Mana Rezai is currently an Epidemiology PhD candidate in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Mana’s PhD research aims to better understand and measure the concept of work ability. Her doctoral dissertation will examine the association between work ability and returning to work following a traffic injury. Mana’s thesis supervisor is Dr. Pierre Côté and her research takes place at the UOIT-CMCC Centre for the Study of Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation.
Mana’s interest in work disability began shortly after she completed her chiropractic training and started working directly with patients with musculoskeletal disabilities. This first-hand account of the impact of work disability on the individual and the general labour force was the inspiration for her graduate work. Her MHSc research included a project at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) examining the association between quality of life and neck pain as well as two international projects, in Cambodia, examining rates of injury, access to care, perceptions of disability and education for persons with disabilities. This research was partly funded by CIHR and the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation (ICDR) at the University of Toronto. Mana was the recipient of the 2011 Canadian Chiropractic Association’s (CCA) Young Investigator Award and her doctoral work has also been recognized by the University of Toronto’s, Toronto Musculoskeletal Centre’s (TMC) inaugural award.
Mana’s research goals are to inform evidence-based policies supporting sustainable return-to work, income security, and social inclusion for persons with disabilities while promoting and celebrating a diverse and actively engaged Canadian labour-market.