Dr. Punam Pahwa BS, MSc (Ag Statistics), MSc (Statistics), PhD Professor Community Health and Epidemiology

HSC E-wing 1222

Research Area(s)

  • Statistical Modeling of Longitudinal Data , Complex Surveys data, and Correlated Survival Data.
  • Modeling of Missing Observations in Longitudinal Studies.
  • Exposures of Interest: Grain Dust, Pesticide
  • Diseases of Interest: Respiratory Disease, Cancer


Dr. Pahwa is a Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, and Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, University of Saskatchewan. There are two facets of her research: methodology and application. The methodological aspect of her research consists of integrating advanced statistical theories to analyze longitudinal complex health data. This methodological aspect is not only an indispensable component of population health research, but it also helps many health researchers who face challenges in understanding large complex data sets. The applied aspect of her research consists of evaluating health determinants that are associated with chronic conditions, with a special focus on rural occupational and environmental exposures.


Teaching and Supervision:

Graduate Teaching:

I currently teach a graduate course CH&EP 805.3 in the Department of CH&EP. I provide guest lecture in CH&EP 802.3- Research Methods. I have taught a special topics course CHEP 898.6 - Analysis of Complex-Survey Datasets.


Since my appointment, I have played an important role as a thesis supervisor and a committee member for many students. Thesis titles of successfully completed degrees under my supervision/co-supervision are given below:

2016   PhD. Surgical management of the primary tumor in advanced colorectal cancer: Should palliative resection of primary tumor be performed?

2014    MSc. A Multilevel Analysis of the Contribution of Individual, Socioeconomic and Geographical Factors on Kindergarten Children’s Developmental Health: A Saskatchewan Province-Wide Study

2012     PhD. Statistical Modeling of Canadian Heart Health Survey and Longitudinal National Population Health Survey. Comparison of multi-level modeling and robust techniques for variance estimation.

2012     PhD.  Prevalence of metabolic syndrome: Analysis of Canadian Heart Health Survey Data.

2012      PhD.  A Physiotherapy Triage Assessment of Patients Referred to Orthopedic Surgeons for Low Back-related Complaints: Outcomes and Predictors of Success.

2012     PhD.  Within-Day Patterns  of Pain in Children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

2011     PhD.  Predicting Local Recurrence Following Breast Conserving Therapy for Early Stage Breast Cancer: The Significance of a Narrow (Less Than or Equal to 2MM) Surgical Resection Margin.

2011      MSc.  Risk factors for still  births in Canadian population.

2007      PhD.  Statistical Modeling of complex survey longitudinal asthma data.

2006      PhD.  Patterns of Aging in adults with  intellectual disabilities.

2006     MSc. Atopy, the Hygiene Hypothesis and TLR4: A Rural Canadian Perspective.

2005     M.Sc. Statistical Model for the transmission of infectious diseases.

2004      M.Sc. The effects of Health Provider errors in ICU patients.

2004     M.Sc. Identifiable injuries among Aboriginals vs. non-aboriginals.

2003     M.Sc. Longitudinal lung function decline in New Grain Workers’.

Selected Publications

Publications in the last five years:

  • Hernández-Ronquillo L, Thorpe L, Pahwa P, Téllez-Zenteno JF. Secular trends and population differences in the incidence of epilepsy. A population-based study from Saskatchewan, Canada. Seizure. 2018 May 28;60:8-15. doi:10.1016/j.seizure.2018.05.018
  • Ahmed S, Iqbal M, Le D, Pahwa P. Travel distance and use of salvage palliative chemotherapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. J Gastrointest Oncol. 2018 Apr;9(2):269-274. doi: 10.21037/jgo.2017.12.01.
  • Ayami Kajiwara-Morita, Chandima P. Karunanayake, James A. Dosman, Joshua A. Lawson, Shelley Kirychuk, Donna C. Rennie, Roland F. Dyck, Niels Koehncke, Ambikaipakan Senthilselvan, Punam Pahwa, and Saskatchewan Rural Health Study Research Team. Prevalence and Determinants of Sinus Problems in Farm and Non-Farm populations of Rural Saskatchewan, Canada. Sinusitis 2018; 3(1):2. doi: 10.3390/sinusitis3010002. 
  • Janzen B, Karunanayake C, Rennie D, Katapally T, Dyck R, McMullin K, Fenton M, Jimmy L, MacDonald J, Ramsden VR, Dosman J, Abonyi S, Pahwa P. Racial discrimination and depression among on-reserve First Nations people in rural Saskatchewan. Can J Public Health. 2017;108(5-6):e482–e487 doi: 10.17269/CJPH.108.6151 
  • Ina van der Spuy I, Karunanayake CP, Dosman JA, McMullin K, Zhao G, Abonyi S, Rennie DC, Lawson J, Kirychuk S, MacDonald J, Jimmy L, Koehncke N, Ramsden VR, Fenton M, Marchildon GP, King M, Pahwa P. Determinants of excessive daytime sleepiness in two First Nation communities. BMC Pulm Med. 2017 Dec 12;17(1):192. doi: 10.1186/s12890-017-0536-x.
  • Dyck RF, Karunanayake C, Pahwa P, and Osgood ND The hefty fetal phenotype hypothesis revisited: high birth weight, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes in a Saskatchewan cohort of First Nations and non-First Nations women. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. 2017 Dec 22:1-7. doi: 10.1017/S2040174417000988.
  • Pahwa P, Rana M, Pickett W, Karunanayake CP, Amin K, Rennie D, Lawson J, Kirychuk S, Janzen B, Koehncke N, Dosman J. Cohort profile: the Saskatchewan Rural Health Study-adult component. BMC Res Notes. 2017 Dec 11;10(1):732. doi: 10.1186/s13104-017-3047-1
  • Ahmed S, Pahwa P, Le D, Chalchal H, Chandra-Kanthan S, Iqbal N, Fields A. Primary Tumor Location and Survival in the General Population With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer.
    Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2017 Nov 21. pii: S1533-0028(17)30238-4. doi: 10.1016/j.clcc.2017.11.001. 
  • Karunanayake CP, Rennie DC, Ramsden VR, Fenton M, Kirychuk S, Lawson JA, Henderson R, Jimmy L, Seeseequasis J, Abonyi S, Dosman JA, Pahwa P. The First Nations Lung Health Project Research Team. Bronchitis and Its Associated Risk Factors in First Nations Children. Children (Basel). 2017 Nov 24;4(12). pii: E103. doi: 10.3390/children4120103.
  • Fisher KL, Reeder BA, Harrison EL, Bruner BG, Ashworth NL, Pahwa P, Sari N, Sheppard MS, Shields CA, Chad KE. Comparing Class-based and Home-based Exercise for Older Adults with Chronic Health Conditions: 12-month Follow-up of a Randomized Clinical Trial J Aging Phys Act. 2017 Nov 1:1-44. doi: 10.1123/japa.2016-0285. 
  • Pahwa P, Karunanayake C, Rennie D, Lawson J, Ramsdan V, McMullin K, Gardipy J, McDonald J, Abonyi S, Episkenew J. Prevalence and associated risk factors of chronic bronchitis in First Nations people. BMC Pulmonary Medicine. 2017 Jun. 
  • Balakrishnan L, Rennie D, dosman J, Pahwa P, Karunanayake C, Hagel L, Lawson J. Lung function in relation to farm dwelling and farming activities in rural dwelling children. Respirology. 2017 Jun.
  • Janzen B, Karunanayake C, Rennie D, Pickett W, Lawson J, Kirychuk S, Hagel L, Senthilselvan A, Koehncke N, Dosman J, Pahwa P, Saskatchewan Rural Health Study Team. Gender Differences in the Association of Individual and Contextual Exposures with Lung Function in a Rural Canadian Population. Lung. 2017 Feb;195(1):43-52.
  • Lawson J, Luan C, Rennie D, Hagel L, Karunanayake C, Pahwa P, Dosman J. Prevalence, risk factors, and clinical outcomes of atopic and nonatopic asthma among rural children. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. 2017 Jan;118(3):304-310. 
  • Luan C, Pahwa P. Prevalence and associated factors for self-reported asthma in a Canadian population: The Canadian Community Health Survey-2014. Journal of Asthma. 2017 Jan. 
  • Katapally T, Abonyi S, Episkenew J, Ramsdan V, Karunanayake C, Kirychuk S, Rennie D, Dosman J, Pahwa P. Catalyzing Action on First Nations Respiratory Health Using Community-based Participatory Research: Integrated Knowledge Translation through Strategic Symposia. Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning. 2017;2(1):57-70.

  • Karunananyake CP, Rennie DC, Hilderbrand C, Lawson JA, Hagel L, Dosman JA, Pahwa P, The Saskatchewan Rural Health Study Team. Actual Body Weight and the Parent's Perspective of Child's Body Weight among Rural Canadian Children. Children (Basel). 2016 Aug;3(3). Epub 2016 Aug.
  • Sharma M, Lawson JA, Kanthan R, Karunanayake C, Hagel L, Rennie D, Dosman JA, Pahwa P; Saskatchewan Rural Cohort Study Group. Factors Associated With the Prevalence of Prostate Cancer in Rural Saskatchewan: The Saskatchewan Rural Health Study. J Rural Health. 2016 Mar;32(2):125-35. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12137
  • Rennie DC, Karunanayake CP, Chen Y, Lawson JA, Hagel L, Senthilselvan A, Pahwa P, Dosman JA; Saskatchewan Rural Cohort Study Group. Early farm residency and prevalence of asthma and hay fever in adults. J Asthma. 2016 Feb;53(1):2-10. doi: 10.3109/02770903.2015.1058394
  • Setayeshgar S, Whiting SJ, Pahwa P, Vatanparast H. Predicted 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease among Canadian adults using modified Framingham Risk Score in association with dietary intake. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015 Oct;40(10):1068-74. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2015-0074
  • Dyck RF, Karunanayake C, Janzen B, Lawson J, Ramsden VR, Rennie DC, Gardipy PJ, McCallum L, Abonyi S, Dosman JA, Episkenew JA, Pahwa P; First Nations Lung Health Team. Do discrimination, residential school attendance and cultural disruption add to individual-level diabetes risk among Aboriginal people in Canada? BMC Public Health. 2015 Dec 9;15:1222. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-2551-2
  • Karunanayake CP, Albritton W, Rennie DC, Lawson JA, McCallum L, Gardipy PJ, Seeseequasis J, Naytowhow A, Hagel L, McMullin K, Ramsden V, Abonyi S, Episkenew JA, Dosman JA, Pahwa P, Project Research Team. Ear Infection and Its Associated Risk Factors in First Nations and Rural School-Aged Canadian Children.
  • Int J Pediatr. 2016;2016:1523897. doi: 10.1155/2016/1523897
  • Presutti R, Harris SA, Kachuri L, Spinelli JJ, Pahwa M, Blair A, Zahm SH, Cantor KP, Weisenburger DD, Pahwa P, McLaughlin JR, Dosman JA, Freeman LB. Pesticide exposures and the risk of multiple myeloma in men: An analysis of the North American Pooled Project. Int J Cancer. 2016 Jun 4. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30218
  • Ahmed S, Leis A, Chandra-Kanthan S, Fields A, Reeder B, Iqbal N, Haider K, Le D, Pahwa P. Surgical Management of the Primary Tumor in Stage IV Colorectal Cancer: A Confirmatory Retrospective Cohort Study. J Cancer. 2016 Apr 27;7(7):837-45. doi: 10.7150/jca.14717
  • Karunanayake CP, Hagel L, Rennie DC, Lawson JA, Dosman JA, Pahwa P, The Saskatchewan Rural Health Study Group. Prevalence and risk factors of respiratory symptoms in rural population. J Agromedicine. 2015;20(3):310-7. doi: 10.1080/1059924X.2015.1042613.
  • Rennie DC, Lawson JA, Karunanayake CP, Pahwa P, Chen Y, Chu L, Dosman JA, The Saskatchewan Rural Health Study Group. Farm exposure and atopy in Men and Women: The Saskatchewan Rural Health Study. J Agromedicine. 2015;20(3):302-9. doi: 10.1080/1059924X.2015.1042612.
  • Chen Y, Rennie DC, Karunanayake CP, Janzen B, Hagel L, Pickett W, Dyck R, Lawson J, Dosman JA, Pahwa P; Saskatchewan Rural Health Study Group. Income adequacy and education associated with the prevalence of obesity in rural Saskatchewan, CanadaBMC Public Health. 2015 Jul 24;15:700. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-2006-9.
  • Ahmed S, Fields A, Pahwa P, Chandra-Kanthan S, Zaidi A, Le D, Haider K, Reeder B, Leis A. Surgical resection of primary tumor in asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic patients with stage IV colorectal cancer: A Canadian Province Experience.
  • Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2015 Jun 6. pii: S1533-0028(15)00066-3. doi: 10.1016/j.clcc.2015.05.008.
  • Pahwa P, Abonyi S, Karunanayake C, Rennie DC, Janzen B, Kirychuk S, Lawson JA, Katapally T, McMullin K, Seeseequasis J, Naytowhow A, Hagel L, Dyck RF, Fenton M, Senthilselvan A, Ramsden V, King M, Koehncke N, Marchildon G, McBain L, Smith-Windsor T, Smylie J, Episkenew JA, Dosman JA. A community-based participatory research methodology to address, redress, and reassess disparities in respiratory health among First Nations. BMC Res Notes. 2015 May 16;8(1):199
  • Chu L, Rennie D, Cockcroft D, Pahwa P, Dosman J, Hagel L, Karunanayake C, Lawson J. Agreement between Questionnaire Report of Allergy-related Outcomes in School-age Children and Objective Measures of Atopy: The Saskatchewan Rural Health Study. Clin Exp Allergy. 2015 Mar 23. doi: 10.1111/cea.12533
  • Ahmed S, Pahwa P, Fields A, Chandra-Kanthan S, Iqbal N, Zaidi A, Reeder B, Plaza FA, Zhu T, Leis A. Predictive Factors of the Use of Systemic Therapy in Stage IV Colorectal Cancer: Who Gets Chemotherapy? Oncology. 2015;88(5):289-97. doi: 10.1159/000368245. Epub 2015 Jan 14
  • Janzen B, Karunanayake C, Pahwa P, Dyck R, Rennie D, Lawson J, Pickett W, Bryce R, Hagel L, Zhao G, Dosman J; Saskatchewan Rural Health Study Team. Exploring diversity in socioeconomic inequalities in health among rural dwelling Canadians. J Rural Health. 2015 Apr;31(2):186-98. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12101
  • Andreotti G, Birmann BM, Cozen W, De Roos AJ, Chiu BC, Costas L, de Sanjosé S, Moysich K, Camp NJ, Spinelli JJ, Pahwa P, Dosman JA, McLaughlin JR, Boffetta P, Staines A, Weisenburger D, Benhaim-Luzon V, Brennan P, Costantini AS, Miligi L, Campagna M, Nieters A, Becker N, Maynadié M, Foretová L, Zheng T, Tricot G, Milliken K, Krzystan J, Steplowski E, Baris D, Purdue MP. A pooled analysis of cigarette smoking and risk of multiple myeloma from the international multiple myeloma consortium. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Mar;24(3):631-4. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965
  • Chu LM, Rennie DC, Cockcroft DW, Pahwa P, Dosman J, Hagel L, Karunanayake C, Pickett W, Lawson JA. Prevalence and determinants of atopy and allergic diseases among school-age children in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2014 Oct;113(4):430-9. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2014.07.003
  • Schmid S, Bryce R, Reeder B, Rana M, Pahwa P, Shoker A, Moser MA. Volatility of serum creatinine relative to tacrolimus levels predicts kidney transplant rejection. Ann Transplant. 2014 Aug 15;19:403-6. doi: 10.12659/AOT.890815
  • Ahmed S, Leis A, Fields A, Chandra-Kanthan S, Haider K, Alvi R, Reeder B, Pahwa P. Survival impact of surgical resection of primary tumor in patients with stage IV colorectal cancer: results from a large population-based cohort study. Cancer. 2014 Mar 1;120(5):683-91. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28464.
  • Premkumar K, Pahwa P, Banerjee A, Baptiste K, Bhatt H, Lim HJ. Changes in self-directed learning readiness in dental students: a mixed-methods study. Dent Educ. 2014 Jun;78(6):934-43.
  • Pahwa M, Beane Freeman L, Spinelli JJ, Blair A, Pahwa P, Dosman JA, McLaughlin JR, Demers PA, Hoar Zahm S, Cantor KP, Weisenburger DD, Harris SA. The North American Pooled Project (NAPP): Pooled analyses of case-control studies of pesticides and agricultural exposures, lymphohematopoietic cancers and sarcoma. Occup Environ Med. 2014;71 Suppl 1:A116. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2014-102362.364.
  • Karunanayake CP, Dosman JA, Pahwa P. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and work in Agriculture: results of a two case-control studies in Saskatchewan, Canada. Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2014, 17(3):114-21. doi: 10.4103/0019-5278.130860.
  • Gjevre JA, Pahwa P, Karunanayake CP, Rennie DC, Lawson J, Hagel L, Dyck R, Dosman JA, and the Saskatchewan Rural Health Study Team. Excessive Daytime Sleepiness amongst Rural Residents in Saskatchewan. Canadian Respiratory Journal 2014..
  • Rennie DC, Karunanayake CP, Chen Y, Nakagawa K, Pahwa P, Senthilselvan A, Dosman JA. 2013. CD14 gene variants and their importance for childhood croup, atopy and asthma. Disease Markers 2013; 35 (6): pp. 765-771. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/dm/2013/434920/
  • Rebecca J. Barry RJ, William Pickett W, Rennie DC, Dosman JA, Pahwa P, Hagel L, Karunanayake C, Lawson JA. The Role of Farm Operational and Rural Environments as Potential Risk Factors for Pediatric Asthma in Rural Saskatchewan. Pediatric Pulmonology. 2014 Sep;49(9):842-51; DOI: 10.1002/ppul.22903.
  • Dyck R, Pahwa P, Hagel L, Lawson J, Rennie D, Dosman J and on behalf of the Saskatchewan Rural Health Study Group. Rates, Risk Factors and Co-morbidities of Diabetes among adults in Rural Saskatchewan: The influence of farm residence and agriculture-related exposures. BMC Public Health 2013, 13:7. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-7.
  • Kachuri L, Demers PA, Blair A, Spinelli JJ, Pahwa M, McLaughlin JR, Pahwa P, Dosman JA, Harris SA. Multiple pesticide exposures and the risk of multiple myeloma in Canadian men. Int J Cancer. 2013;133(8):1846-58. doi: 10.1002/ijc.28191.
  • Navaranjan G, Hohenadel K, Blair A, Demers PA, Spinelli JJ, Pahwa P, McLaughlin JR, Dosman JA, Ritter L, Harris SA. Exposures to multiple pesticides and the risk of Hodgkin lymphoma in Canadian men. Cancer Causes Control. 2013 Sep;24(9):1661-73. doi: 10.1007/s10552-013-0240-y.
  • Premkumar K, Pahwa P, Baptiste K, Banerjee A, Bhatt H, Lim HJ. Does Medical Training Promote or Deter Self-directed Learning?: A Longitudinal Mixed Method Study. Acad Med. 2013 Nov; 88(11):1754-64. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182a9262d
  • Karunanayake CP, Hagen B, Dosman JA, Pahwa P. Prevalence and Risk Factors of Chronic Bronchitis in a Canadian Population: The Canadian Community Health Survey, 2007-2008.  Canadian Respiratory Journal 2013; 20(4): 231-236.
  • Konrad S,  Hossain A, Senthilselvan A, Dosman JA,  Pahwa, P.  The prevalence of Chronic Bronchitis in Aboriginal People and its associated factors. Chronic Diseases and Injuries in Canada; 33(4): 218-225
  • Pickett W, Hagel L, Dosman JA; Saskatchewan Farm Injury Study Team*. Safety features on agricultural machines and farm structures in Saskatchewan. J Agromedicine. 2012;17(4):421-4. * Pahwa P – one of the research team member
  • Hagel L, Pahwa P, Dosman JA, Pickett W. Economic worry and the presence of safety hazards on farms. Accid Anal Prev. 2013:156-60. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2013.01.011.
  • Lilley R, Day L, Koehncke N, Dosman J, Hagel L, William P; Saskatchewan Farm Injury Cohort Study*. The relationship between fatigue-related factors and work-related injuries in the Saskatchewan Farm Injury Cohort Study. Am J Ind Med. 2012 ;55(4):367-75. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22003. * Pahwa P – Research team member
  • Dosman JA, Hagel L, Skomro R, Sun X, Day A, Pickett W; Saskatchewan Farm Injury Study Team*. Loud snoring is a risk factor for occupational injury in farmers. Canadian Respiratory Journal. 2013;20(1):42-6. * Pahwa P –Research team member


Grants held in the last five years:

  • 2018-2023. CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research).  $1,250,775  Assess, Redress, Re-assess: Addressing Disparities in Sleep Health Among First Nations People. Principal Investigators: James Dosman (nominated), Punam Pahwa, Sylvia Abonyi, Malcolm King
  • 2016-2018.  Pahwa P (Principal Investigator), Exploring the Socio-economic and Environmental Determinants of chronic bronchitis and Asthma in Aboriginal People, This project involves analysis of Stats Canada Aboriginal Peoples' Survey- 2012 SSHRC – peer-reviewed to access Statistics Canada Research Data.
  • 2011-2017. CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research). $1,592,521 Assess, Redress, Re-assess: Addressing Disparities in Respiratory Health Among First Nations People. Principal Investigators: James Dosman (nominated), Punam Pahwa, Sylvia Abonyi.
  • 2010-2016. CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research). $1,547,545 Saskatchewan Rural Health Study. Principal Investigators: James Dosman (nominated), Punam Pahwa , John Gordon; Co-investigators: Donna Rennie, Yue Chen.