Dr. Blaga is a public health researcherfocused on improving maternal and child health by supporting smoking cessation during and around pregnancy. She has locally coordinated the implementation of three mHealth projects in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, by assisting with the development of the conceptual architecture of a smoking cessation app for pregnant couples and by setting up the standard operating procedures for two randomized controlled trials, one of a telephone-based motivational interviewing intervention for smoking cessation during pregnancy and one for a short message service intervention to prevent postnatal smoking relapse. In addition, Dr. Blaga is searching for new ways to engage users in mHealth interventions by fostering the use of behavioral nudges.
The long-term goal of her research is to contribute to the improvement of maternal and child health in Romania and neighboring Eastern European Countries by supporting the implementation of research evidence into public health practice.
Dr. Blaga is an Assistant Professor in the department of Public Health at Babes-Bolyai University in Romania and an Adjunct Scholar in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University.
Dr. Blaga has an interdisciplinary educational background (MS in research design and data analysis, PhD in political sciences with a thesis on behavioral economics and development of tobacco control policies), allowing her to integrate social and behavioral health concepts, strong research skills, and public policy components in her work. She received her graduate degree from Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She has been a Fogarty trainee in two capacity building projects: (1) the Iowa Non-communicable Chronic Diseases Research Training Program in Romania (1D43TW008308-01A) and (2) the 2016 Global mHealth Research Training Institute, which equipped her with the basic knowledge and skills needed to conduct meaningful public health research. Sheis using her behavioralhealth training and her 10-year research expertise to design, implement, and evaluate pregnancy smoking cessation interventions in Romania. She hasheld subaward Principal Investigator roleson five National Institutes of Health-funded projects in the last five years K01TW009654;R21TW010896; 5R21TW010896 02S1; 5R21TW010896 02S2; 1R21HD103039 01).
Awards and Honors
Travel award to participate in the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Nicotine and Tobacco Research, March 2017, Florence, Italy.
Global mHealth Research Training Institute, Fogarty's Center for Global Health Studies (CGHS), U.S. National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, June 2016.
Research scholarship through grant POSDRU/187/1.5/S/155383 – “Quality, excellence, transnational mobility in doctoral research” – to support her doctoral research conducted in 2015.
Intermediate term scholarship – Fogarty International Center’s Non-Communicable Diseases Research Training Program in Romania, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, USA, August-December 2012