My areas of interest include global public health, anthropology of health and health care, international health policy, ethnographic and qualitative research methods. Focus of my work is mainly in the middle and low income countries. I have an interdisciplinary background with a Ph.D. and Master’s in Medical Anthropology and Master’s in Public Health (MPH) and Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). I am currently the co-investigator and coordinating an EU FP7 funded research capacity development project which involves eleven Southern and Northern partners from Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, UK, and Ireland. I am particularly responsible for research capacity development on medical anthropology in the partner countries. I am also the principal investigator of an on-going research capacity development project in medical humanities in Bangladesh and Nepal funded by the British Academy. Before these projects I was involved with another EU-FP7 funded multi country research project at Newcastle University involving four Mediterranean countries, namely Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Palestine. In that project I was responsible for coordinating the comparative analysis of health policies framework and ethnographic exploration of people’s health beliefs and health seeking behaviour in relation to Non Communication Diseases (NCDs) of the aforementioned countries. Apart from the Mediterranean countries I have lead collaborative qualitative research projects involving South Asian and African countries. I am currently also leading the module ‘Introduction to Global Health’ for the M.Sc. in Public Health and Health Services Research at Newcastle University, UK. Before joining Newcastle University in 2009 I was working as an Associate Professor at James. P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Bangladesh (http://sph.bracu.ac.bd). I was also invited as guest faculty to teach medical anthropology and ethnographic methods in various Southern and Northern universities.
• Ph.D. Medical Anthropology
Amsterdam School of Social Science Research (ASSR), University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Degree awarded in 2003.
• MA. Master of Arts in Medical Anthropology
Faculty of Social and Behavioral Science, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Degree awarded in 1998.
• MPH. Master of Public Health
National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM), Dhaka University, Bangladesh. Degree awarded in 1995.
• MBBS. Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor Surgery. University of Chittagong,
Bangladesh . Degree awarded in 1988
Global Public Health:
I am currently the co-investigator and coordinating an EU FP7 funded research capacity development project at Newcastle University that started in 2012 (http://research.ncl.ac.uk/rescap-med/),which involves eleven Southern and Northern partners from Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, UK, and Ireland. I am particularly responsible for research capacity development on medical anthropology in the partner countries. I am also the principal investigator of an on-going research capacity development project in medical humanities in Bangladesh and Nepal funded by the British Academy. Before these projects I was involved with another EU-FP7 funded multi country research project at Newcastle University (2009-2011 http://research.ncl.ac.uk/medchamp/) involving four Mediterranean countries, namely Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Palestine. In that project I was responsible for coordinating the comparative analysis of health policies framework and ethnographic exploration of people’s health beliefs and health seeking behaviour in relation to Non Communication Diseases (NCDs) of the aforementioned countries. Previously I was also involved in the two other multi-country anthropological research projects, namely ‘Globalization as a social determinant of Health’ (Funded by WHO 2008-2009) and the partners included Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia and ‘Communicable Diseases: Vulnerability, Risks and Poverty’ (Funded by DFID 2007-2009) and the partners included Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Ghana, Swaziland, and Uganda. I was the Principal Investigator from the Bangladesh research team. Before joining Newcastle University I worked with BRAC, Bangladesh (www.brac.net) for more than a decade. BRAC, an international development organization based in Bangladesh, is the largest non-governmental development organization in the world, measured by the number of employees and the number of people it has helped, as of November 2012. I have conducted several evaluative researches on different health and development projects of government and non government organizations of Bangladesh using various anthropological tools.
My Ph.D. research was ethnography of a hospital in Bangladesh. It was the first of its kind in Bangladesh and one of very few hospital ethnographies conducted in a non-Western setting. Special Issues on ‘Hospital Ethnography’ published by journal Space and Culture (2012, 15:4)) and Journal of Contemporary Ethnography (2008, 37:2) have particularly highlighted the contribution of my research in the field of hospital ethnography. I was also invited, as a member of expert panel on hospital ethnography, to the annual conference of American Anthropological Association (AAA) held in Montreal, Canada in 2011.
Ph.D. and other research fellowship Supervision:
I have supervised the Ph.D. student who has successfully completed the project in 2013 titled , ‘Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Self Rated Health Among Adult Women in Aleppo, Syria: A Mixed Method Study’ at Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, UK. I was also the external examiner of the Ph.D. thesis at University of Cape Town, South Africa titled, ‘Pathways of Inhuman Care: Violation of Patient’s Rights in a South African Emergency Unit.’ I am currently co-supervising two other international Ph.D. projects at Newcastle University namely, ‘Understating the pattern of spread of HIV/AIDS in Benue State Nigeria-What factors have sustained the spread?’ and ‘Seroimmunity profile and associated knowledge and concern of Hepatitis B, Measles and Vericella infection among employees in Saudi National Guard, Saudi Arabia.’ I am also an assessor of a Ph.D. project titled, ‘Genetic human enhancement of cognitive and moral capabilities: Ethical evaluation and assessment of their potential impact on social justice’ Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, UK. In addition I am currently supervising three international anthropological research fellowship projects. The titles are, ‘Community participation in rural primary health care in Andhra Pradesh, India’ and ‘Study on mental wellbeing of an orthodox Jewish population at Gateshead, Newcastle’, and ‘Barriers to self-management behavior among patients with diabetes in Turkey’. I have supervised several Master’s thesis at School of Public Health, BRAC University, Bangladesh and Medical Anthropology Department, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
As a co-applicant I received an EU FP7 fund for the project ‘NCDs and their social determinants in Mediterranean countries: building sustainable research capacity for effective policy intervention (€2 Million 2011-2014). I have received the British Academy International Partnership & Mobility Award as the Principal Investigator for the project ‘Developing research capacity in medical humanities in Bangladesh and Nepal (£8,830, 2013-2014). Previously I have received a grant from the WHO South East Asian Regional Office (SEARO) as the Principle Investigator of the project titled ‘Globalization as Social Determinant of Health’ (US $10000, 2008-2009). I received Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (WOTRO) award for pursuing my Ph.D. at the University of Amsterdam (1999-2003). Currently I am working on two grant proposals, one on medical history of liberation war of Bangladesh and the other on the health policy situation in Bangladesh and Nepal in relation to NCDs.
Research project management experience:
I have experience of managing large multi country research projects as well as academic institute. I direct and coordinate researchers in the participating Southern and Northern countries in my current role as the coordinator of the EU-FP7 multi-country project at Newcastle University, UK. I was responsible for designing and supervising the empirical anthropological study done under the aforementioned preoject in Mediterranean countries(http://research.ncl.ac.uk/medchamp/). I was also the programme coordinator of the international MPH Programme at James. P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Bangladesh during 2004-2008. I was responsible for the overall management and academic functioning of the School. The WHO Bulletin (Volume 85, 2007) has featured the School as one of the best six schools in the world promoting and practicing innovative higher public health education.
Research links with institutions in low and middle income countries:
I have established linked with public health institutes of different low and middle income countries as follows, Bangladesh (James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University and International Centre for Health and Population Research Bangladesh, ICDDRB), India (Indian Institute of Public Health, Delhi and Bhubaneswar) Nepal (Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Kathmandu), Turkey (Dukuj Eylul University, Izmir), Tunisia (Institute of Public Health, Tunis), Jordan (Jordan University of Science and Technology),Lebanon (American University of Beirut), United Arab Emirate (University of Arab Emirate, Abu Dhabi).
Currently I am leading the module titled ‘Introduction to Global Health’ for the MSc in Public Health and Health Service Research at Newcastle University, UK. I designed the module and introduced it to the course for the first time. The module received highly positive feedback from the students.
I am now responsible for developing the research capacity in medical anthropology in the Eastern Mediterranean countries of the EU FP7 funded project RESCAP-MED mentioned before. I taught the module ‘Anthropology of health and health care’ for the International Master’s in Public Health (MPH) course at BRAC University, Bangladesh. I have worked as the Chair for the Module ‘Social, Cultural and Historical Dimensions of Infectious Disease’ at the Medical Anthropology unit of University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I also thought social and cultural aspects of health for the undergraduate medical students at Newcastle University Medical School.
Qualitative/Ethnographic research methods
I was the module leader of ‘Qualitative Research Methods’ for the International Master’s in Public Health (MPH) course at BRAC University, Bangladesh. I worked as a visiting faculty at the Institute of Public Health, Heidelberg University, Germany and was responsible for teaching qualitative research at the ‘Mixed Method for International Health’ course for Masters of Public Health (MPH) students. I have conducted short courses on ethnographic research methods in Turkey and Syria.
Medicine in the Community
I was a tutor for the module ‘Medicine in the Community’ for the MBBS students at Newcastle, UniversityMedical School in 2010.