May 1, 2014
Lalita Bharadwaj is a Toxicologist at the University of Saskatchewan with unique expertise in human and environmental health risk assessment and community-based participatory research involving Indigenous communities both regionally and globally. Dr. Bharadwaj has a diverse academic background with a B.Sc. in physiology; a M.Sc. in pathology; PhD in Toxicology and postdoctoral training in respiratory medicine and molecular/cell biology. Dr. Bharadwaj has performed numerous human and environmental risk assessments on brownfield sites, impacted by creosote, petroleum and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and heavy metals and marked for redevelopment. Her expertise is recognized across Canada and internationally. Dr. Bharadwaj strives to be a university leader in community-based participatory research with Saskatchewan First Nation communities and leads the SHRF-funded Safe Water for Health Research Team (SWHRT) whose goals are to generate the critical knowledge necessary to inform evidence-based decisions about water policy to promote the health of Indigenous, rural and remote populations regionally and globally.
She has made a strong connection with Aboriginal communities using a participatory community approach in her research on water quality. Working with Valerie Arnault, she has conducted summer science camps at the University of Saskatchewan for high school students from northern Aboriginal communities. Her participatory community approach has extended to global contributions. She has worked in two different areas in Peru, Chachapoyas and Huaraz, in projects related to water quality. Both projects depend on community involvement, something at which she excels. Dr. Bharadwaj has been well-funded for her research program in water quality, most notably with SHRF funding for her water quality team and a CIHR operating grant on which she is Co-Principal Investigator.