Relevant Degree Programs
Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!
- Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
- Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Requirements" or on the program website.
- Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
- Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
- Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
- Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
- Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
- Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
- Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
- Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
- Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
- Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
- Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
- Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
- Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.
Graduate Student Supervision
Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Nov 2019)
BACKGROUND: In many low tuberculosis (TB) incidence countries, TB rates have stagnated. In these countries, TB disproportionately affects migrant populations due to reactivation of latent TB infection (LTBI) acquired prior to immigration. Treatment of LTBI can significantly reduce risk of TB. The objective of this thesis is to determine the performance of common LTBI diagnostic tests in migrant populations and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of LTBI screening and treatment at various stages of the migration process and in migrants with chronic diseases, such as chronic kidney disease (CKD), that increase risk of TB.METHODS: A literature search determined the sensitivity of LTBI diagnostic tests: the tuberculin skin test (TST) and interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA). A meta-analysis was completed to determine the proportion of migrants testing positive with TST and IGRA from countries of various TB incidences. Discrete event simulation models evaluated the cost-effectiveness of LTBI screening and treatment in migrants: immediately post- immigration, prior to immigration, and at time of late stage CKD diagnosis or dialysis initiation. Incremental cost- effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were calculated for quality-adjusted life years.RESULTS: Sensitivities of 88.9% and 78.2% were found for the IGRA and TST, respectively. Fewer migrants test positive with an IGRA compared with a TST. Immediately after immigration, no LTBI screening was cost-effective when applied universally to all migrants (ICERs >$138,484), but can reduce the TB burden in migrants >20%. IGRA screening pre-immigration and rifampin treatment post-arrival can reduce the TB burden by >40% and results in ICERs
Objectives: The primary objectives of this thesis were to: (1) measure health-related quality of life (HRQL) and health state utility values (HSUVs) among patients with active tuberculosis (TB) disease and latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI); (2) investigate the relationship betwee HRQL and adverse drug reactions (ADR)among active TB patients; (3) quantify patients' preferences for LTBI preventive treatment. Methods: Two groups of patients were administered questionnaires: (1) Short-Form 36 (SF-36), Health Utility Index (HUI) and a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) were administered to 119 LTBI and 114 active TB patients at baseline and 3 months of their treatment. (2) A discrete choice experiment (DCE) survey was developed and administered among 214 LTBI patients. Conditional logit and latent class analysis were conducted to quantify respondents' preferences toward six treatment attributes (i.e. treatment length, clinic visit frequency, and risk of developing active TB, liver damage, skin rash and fatigue). Results: The baseline SF-36, HUI-2, HUI-3, Short-Form 6D (SF-6D) and VAS scores from active TB patients were significantly lower than those from LTBI patients. Major ADRs were shown to have significant impacts on active TB patients' HRQL and patients with lower baseline SF-36 scores were more likely to develop ADRs during the treatment. The three health utility instruments (HUI-2, HUI-3, and SF-6D) displayed acceptable construct validity when applying among TB population. However, they did not generate identical HSUV scores for the same individual. The DCE study results showed that all six attributes significantly influenced respondents' treatment decision and preference estimates were reasonable and consistent with our hypotheses. Substantial preference heterogeneity was observed among respondents. Latent class analysis assigned respondents into three groups and five socio-demographic factors significantly predicted the class assignment (i.e. origin of birth, education, employment, had children or not, and use of over-the counter medications).Conclusions: Active TB disease and the treatment associated ADR have substantial impacts on patients' HRQL. HRQL measurements might have the potential to predict patients' treatment outcomes. The DCE technique provides a useful tool of understanding patients' preferences surrounding health care products. this work demonstrates the value and importance of incorporating patient-reported outcome measurements into clinical research and practice.
Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major public health concern, and a delay in its diagnosis leads to continued disease transmission, and at the population level, may result in ineffective TB control programs. This delay may be associated with the inappropriate use of antibiotics, particularly the respiratory fluoroquinolones (FQ). In our study we determined whether the use of fluoroquinolones and other antibiotics results in a delay inthe diagnosis of TB. We used population-based data from the British Columbia Linked Health Databases(BCLHD), which collects longitudinal health care information. Residents who had active pulmonary TB from January 1, 1997 to December 31, 2006 as identified through the provincial TB control database were included and linked with data in BCLHD. Negative binomial regression was used to calculate the relative risk (RR) of health care delay (the time between first patient contact with the health care system for a respiratory conditionand the initiation of anti-TB medication) and antibiotic delay (the time between first patient prescription fill for antibiotics and initiation of anti-TB medication) compared to controls, adjusting for potential confounders. A total of 2232 patients had active TB diagnosed in BC between 1997 and 2006. Of these, 1544 participants were included in the study with health care contact six months prior to the date of diagnosis. After adjusting for gender, age, foreign-born status, socioeconomicstatus, prior chest radiograph and physician specialist visit, the health care delay forpatients exposed to antibiotics was found to be significant at RR 2.10 (95% CI 1.80-2.44).Gender, age, foreign-born status and socioeconomic status were not found to be significant factors. When categorizing this delay by antibiotic type, all antibiotic categories were at a significantly increased risk for delay. In addition, this delayincreased as the antibiotics prescribed also increased for the patient. Delay related toantibiotic exposure was found to be significant for the combination of FQ and non-FQ antibiotics at RR 1.35 (95% CI 1.08-1.70), but not for the FQ or non-FQ only categories. Our results indicate a delay in TB diagnosis due to previous exposure to any antibiotic and not just fluoroquinolones.