualitative and quantitative research skills critical for a researcher seeking to have a health-related impact on society.

Dr. Cheryl Barnabe, MD: The 2021 O’Brien Institute Mid-Career Research Leader Award

Dr. Cheryl Barnabe is a leading researcher in the areas of rheumatoid arthritis and health services research, and holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Autoimmune Diseases. She has also focused her research towards attaining equity in arthritis care and towards better understanding and managing arthritis conditions among Indigenous populations. She has 143 peer-reviewed publications — 36 as first author; 34 as senior author.

Dr. Barnabe contributes to teaching at all levels, including undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, and continuing medical education. As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Barnabe contributes significantly to the care of Albertans with rheumatologic diseases. Furthermore, she has specifically dedicated her outpatient clinical practice to serving First Nations and Indigenous patients.

Dr. Turin Tanvir Chowdhury, PhD: The 2021 O’Brien Institute Societal Impact Award

As co-founder and co-lead of the Newcomers Research Network, Dr. Turin Tanvir Chowdhury is at the forefront of advancing immigrant - and refugee - focused transdisciplinary research at the University of Calgary. Dr. Chowdhury demonstrates impactful leadership in research, teaching and community engagement on health disparities faced by racialized/immigrant communities and low socio-economic communities in Canada.

Creating sustainable change to address health inequalities related to race/ethnicity and social determinants of health requires meaningful engagement from all levels of stakeholders. It is for this reason that Dr. Chowdhury has embedded the approaches of Integrated Knowledge Translation and Community Based Participatory Research into his program of research, to ensure that meaningful community engagement is at its core.

Dr. John Conly, MD: The 2021 Research Excellence Award

Dr. John Conly has been awarded the 2021 Research Excellence Award in recognition of his significant contributions of time, talent and leadership in antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship, as well as the prevention and control of infectious diseases. Dr. Conly’s remarkable career, spanning almost four decades, includes a number of leadership roles within the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services (AHS), including being a former head of the Department of Medicine. His efforts in the areas of antimicrobial resistance, and infection prevention and control, have had impacts nationally and internationally, earning him the Order of Canada in 2018.

Dr. Conly has been a mentor and role model for numerous O’Brien Institute members over the years. His vision and collaborative leadership have had a significant impact on medical practice, research, and relevant policies, resulting in improved human health on a national and global scale.

Dr. Meghan McDonough, PhD: The 2021 Lynn McIntyre Outstanding Service Award

For significant contributions of academic leadership, community outreach, and trainee mentoring to the O’Brien Institute for Public Health and its initiatives, Dr. Meghan McDonough has been awarded the 2021 Lynn McIntyre Outstanding Service Award. The O'Brien Institute has benefited from an impressive list of contributions from Dr. McDonough, such as her role as member and advisory committee representative from Kinesiology for the Brenda Strafford Centre on Aging (BSCoA), notably helping plan and present at BSCoA's 2017 launch event and serving as an enthusiastic member of the City's Age-Friendly Research Advisory Table in 2019. She is also a very engaged member of the makeCalgary Executive Steering Group and has contributed her time to internal peer review, the O'Brien Institute and Community Health Sciences seminar series, and Postdoctoral Scholar award adjudication, among other activities. 

Dr. McDonough is a professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Director of the Relationships and Exercise lab. Her research examines the role of social relationships in physical activity, health behaviour, and psychological well-being in a variety of populations, with a focus on cancer survivors and other clinical populations, older adults, and marginalized populations.