HIV/AIDS health economics chair a first for BC

February 27th, 2014


VANCOUVER, BC, FEBRUARY 27, 2014 – A $3-million research chair has been established to investigate ways to improve the wellbeing of people with HIV/AIDS and the effectiveness of the health care system that treats them. The chair is the result of a partnership between Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, St. Paul’s Foundation and the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS at St. Paul’s.

The St. Paul’s CANFAR Chair in HIV/AIDS Research, held by Dr. Bohdan Nosyk, is the first chair in British Columbia to focus on conducting health economics research to find ways for HIV and AIDS programs to provide treatment to patients in a more cost-effective and efficient manner.

“The research this Chair will enable me to perform will be of tremendous benefit in helping us understand where we need to target our funding and focus our efforts in the fight against HIV and AIDS in this province,” says Dr. Nosyk. “I am honoured and excited to lead research focused on patient well-being and preventing further transmission of HIV.”

SFU and St. Paul’s Foundation each contributed $1.5 million to create the Chair. St. Paul’s Foundation’s contribution includes proceeds from its 2013 Brilliant! Fundraiser and from donors such as the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR), whose support is recognized by being included in the name of the Chair.

“Overall, we’re witnessing the positive impacts of British Columbia’s efforts to fight HIV and AIDS,” says Dr. Julio Montaner, Director, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. “This new position will ensure we continue to develop world-leading treatment and care for British Columbians and people living with HIV around the world. Our province will benefit tremendously from this partnership between SFU and St. Paul’s Foundation.”

As both an associate professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU and a research scientist at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS at St. Paul’s, Nosyk will engage undergraduate and graduate students in this important area of research and also work with clinicians to ensure that his research translates into meaningful programs and policies.

Says SFU President Andrew Petter: “This partnership exemplifies SFU’s vision of being an engaged research university. We are grateful to St. Paul’s Foundation and the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS for helping us create this vital new chair whose work will advance knowledge and benefit society.”

Health economics is a relatively new research area that uses methods such as statistical and mathematical modeling to evaluate ways that health care programs can operate more effectively. Fewer than a hundred researchers in Canada are trained in health economics, with only a handful specializing in HIV and AIDS.

British Columbia has been successful in engaging people into treatment and care as part of the BC-CfE-pioneered Treatment as Prevention strategy, leading to a decline in HIV-related morbidity and mortality by over 90 per cent in the province since 1995. However, these advances in treatment mean people living with HIV will face age-related health issues unique from the general population. In addition, gaps remain in engaging and retaining people living with HIV into life-saving treatment.

Nosyk will help develop approaches to maximize the beneficial effects of available interventions to fully contain the spread of HIV and AIDS, while increasing the cost-effectiveness of treatment.

A former postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Nosyk is also an adjunct scientist at the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs. He currently holds a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award.


Media contacts:

Erica Branda
SFU Advancement

Brice Dare
Manager, Communications
St. Paul’s Foundation

Kevin Hollett
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
604-682-2344 ext 66536

Marianne Meadahl
SFU media relations

About us

The BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) is Canada’s largest HIV/AIDS research, treatment and education facility and is internationally recognized as an innovative world leader in combating HIV/AIDS and related diseases. BC-CfE is based at St. Paul’s, Providence Health Care, a teaching hospital of the University of British Columbia. The BC-CfE works in close collaboration with key provincial stakeholders, including health authorities, health care providers, academics from other institutions, and the community to decrease the health burden of HIV and AIDS and to improve the health of British Columbians living with HIV through developing, monitoring and disseminating comprehensive research and treatment programs for HIV and related illnesses.

St. Paul’s Foundation raises funds to support St. Paul’s, a globally acknowledged centre for innovation, research, teaching and care. St. Paul’s provides care to more than 380,000 patients across B.C. each year, as well as world-leading research and teaching that benefit many more.

Simon Fraser University is Canada’s top-ranked comprehensive university and one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries.