Student Seminar Series: 2008-2009

22 April 2009: How not to write or submit your thesis

Speakers: Ms. Katherine Hayden and Dr. James Brophy

A thesis workshop covering both the administrative process and the academic requirements for successfully completing your thesis project. The following two documents were handed out at the seminar and are useful for helping to prepare your thesis: Guidelines for Manuscript-Based Thesis and Preparation for Submission of Thesis.

Disclaimer: the information in these documents may not be fully up-to-date (beyond the date of the seminar).

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18 March 2009: PubMed Search and Citation Managing (EndNote) Workshop

Speakers: Rachel Bennett and Orit Schieir

Many students have difficulty running efficient literature searches and managing their references. During this workshop, students were introduced to using MeSH terms, together with Boolean operators and the PICO method in order to conduct efficient and effective PubMed searches. Students were also shown how to receive email updates of new articles that match their search criteria. Instructions on how to download EndNote, as well as how to import, sort, and manage references were provided. Students were also shown how to "cite while you write" and how to change the format of their references. Many thanks go to Dr Madhu Pai for providing the materials for this workshop.

4 March 2009: What to do with a graduate degree from our department?: A panel discussion on potential career opportunities in non-academic settings


Laurie Lambert (Coordinator of cardiology evaluation unit - Agence d'évaluation des technologies et des modes d'intervention en santé, AETMIS) began studying physical education then enrolled into the Master of Public Health at the University of Western Australia after getting involved in an occupational health research project concerning low back pain.  Her Masters involved two years of course work concerning research methods and epidemiology as well as a thesis. She completed a PhD in Public Health at the University of Perth concerning the effect of hysterectomy on risk of heart attack. Since 2004, she has been working at Quebec Agency for Health Services and Technology Assessment as the co-ordinator of the cardiology evaluation unit.

Tom Koutsavlis (Abbott Labs, Director - Medical Division) earned his Master of Science (Epidemiology and Biostatistics), and a Doctor of Medicine from McGill certified specialist in Community Medicine.  He is also currently pursuing his Master of Business Administration from the John Molson School of Business.  He has held positions in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, and the Montreal Regional Public Health Directorate. He has also held various positions from Director Medical Affairs, Business Operations and Emerging Therapies at Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada to Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Paladin Labs Inc. in Montreal. He is currently the Medical Director at Abbott Laboratories since Feb 2007.

Lena Shah (PHAC - Office of Public Health Practice) graduated with a master's in community health from the University of Manitoba in 2006, where her thesis focused on Hepatitis C transmission. From there, Lena was a Field surveillance officer for HIV with PHAC placed in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario. After that, she was a Field Epidemiologist with PHAC and placed at the BCCDC for 2 years. During this time, she was involved with surveillance and outbreaks, and spent 3 months in India on a polio mission.  She is currently a PhD student while also working for the Office of Public Health Practice at PHAC.

Feel free to contact the speakers with questions about job opportunities in their field of work.

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4 February 2009: Prevalence of and risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in young couples: Results from the HITCH Cohort Study

Presenter: Ann Burchell, MSc, PhD (Candidate)
Project Coordinator, Division of Cancer Epidemiology
McGill University

Abstract: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection, but few epidemiologic data are available from couple-based investigations, the ideal population for studying HPV transmission. The objectives of this presentation are to describe the prevalence of HPV among men and in women in new sexual relationships, and to estimate the influence of partners’ HPV status, lifetime number of sexual partners, and condom use on prevalent HPV infection.  Cross-sectional enrolment data from the ongoing HITCH Cohort Study (HPV Infection and Transmission among Couples through Heterosexual activity) will be presented to address these objectives. Women attending university or CEGEP in Montreal and their male partners were enrolled between May 2005 and August 2008. The results will show that HPV prevalence was high among persons with a new sex partner. The partner’s HPV status was the most important risk factor for prevalent HPV infection and condoms exerted a stronger protective effect among men than among women.

Bio: Ann Burchell is an epidemiologist and Project Coordinator of the HITCH Cohort Study at the Division of Cancer Epidemiology, McGill University. She obtained her MSc at the University of Toronto in 1997, and began PhD studies at McGill in 2003 under the supervision of Dr. Eduardo Franco. Her research interests are the prevention of the leading causes of STI-related morbidity and mortality including HPV and cervical cancer and HIV/AIDS. Studied populations have included the general population, young adults, Aboriginal people, prisoners, gay men, and injection drug users.

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