Abdallah Daar, Prof

Fellow of AAS since 2015

Professor Daar was born in Tanzania. He is Professor of Clinical Public Health; Global Health; and Surgery at the University of Toronto. He is also a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s Scientific Board and UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee. He was the founding Chair of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases and the founding chair of the Advisory Board of the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health.  

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, The World Academy of Sciences for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries (TWAS), the African Academy of Sciences, the Islamic World Academy of Sciences and the New York Academy of Sciences. He is a Fellow of Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. 

Abdallah works with three funding agencies: he is a member of the Board of Directors of Genome Canada, a member of the Board of the World Diabetes Foundation, and he chairs the International Scientific Advisory Board of Grand Challenges Canada. 

After medical schools in Uganda and London he went to the University of Oxford where he undertook postgraduate clinical training in surgery and also in internal medicine, obtained a DPhil (PhD) in immunology, and did a fellowship in organ transplantation. He was a clinical lecturer in the Nuffield Dept. of Surgery at Oxford University for several years before going to the Middle East to help start two medical schools. He was the foundation chair of surgery at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman for a decade before moving to the University of Toronto in 2001.

Professor Daar's academic career has spanned biomedical sciences, organ transplantation, surgery, bioethics and global health. He has worked in various advisory or consulting capacities with the UN, the World Health Organization and UNESCO, and was a member of the African Union High Level Panel on Modern Biotechnology. He chaired the 4th External Review of the WHO/WORLD BANK/UNDP/UNICEF Special Programme on Tropical Diseases and Training (TDR).

His international awards include the Patey Prize of the Surgical Society of Great Britain, the Hunterian Professorship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the UNESCO Avicenna Prize for Ethics of Science and the Anthony Miller Prize for Research Excellence at the University of Toronto. He holds the official world record for performing the youngest cadaveric-donor kidney transplant. 

His major research focus is on the use of life sciences to ameliorate global health inequities, with a particular focus on building scientific capacity and increasing innovation in developing countries, in addition to studying how life sciences technologies can be rapidly taken from “lab to village”. He has published over 350 papers in peer-reviewed journals and as chapters in various books. He has also published six books including the latest one co-authored with Peter Singer, The Grandest Challenge: Taking Life-Saving Science from Lab to Village. He is currently working on his seventh book titled Garment of Destiny.

He has recently been appointed chair of the International Strategic and Scientific Advisory Board (ISSAB) of the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA).

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Eleanor N. Fish, Prof

Fellow of AAS since 2015

Dr Fish is a Professor in the Department of Immunology & Associate Chair, International Initiatives & Collaborations, at the University of Toronto. She is a Senior Scientist in the Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network and Adjunct Scientist in the Women's College Research Institute, Toronto.

Professor Fish is the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Women’s Health & Immunobiology, a McLaughlin Scholar and was elected as a Fellow to the American Academy of Microbiologists. Professor Fish is the recipient of the 2015 Canadian Society of Immunology Cinader Award for outstanding research contributions and the depth and breadth of contributions to the community through training, leadership, collaboration and international activities. In 2010 Professor Fish was awarded the prestigious Vivian & Seymour Milstein Award, recognizing her exceptional contributions to interferon and cytokine research that have led to advancements in human health. In 2012 Professor Fish received the Canadian Society for Immunology Investigator Award.

Professor Fish received her undergraduate B.Sc. degree in Biological Chemistry from the University of Manchester, England, and her Master of Philosophy in Virology from King’s College, University of London, England. She received her Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto, Canada.  

Professor Fish is on the editorial boards for the Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research, Viruses, and Arthritis & Rheumatology. Her work has been published in >150 scientific journals and she is internationally recognized for her scholarly research. A focus of her research is the investigation of host-pathogen interactions at the cellular and molecular level, specifically in the context of viruses and interferons. During the 2003 outbreak of SARS, she initiated studies to investigate the therapeutic potential of interferon in SARS patients. Encouraging results have directed her group’s efforts toward examining interferon activity against a number of emerging infectious diseases, such as avian H5N1 and pandemic H1N1 influenza viruses. Recently, her studies have focused on investigating the therapeutic effectiveness of interferon treatment for Ebola virus disease, with a clinical trial in Guinea. Another focus of her work relates to understanding the immune mechanisms that drive autoimmunity, related to rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Most recently, Dr. Fish has initiated research studies in breast cancer, within the context of understanding how alterations to metabolism influence the growth and metastasis of breast tumors. 

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