I was born in Los Angeles, California, USA and grew up in Detroit, Michigan, USA, returning to California to complete a BA degree in Latin American Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, including a year at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City. My graduate training consisted of degree work in Epidemiology (MPH, PhD) and Latin American Studies (MA) at the University of California at Los Angeles, with fieldwork in Colombia. In 1994, I initiated a postdoctoral fellowship in preventive oncology at the University of Southern California. In 1995, I became an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, where I was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2003. In 2005, I was appointed associate professor with tenure in the Division of Gastroenterology of the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta, where I currently hold the position of professor, with an adjunct appointment in the University of Alberta School of Public Health.
My background in educational theory and practice has oriented me to strive to embody the view that great teachers have the ability to stimulate active learning and encourage students to be critical, creative thinkers. To this end, in my courses I minimize the amount of time devoted to lecturing and maximize activities that allow learning-by-doing, foster critical thinking, and put students in charge of their own intellectual growth as scholars and practitioners. Teaching Areas
I have developed and taught courses in epidemiologic methods and related special topics.
My research has focused on the epidemiology of H pylori infection. I’ve directed research projects in Colombia, the US/Mexico border region, and Arctic Canada. My published research on H pylori infection has been cited in over 500 publications catalogued by the Science Citation Index. Upon joining the Centre for Excellence in Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research (CEGIIR) at the University of Alberta in 2005, I united colleagues to conduct research aimed at answering questions about health risks from H pylori infection posed by residents of Aboriginal communities in northern Canada and their health care providers. This team includes scientists from various disciplines (epidemiology, anthropology, policy sciences, microbiology, pathology, gastroenterology), clinicians, health officials and community leaders. As a starting point, we initiated the Aklavik H pylori Project. This community-driven research led to the formation of the Canadian North Helicobacter pylori (CANHelp) Working Group, which I direct, and which links Alberta scientists and clinicians with health authorities and community leaders in the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Current goals are to: 1) Obtain representative data from northern Canadian communities for informing regional public health strategies aimed at reducing health risks from H pylori infection; 2) Conduct policy analysis to identify cost-effective and culturally appropriate H pylori management strategies; 3) Develop knowledge exchange strategies that help community members and their health care providers understand H pylori health risks as well as currently available solutions and unsolved challenges for reducing these health risks.http://canhelpworkinggroup.ca
Community-academic partnerships for evidence-based cancer prevention strategies that support Alberta First Nations and Métis goals
- Funding Source: Alberta Health
- Year Granted: 2017
- Research Role: Principal Investigator