On International Women's Day 2021 we discussed and highlighted minority women and young investigators working in health science and evidence synthesis. Watch the recording to hear about their career paths, who has inspired them, and what advice they have for other women interested in or working in health evidence synthesis. Learn about Cochrane’s role in evidence Synthesis and how anyone can get involved.
Each year Cochrane hosts an event in the name of Anne Anderson, a pioneering woman in health evidence synthesis. In the past it's been the 'Anne Anderson Walk' at the Cochrane Colloquium to raise money for the annual Anne Anderson Award. This year, the Cochrane US Network hosted a virtual panel, which highlighted the stories of five amazing women and kick-off a special virtual Anne Anderson walk.
Who was Anne Anderson?
Anne Anderson was a contributor to the stream of thinking and effort that gave birth to evidence-based health care. A clinically qualified reproductive physiologist, Anne had an active interest in women’s health, co-editing the first edition of Women’s Problems in General Practice with Ann McPherson and contributed to Effectiveness and Satisfaction in Antenatal Care (1982), edited by Murray Enkin and Iain Chalmers. She was discussing with Marc Keirse and Iain Chalmers the possibility of co-editing a companion volume on elective birth, however her premature death from breast cancer in 1983 ended her involvement. Anne Anderson was 46 years old when she died. Iain Chalmers, Murray Enkin and Marc Keirse went on to publish Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth (ECPC) in 1989, dedicating the book in part to Anne. ECPC, through its systematic approach to assessing the research literature, is widely acknowledged to have led to development of Cochrane (more about Anne Anderson: Wikipedia).
Who is part of this year's panel?
Tiffany Duque is a global health and research consultant and has worked for 20 years in the fields of nutrition, health programs, and research in multiple countries. In her current role as Senior Officer of the Cochrane US Network, she strives to increase the advocacy and use of evidence synthesis in the US, toward the goal of better health outcomes for all people living in the United States. Prior to her role with Cochrane, Ms Duque worked in Colombia with the Global Alliance of Improved Nutrition as Principal Investigator for a nutrient supplement and breastfeeding research project in underserved communities. In prior projects she worked with UNICEF Headquarters to develop updated global guidance on infant and young child nutrition and complementary feeding and for World Vision South Africa on a nutrition and HIV community intervention program. She also worked for 8 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, serving as program manager for the Micronutrient Malnutrition program. Ms. Duque has lived in several cities and countries and currently resides with her two young children and husband in Los Angeles, California.
Dr. Patricia Heyn is an Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Deputy Director of the US Cochrane University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. She is the editor for the Review Articles of The Gerontologist in addition to serving on many editorial boards of highly cited peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Heyn has been involved in synthesis methodology and applied clinical gerontology and rehabilitation research for over 20 years. Her investigations are aimed to find innovative solutions to (1) increase healthy lifestyle behavior; (2) prevent or delay the onset of neurodegenerative disease with exercise and/or cognitive training; and (3) evaluate protective/risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease. She is well-known for her distinctive knowledge in evidence-based methodologies and clinical practice guidelines. Her meta-analysis study on the effects of exercise training for individuals with dementia is recognized as one of the most cited articles from the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is highly scored in Altmetric. Her research was featured in the La Nación, Argentina's leading newspaper and is frequently cited in various media such as HealingWell.com, WIKIBOOKS, ABC 7 News and the Alzheimer’s Association. Dr. Heyn is from Brazil and currently resides in Denver, Colorado.
Dr. Shayesteh Jahanfar is currently Associate Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine in the MPH Program at Tuft’s University School of Medicine. Dr. Jahanfar has worked with Cochrane since 2002, starting from being an author, facilitator, reviewer, and moving up through various positions including committee member, Coordinator of Cochrane international events, Director of Cochrane Iran, Director of Central Michigan University affiliate, and now establishing a Cochrane Affiliate at Tufts University. Over the years, Dr Jahanfar has written almost 20 reviews and protocols, trained over 600 clinicians, educators, and students and supported knowledge translation activities and has been promoting Cochrane with any resources she can find and she migrated from Iran to Malaysia, then Canada and onto the US. She is a strong advocate to young investigators and mentors and trains multiple masters and PhD level students, in addition to her teaching and research, each year.
Elizabeth Centeno-Tablante is a doctoral student in International Nutrition at Cornell University in the research teams led by Dr. Saurabh Mehta and Dr. Julia Finkelstein. She is developing research projects in Ecuador focusing on maternal and child health and the intersection between nutrition and infectious diseases. Elizabeth has published a Cochrane systematic review on folic acid fortification for public health and other systematic reviews on the transmission of COVID-19 as well as Zika and Ebola viruses through breastmilk, which contributed to the update of WHO guidelines. Before joining the PhD program, she was a consultant for the World Health Organization, where she contributed to the development of global guidelines for nutrition and maternal and child health. Elizabeth studied Biology at University of Carabobo, Venezuela and earned a master’s degree in Biomedicine at the University of Laguna, Spain and in Clinical Trials at the University of Sevilla, Spain.
Dr. Reem Mustafa is a clinical nephrologist who is board certified in Preventive Medicine, Internal Medicine and Nephrology and is an associate professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She is especially interested in managing patients with chronic kidney disease and their other medical conditions to slow the progression of their disease. Dr. Mustafa is trained and has research interests in public health, research methodology, and clinical epidemiology, including utilizing pragmatic clinical trials to study the effect of different feasible interventions to improve the outcomes and quality of life of patients with kidney disease. Dr. Mustafa also has experience with decision analysis and mathematical models for guideline development and critical appraisal. Her work with Cochrane includes extensive experience in the development and assessment of clinical practice guidelines through my work with The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) working where she has been involved with global guideline development groups including WHO, the Canadian Society of Nephrology (CSN). Dr. Mustafa is a co-founder of the U.S. GRADE network.
Nimisha Kumar is a fourth-year medical student in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She also received her BS in Biology at IU. Nimisha served as the inaugural Cochrane Fellow of the recently established US Satellite of the Cochrane Pregnancy & Childbirth Review Group, where she worked on three reviews, carried out a prioritization process, and served as liaison to the Cochrane US Network. As part of the US Network, she contributed to the Opioid Workgroup, designed to update and initiate reviews geared towards addressing the effects of the opioid epidemic in the US with regards to mothers and infants.