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DASH Spotlight Series: Meet Dr. Anita Palepu (DASH Co-Lead)

Meet our DASH community

Starting this month, DASH will feature our members and trainees on our newsletter and website to explore the various expertise, interests, and background that each of us brings to our data science and health community.

Dr. Anita Palepu

Title and Affiliation:
Professor and Eric W. Hamber Chair
Head, Department of Medicine
University of British Columbia

Role in DASH:

Please introduce yourself.

I am the Head of the Department of Medicine for UBC and Providence Health Care and have been in the roles for almost 3 years. I am a General Internal Medicine specialist and practice at St. Paul's Hospital on the Clinical Teaching Unit. A strategic priority for the UBC Department of Medicine is to build our capacity in data science and health and we are collaborating with amazing faculty and staff across UBC Vancouver and Okanagan to move this agenda forward.

What is your role in DASH and what do you hope to achieve through DASH?

I am one of the DASH leads and aim to build a collaborative network of faculty and staff interested in data science and health across Faculties and Campuses at UBC. With the input and support of the network, we hope to facilitate research opportunities to answer important questions that will improve health and health care.

What is your favourite book and why?

My favourite book is still A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. It is historical fiction and a heart-wrenching story that follows four individuals in 1975 during the State of Emergency declared by Indira Gandhi. The author has deep compassion for the characters, which translates to powerful and poignant storytelling.

"'You see, we cannot draw lines and compartments and refuse to budge beyond them. Sometimes you have to use your failures as stepping-stones to success. You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair.' He paused, considering what he had just said. 'Yes', he repeated. 'In the end, it's all a question of balance.'"

In life, I often reflect on that fine balance between hope and despair.