IMH Showcase

February 2024

Meet Dr. Melissa Woodward, a former IMH Marshall Fellow who has successfully transitioned from academia to her current role as a Research Analyst at Broadstreet Health Economics and Outcomes Research.

Initially focused on individuals with complex mental health needs, her research expertise now plays a key role in enhancing healthcare quality and access through evidence-based strategies. Explore some of her research on the psychosocial wellbeing of children and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I completed a PhD in Neuroscience under the mentorship of Dr. Donna Lang before completing two postdoctoral fellowships at UBC in the departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, the first of which was funded through the IMH Fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. William Honer. My research used brain imaging for individuals with complex mental health concerns including treatment resistant schizophrenia and individuals experiencing homelessness and precarious housing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. More recently I focused on community mental health needs for youth in British Columbia and health service utilization during the COVID-19 pandemic working with Dr. Quynh Doan.

Can you describe your current role?

Currently I work as a research analyst for Broadstreet Health Economics and Outcomes Research. I contribute to a range of evidence-based projects on health economics, evidence synthesis, and observational studies which are tailored to meet the specific needs of diverse clientele. My role encompasses analysing data to support the development of robust health economic models, comprehensive reviews, and in-depth observational research, with the goal of creating actionable insights that guide healthcare improvements.

What is the best piece of advice you can share with colleagues new to your department or UBC?

The faculty and fellow trainees I collaborated with at UBC were an incredible source of wisdom, offering a wealth of knowledge, guidance, and a sense of camaraderie that greatly enriched my professional and personal growth. My advice is to find opportunities for collaboration and build a supportive network. Building these relationships is not just about professional advancement, but also creating a community that encourages learning and mutual growth. Embrace the chance to work with others, as these connections will not only become one of your most significant resources, but will enrich your life. 

What are your interests and hobbies outside of work?

Outside of work I enjoy ultimate frisbee and exploring BC’s beautiful outdoors, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and podcasting about television with Post Show Recaps including bringing my knowledge of neuroscience and psychiatry to discussion of shows like Severance and Yellowjackets. Maintaining these interests outside of work has not only supported my physical and mental health, but also fostered skills in communication, mentorship, and collaboration.