Engaging with national and international researchers

For an effective policy formulation and decision-making it is crucial to understand knowledge gaps and potential opportunities. In 2020, Professor Shereen Hussein conducted a number of interviews with key international and regional researchers to explore issues associated with population ageing in the region.

Professor Victor Valcour is an Executive Director, Global Brain Health Institute and professor of geriatric medicine in neurology, UC SAN FRANCISCO. He explains the efforts of the GBHI in supporting researchers and policymakers in low and middle-income countries to raise awareness and develop policies specific to dementia and brain health. He emphasises the importance of collecting accurate data and multi-disciplinary working in developing adequate policy response.

Professor Hoda Rashad is the Director of the Social Research Center at the American University in Cairo. She explains the implications of population ageing on different aspects at the individual and policy levels. She emphasised the importance of developing a detailed understanding of the conditions of older people to enable an effective policymaking process. Research is required to understand the socio-economic inequalities among older people and implications on their general health and wellbeing. She highlights the need of policymakers to work together across different dimensions including health and care provision, welfare and social protection.

Professor Zeinab Khadr is a Professor of Gerontology at the American University in Cairo, here she highlights the gap in knowledge when it comes to the lived experience of older people and their informal carers in the region. She discusses the importance of research that is specific to understanding the social and health situation of older people and the lived experience of carers. She highlights the need to understand the burden of care among informal carers and implications on carers’ health and wellbeing.

Dr Mohamed Salama, Associate Professor, Institute of Global Health and Human Ecology talks about the need for further research to understand prevalence of disease, especially dementia, and social determinants of brain health.

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Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Professor Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.

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Institute of Global Health and Human Ecology, American University in Cairo, Egypt

Dr Mohamed Salama established the first Translational Neuroscience Unit in Egypt. Mohamed’s collaborative research led to establishing the Egyptian Network for Neurodegenerative Disorders (ENND). Mohamed was selected as a SOT Global Senior Scholar in 2013 and Translational/bridging awardee in 2016. He was awarded by Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Foundation (PMDF) for his continuing research in the field of neurodegeneration.

Recently, Mohamed and his colleagues succeeded to draft the first Reference Egyptian Genome and collaborating with other colleagues to start a national cohort (A Longitudinal Study of Egyptian Health Aging [AL-SEHA]). Currently, Mohamed is Atlantic senior fellow for Equity in brain health at the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) and Associate professor at the Institute of Global Health and Human Ecology at the American University in Cairo (AUC).

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Director of Social Research Centre, American University in Cairo, Egypt

Hoda Rashad is a professor and director of the Social Research Center of The American University in Cairo. She holds a doctorate in population studies from the University of London, 1977. Previously, she worked as chief technical advisor of the United Nations, an associate of the International Population Council and a faculty member at the Institute of Statistical Studies and Research, Cairo University. She served as a member of two commissions established by WHO (Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity and the Commission on Social Determinants of Health).

She served as a member of the Egyptian Senate (Shura Council, 2004-2011), member of the Social, Humanity and Population Science Council, the Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research & Technology (2009-2012), member of the National Council for Women (2000-2010). Professor Rashad is currently a member of the WHO EMRO Commission on Social Determinants of Health.

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Executive Director, Global Brain Health Institute, San Francesco, USA

Victor Valcour is the executive director of GBHI and brings a passion for and experience in international collaboration to GBHI. His research and clinical work offer unique opportunities for GBHI fellows and scholars to understand the connections between ageing and cognitive disorders with a global perspective. Valcour’s current work aims to improve brain health around the world by training health care providers to meet community needs by utilizing local resources. He is an advocate for underserved populations and a voice of change for how we perceive elders and their role in society.

Victor Valcour is an internist and geriatrician at the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco where he is a professor of geriatric medicine in neurology. He has completed fellowships in both geriatric medicine and neurobehavior. He completed his medical training at the University of Vermont where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honors Society. He completed his internal medicine residency at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver, Colorado; geriatric medicine fellowship at the University of Hawaii; and a neurobehavioral fellowship at UCSF. He worked as associate professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Hawaii-Manoa before joining the Memory and Aging Center.

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Professor of Gerontology, Social Research Centre, American University in Cairo, Egypt

Dr Zeinab A. Khadr is a PhD holder in Demography, from the University of Michigan in 1997. Currently, she is a Professor in Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Department of Statistics, Cairo University and a Senior Research Scientist at the Social Research Center (SRC) of the American University in Cairo.

Dr Khadr has extensive research experience in the area of ageing, health and health equity as well as other social issues. Dr Khadr has been the Principal Investigator of several research projects including ”Urban Inequity,” “Social Determinants of health and health equity in the Arab region,” “Health Equity and integrated health and poverty alleviation policies” and” intra-urban differentials in early marriage: Determinants and implications on youth reproductive health in Egypt.”

She has also been the local Principal Investigator on the project on “Validation of Gender Differences in Disability and Care: Aging, Gender and Health. “ In 2009, Dr Khadr also chaired the International Union for Scientific Studies of Population (IUSSP) Scientific Panel on Health Equity and Policy in the Arab World.

Dr Khadr also acted as the senior coordinator of the annual workshop on reproductive health in the Arab region from 1998 till 2007. She also coordinated 3 annual workshops on health equity in the Arab region from 2008-2010 and has extensive experience in teaching research methodology with particular focus on measuring and assessing health equity. Dr Khadr also has many publications in the area of health equity and participated in many national and international meeting on health and health equity.