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Mandana Vahabi

EducationRN, MHSc, PhD
OfficeDCC-580-A, Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex
Phone416-979-5000, ext. 552725
Areas of ExpertiseHealth Equity; Immigrants; Cancer Screening; Women’s Health.

I am a professor at Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing and co-director of the Centre for Global Health and Health Equity. My research and scholarship focuses on health equity and social determinants of health, particularly in the areas of cancer screening, food security, mental and sexual health. Drawing on my extensive experience in social epidemiology and community health, I work closely with multidisciplinary teams and community stakeholders to develop research underpinned by the principles of cultural congruence and meaningful engagement. In my work with marginalized and vulnerable population I have also been involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of culturally appropriate health promotion interventions.

Prior to joining Ryerson in 2007 I worked in various roles ranging from project director, policy consultant to senior epidemiologist/planner at governmental organizations such as the Ministry of Health Long Term Care, Population Health Policy & Planning and Women’s Health Branch, St. Michael’s Hospital and  the Toronto District Health Council, where I was involved in managing various system level projects such as POWER Study: A Project for an Ontario Women’s Health Evidence-Based Report, Health System Monitoring and Evaluation, and Toronto Small Planning Areas: A Population-Based Approach to constructing New Health Planning Areas in the City.

Teaching Responsibilities:

  • MN 8901: Quantitative Research Methods: Design and Critical Appraisal
  • NUR 850: Research Methods
  • NUC 832: Community Health Nursing
  • NCL 700, NCL 800:  Nursing Practice I &II
  • NUR 824: Women's Health

Teaching Interests:

  • Quantitative research methods
  • Community health nursing
  • Population health
  • Immigrants health
  • Women’s health
  • Epidemiology

Research Interests:

  • Cancer screening
  • Food security
  • Physical activity
  • Mental health
  • Health equity

Research Projects:

Co-Principal Investigator
Title: Promoting Mental Health of Migrant Caregivers in Canada
Source: CIHRPlanning and Dissemination Grant
Total award: $7,000
Nominated PI: O. St-Amant, . Co-Is: J. Pui-Hing Wong , K. Fung, B.Oladunni 

Co-Principal Investigator
Title: Linking Hearts – Advancing Mental Health Care of University Students through Interdisciplinary Collaboration: An Implementation Research at Universities in Jinan, Shandong, China
Source: CIHR through Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) Canada-China Mental Health Team Grant
Total award: $1,075,000
Nominated PI: J. Pui-Hing Wong, Co-PIs: K. Fung, Alan Li; K.T. Tsang; M.C. Yan

Co-Principal Investigator
Title: Self-sampling for HPV as a tool for cervical cancer prevention
Source: St. Michael Foundation Grant
Total award: $150,000
Co-PI: A. Lofters

Co- Principal Investigator
Title: BPSO Academic: Factors that promote or impede Implementation of RNAO BPGs in Academia
Source: Registered Nurses of Ontario (RNAO) BPG BPSO Program
Total award: $100,000
Co-PI: E. Santa Mina, D. Rose, S. Espin

Nominated Principal Investigator
Title: Segmentation of women eligible for cervical cancer screening in Ontario: Toward more effective communication and outreach strategies
Source: Partnership for Change: The RBC Immigrant, Diversity and Inclusion Project Research
Total award: $18,000
Co-PI: A. Lofters, Co-Is: R. Kupets, S.Guilcher, T.Pyshno

Nominated Principal Investigator
Title: Toward developing effective cervical cancer screening programs for hard-to-reach women
Source: CIHR: Planning and Dissemination grant
Total award: $10,000
Source: Industrial Partners/Sponsors (Roche Diagnostics - Division of Hoffmann-La Roche Limited and QIAGEN)
Total award: $50,000
Co-PIs: A. Lofters, L. Rabeneck

Title: Implementing lung cancer screening for those living with low income
Source: CCSRI-Knowledge to Action grant
Total award: $99,815
PI: A. Lofters; Co-Is: G. Liu, S. Hwang, P. Selby, M. Obrien, B. Chang, M. McGregor, F. Kim, L. Pazat, L.Eng

Title: Food Insecurity Screening among Families of Children with Diabetes
Source: Lawson Foundation, operational fund
Total award: $50,200
PI: E. Gucciardi; Co-Is: S. Sidani, V. Pais

Nominated Principal Investigator 
Title: Cancer Screening Among Immigrants from Muslim-Majority Countries: A Retrospective Cohort Study”
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care: Applied Health Research Question
Total award $23,420
Co-PIs: A. Lofters, R. Glazier

Nominated Principal Investigator
Title: Exploring Muslim Immigrant women’s preferences about self-administered HPV testing in promoting cervical cancer screening
SourcePartnership for Change: The RBC Immigrant, Diversity and Inclusion Project Research
Total award: $10,000 
Co-PI: A. Lofters     

Co-Principal Investigator
Title: Chinese and South Asian Immigrant Post-Secondary Students:  Experiences, Understandings and Indicators of Mental Health, Mental Health Care Seeking Behaviour, and Culturally-Informed Services
Source: Partnership for Change: The RBC Immigrant, Diversity and Inclusion Project Research
Total award: $9,715
Nominated PI: E. Santa Mina, Co-PI: B.McCay

Title: Reducing HIV vulnerabilities and Promoting Resilience among self- identified Heterosexual African, Caribbean and Black Men in Ontario
Source: Canadian Institute for Health Research Team Grant: Boys’ and Men’s Health 
Total award: $1,500,000
Nominated PI: J.Wong, Co-PIs:  W.Husbands, J.Etowa, I. Luginaah, F. Omorodion

Nominated Principal Investigator
Title: Mental Health of Migrant Temporary Workers (MTW) in Ontario
Source: Partnership for Change: The RBC Immigrant, Diversity and Inclusion Project Research
Total award: $9,000
Co-PI: J. Wong

Academic Co-Principal Investigator
Title: Story-Sharing for Sexual Health: A culturally relevant intervention to promote South Asian women's capacity in HIV and STI education
Source: Women’s College Hospital-Women’s Xchange 
Total award: $15,000
Nominated PI: V. Chikermane 


  • Vahabi, M., (2011). Breast cancer and screening effectiveness and utilization by immigrant women: A review of evidence, Cancer Screening, Nova Science Publisher, Inc, NY 

Journal articles:

Published Abstracts and/or Other Papers Read (Invited and Peer-reviewed):

Peer-Reviewed Published Abstracts:

  • Islam, N. T., Lofters, A., Nessa, A., Vahabi, M., Ginsburg, O., & Ishaque, T. (2016). “301O Exploring perceptions of cervical cancer in dhaka, Bangladesh”. Annals of Oncology, external link, 27(suppl_9), Abstract Book of ESMO Asia Congress Singapore, 16–19 December 2016

Invited/Peer-Reviewed Papers

  • Bryce, K., Wong, J.P., Vahabi, M., Bailey, A., D. Miller,D., Husbands, W. Structural racism matters: An exploratory study on the gendered-racialized experiences and HIV vulnerabilities of heterosexual young Black men. The 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018), Amsterdam, Netherlands, 23-27 July 2018. Poster presentation.
  • Lofters, A, Vahabi, M., Kim, E., Ellison,L , Graves, E, Glazier R.H. “Cervical cancer screening among women from Muslim majority countries in Ontario, Canada”. The Canadian Association of Health Services Policy and Research (CAHSPR), Toronto, Ontario, May 23-26, 2017, Oral presentation, May25, 2017.
  • Lofters, A, Vahabi ,M.,  Prakash, V., Banerjee, L., Bansal, P., Goel, S., Dunn, S. “Integrating lay health educators within primary care practices to improve cancer screening uptake for South Asian patients”. North American Primary Care Research Group conference, November 17-21, 2017, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Oral presentation.
  • Santa Mina, E., Dalia, H., Vahabi, M., Castillo, R., Labib, J. “Positioning IENs for Success: A pilot program for BScN part-time delivery”. The Partners in Education & Integration of Internationally Educated Nurses, 11th Annual Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia, April 27-28, 2017. Oral presentation April 28.
  • Husbands,W.,  Etowa, J.B.,  Miller, D.,  Solomon Lome, S., , Kohoun, B, Vahabi, M.,  Luyombya, H. Omorodion, F.,  Ongoiba, F., Pierre-Pierre, V.,  Luginaah, I, Tharao, W.,  Wong, J.P., & the weSpeak Team. “Beyond “pacifier programs”: Engaging heterosexual African, Caribbean and Black men in community-based responses to HIV in Ontario”. CAHR (The Canadian Association for HIV Research. Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 6-9. 2017, Poster presentation.
  • Islam, N.T., Lofters, A., Nessa, A., Vahabi, M., Ginsburg, O., Ishaque, T. “Exploring perception of cervical cancer in Dhaka, Bangladesh”. ESMO Asia 2016 Congress, December 16, 2016., Oral presentation.
  • Vahabi, M. “Resurrection of Slavery in 21st century: Mental Health of Migrant Live-in Caregivers in Canada”. Invited speaker, Mindfest 2016, University of Toronto, Heart house, October 5, 2016, Toronto, Canada.
  • Vahabi, M. Breast cancer screening disparities Among Urban Immigrants: A population based study in Ontario”. Invited speaker, Association of Ontario Health Centres (AOH), October 19, 2016, Toronto, Canada.
  • Vahabi, M. “Breast cancer screening disparities among urban immigrants: A population based study in Ontario”. Council of Agencies serving South Asians (CASSA). 6th Annual meeting: Health Equity Summit, Ryerson University, Sears Atrium, September 27, 2016, Toronto, Canada.
  • Vahabi, M.  RBC Immigrant Diversity & Inclusion event at Ryerson University, Invited Panelist for "Engaging Immigrants in Canada: Why Inclusion Matters." March 11, 2016, Toronto, Canada.
  • Vahabi, M. “Exploring sexual health disparity among Asian migrant farm workers in Ontario through community-based action research”. Ryerson University, SRC Colloquium, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, January 11, 2016, Toronto, Canada.
  • Vahabi, M. “Health Disparities among Immigrants: A Case in Violation of Human Rights”. International Relation Society Annual Conference, Munk School of Global Affairs. Invited Panelist for Panel2: Global Cooperation in Action, January 31, 2015. Toronto, Canada.
  • Vahabi, M. “HIV/AIDS knowledge and sexual health practices among Asian migrant farm workers in Ontario”. University Paris IIV, Department of Sociology, Immigrant Research Centre, October 31, 2014. Paris, France. Invited speaker.
  • Outstanding Peer-Reviewed Publication, Second Place for article titled “The validity of self-reported cancer screening history and the role of social disadvantage in Ontario, Canada”, Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, 2016-2017
  • Dean’s Scholarly, Creative and Research (SRC) , Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University, 2013-2014