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Laura Rosella named a recipient of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40

June 27/2018

Laura Rosella was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in recognition for her significant contributions to evidence-based public health policy and health system reform. A public health policy researcher, teacher and mentor, she’s had a tremendous impact on students, faculty and partners at the DLSPH and on Canada’s health system.

“I am truly honoured and thrilled to receive this recognition! It means so much to me and all

Laura Rosella

Prof Laura Rosella

the wonderful people I work with,” said Rosella, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Canada Research Chair and Scientific Director of the Population Health Analytics Laboratory at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH).

Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 is an annual recognition of the exceptional achievements of 40 outstanding Canadians under the age of 40, including hundreds of nationally and internationally prominent CEOs, CFOs, executives, and entrepreneurs. Rosella was selected from more than 800 nominees by an independent advisory board of business leaders from across Canada. Honourees were chosen on four key criteria: vision and innovation; leadership; impact and influence; and social responsibility.

“Laura is quickly becoming a research powerhouse and this recognition is incredibly well deserved,” said Adalsteinn Brown, Dean of the DLSPH. “Her research bridges public health and health system policy, making her a tremendous asset both to governments and health providers, and it’s fundamentally shaping our understanding of how health is changing,” said Brown, who also holds the Dalla Lana Chair in Public Health Policy.

Rosella’s research helps answer questions posed by provincial decision-makers by analyzing large, population-based health data and providing health system feedback to researchers, policy-makers and hospital administrators. Her lab develops a range of prediction models designed to support the way health data is used for a more proactive approach to health system decision making.

“The majority of healthcare resources are spent on acute care, but with the help of big data, priorities are changing and there’s a stronger focus on prevention,” said Rosella who is also U of T site director for the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

“Preventing disease means looking upstream at social factors that influence health, including housing, income and geography. This is where collaboration among public health and health policy researchers can have the greatest impact on the health of Canadians,” said Rosella.

In the last year, she’s published 30 high-impact papers, editorials and reports, including the Ontario Atlas of Adult Mortality, 1992 – 2015: Trends in Local Health Integration Network and the paper, Accumulation of Chronic Conditions at the Time of Death Increased in Ontario from 1994 to 2013 in Health Affairs. She also recently published a new prediction model in Medical Care designed to predict high cost healthcare users based on demographic, clinical and social factors that are widely collected.

“Laura believes firmly in applying her expertise and our team’s skills towards some of the most complex health system challenges, including improving health system performance, sustainability and equity. To ensure her work is relevant and useful, she always engages with those who will be impacted by her work,” said Catherine Bornbaum, Managing Director of the Population Health Analytics Laboratory.

group photo of the Population Health Analytics Lab scientists

Population Health Analytics Laboratory members

Rosella’s research influence was recently recognized by the Society for Epidemiologic Research who awarded her the Brian MacMahon Early Career Epidemiology Award, the 2015 Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics Early Career Award, and DLSPH’s Anthony Miller Award for Excellence in Research. She is also the PhD Epidemiology Program Director, mentors 13 exceptional students and graduates, and DLSPH awarded her the 2011-12 early career Robin Badgley Award for Teaching Excellence.

Laura Rosella and Chris Tait

Laura Rosella and Chris Tait

“Rosella’s expertise, leadership, and mentorship are unmatched and she empowers all those around her to the achieve the high degree of excellence she has demonstrated throughout her prolific career,” said Christopher Tait, PhD Epidemiology candidate at DLSPH who trained under Rosella’s supervision throughout his doctoral studies.

Rosella and all Top 40 recipients will be honoured at the Top 40 Awards Night Gala at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on November 21, 2018. Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 is supported by several prominent organizations, including: Founder and Managing Partner Caldwell; Presenting Partner MNP LLP; National Partner Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc.; Media Partners BNN Bloomberg and National Post; Travel Partner WestJet; Research Partner Caliper; and, Leadership Forum Partner Toronto Region Board of Trade; with fact checking and verification by Inline Reference Check.

Up next for Rosella lies on the new frontier of artificial intelligence. Her team is expanding current data and methods used to develop predictive models for health applications to new machine learning approaches. As a new faculty member in U of T’s Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, she is determined to make machine learning and artificial intelligence applicable and useful to guide a more equitable, sustainable and effective health system.