Canadian Experts in Global Health to create new Canadian Global Health Research Training Program
Global health leaders from across Canada met on May 3-4, 2013 to discuss the creation of a training program to educate the next generation of global health researchers. The meeting was hosted by the Neglected Global Diseases Initiative at The University of British Columbia (NGDI-UBC). The discussion revolved around an initiative that will bring together Canadian researchers who are widely acknowledged as world leaders in their fields from different universities into a single, coherent national global health training initiative.
Canada has the opportunity to transform the current global health research landscape by bringing together Canada’s top universities and the scholars at the forefront of global health discovery and innovation into a single coherent and integrated program. This philosophy will give the added advantage of bringing the wealth and diversity of the entire national initiative to bear on global problems, and create trainees that are knowledgeable in a variety of areas relevant to global health, as well as having a particular interdisciplinary expertise.
“Bringing together a cohort of researchers in training from basic, clinical, social and population health sciences into a problem-based education will improve their chances of developing innovative, multidisciplinary responses to complex global health challenges,” said Dr. Donald Cole, Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Global Health at the University of Toronto.
“The next generation of researchers need to understand all aspects of global health”, said Dr. Kishor Wasan, Director of NGDI and Associate Dean Research and Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC. “Canada can have more impact in global health if the country bands together to inspire, train, and support young researchers from Canada as well as low-resource countries.”
“Combining global health training resources from several universities has been done in Quebec through the Global Health Research Capacity Strengthening Program, and I see no reason that this cannot be accomplished on a national scale”, commented Dr. Slim Haddad, Professor in the Department of Social and Preventative Medicine at the University of Montreal.
The Director of Global Health at Dalhousie University, Shawna O’Hearn stressed the importance of group cohesion and a common vision. “Over the next few months, we will be mapping a way forward and providing a realistic timeline for the development of this bold new program.”
Attending the meeting were representatives from Western and Simon Fraser Universities, as well as the Universities of British Columbia, Calgary, Dalhousie, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Saskatchewan, and Victoria. Also represented were the International Development Research Centre, Grand Challenges Canada, the Coalition for Global Health Research, the Canadian Society for International Health, the Canadian Federation of Medical Students and the Centre for Drug Research and Development. Written submissions were received from the Universities of Manitoba and Waterloo, and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health.
Funding for this stakeholder meeting was generously provided by the International Development Research Centre, The Sandra Rotman Centre, Simon Fraser University, the University of Toronto, and the Neglected Global Diseases Initiative at UBC.
Neglected Global Diseases Initiative at UBC: The Neglected Global Diseases Initiative at UBC (NGDI‐UBC) brings together the technical expertise and perspectives of a variety of disciplines at UBC – including bench science, pharmaceutical and health research, business, social policy, and law – to develop interventions for neglected global diseases and ensure their delivery to those in need. For more information, visit www.ngdi.ubc.ca.
Dr. Kishor Wasan
Director, Neglected Global Diseases Initiative
University of British Columbia