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Current research, traditional methods and interventions for infectious disease prevention and control are not sufficient, especially in the context of marginalization, interactions between infections, bio-behavioral factors and social disparities. These methods and research could benefit from new insights derived from the study of syndemics*. My research interests focus on syndemics* of infectious diseases like HIV, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections. My research aims to evaluate the determinants of syndemics, extend the syndemic framework to non-communicable diseases and cancers, and design and evaluate prevention strategies to address syndemics.
My other areas of interest include the development and application of methods for analysis of big data, global health, and spatial epidemiologic methods and their application to public health practice. In addition to the above, I have worked internationally in academia and the development sector (World Health Organization and UNICEF).
*Syndemics is a term used to describe a framework to understand disease and health conditions that cluster within specific populations, and are exacerbated by underlying socio-economic, environmental and political conditions.
Cameron B. Chiarot
Cameron is a doctoral student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. Cameron received his Master of Business Administration degree from York University’s Schulich School of Business, an Honors Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario and holds a certificate in Healthcare Executive Leadership from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
Prior to joining Dr. Butt’s research program, Cameron has held numerous leadership positions at several of Canada’s largest hospitals and research organizations, including the Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and the University Health Network. In each of his roles, Cameron has maintained his passion for health research and has published several peer-reviewed manuscripts in high-impact scientific journals and he has presented his research and innovations at international conferences.
Global health systems continue to be on the quest of pushing the quality of life and life-expectancy envelope, but at the expense of three socio-economic factors: cost, environment and equity. Taking a health economics approach, Cameron’s research aims to better understand the relationship of syndemics in the context of these socio-economic factors and how these factors have led to the widening of disparities and disequilibrium in global health systems.
Bara’ is a PhD student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. Bara' completed her undergraduate degree in Dentistry and her master's in Public Health/Maternal and Child Health at Jordan University of Science and Technology.
Prior to joining Zahid’s research team, she worked at Jordan University of Science and Technology School of Public Health as a Teaching Assistant. She also worked on research related to dentists’ awareness and perceptions regarding COVID-19 and infection control. Currently, she is working on a scoping review on vaccine hesitancy
Bara' is interested in reducing the gap in social disparities especially for women groups as well as refugee women and to deal with health problems affecting the vulnerable groups and underserved individuals and communities. Her other areas of interest focus on immunizations, vaccine hesitancy, and infectious diseases like COVID-19.
Kiran is a PhD student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. Kiran completed her undergraduate degree in Medicine, and she has worked in academia and the development sector. She holds a membership of early career research network (EBLS) at university of Cambridge, UK.
Kiran has completed a scoping review on use of machine learning methods in maternal mental health. Her career and research interests include epidemiology, big data analysis, mental health, and global health.
Shu-Feng is a PhD student in the School of Public Health Sciences (previously School of Public Health and Health Systems) at the University of Waterloo. Shu-Feng completed her undergraduate degree in Nutrition at National Taiwan Normal University, her first master's in Nutrition and Food Systems at University of Kentucky, and her second master’s Business Analytics and Project Management at University of Connecticut.
Prior to joining Zahid’s research team, she worked at an international heath insurance corporation in the United States as a Data Analyst. She has worked as Teaching Assistant throughout her previous and current graduate programs. She has published a scoping review on social listening from social media data under the current COVID-19 pandemic. She has also initiated and run a social media informatics interest group where participants can learn and critique studies using social media data.
Shu-Feng is passionate about infodemic or mis-/disinformation associated with infectious diseases, and this research topic has been amplified by the current global crisis. Her research aims to develop a conceptual framework to further explore how infodemic influences people’s decision and behaviour with data from social media analyzed by machine learning or artificial intelligence techniques. Other research areas of her interest include Infodemiology, infosurveillance, digital health, data science, and machine learning/artificial intelligence.
Rena Yang is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the School of Public Health and Health Systems. Prior to joining Zahid’s research team, Rena worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Waterloo School of Public Health and Health Systems. Currently, Rena is working on her Ph.D. thesis and has recently involved in social media and COVID-19 projects. Rena is interested in AI, machine learning, and classical statistical modelling on population-level health data.
Christina Mac is a second year undergraduate student majoring in Health Studies with a minor in Gerontology and a Pre-Clinical specialization. Currently, she is a part of Dr. Zahid Butt's research team as a co-op student working on her individual research along with assisting other team members.
Prior to joining the research team, Christina was the co-founder and vice-president of Locks for Cancer, an organization that hosts city-wide hair donation events for cancer patients and cancer awareness.
Christina's research focuses on COVID-19 severity and mortality among ethnic minorities with comorbidities worldwide. Her research interests include syndemics, aging populations, and vaping/tobacco use. In the future, Christina wishes to pursue a career in medicine or research.
Hibah Sehar is a third year undergraduate student in Health Studies. She is also pursuing an option in Health Informatics and joined Dr. Zahid's team in February 2021.
Prior to joining she worked as a Research Assistant for another professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems as well as volunteering at a hospital in Waterloo, Ontario.
Currently, she is working on a commentary describing the unique experiences of individuals experiencing homelessness in Canada due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Her degree and co-op experiences have shaped her research and career interest to include health care, technology, and epidemiology.
Tijhiana is in her fourth year of Public Health. She has a strong interest in understanding how various social, cultural, environmental, and economic factors influence the health outcomes of individuals. She is also interested in learning more about how these different factors influence individuals on a global scale.
Amber is a third year Health Studies Co-op student at the University of Waterloo. She has a passion for understanding social determinants of health and their impact on wellbeing.
Prior to joining Dr. Zahid Butt's research team, Amber worked as a Credentials Assistant at The College of Physicians of Surgeons of Ontario, where she played an integral role in processing incoming application for medical licences.
Amber is currently working on a commentary on how refugees are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in Canada. She is interested in researching social determinants of health and their impact on a person's life course. Amber also wants to conduct more research in addiction, mental health and BIPOC groups.
William Tang is a fourth year Health Studies student with a specialization in Health Research in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo.
Prior to joining the research team, William worked at the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy and the ITC Project as a Research Assistant. Currently, he is working at the University of Alberta as a Research Assistant
William's research interests incldue health services, gerontology, technology, epidemiology, and public health informatics.
Melanie is a fourth year Honours Health Studies student with an Aging Studies Option and a Health Research Specialization in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo.
Prior to joining the research team, Melanie completed several co-op terms as part of the co-operative portion of her program, ranging from a Scientific Evaluator with Health Canada to a Research Assistant with Health and Rehab Research Inc.
Melanie is interested in infectious diseases, global health, and disease mapping. Melanie is planning on pursuing a master’s degree in epidemiology.