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  • Writer's pictureMarielle Moraleja

Following Sindid’s Journey to UTSC and Becoming a Research Assistant at the Benoit Lab

Meet Sindid, a research assistant at the Benoit Lab, where his work focuses on conducting a scoping review on endocrine disruptors and sexual and reproductive health outcomes among Indigenous women. He is currently a student at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, taking a double major in Population Health and Psychology.

Sindid’s interest in health started in high school when he volunteered at the Canadian Red Cross club as an executive member:

“…I was part of a diverse team that came together to develop fundraising projects and plans to support national disasters. with research done to show the mental health challenges present …This helped me to also carve out an interest to pursue psychology in university…”

One of the prominent concepts within Population Health that resonated with Sindid was the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), a conceptual framework that explains how external influences (i.e., socioeconomic status, built communities, etc.) affect health outcomes. Sindid states,

“Health is always focused from a biomedical perspective, with…healthcare being exclusively dependent on physical needs… Social determinants of health are non-medical factors that go beyond the biomedical aspects of health, that influence long-term health outcomes. It just made sense for me to change from a psychology specialist to a population health major right away, and it has been a great learning adventure since”.

In 2022, Sindid met Dr. Benoit in HLTC48 (Special Topics in Health Studies) which focused on Indigenous women’s health. He was intrigued by the class content due to his limited exposure of Indigenous health in other previous courses. This encouraged him to be more involved and ask about any potential volunteer opportunities that Dr. Benoit had. This is what helped him gain a position as a research assistant at the Benoit Lab!

Sindid appreciates the supportive environment at the Benoit Lab, “Prior to joining the Benoit Lab, I did not have sufficient understanding of research…. [The Benoit Lab] has helped me learn more about what it takes to do research, the process from beginning to end, and the impact it can have afterwards among populations and the broader scientific community”. As he continues to work, he hopes to further develop his presenting skills, how to make research posters, and how to draft effective abstracts, introductions, methods, and conclusion sections.

After the completion of his undergraduate degree, he hopes to pursue a Master’s in Public Health to become more acquainted with what public health has to offer. We wish the best for Sindid and his academic success!

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