Published on 2 November 2012
2 November 2012
Qualifications from the University of the Sunshine Coast have helped transform Craig Hansen from a local guitar teacher to a sought-after health researcher in the United States.
The 44-year-old who graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Science (Public Health) in 2001, Honours in 2002, and a PhD in Environmental Epidemiology in 2006, was recently selected for the position of Associate Director of Data Management for the Jackson Heart Study in Mississippi.
“The Jackson Heart Study is a well-known cohort study of African Americans looking at cardiovascular disease,” Dr Hansen said. “The United States government has spent almost $100 million on this study over the past 15 years.
“My main role will be managing and analysing the wealth of data collected within this well-known study, and collaborating with researchers across the USA on multiple research projects that address this major public health issue.”
Dr Hansen, who has spent the past five years in the United States heading up various research roles, was head-hunted for his three most recent positions.
One of those jobs was with Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Atlanta conducting research on pregnancy outcomes.
“I recently completed a study that examined the effect of the swine flu virus on maternal and neonatal outcomes across five Kaiser Permanente study sites,” he said.
“I also led an investigation at the Food and Drug Administration examining the effect of sulphonamides, which is an antibacterial medication, during pregnancy and the risk of birth defects.”
Dr Hansen said his PhD in Environmental Epidemiology from USC had assisted him throughout his career which had taken him to South Africa and most major cities in the United States.
“I travelled to Soweto in South Africa as a postdoctoral researcher for the University of Queensland before moving to Raleigh in the United States on a fellowship with the US Environmental Protection Agency,” he said.
“I conducted birth defects research for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta before being offered the position at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research.
Just prior to heading over to the United States in 2007, Dr Hansen was presented with an Outstanding Alumni Award from USC.
— Michelle Widdicombe