October/November 2012 Spotlight - Seema Bhanji
Seema BhanjiAga Khan University, Stadium Road,
PO Box 3500, Karachi-74800, Pakistan
Click here to watch a YouTube interview with Seema Bhanji (by Dylan Burger - New Investigator Committee member).
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
Senior Instructor, Department Family Medicine, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
When did you become interested in research relating to Hypertension?
In my practice as a family physician in Pakistan, I frequently encounter patients with hypertension and other chronic disease. Management of these patients is very challenging as they are diagnosed late and have multiple complications. Early screening and prevention through lifestyle modification is the key to retard the development of these diseases. However, literature on cost-effectivenesss of lifestyle interventions in our setting is scarce. Therefore, I embarked on doing a Diploma in Clinical Epidemiology to strengthen my research skills and since then have been working on modifiable risk factors for chronic diseases.
Describe your research interest & the research program that you are in?
I am interested in lifestyle risk factors for chronic disease.
I have an academic appointment with my university and work as a clinician as well as a researcher.
How did you know about ISH and its activities?
I have been reading about the global burden of hypertension and the various organizations working to promote research in this area and hence came to know about ISH.
What do you consider to be your substantial scientific contribution so far (provide Pubmed PMID if possible)?
I have published a paper on underestimation of obesity in our population in BMC Public Health. PMID: 21605350
Which conference did you first attend & which one did you first present in?
I have attended many national conferences. My first International conference was the World Congress of Cardiology in Beijing in 2010.
What upcoming conferences will you be attending and what is the furthest you have traveled for a conference?
I will be attending the 2nd American Society for Nutrition Middle East Congress (Nutrition in Health & Disease) in February 20- 22, 2013 Dubai, UAE. ISH Sydney 2012 was the furthest I have travelled so far for a conference.
What is your favourite manuscript from a lab other than your own (provide Pubmed PMID if possible)?
There are many manuscripts on chronic diseases that I often refer to.
Describe your most memorable (proudest) moment and a challenging instance in your research career so far?
I was awarded a “Young Investigator’s award” by International Atherosclerosis Society at the World Congress of Cardiology in 2010 and when I was elected Chair of the Pakistan Primary Care Research Network.
Research is challenging at every step especially with so many constraints, having a handful of mentors in chronic diseases, funding, and poor understanding of research at a country wide level.
What area of research do you wish you knew more about? Do you have any suggestions for other young scientists?
My suggestions to young scientists is to persist as research demands a lot of persistence and work with a team of researchers who can mentor you in your early career.