IGH Research Teams – Emerging Team Grant Program: New Perspectives on Gender, Sex and Health Research (2008-2012)

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iTAG (investigating Tobacco and Gender)

Principal investigators: Dr. Joan Bottorff and Dr. John Oliffe

iTAG (Investigating Tobacco and Gender) is a collaborative, interdisciplinary research team committed to developing gender-sensitive tobacco reduction and cessation interventions. Tobacco use is a significant public health issues in Canada and the differences in smoking rates between men and women are in large part a reflection of the influence of gender and social-context factors that influence tobacco use and, ultimately, interventions. The iTAG team is interested in, for example, examining how various masculine and feminine gendered practices influence smoking patterns and smoking cessation interventions, and how men- and women-centered strategies can be developed to maximize the chances for reduction and cessation.

The iTAG team, led by Drs. Joan Bottorff and John Oliffe at the University of British Columbia, has a number of projects underway including Tobacco Reduction Interventions for HIV+ Smokers; Integrating Gender Sensitive Tobacco Dependence Treatment in Women's Smoking; Young Adult Quitters Pilot Photo Elicitation study; Tobacco Reduction Among Family Members of Cancer Patients, as well as FACET (Families Controlling and Eliminating Tobacco) related studies.

iTAG is focused on building capacity for effective knowledge translation to message other health care providers, policy makers and the public and maximizing the impact of gender-sensitive tobacco reduction programs. They have received extensive media attention, published numerous journal articles, and produced evidence-based resources to support tobacco reduction.

Contact iTAG:

UBC - Vancouver
302-6190 Agronomy Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
Telephone: 604-822-2581
Email: itag@nursing.ubc.ca

UBC - Okanagan
246B Fipke, 3333 University Way
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7
Telephone: 250-807-8627
Email: joan.bottorff@ubc.ca

Promoting Health in Women Team

Principal investigators: Dr. Lorraine Greaves, Dr. Jan Christilaw, and Dr. Karin Humphries

The PhiWomen* Team is an interdisciplinary team working to reduce gender and health inequities through the advancement of effective health promotion for women. The team is incorporating theory on sex, gender, and diversity with evidence on women's health and health promotion programs. The overarching goal of the PhiWomen Team is to develop a conceptual framework to guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based health promotion to improve women's health, and to guide the development of health promotion initiatives for women.

To achieve these goals, the PhiWomen Team is collecting evidence through systematic literature reviews, and developing and analyzing case studies investigating various aspects of women's health and health promotion. The team conducts community-based research, clinical research, and health services research in a range of settings to advance the framework. The Team is also using innovative knowledge translation practices to both involve and inform women, health care providers, program developers, and policy makers.

The PhiWomen Team is igniting an agenda for health promotion for women in Canada. The team is made up of academic and community-based researchers, trainees, and staff based primarily at the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, BC Women's Hospital & Health Centre, and the Provincial Health Services Authority of BC.

Contact PhiWomen:

Phoebe Long, Administrative Coordinator
Email: plong@cw.bc.ca

*Phi /pronounced "fai"/n. is a Greek letter often used to represent the golden ratio. By choosing PhiWomen for our team name, we are committing to precision and excellence in our work.

CIHR Team in Gender, Environment and Health

Principal investigators: Dr. Donna Mergler, Dr. Ellen Balka, Prof. Katherine Lippel, Dr. Karen Messing, Dr. Stacey Ritz, and Dr. Johanne Saint-Charles

Integrating gender and sex in health and environment research: development of new methodology.

It is common knowledge that boys and girls, men and women, are biologically different. Throughout their lives, they are confronted with different social expectations and their experiences lead them to interact differently with their physical and social environments. However, research in environment and health has been slow to translate these basic considerations into methodologically sound studies that adequately consider sex and gender (sex and gender).

The lack of information in this area has critical implications for population health status and health services, as well as for the design of effective, preventive and relevant intervention strategies for children, adolescents, family members involved in paid and non-paid work and the elderly.

This pan-Canadian interdisciplinary research team has been created to respond to the need for new approaches and methods that will allow us to better understand the sex and gender differences in environment and health relationships.

Main objective:

Integrate sex and gender considerations into environmental and occupational health research throughout the lifespan.

Specific objectives:

  • Develop innovative and interdisciplinary quantitative and qualitative methods that integrate sex and gender considerations into environmental and occupational health research throughout the lifespan.
  • Gain new knowledge that demonstrates the scientific importance of integrating sex and gender considerations into environment health research and intervention throughout the lifespan.
  • Identify new research areas in sex and gender, environment and health interactions that have not yet been addressed and that are crucial for the improvement of health and the health care system.
  • Initiate multi-centre and multi-disciplinary research projects to answer the research questions that arise during the initial years of the program.
  • Establish and reinforce collaborations with community-based and public health partners working in environmental and occupational health in order to better understand the real-life mechanisms linking environmental health to sex and gender and to improve prevention and treatment.
  • Train and mentor young researchers in the integration of sex and gender in environmental health research in order to guarantee the continued use of approaches and high standards for future creative and innovative research.
  • Organize and participate in national and international scientific, public health and community-based activities to encourage the inclusion of sex and gender considerations in research, intervention and policy-making.

To achieve the goals of the team, we have established a participatory structure with partners working in the field of environment and health and a 5-year progressive research and activities plan grounded in on-going research in environment and health across Canada.

Contact the CIHR Team in Integrating Gender and Sex in Health and Environment Research:

Marie Eve Rioux-Pelletier
Coordinator of the CIHR Team in Gender, Environment and Health
Telephone: 1-514-987-3000 ext. 4757
Email: rioux-pelletier.marie_eve@uqam.ca

Mailing address
Université du Québec à Montréal
Case postale 8888, Succursale Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec) Canada
H3C 3P8

Street address
Université du Québec à Montréal
2080, rue Saint-Urbain
SB-1980 (Pavillon : Sciences biologiques)
Montréal (Québec) Canada
H2X 3X8

Gender Differences and Premature Infants - Multidisciplinary Scientist Team (MUST)

Principal investigators: Dr. Yves Tremblay, Dr. Emmanuel Bujold, Dr. Raymond Lambert, Dr. Francine Lefebvre, Dr. Gina Muckle, Dr. Bruno Piedboeuf, and Dr. Guy Poirier.

Gender Differences and Premature Infants is a group of investigators known under the acronym MUST for MUltidisciplinary Scientist Team. Currently, MUST involves researchers from a spectrum of complementary disciplines covering biomedical, clinical, and public health sectors. Members come from three faculties and two universities. The team is dedicated to translating research findings for the well-being of premature infants, parents, and society. The mandate of MUST is to convert existing and new knowledge into action to improve health and the fate of survivors born at extreme prematurity. By promoting multi and transdisciplinary research, MUST documents the question of how fetal sex impacts upon critical medical situations in cases of premature infants. The objective is to design new evidence-based guidelines in perinatology and public policy. The team has developed an integrative approach to document the role of biological sex on lung development (biomedical) and other outcomes. The team also considers the effects of counselling provided by clinicians (clinical) and the influence of risk factors on neurobehavioral outcomes with measurements at primary school age (public health). To translate research findings into reality for premature infants, the team benefits from transdisciplinary research analysis using a web-based discussion forum. MUST provides an innovative point of view in doing research and hopes to generate new knowledge, improve communication, facilitate dissemination, favour in-depth contributions of the parents in the medical decision, and promote implementation of new clinical and policy guidelines in perinatalogy.

Contact MUST:

Yves Tremblay, PhD
Director CIHR-IGH-NET: Gender Differences and Premature Infants
Room T-1-49
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, PCRCHUL
2705, Laurier Boulevard, Québec G1V 4G2
Telephone: 418-525-4444 ext. 46158
E-book: L'influence de la prématurité et du sexe de l'enfant sur ses perspectives de santé (only in French)

CIHR Team in Perinatal Mental Health

Principal investigators: Dr. Phyllis Zelkowitz, Dr. Ian J. Gold, and Dr. Danielle Groleau

The CIHR Team in Perinatal Mental Health brings together researchers from the biomedical and social sciences to investigate how sociocultural, psychological and biological factors interact in relation to mental illness in pregnancy and postpartum. Perinatal mental health problems are not only prevalent, but also persistent, often lasting well into the first postpartum year, and recurrence rates during subsequent pregnancies are very high. However, these disorders are often unrecognized and remain largely untreated. The team is implementing an innovative research program to examine links between adverse life circumstances, hormonal and physiological risk factors and maternal mental health problems, which in turn may affect the mother-infant relationship. An additional goal is to understand health services needs and utilization patterns among women from diverse sociocultural backgrounds. The team is supported by an Advisory Committee of health professionals and community members who meet four times per year to discuss the conduct and progress of the research program, as well as its implications for clinical practice. The projects that are currently underway include a longitudinal study of individual differences in oxytocin levels during pregnancy and postpartum, in relation to psychosocial risk factors, symptoms of anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and delusions, as well as mother-infant interaction. They have also undertaken studies of the knowledge and attitudes of health care providers concerning screening and treatment of women with perinatal mental health problems, and of service needs and preferences among postpartum women with depressive symptoms. The team will also study PTSD symptoms in high-risk postpartum women and their partners.

Contact the CIHR Team in Perinatal Mental Health:

Dr. Phyllis Zelkowitz
Director of Research
Department of Psychiatry
Jewish General Hospital
4333 Cote Ste Catherine Road
Montreal, QC H3T 1E4
Telephone: 514-340-8222 ext. 5258
Email: phyllis.zelkowitz@mcgill.ca

Marie-Eve Carrier
Research Coordinator
CIHR Team in Perinatal Mental Health Institut
Institute of Community and Family Psychiatry
Jewish General Hospital
4333 Cote Ste Catherine Road, #223
Montreal, QC H3T 1E4
Telephone: 514-340-8222 ext.3308

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