Sonia Anand, Senior Scientist and lead of the population health research team at PHRI – also Director, Population Genomics, McMaster University and a Professor in Medicine and Epidemiology – gave the 2020 Janet Rossant Lectureship online on Sept. 16th. Founded in 2018, the lectureship is given annually to a world-class, mid-career scholar to be part of the annual Massey Ground Rounds Symposium, now in its 14th year, to address an interdisciplinary health-related theme.

This year’s theme was Gender and Ethnic Variations in Health Risk. Dr. Anand presented on “Understanding the influence of gender and ancestral origin on the development of cardiovascular disease – a life-course perspective.” Among other topics, she discussed several PHRI studies, ongoing and completed, including START, PURE, CAHHM, INTERHEART, and SHARE.

In summary, Dr. Anand stated the priorities today in health research include:

  • Global shifts in ways of living is changing risk factor profiles and cardiovascular disease burden globally.
  • In Canada, the top priorities are: High risk populations; ;and high-risk communities.
  • Engaging high-risk and diverse populations is an efficient method to provide information on etiology and assist in the future design of interventions to improve their health outcomes.
  • We need good people to tackle difficult problems.

Complementary talks after Dr. Anand’s lectureship were given by:
– Gillian Hawker, Chair, Department of Medicine, U of T on “impact of population studies on individual care
– Sheldon Toba, Professor of Medicine, U of T, and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, on the defeat of end-stage diabetic kidney disease in Indigenous communities.

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