NGDI Member Ramon-Garcia Wins $100,000 Grant from Grand Challenges Canada

Update: Ramon-Garcia is Designated Action TB Champion

Dr. Ramon-Garcia was recently interviewed by His work is has been recognized and he has honoured as a TB Champion: he joins a distinguished list. For more information see and view their Education: Experts and Influentials page.   Action (Advocacy to Control TB Internationally) is an international partnership of civil society advocates working to mobilize resources to treat and prevent the spread of tuberculosis (TB), a global disease that kills one person every 20 seconds.


Santiago Ramon-Garcia, a Research Associate in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, is among nineteen innovators across Canada chosen for a $100,000 Canadian Rising Stars in Global Health grant from  Grand Challenges Canada (news release).

Santiago’s current research focuses on the development of new therapies to treat TB. He initiated a systematic screening approach, which uses libraries of antibiotics and drugs already approved for human use, to find new more effective TB drug combinations. Because these drugs have known pharmacological and safety profiles, any newly identified combination could be rapidly evaluated in clinical trials, saving time and money in the drug development process. In addition, he is actively engaged in teaching and community outreach activities.

His project, “New therapeutic drug combinations for tuberculosis treatment”, addresses the problem of hundreds of antibiotics being available on the market but only a few are effective to treat tuberculosis. Developing new drugs is a long (10-15 years) and expensive (~$800 millions) process. Identification of synergistic combinations using drugs approved for other therapeutic applications can allow the introduction of new tuberculosis therapies in shorter time. To watch a video of showcasing Santiago’s project, please click here:

The innovators who received the grant were selected through a rigorous peer review process. If their ideas are robust, effective, and proven, they will be eligible for an additional scale–up grant of up to $1 million for each proposal. You can visit the Grand Challenges Canada website to learn more about the Canadian Rising Stars in Global Health grantees.

Santiago is excited to receive the opportunity that Grand Challenges Canada has awarded him to further pursue his TB research, which could potentially save thousands of lives. Santiago is also looking forward to share his passion and knowledge with the scientific and global community.