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Dr Pek Kei (Becky) Im, Intermediate Research Fellow at Oxford Population Health, has been awarded a Wellcome Career Development Award.

Dr Im’s research programme, which will run for seven years, will investigate the impacts of alcohol drinking on a wide range of mental and physical health outcomes and explore the underlying biological mechanisms in diverse populations. The research programme will generate new evidence for estimating the disease and economic burden of alcohol use, which may inform alcohol control and treatment strategies to improve population health and wellbeing worldwide.

Dr Im’s previous research has been supported by Oxford Population Health with a DPhil scholarship, an Early Career Research Fellowship and an Intermediate Research fellowship. Her previous research has found that alcohol consumption is adversely related to a much wider range of diseases in Chinese men than has previously been established.

The Wellcome Career Development Award provides funding for mid-career researchers from any discipline who have the potential to be international research leaders. The scheme enables award holders to develop their research capabilities, drive innovative programmes of work, and deliver significant shifts in understanding that could improve human life, health, and wellbeing.

Dr Im said ‘I am honoured to receive this Wellcome Career Development Award. The award will provide the support and resources to develop a multi-disciplinary programme of work that will contribute to detailed understanding of the scope, mechanisms and burden of alcohol-related health impacts, and informing development of cost-effective alcohol control policies. I would also like to thank Oxford Population Health and my colleagues who have supported me throughout my early research career.’

Dr Im will be collaborating with several collaborators within Oxford Population Health and the Medical Sciences Division, and international research, policy and engagement partners including the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Her award will commence in July 2024.