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New Faculty

Introducing Memorial’s new teachers and researchers

Dr. Shabnam Asghari
Discipline of Family Medicine

Dr. Shabnam Asghari did her medical training at Arak University of Medical Sciences in Iran and practiced family medicine for several years before obtaining her master in public health and PhD in epidemiology from Tehran University of Medical Sciences. After coming to Canada in September 2007, she was a research fellow at the University of Sherbrooke where she worked on population health and geographic disparities.

As a member of the Primary Healthcare Research Unit at Memorial, Dr. Asghari’s research interests involve the epidemiological study of geographic disparities in health services, chronic disease resource allocation and health surveillance in primary care. She is also pursuing the development of an online spatio-termporal information system for chronic diseases in Newfoundland. ”This project is about an online easy-to-access information system on chronic disease which allows users, particularly decision makers, to query existing databases in the province at different geographical levels,” she explained. “It is adjusted for different variables such as demographic and socioeconomic. It instantly produces results displayed as tables, graphs or maps.”

Recent published papers by Dr. Asghari deal a wide variety of topics including adherence to vascular protection drugs in diabetic patients in Quebec, disparities between rural and urban areas for osteoporosis management in Quebec, and evidence-based approach to HIV/AIDS policy and research priorization in Iran.

Dr. Xuemei Li
Faculty of Education

Dr. Xuemei Li is a new English as a Second Language (ESL) assistant professor in the Faculty of Education.

Dr. Li received her PhD in Education from Queen’s University (’08), and her MA in Linguistics and Applied Language Studies from Carleton University (’03). She has had several years of teaching and research experience in China, England and Canada. Her research in China focused on cross-cultural communication, language transfer and English teaching methodology in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) contexts.

In recent research on writer identities, in higher education, she has drawn on identity theories in sociology, education, cultural studies and language studies. The study investigated the commonalities and divergences between two groups of graduate students – Chinese students studying at a Canadian university, and international students studying at a Chinese university.

Her publications include A learning guide to College English Intensive Reading (1999, Xidian University Press), Communication Skills in English for College Students 1997, Northwestern University Press), along with several refereed journal articles and book chapters.

“The prospect of developing a new ESOL program is very exciting to me,” Dr. Li said. “I look forward to working with colleagues at Memorial.”
Dr. Li is currently writing a TESL textbook with two colleagues at Queen’s University.

Dr. Kathleen Hodgkinson
Clinical epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine

Dr. Kathleen Hodgkinson has been associated with the Faculty of Medicine for many years through her work as a genetic counsellor and a doctoral student. Her particular specialty is the rare but deadly arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), a cause of “sudden cardiac death.” Her work with families who are affected by this disease was a major factor in identifying the responsible gene in 2008.

Her doctoral thesis was on the clinical and genetic epidemiology of ARVC in Newfoundland. Unlike laboratory research, her work involves talking to families and developing family pedigrees.

When she began working with Medical Genetics in 1995, some of the families here had been referred for “cardiomyopathy,” a catch-all phase that didn’t offer a diagnosis. She began to sort the families and define the population of people with the disease.

Because she was able to map out the affected individuals and their extended families with ARVC, biomolecular laboratory work headed up by Dr. Terry-Lynn Young started looking at a specific area of a particular chromosome and eventually identify the responsible gene. For the families, that discovery means that a blood test can tell who does, or doesn’t carry, the gene.

Dr. Hodgkinson also currently involved in genetic research on hearing loss, schizophrenia and Tourette syndrome. With bioethicist Dr. Daryl Pullman she has collaborated on research into genetic knowledge and moral responsibility.
Before moving to St. John’s with her husband, she earned a M.Sc. in genetic counselling at McGill University and her B.Sc. in genetics and cell biology was awarded from Manchester University, England.

Dr. Jason Kielly
School of Pharmacy

Dr. Jason Kielly has been appointed assistant professor with the School of Pharmacy.

Originally from Gaskiers, St. Mary’s Bay, Dr. Kielly received his B.Sc.(Pharm) from Memorial University in 2004 and, in April 2010, completed his doctorate in pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of Toronto.

After graduation from Memorial he practiced as a community pharmacist in St. John’s for one year before moving to community practice in Memphis, TN, where his wife, also a MUN alumnus, was completing optometry school. In 2007 Dr. Kielly accepted a position with the School of Pharmacy as the drug information pharmacist, whose primary responsibility is the operation of the Provincial Drug Information Centre.

As part of his new position with the School of Pharmacy, Dr. Kielly is looking forward to his teaching responsibilities, establishing a clinical practice with Eastern Health and pursuing his research interests which include antibiotic stewardship, the expanded role of the pharmacist in primary health care and optimizing medication use.

Dr. Kielly is very exited about his new position and the opportunity to continue working with the exceptional faculty, staff and students at the School of Pharmacy.

Dr. Natalie Slawinski
Faculty of Business Administration

Dr. Natalie Slawinski is one of the newest faculty members in the Faculty of Business Administration. Her research interests include business sustainability, organizational time and corporate social responsibility.

“I’ve always been interested in how organizations respond to complex, nebulous issues,” she said. “For example, the oil sands in Alberta represent a dilemma for Canada. They are an important source of economic growth, but they are also a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. How do organizations and governments manage that? It’s a policy issue for government and an important issue for organizations themselves.”

Originally from Ontario, Dr. Slawinski holds a BA (hons.) in Political Science and History and a MA in History from Carleton University. She has an MBA from Memorial University and she recently completed a PhD in Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Slawinski received the 2010 Governor General’s Gold Medal for graduate study at the University of Western Ontario for completing her degree with the highest academic standing.

Her work has been published in a number of academic journals and has been reprinted in the Globe and Mail and the Financial Post. Canadian Business magazine has also cited her research.