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  • Dr. Violet D’Souza, PhD


Assistant Professor, Department of Dental Clinical Sciences, Dalhousie University


Associate Member, Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute Healthy Populations Institute, Scholar

Research Interests:

Oral Health, Frailty, Healthy Aging, Chronic Disease in Elderly, Chronic Disease Prevention, Psychosocial Oncology, Cancer Survivorship, Cognitive Decline, Population Health

I am interested in cancer survivorship research. To date, I have conducted research with individuals touched by different types of cancers, specifically, head and neck, breast, and colorectal cancers, and those who are terminally ill and receiving palliative care. Some of my significant work in cancer research includes creating evidence-based survivorship care plans and investigating the impact of multimedia-based targeted information interventions on the psychosocial outcomes of cancer patients and their family members. Currently, I am interested in exploring the impact of cancer diagnosis and its treatment on oral health and developing interventions to prevent oral problems in cancer survivors.

What brought you to your current institution?
I am a dental public health specialist, currently an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Dentistry, Dalhousie University. I have a MS in Dental Public Health from the University of Iowa (USA), MSc in Restorative Dentistry from the University of Helsinki (Finland), and a PhD from McGill University. Also, I completed postdoctoral training at the BC Cancer Agency and the University of Montreal. For my PhD thesis, I investigated the impact of a multimedia-based tailored information tool on the psychosocial outcomes of head and neck cancer and patients and their family members. At the BC Cancer Agency, I contributed to developing evidence-based survivorship care planning for breast and colorectal cancers. My recent work includes investigating the oral health status of terminally ill adults receiving palliative care and those living in long-term care facilities. 

Hometown: India
I completed my dental school in India, specializing in Restorative Dentistry in Finland, PhD at McGill University Canada, and a dental public health specialization in Iowa, USA.

Why are you interested in your area of research?
I am very interested in exploring the unmet needs of marginalized people. I started my PhD project with head and neck cancer patients because I believe head and neck cancer patients are unique and marginalized. As I explored cancer survivorship research, I got more interested in supportive care in cancer and explored other cancers.

Learn More about my research

Involvement with BHCRI to date:

I am a new faculty member at Dalhousie University and recently joined the BHCRI as an associate member. I am looking to get involved and contribute to the BHCRI and also mentor graduate students.

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