Scientists and policy makers across the world are increasingly recognising the value of research that spans across various disciplines to develop effective solutions to the world’s most complex issues.
ISSR’s own PhD graduate, Erlyn (Lyn) Macarayan, adopted this multidisciplinary approach throughout her recently completed doctoral work, combining the fields of medicine and social services to improve outcomes in the health sector.
With a diverse range of professional experience, including working as a policy officer for the Presidential Management Staff for the Philippines and as a nurse delivering front-line health services, Lyn developed a true appreciation for the complementary value of different professional fields. Her research builds on these experiences and aims to bring together the medical and social services fields to positively impact global health and yield work with practical applications.
While researching for her PhD thesis, Health systems strengthening in global and national contexts, Lyn undertook field collaborations with the World Health Organization (Copenhagen, Denmark), the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (Seattle, USA), and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Geneva, Switzerland).
Lyn worked under the joint supervision of Professor Mark Western, Director of ISSR, Dr Melissa Curley of the School of Political Science and International Studies, and Professor Charles Gilks of the School of Public Health.
At the World Health Organization’s Europe Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation, Lyn examined methods to assess Europe’s health systems performance, conducted data mining, and textual and social network analyses. She also spent time at the World Health Organization Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, and the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
Lyn’s research and community work has been well recognised. She was one of the inaugural winners of the Gro Brundtland Award in Taipei, an honour designed to promote the involvement of young female researchers from developing countries in the issues of sustainable development and equitable health systems. She also took out the 2014 Most Inspiring International Student of the Year at UQ in recognition of her community work and position as a role model, as well as a Young Leader Award from the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Cape Town, for her innovative use of social media for sharing developments in health systems.
Lyn is now moving forward in her career as a postdoctoral researcher at Yale within the Centre for Infectious Disease Modelling and Analysis, where she will work to develop health information systems that more effectively and efficiently address diseases.
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