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Harvard professor to be honored with prestigious global health award

NRI Pulse Staff Report

Atlanta, GA, April 2, 2019: Harvard Medical School professor, Dr Vikram Harshad Patel, will receive the John Dirks Canada Gairdner Award for Global Health. This honor recognizes the world’s top scientists and their outstanding achievements in global health research.

Laureates receive a $100,000 cash honorarium and will be formally presented with their awards on October 24, 2019 at the annual Canada Gairdner Awards Gala in Toronto.

Dr. Patel is the Pershing Square Professor of Global Health and Welcome Trust Principal Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School. He is also a professor in the Department of Global Health and Population within the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, an adjunct professor of the Public Health Foundation of India, and co-founder of the Indian NGO, Sangath, where he conducts his NIMH-supported research.

Dr Patel’s research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Over the last decade, Dr. Patel has developed and evaluated ways to bridge the ‘science to service’ treatment gap in countries with limited resources. He focuses on mental health interventions that can be delivered by community health workers and lay counselors in low- and middle-income countries where there are typically too few specialized mental health care providers available.

“Dr. Patel’s research has helped demonstrate the potential of these task-sharing, psychosocial interventions and how action can be taken to address mental disorders even in low-resource settings, said NIMH Director Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D. “These projects can have an immediate public health impact, both locally where they are carried out and in the United States, where lessons learned can be applied to underserved populations.”

Since its inception eight years ago, only one Canada Gairdner Global Health Award per year is bestowed upon a scientist whose advances have — or will potentially have — a significant impact on health outcomes in the developing world.


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