Nov. 29, 2023

Recipients of the 2023 O’Brien Institute Awards demonstrate excellence in research, commitment to equity, and collegiality

Five awards presented to members who are advancing public health through research excellence at various stages in their careers
O'Brien Awards

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

"As we celebrate the outstanding achievements of the O'Brien Institute for Public Health Award winners this year, we honor their commitment to research excellence at various career stages,” says Dr. Kirsten Fiest, PhD, O’Brien Institute scientific director.

“These individuals exemplify the essence of our mission — advancing public health through impactful research. From societal impact to dedicated service, each award recognizes the invaluable contributions of our members, collectively steering us toward a healthier and more equitable future."

The O’Brien Institute Award recipients are:

The O’Brien Institute Emerging Research Leader Award

Dr. Pamela Roach, PhD, assistant professor, departments of family medicine and community health sciences, and a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education, Cumming School of Medicine

Dr. Pamela Roach aims to enhance the quality of health services for Indigenous communities, bridging health equity gaps. Dr. Roach's collaborative engagement with Indigenous members has earned widespread respect, and her advocacy for equity is evident through active participation in various campus roles. As a leader, she upholds representation with integrity and prioritizes the greater good. Beyond her impactful research, Dr. Roach significantly contributes to education and mentorship at all levels, exemplified by her role as the director of Indigenous health education, Office of Indigenous, Local, and Global Health, Cumming School of Medicine.

Since joining the Departments of Family Medicine and Community Health Sciences, Dr. Roach has led and contributed to competitive funding of >$21million total, including >$5million as PI or co-PI from CIHR and SSHRC, and $5.9million as PI for an Indigenous parallel pathway component of the CFREF One Child Every Child application. She has secured a Tier II Canada Research Chair (2021), two CIHR operating grants (2021 and 2022), and a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2022).

The O’Brien Institute Mid-Career Research Leader Award

Dr. Turin Tanvir Chowdhury, PhD, associate professor, departments of family medicine and community health sciences, and a member of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute, Cumming School of Medicine

Dr. Chowdhury, an advocate for social justice and equity, leads a diverse research team addressing pressing healthcare challenges faced by vulnerable communities. His work focuses on unmet healthcare needs, equitable access, and integration of health professionals. A trailblazer in community-engaged research, Dr. Chowdhury emphasizes meaningful involvement of community members. With an impressive publication record and substantial grant funding, he actively collaborates across disciplines and sectors. In addition to his outstanding research, Dr. Chowdhury excels as an educator, enriching learning experiences for students. Dr. Chowdhury is an exceptional equity researcher, mentor, and leader, driven by an innate curiosity and an unwavering commitment to excellence.

Dr. Chowdhury boasts an impressive 286 publications. Since his academic appointment, he has authored 212 publications, including 43 as the first author and 93 as the senior author. Notably, 143 of these involve trainee/mentee collaboration, showcasing his commitment to nurturing the next generation of researchers. Furthermore, 47 publications involve community members, reflecting his dedication to fostering equitable and empowered community involvement in research.

The O'Brien Institute Research Excellence Award

Dr. Andrew McRae, MD, associate professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine

Dr. Andrew McRae has significantly impacted emergency medicine delivery with 113 papers, an H-index of 25, and 1970 citations. His research, spanning cardiovascular emergencies, syncope, chest pain, and COVID-19, has garnered over $3.2 million in funding. Dr. McRae's leadership includes CAEP Researcher of the Year and Top New Investigator awards, mentoring 37 students, and winning the Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada's mentorship award.

His pioneering work on high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays has reshaped Canadian emergency physicians' practices. A world leader in ED syncope research, Dr. McRae's Canadian Syncope Risk Score is adopted globally. As Vice-Chair of the Canadian COVID-19 Emergency Department Rapid Response Network, he influences policy decisions and guides clinical care. Dr. McRae's exceptional leadership, collaborative spirit, and dedication to mentorship extend his impact across both local and national realms.

The O’Brien Institute Societal Impact Award

Dr. Alan Martino, PhD, assistant professor, departments of community health sciences and obstetrics and gynaecology, Cumming School of Medicine

Dr. Alan Martino, a leading early-career scholar, has significantly contributed to disability studies by merging sociology of sexualities with critical disability studies. His ground-breaking work addresses the intersections of disability and sexuality, challenging norms that often deny sexual rights to disabled individuals. As the founder of the pioneering Disability and Sexuality Lab, Dr. Martino collaborates with community-based organizations to produce accessible knowledge mobilization products, fostering conversations beyond risk and harm. Committed to community engagement, his lab shares free-of-cost resources globally, emphasizing accessibility and intersectionality. Dr. Martino's impactful mentorship, research projects, and collaborations position him as a distinguished figure in disability studies.                 

The Lynn McIntyre Outstanding Service Award

Dr. David Campbell, MD, PhD, associate professor, departments of medicine, community health sciences and cardiac sciences, and a member of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute, Cumming School of Medicine

The O’Brien Institute is thrilled to present Dr. David Campbell with the Lynn McIntyre Outstanding Service Award for 2023. His noteworthy contributions of time, talent, and leadership to the O'Brien Institute for Public Health and its Centre for Health Policy have been truly outstanding. Dr. Campbell's dedication is exemplified by his performance of internal peer reviews, leadership in an 'anchor project' within the Anonymous Donor-funded initiative, active involvement as a reviewer for a postdoctoral scholar competition, contribution as a reviewer for the previous year's O'Brien Awards competition, and collaborative efforts with the ACT Canada Consortium to establish the innovative Health Policy Trials Unit. His multifaceted engagement underscores his invaluable role in shaping the institute's research landscape and fostering excellence in public health endeavors. Congratulations to Dr. David Campbell on this well-deserved recognition.