Congratulations to Heidi Vanden Brink on being awarded the prestigious Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award for her research on adolescent health and early biomarkers of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Heidi is a Post-Doctoral Associate in the Lujan Lab in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University and a Visiting Researcher at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.
The CIHRstrives to ensure a strong foundation of future health research leaders, and is committed to offering programs that increase the supply of highly-qualified research personnel. CIHR funds trainees at all levels – Masters, Doctoral, and Postdoctoral – in all health disciplines, including health professionals (clinicians, dentists, nurses, physiotherapists, and other health professionals) who are pursuing careers in health research.
Heidi easily fits this description, having received her PhD (Nutrition) at Cornell University, MSc (Health Sciences, Reproductive Physiology & Endocrinology) at the University of Saskatchewan, and her BSc (Physiology) at the University of Saskatchewan. During her PhD,Heidi evaluated the use of 2D and 3D ultrasonography to diagnose anovulatory conditions in adolescent and adult women with and without obesity. Heidi also elucidated the impact of how glucoregulatory status and hyperandrogenism are defined in reporting degree of insulin resistance in women. As a postdoctoral associate, Heidi’s main focus is to characterize the reproductive, metabolic, and nutritional changes which occur during the first two years post-menarche in adolescents through a multi-site prospective cohort study at Cornell University and Children’s Mercy Hospital (Kansas City, MO). Her primary objective is to determine whether biomarkers, such as the ovary on ultrasound, can be used to detect early reproductive disturbance in this population.