Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships

The intent of  this program is to build sustainable partnerships with academic institutions in Kenya and India, enabled by scholarships that will foster the next generation of scientific leaders, with a deep understanding of the benefits of international partnerships that extend beyond scientific collaboration.

Building on existing associations with Moi University in Kenya and the National Institute of Immunology in India, we propose to expose scholars to different academic programs, to broaden their undergraduate and graduate learning experience to include an understanding of the cultural context of scientific education and to introduce them to fellow scholars with whom they may maintain affiliations throughout their scientific professional careers.

Areas of focus are:

  • Women’s health: the urgency of addressing issues surrounding poor maternal health, the gender bias in access to and appropriate, timely treatment of, and the requirement to find effect therapeutic interventions and preventative strategies for female-specific diseases such as breast and cervical cancer.

  • Infectious diseases: there is a need for both preventative strategies and new, cost effective therapeutic interventions. Each of the partner academic institutions has distinct and complementary expertise in both research and education in the immunology of microbial pathogens, including viruses such as Dengue, West Nile Virus, Ebola, influenza, parasites such as malaria and bacterial infections associated with respiratory and intestinal diseases.

  • Cancer: the burden of cancer has increased dramatically in the last decade in both Kenya and India and is a leading cause of mortality in Canada. The opportunity for extensive collaboration based on access to large, well-described patient cohorts in Kenya and India and the internationally recognized expertise of Toronto scientists in cancer immunology and cancer immunotherapy, provides scholars with unique opportunities in education and research.

  • Life sciences technology commercialization/implementation:  Both the National Institute of Immunology (NII) in Delhi and the University of Toronto have in place technology transfer offices, committed to translating research discoveries into commercial technologies. Moreover, we fully appreciate the rise in entrepreneurs in the health care and biotechnology sectors in both countries, and our Faculty in both institutions have affiliations with these sectors. Scholars from all three partner institutes will learn how discovery may be translated to commercialization, primarily through the Impact Centre at the University of Toronto.

This initiative will build on existing academic and research expertise, and existing graduate programs at the respective institutions.