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Professor Andrea Tricco awarded Canada Research Chair to help governments, health-​care providers and patients make health-​related decisions

December 2/2016

Andrea Tricco, an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, has been awarded a Canada Research Chair in Knowledge andrea-tricco2Synthesis, federal Science Minister Kirsty Duncan announced today.

The five-year chair worth $100,000 a year will allow Tricco to continue her work in knowledge synthesis – combining information from large numbers of research studies in a way that helps governments, policy-makers, physicians, patients and others make evidence-based decisions around health care.

“I am thrilled to receive a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair,” said Dr. Tricco, who is also a scientist with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital.

“This award will allow me to continue my work advancing the science of knowledge synthesis. By improving our methods, researchers will be able to provide timely, relevant and high-quality information to decision-makers, including patients, health-care providers and the government. My dream is to improve the health of all Canadians by providing decision-makers with the specific information that they need just in time for them to make a decision.”

The Canada Research Chair program, established in 2000, is aimed at helping the country attract and retain research leaders in engineering and natural sciences, health sciences, humanities and social sciences. It is an initiative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Click here to read about U of T’s 25 CRC recipients

Dr. Tricco, who has a PhD in population health and MSc in epidemiology, has published more than 115 peer-reviewed articles. She previously held a Canadian Institutes of Health Research New Investigator Award (2012-17) and currently holds the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Science Early Researcher Award (2015-2020). She is an associate editor for three international journals, the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, BMC Medical Research Methodology, and Systematic Reviews, and is a member of the BMC Medicine editorial board.

Dr. Tricco and her team are frequently commissioned by the federal and provincial governments in Canada to provide evidence to support decision making, as well as foreign governments and international agencies such as the World Health Organizations.

They recently helped the Canadian Institutes of Health Research create modules to make peer reviewers aware of gender bias and to promote gender equity when reviewing grant applications. They helped the WHO and the South African government implement policies to prevent bankrupting the country’s health-care system. Their work on the benefits of insulin for people with Type 1 diabetes is being used by the WHO essential medicines guidelines group to help make recommendations on the use of these drugs internationally.

Clinicians and patients are making decisions based on a 2013 paper published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that found cognitive enhancers—drugs taken to enhance concentration, memory, alertness and moods—do not improve cognition or function in people with mild cognitive impairment in the long term, and in fact cause side effects.