Dr Sanda Ismail

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About me

Sanda has a Master's degree in Public Health with Distinction and a PhD, both awarded by the University of the West of England (UWE, Bristol). His PhD thesis is entitled, 'Nostalgia as a psychological resource for people with dementia'. In it, he investigated a novel application of nostalgia to people with dementia through a series of randomised controlled trials. He has a First Class Honours in Community (Public Health) Nutrition, awarded by the University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.  

Sanda has achieved the status of Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (HEA) having completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice programme.  

He has ten years of teaching experience in leading and contributing to a range of MSc Public Health modules, both on-campus and online at UWE Bristol. These modules include Understanding Epidemiology and Statistics, Quantitative Health Research, Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases, Leadership for Public Health, Systematic Reviews and Evidence Synthesis, Public Health Policy and Politics and Research Methods. He has designed the contents, learning materials and assessments for these modules. He also has appreciable experience of supervising MSc Public Health research dissertations and PhD research projects.

Sanda is an academic supervisor for the Southwest Public Health Training programme. He is the Link Tutor for the MSc Public Health programme in the Joint Education Partnership between UWE, Bristol and Hainan Medical University, China.  
He serves as personal tutor for several students on the MSc Public Health course at UWE Bristol, supporting students with their learning to enhance their academic performance and confidence.  

Sanda is keen in preparing students to tackle real-life public health issues including broader socio-ecological determinants of health. He is committed to contributing to the role that higher education plays in fostering creativity and innovation, enhancing employability, and addressing challenges in society.

Area of expertise

Sanda  is experienced and passionate about dementia research. His career as a dementia researcher was inspired by his 5-year clinical experience as a Healthcare Support Worker delivering routine care and support to people with dementia at Frenchay and Southmead hospitals in Bristol. 

For the past decade, Sanda has been conducting research in the field of dementia and public health. His dementia research career started with his PhD project at UWE Bristol, in it he examined the novel concept of nostalgic reminiscence as a psychological resource for people with dementia.  After completing his PhD, he was awarded an early career researcher grant by Alzheimer's Research UK where he worked with people living with dementia to co-develop a nostalgia-based intervention and assessed whether couples could engage in nostalgic conversations. 

Sanda has special interest in dementia prevention with a focus on segregating dementia risk factors across populations, communities and health conditions. Currently, he is researching the risk factors of dementia among the Islamic religious population in England, for which he has been awarded a one-year grant by the UWE Bristol Vice Chancellor Early Career Researcher Award. This research is a cohort study using the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing dataset to examine the significant predictors of dementia incidence, by both Muslim identity and practices. 

Sanda has over six years' post-doctoral research experience in leading and contributing to various research projects in the field of dementia and public health. Over this period, he has led and contributed to successful research grants amounting to over £200,000. He co-led the evaluation of the Better Care: Good Food for Older People programme; which was an evaluation of a two-year test-and- learn programme in England and Scotland. In this project he worked closely with NHS hospitals and care homes in applying his academic expertise in evaluating social eating interventions among older people and people with dementia. 

Sanda has extensive experience in applying epidemiological approaches in research projects. He has led and conducted randomised controlled trials, cohort and cross-sectional studies. He has also led and conducted systematic reviews and meta-analysis. 

Sanda has made significant contributions to the field of dementia research with some of his peer-reviewed publications rated as internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework assessment. 

He is keen on ensuring that his research in dementia has an impact in dementia prevention, care and support. 


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