This April Dr. Hayashi became one of two of UBC’s many outstanding postdoctoral research fellows to be awarded a UBC Killam Postdoctoral Research Prize in recognition of her research achievements while at UBC.
Illicit drug use is associated with an array of health and social harms for individuals and communities, including high rates of overdoses and epidemics of infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C virus infection. In Canada, cost of substance abuse has been estimated to approach $40 billion annually. My UBC postdoctoral research focuses on illicit drug use and related harms and aims to help inform the policy and programming to reduce drug-related harms. While my research aims to address various drug-related harms, currently, I particularly seek to investigate and address the impacts of crack cocaine/cocaine use and treatments for crack cocaine/cocaine addiction on the health and healthcare access among polysubstance users (e.g., users of opiates and crack cocaine/cocaine) in Vancouver.
Why did you decide to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship at UBC? Did you consider other opportunities?
Vancouver/UBC offers an ideal and vibrant research environment that is the home of many of the leading figures in my field, including Dr. Evan Wood (Professor of Medicine at UBC; my supervisor) who is spearheading the modernization of addiction medicine in Canada, Dr. Thomas Kerr (Associate Professor at the Division of AIDS, Department of Medicine at UBC) who is an internationally renowned health scientist in the field of drug addiction, and Dr. Julio Montaner (Head of the Division of AIDS at UBC, and Director of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS) who has revolutionalized the HIV/AIDS response globally and locally. Also, my host institution (the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS) has excellent research infrastructure, which uniquely allows me to conduct my research and develop a new program of research.
What advice do you have for new postdoctoral fellows?
While UBC offers endless opportunities, you may sometimes find it difficult to navigate yourself through this huge institution. I would advise new postdocs to proactively reach out to senior postdocs whenever they can. Also, be prepared for the rain in the fall and winter!
What does receiving this award mean for your career?
This award is a huge honor for me. I couldn’t have received this award without support from my fabulous mentors and colleagues. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to them. At the same time, I also think this is the beginning of more exciting and meaningful research career for me.