Search

Mr Epidemiology

No, I'm not a skin doctor

Category

Roundup

Level up! Mr Epid is now Dr Epid!

My old lab got me a cake to celebrate!
My old lab got me a cake to celebrate!

I’m back! I took an extended hiatus from the blog while I finished up my PhD, but, at the end of March, I successfully defended my PhD, and after making the changes suggested by the examining committee I submitted in the middle of April and started working. Those of you following along on Twitter will recognize the change in my Twitter handle from @MrEpid to @DrEpid; those of you who know me in real life will have heard me go on about it for the last few months as I prepare. For those wondering, I will eventually change the URL of my blog as well so they all match:)

For those unaware of the process, the PhD defence is an oral exam. At Queen’s (the process may differ at other universities), you submit your thesis, and then have to wait (a minimum) of 25 business days for the exam. The exam consists of 4 examiners; an examiner external to your university, one external to your department, one from your department, and the final examiner is your department head (or a department head delegate). You also have a chair from another department from your institution, as well as your supervisors there. After you give a 15-20 minute presentation, the examiners ask their questions. Typically, there are two rounds of questions, after which you leave, and the examiners deliberate. You’re then called back in, and they let you know their decision, and any changes you have to make before submitting your final thesis. My examiners were amazing, and while the questions were tough, they were fair. I actually really enjoyed the discussion I had with my examiners during my defence, and they ranged from the details of my analysis, to the concept of “ethnic identity” and what it actually means in terms of my research.

I want to thank everyone for their support over the past 4 and a bit years. As per prior precedents (Janiszewski, 2010; Saunders, 2013), I will be copy-pasting the acknowledgements section from my thesis below. I’d also like to thank the PLOS Blogs network, especially Victoria Costello for giving me the opportunity to join the network, and Travis and Peter for their support and encouragement when I started blogging. In addition, thank you to my co-authors Beth and Lindsay here who picked up the slack when I took a hiatus this year to focus on finishing up.

Finally, a special thank you to all the readers of the blog. It’s been a privilege to write for you, and it means a lot when you tell me how much you enjoy my work. Thank you, and I’m looking forward to getting back into writing more regularly.

Acknowledgements

I would like to start by thanking my supervisors, Dr. Will Pickett and Dr. Ian Janssen. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from you both, and appreciate your support through my PhD journey. Your honesty, integrity, and willingness to always provide me feedback and support was always appreciated. Will, I look forward to our teams meeting in the playoffs again (hopefully with better results for me this time!)

I would also like to thank those in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology/Public Health Sciences and the Clinical Research Centre for their support, with a special thank you to Lee Watkins and Deb Emerton for their help. Thank you also to the Clinical Research Centre Student Group. Your antics, customized t-shirts, snack breaks, and random dance parties always kept me entertained, and it’s been a pleasure working with all of you. The Thought Tub is richer for having you.

This work would not have been possible without the financial support of Queen’s University, the Ministry of Colleges, Training and Universities Ontario Graduate Scholarship, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Doctoral Award.

I would also like to thank my friends and colleagues, especially Anne, Kim, Raymond, Sarah, Alison, Hidé and Marion who have been unwavering in their support over the years. I also owe a special debt of gratitude to Rim, Lydia, Liam, Hoefel, Brian and the Gong Show/Danger Zone family for ensuring that I always get some physical activity, and that yes, I do even lift.

Finally, thank you to my family. Your love, support, guidance, and willingness to listen to me at all times of the day have allowed me to complete this project. Thank you.

Interesting reads: July 14th – July 20th, 2012


I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend!

-Atif

Interesting reads: July 7th – July 13th, 2012

Stanley Cup Summed Up from Bard Edlund on Vimeo.

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend!

-Atif

Interesting reads: June 30th – July 6th, 2012

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

  • The link above is from the San Francisco Big Bay Boom fireworks. A computer glitch resulted in all of the fireworks going off together – 20 minutes worth exploding in 15 seconds. For another view, click here.
  • Scott Gavura over at Science Based Medicine takes on Dr Oz. When Dr Oz claimed that coffee beans can lead to weight loss, Scott reviewed the evidence. One of these men followed the scientific method. The other is the Vice Chair of Surgery at Columbia University.
  • Oscar Pistorius became the first amputee athlete to compete at the Olympics! Way to go Oscar!
  • Of course, this isn’t without controversy – do his artificial limbs give him a competitive advantage?
  • Do you remember the game Centipede? Did you know it was coded by one of the first female programmers in the business? I had no idea, but here’s a cool interview with her and her experiences of working in a male-dominated profession.
  • Finally, PLoS medicine did a great series on “Big Food.” It’s highly worth the read.

Have a great weekend!

-Atif

Interesting reads: June 16th – June 29th, 2012

The World’s Most Accurate Pie Chart

A double whammy of interesting reads today. Last week I was at the Canadian Obesity Student Meeting in Edmonton (thoughts about that to come shortly), and this week I’ve been catching up on work. Things should calm down by the middle of July though, so I’ll have some new posts up around then.

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend!

-Atif

Interesting reads: June 9th – June 15th, 2012

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend!

-Atif

Interesting reads: June 2nd – June 8th, 2012

A great pic of Venus travelling across the sun in NJ (via @gmusser)

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend!

-Atif

Interesting reads: May 26th – June 1st, 2012

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

  • A friend of mine has proposed a social marketing approach for oral rehydration therapy and has applied for funding to make it a reality. If you want to support her application for Grand Challenges Canada, please vote here.
  • This is an ethical quandary. Darcy Doherty has a cancer, and wants to be treated with an experimental drug. However, because it is experimental, the company doesn’t know the side effects and ramifications of giving it to him and so won’t give him the medication. However, he feels he has nothing to lose. If, after you read it you want to support Darcy’s cause, there’s a petition available here. Thanks Michelle D. for the link!
  • Why are women not pursuing academic careers? Thanks to Kathleen for the link!
  • Is Facebook making us lonely? (warning: long read)
  • Finally, a heartwarming story about how some Queen’s students raised money to support a Special Olympics athlete

Have a great weekend!

-Atif

Interesting reads: MSF Scientific Day Edition!

I’m not going to post my usual collection of links this week. Instead, I’m going to encourage all my readers to check out the MSF Scientific Day. It’s looking to be an interesting event, and the Agenda and posters cover a broad range of topics. They’ve been holding interviews on Twitter with the presenters (#MSFSD), and it’s been well received so far.

I’d strongly recommend participating if you can. You don’t have to watch the whole day (I know I won’t due to meetings and work), but if you have some time to kill, stop by their live stream, ask some questions on Twitter or Facebook and expand your horizons.

You can follow along online on the MSF Facebook page, Twitter @msf_uk or by using the hashtag #MSFSD.

Have a great weekend! And for those of you running in the Ottawa Race Weekend, good luck!!

-Atif

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. | The Baskerville Theme.

Up ↑

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,336 other followers

%d bloggers like this: