Tazeen Majeed - Making public health a priority

Through research and education, Dr Tazeen Majeed is helping to prevent disease, improve public health, and promote equity in healthcare.

Tazeen image

When it comes to our health, Dr Tazeen Majeed has an extraordinary ability to see the big picture.

Her research in the field of public health takes a bird’s eye view of health and wellbeing, looking for health patterns within populations and solutions that can be scaled up to help entire communities.

“Public health issues, such as heart and cardiovascular disease, have detrimental and long-term health, economic and social impacts. But with evidence-based solutions, policies and programs, we can prevent these negative effects from happening. That’s what my work strives to achieve.”

Grounded in practice

As a medical doctor, Tazeen knows how to treat patients’ symptoms with compassion and expertise. It wasn’t long after starting practice that Tazeen began to recognise health patterns affecting population segments and questioning how community health could be improved overall.

“I started to realise that I couldn’t fully treat my patients without understanding the underlying causes and, even deeper than that, the causes behind the causes.

“That’s when I first started to appreciate the importance of public health in communities.”

Public health research gave Tazeen the platform she needed to explore these intriguing health patterns and contribute to new solutions. With a heart for vulnerable community groups, Tazeen is now focused on improving public health through better policies, programs and education.

“Public health research has brought about massive achievements for the community, especially vulnerable populations. These achievements include vaccinations, tobacco control policies and skin cancer prevention strategies—just to name a few.

“We cannot and should not undermine the power of public health research.”

In the public’s best interest

While public health research is critical, Tazeen concedes that one of the biggest barriers to success is a lack of understanding around its importance—which results in a lack of research funding.

“It is becoming hard, especially for early career researchers and academics, to work on major public health issues—for example, the issue of health disparities and chronic diseases in vulnerable population groups. But we are rising to the challenge.”

Tazeen’s work sees her collaborating with research groups, Australian and overseas governments, national and international organisations and policy makers. Her research covers a myriad of public health issues, with a slant towards heart health, vulnerable population groups, generational health and ageing, and gender differences in chronic disease.

One of Tazeen’s recent projects involved co-analysing data sets in collaboration with cardiologists from John Hunter Hospital, Hunter New England Health and HMRI to better understand predictors and outcomes of cardiovascular events. The research compared study results from regional and metropolitan hospitals in NSW, and asked a tough but pertinent question: is a patient’s prognosis impacted by where they live?

Recently, she has started working as a core member of the Aboriginal Cardiovascular Research Group, working with a team of renowned cardiologists, researchers and Aboriginal Chronic Care, Aboriginal Health Unit to work towards some solutions.

“I work with fairly large and complex data sets to identify what problem is occurring, and how to prevent it from happening or recurring in the future. This includes pinpointing health disparities among population groups.”

Excellence in teaching and learning

Tazeen holds multiple teaching roles with the University across its undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programs. Believing that education should be embedded within a framework of continual research, Tazeen is committed to building the public health workforce and improving teaching and learning techniques for future generations.

“It’s exciting to work with our future generations of public health researchers and practitioners.

“Teaching is not just my profession—it’s my passion! It not only brings me satisfaction, it brings me happiness and the feeling that I am inspiring others and bringing a positive change in their lives. Teaching public health is like sowing good seeds into students’ lives, with the hope that those seeds will one day bring forth a harvest for others.”

Tazeen has numerous teaching awards to her name. She won Council of Academic Public Health Institutions, Australasia’s 2018 Award for ‘Excellence and Innovation in Public Health Teaching’ and also won Deputy Vice Chancellor’s Merit Award for ‘Teaching & Learning Excellence’. Yet perhaps the most important of them all comes from the students themselves. In 2018, Dr Majeed received the student-nominated Newcastle University Postgraduate Student Association (NUPSA) 2018 ‘Teacher of the Year’ Award.

Her teaching strategies and practices are committed to the ‘UON 2025 vision’ with the aim to prepare her graduates to be global citizens and leaders who can successfully change the world for the better.

“As a public health researcher and educator, I’m passionate about innovative practices, academic rigour, strategic collaborations and positive health outcomes”.

Video: Dr Tazeen Majeed

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