AIHS Translational Health Chair – Nicholas Ashbolt, University of Alberta
Apr. 16, 2014
“Alberta is the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce drinking water safety plans.” Dr. Ashbolt:
Making water safer for Albertans, April 16, 2014.
Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions (AIHS) is delighted to announce that Nicholas Ashbolt, PhD, has received the AIHS Translational Health Chair in Disease Prevention. The AIHS Translational Health Chair Program helps the province build capacity in translational research—moving what we know into what we do—in four priority areas.
Dr. Ashbolt is an environmental microbiologist and a world recognized authority in risk assessment of water-borne microbes—disease carrying-microorganisms. He was recruited to Alberta from the United States and is originally from Australia. He was Head of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia until 2007, when he was recruited to the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a senior research scientist.
Dr. Ashbolt has 25 years’ experience in water microbiology and risk assessment and over the previous 13 years, has worked in joint Australian- European programs focused on microbe risk in drinking water. His work contributed to the risk-based approach adopted in the most recent World Health Organization recreational, drinking water and wastewater reuse guidelines. In Alberta he plans to integrate waterborne microbe risk assessment with regulatory policy in the areas of wastewater reuse, water quality assessment in rural Alberta, and the vulnerability of drinking water to waterborne parasites.
Recruitment of Dr. Ashbolt as an AIHS Translational Health Chair and Professor in the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health, brings international calibre expertise to Campus Alberta and furthers the province’s global vision of water and health research.
AIHS is proud to partner with the School of Public Health and the University of Alberta for this AIHS Translational Health Chair in Disease Prevention, which Dr. Ashbolt will hold for seven years. Through this unique partnership, AIHS and the University of Alberta are confident that Dr. Ashbolt’s translational research activities will lead to health innovations and improvements in water use and reuse to enhance water safety in rural and urban Alberta.
Dr. Ashbolt’s proposed translational research program aligns closely with the Alberta government’s plan of investing in families and communities through the uptake of evidence into programs and interventions to ensure water safety and reduce waterborne diseases. Disease prevention is a priority for Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services, as expressed in Alberta’s Health Research and Innovation Strategy (AHRIS). Dr. Ashbolt will receive approximately $4.2 million for the seven year research program.