Mohammad Karamouzian

Study program:
PhD Population and Public Health
Current affiliation:
University of British Columbia

Mohammad Karamouzian (population and public health, University of British Columbia) seeks to determine how individual and structural factors – from childhood traumas to homelessness – shape injection drug use among youth.


Early injecting careers: Implications for health, HIV risk behaviours and clinical care

Injection drug use among youth is a significant public health concern that is associated with severe harms among youth including, alarming rates of fatal overdose, as well as HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) incidence. While there is growing recognition that contextual factors play a central role in determining youth’s high-risk drug using behaviours, little is known about their initiation into injecting, injection cessation, and sustained injection. Moreover, our understanding of the characteristics of early injecting careers and potential points for intervention are limited. Therefore, Mohammad’s research proposes to employ longitudinal data analyses to characterize early injecting careers, with a focus on the individual (e.g., childhood trauma) and social-structural (e.g., homelessness) factors that shape initiation, early cessation, and sustained injecting. Findings of this research are essential to developing meaningful and effective policy and program interventions that seek to prevent early injecting careers from progressing to sustained injection practices.

Mohammad Karamouzian is a doctoral student in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, a researcher at the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU), and a research associate at the WHO Collaborating Centre for HIV Surveillance (HIVHUB) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Through his doctoral research, he seeks to address research gaps in characterizing early injecting careers with a focus on the factors that shape initiation, early cessation, and sustained injecting practices. His research at BCCSU and BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) also include the evaluation of public health interventions such as drug checking and Take-home naloxone in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Mohammad’s global health research focuses on health promotion among marginalized populations such as female sex workers, people who inject drugs, and prisoners. His international health and development contributions include research and policy development as well as capacity building workshops for several countries in the MENA region. Through his work with the Global Network of Researchers on HIV/AIDS in MENA and HIVHUB, he facilitates scientific exchange and collaborative research projects among HIV researchers in the MENA region.

Mohammad is committed to translating his research into policy that will improve the health of marginalized populations. He has authored/co-authored over 55 peer-reviewed publications in leading international peer-reviewed journals including The Lancet, Journal of International AIDS Society (JIAS), and International Journal of Drug policy and participated in numerous conference presentations including two invited presentations in the AIDS 2016 and International Harm Reduction Conference in 2017. He has also been a co-investigator on more than 20 nationally and internationally funded projects focusing on vulnerable populations. Mohammad is an Associate Editor of BMC Health Services Research and has served as a reviewer for several leading international journals (e.g., BMJ Open, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, JIAS, PLOS ONE, Public Health, and Systematic Reviews), and conferences (e.g., AIDS 2016, IAS 2017, AIDS 2018). Mohammad has won over 15 awards and scholarships for his research, leadership, and academic achievements, including the Vanier Doctoral Scholarship, UBC’s International Doctoral Fellowship, and UBC’s Four Year Doctoral Fellowship.

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