Muhammad Farhan Majid

AMMMuhammad Farhan Majid is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Health and Social Policy. A PhD graduate in Economics from the University of California, Riverside, he was previously a Postdoctoral Research Scholar  at the Population Studies Center at University of Pennsylvania. There he worked on “Saving Brains”, a Grand Challenges Canada project to study the causal impact of health and nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life on later-life cognition, health and well-being. Farhan’s job market paper  utilized the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a period of religious fasting, as a natural experiment to identify the persistent effects of in utero nutrition on several stages of the life cycle, with an emphasis on adult labor market outcomes in Indonesia. He has presented at or has been invited to numerous seminars and conferences, and was part of the organizing committee for the University of California Global Health Day 2013. Along the way, he has gained valuable experience working with datasets from countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. During his current fellowship with MACHEquity, he plans to complement his prior research by studying causal effects of different socio-economic conditions and policies (e.g. minimum wage laws) on global health.

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Patricia Mallma

photoPMPatricia Mallma graduated as Statistician from San Marcos University in Lima-Peru in 2001. She has a Master degree in Health Sciences’ with emphasis in Environmental Health from the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico (2005-2007). Her Master’ thesis assessed the impact of the elimination of lead in gasoline on blood lead levels in children at Mexico, City. Now, she works at the Unit of Epidemiology, STD and HIV at Cayetano Heredia University in Lima-Peru, where she is the data manager and data analist for several projects. Her research interest is environmental, maternal, and mobile health.

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Soyoon Weon


Soyoon Weon is a PhD student at the School of Social Work, McGill University. Soyoon received a Masters in Public Administration and Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Seoul National University in Korea. Prior to commencing her doctoral studies, Soyoon worked in the Korea Ministry of Gender Equality and Family and Ministry of Health and Welfare as a deputy director for seven years. Her research area is working poor, asset/wealth inequality and matched savings program, program evaluation and comparative social welfare policy.

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Deepa Jahagirdar

IMG_20131217_125315 copyDeepa is a PhD student in Epidemiology at McGill.  Her Masters degree in Health, Community and Deveopment at the London School of Economics, where her thesis centred on the impact of social services in an East London Bangladeshi immigrant community.  After her master’s, she worked for two years on a research project regarding the accessibility of patient reported outcome measures to people with learning disabilities with the National Health Service in Glasgow, Scotland.   Before joining her PhD, she also worked as analyst with RAND Europe in Cambridge, England.  Currently, her research is focused on the potential impact of government food and nutrition policies to prevent ill-health.

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Pragya Bhuwania

Pragya Bhuwania is a Research Associate at the Centre for Public Policy, IIM Bangalore, where she is currently working on two projects in the domain of health; the first one focuses on exploring the association between under-nutrition and various indicators of wealth inequality measured at different levels of aggregation using National Family Health Survey-3 data, and the second second one evaluates the association between access to Mahila Samakhya programme, rolled out by the government of India, and health-seeking behavior of individuals aggregated at district level. Her research interests include the application of quantitative methods in the fields of public policy, social epidemiology, and development economics, particularly health and education.

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PAST FELLOWS (2013-2014)

Alissa Koski

Alissa KoskiAlissa Koski is a Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Health and Social Policy and a PhD candidate in the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health at McGill University. As a collaborator on MACHEquity she is primarily involved in the application of quasi-experimental research designs to estimate the effects of social policies on maternal and child health. Specifically, she will evaluate the effects of a conditional cash transfer program in India that incentivizes giving birth in health facilities on maternal and infant mortality. Alissa holds a BSc from Michigan Technological University and an MPH in global public health from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree in Montreal she worked with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for three years on the design and implementation of a mixed-methods research initiative aimed at reducing post-partum hemorrhage at home births in Ghana and India. Her current research interests are in women’s and maternal health, evaluation of social policy, and demand-side financing initiatives in health care. Technical interests include the use of econometric methods in social epidemiology and statistical methods for causal inference.

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Amm Quamruzzaman

AMMAmm Quamruzzaman is a Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Health and Social Policy (IHSP) and a PhD student at the Department of Sociology, McGill University, where he is teaching an undergraduate course on the Sociology of Culture during the winter term. At IHSP, he works primarily with the research program: Examining the Impact of Social Policy on Health Equity. His work on MACHEquity particularly focuses on the relationships between policies aimed at reducing poverty, income and gender inequalities and mortality and morbidity among women and children. He will test some of these relationships using empirical data and disseminate his research findings. His research interests include governance for human development, social policy and health outcomes, and population health in complex emergencies. He earned his first master’s degree in sociology from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and his second master’s degree in the same subject from Queen’s University, Ontario. He served with different government and international organizations, including ten years in UNICEF in the fields of maternal and child health, water and sanitation, and education, and contributed to the development of a pre-primary education policy in Bangladesh.

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Benson Thomas

Benson ThomasBenson Thomas is a Doctoral Scholar at the Institute for Social and Economic Change in Bangalore, India. As an aspirant for a doctoral degree in philosophy in health economics, he completed additional research training in applied demography and sociology apart from his parent subject, economics. Benson has achieved his graduate and post-graduate degrees in Economics from the University of Calicut, India through St. Thomas College, Thrissur. His research interests broadly cover the economics of health and populations, demographic dividend, policy issues on health intervention, healthcare demand and utilization, epidemiology, bio-demography and population aging. Currently, Benson is working on MACHEquity as a Research Fellow at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Prior to this, Benson worked with various premier research institutions in India such as the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore, the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, and the Centre for Socio-economic and Environmental Studies, Kochi. His published works include research papers and articles on demography, health economics, decentralisation and local governance in national and international academic journals.

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Belinda Maswikwa

Belinda MaswikwaBelinda Maswikwa is a Research Fellow in the Social Policy and Health Equity Program at the Human Sciences Research Council in Durban, South Africa. Prior to this she worked as a Research Assistant for the Southern African Migration Project in Kingston, Canada (2010 – 2012). She has a Master of Arts degree in Global Development Studies from Queen’s University in Canada and a Master of Arts degree in International Relations from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Her main research interests are in gender, health, migration, citizenship rights and HIV/AIDS.

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José E. Pérez-Lu

JosePerez-LuJosé E. Pérez-Lu is the Director of WawaRed, a project that aims to improve maternal health and health information systems in Ventanilla, a low-income community in Lima, Peru. The project involves the innovative use of mobile systems to provide medical advice to pregnant women through the delivery of short text messages by sending reminders, appointments, preventive and motivational messages. In addition, the project includes the implementation of an open-source electronic health record for prenatal care in health care facilities. José graduated from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia with an MD and Master’s in Epidemiology. His thesis involved estimating the incidence and factors associated with tuberculosis skin test conversion among health sciences students, analyzing annual checkups performed on undergraduates at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia for the past eight years (2002-2009). His research interests include using information and communication technologies to scale up maternal health interventions. He will participate as a Doctoral Fellow in MACHEquity, focusing on the impact of social policies on health equity.

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