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Annual Report 2017

Driving insights into human health

Dr. Neeru Gupta and Dr. Jeff Hebert

UNB is proud to have established three new diabetes, chiropractic and cannabis health research chairs. The university’s commitment to innovation in health science research is not only making a difference in this province but, in many cases, leading the country.

Through the creation of the research chair positions, UNB will be able to continue to produce impactful research that attracts high-calibre researchers and boosts the provincial economy.

Diabetes health research chair

Dr. Neeru Gupta, an expert in population health and former analyst at the World Health Organization, has been named Diabetes Health Research Chair.

Dr. Gupta previously worked to improve public health systems, researching the effects of chronic illness such as diabetes on society, and helping to inform evidence-based public health policy both locally and internationally. Her goal as research chair will be to build a better understanding of the causes and effects of diabetes and improve service provision.

“There are many unanswered questions about the possible links between diabetes and other chronic illnesses,” says Dr. Gupta. “This role will allow us to further investigate those links through evidence, which could lead to improved understanding of how to promote better health and quality of life for all.”

Chiropractic health research chair

Dr. Jeff Hebert, who has had an extensive career over the past 18 years in faculty, clinical and administrative positions in the United States and Australia, has joined the faculty of kinesiology and been named Chiropractic Health Research Chair.

Dr. Hebert’s new chair position will focus on three areas of research: Understanding the clinical outcomes of surgical and non-operative interventions for musculoskeletal disorders; investigating the impact of musculoskeletal disorders on physical activity behaviour and cardiovascular health in young people and adults; discovering determinants of clinical outcome for people with musculoskeletal disorders undergoing surgical and non-operative therapies.

Little is known about the effects of musculoskeletal disorders on other important health problems, explains Dr. Hebert. “The research we conduct at UNB will attempt to unravel these relationships to inform clinical and policy decision-making.”

Cannabis health research chair

The cannabis health research chair – the first in pharmacological sciences – is a prime example of the university’s commitment to discovery. The chair will focus on the study of biochemistry, medicinal use and pharmacology of cannabis.

Potential research areas for the chair include the analysis of existing cannabis literature, in order to understand inconsistencies and identify needs for future research; the biochemistry and medicinal chemistry analyses of cannabis; and preclinical pharmacology studies.

This research will expand UNB’s commitment to research and innovation in the field of natural product and biomedical, health and life sciences – adding to its reputation as a leader in natural products research. While further increasing the university’s capacity to train, mentor and prepare students to work effectively in botanical product research.