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IDRC at Gairdner Science Week 2023

IDRC and our grantees have a long history with the Gairdner Foundation. Both organizations support and celebrate international excellence in fundamental research that impacts human health, exemplified in the Canada Gairdner Awards.
Gairdner awards medal

This year’s Gairdner Science Week, October 23 to 27, presents a series of Gairdner laureates and global health leaders through a week of symposia, mentoring sessions and panels as well as a Gala celebration of the 2023 laureates. Many Gairdner laureates have been IDRC grantees. 

As in recent years, IDRC has been involved in planning a panel for the event. This year’s session is entitled Engaging Global Communities in Perinatal and Child Health Research, and it will be held on Wednesday, October 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It celebrates many past and present IDRC grantees who will speak at the session. Gairdner has come to rely on IDRC as a main partner in showcasing low- and middle- income country leadership in the field. 

Janet Rossant, the president and scientific director of the Gairdner Foundation, will open the event. 

Panel card that reads "Engaging global communities in perinatal and child health research"

Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, a long-time and current IDRC grantee and recipient of the John Dirks Canada Gairdner 2022 Global Health Award, will welcome attendees and open the session. Bhutta is the co-director of the SickKids’ Centre for Global Child Health in Toronto. 

He will be followed by a keynote entitled “Journey of perinatal health research: From discovery to population impact” by José Belizán, a recipient of several past IDRC grants and the 2023 John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award. He is senior scientist, Department of Research in Maternal and Child Health, Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy, Argentina; superior researcher, National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina; and researcher, Bone Biology Laboratory, School of Medicine, University of Rosario, Argentina. 

After the keynote, Dena Zaraatkar, assistant professor of Anesthesia at McMaster University in Hamilton and recipient of the Canada Gairdner Early Career Investigator Competition, will present on “Challenges in evidence synthesis and evaluation.” She will be followed by an invited speaker, Anne CC Lee, associate professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; director of Global Newborn Health and pediatric hospitalist, Department of Pediatrics, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, with a talk on “Community-centred design to innovate for global maternal and newborn health.” 

Julie Delahanty, president of IDRC, will introduce two invited speakers. Zubia Mumtaz, professor of Global Health at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and a past IDRC grantee, performing research in Malawi through the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa Initiative. She will present “From expectations to reality: Fostering collaborative research engagement among health system personnel in rural Pakistan.” Cesar Victora, a long-time IDRC grantee, the 2017 Gairdner Global Health Award recipient and an emeritus professor at the Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil will enlighten us on “Global evidence-based accountability for child health: the Countdown Initiative (2005-2023).” 

These talks will be followed by a roundtable discussion with the above speakers, chaired by Stephen Lye of the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Sinai Health in Toronto, also a recent IDRC grantee, and a networking session and lunch with all participants. 

You can register here to attend this panel session or any other Gairdner Science Week event.