Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Rotman MBA Student Honoured as Rising Star in Global Health

Toronto, February 13, 2012 – A student in the Morning MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has been honoured as a rising star in global health.

Dr. Karim S. Karim  who is also an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo, received a $100,000 grant last week from Grand Challenges Canada to pursue his work on a device for rapid tuberculosis detection through digital imaging, a low-cost and effective diagnostic.

The grant was one of only 15, valued in total at more than $1.5 million, awarded to some of Canada's most creative innovators from across the country in support of their work to improve global health conditions.

"Global health, particularly when related to easily communicable diseases like tuberculosis, is a problem that the developed world cannot afford to ignore,” said Dr. Karim. "Technology development has far outpaced technology transfer initiatives especially in the healthcare field; Grand Challenges Canada offers a wonderful opportunity to innovate new ways to bring basic healthcare technology that we take for granted here in Canada to parts of the world where it is sorely needed."

Dr. Karim enrolled in the Rotman Morning MBA program in 2009 and received the 2009 CIHR Science to Business Fellowship . Earlier in his career he was the recipient of the 2008 Ontario Early Researcher Award, the 2004 NSERC Doctoral Prize and CAGS/UMI Award for the Best Doctoral Thesis in Science and Medicine in Canada for his work on large area digital medical imaging technology. His research group at the University of Waterloo is investigating large-area circuit, device and process development using amorphous selenium, polycrystalline silicon and CMOS semiconductor technologies. He received his PhD from the University of Waterloo in 2002.

"When you look at the range of innovations and the potential those creative ideas have to make a difference, Canadians can't help but be proud of our country's contribution to the health and well-being of the international community," said Dr. Peter A. Singer, CEO of Grand Challenges Canada. "Bold Canadian ideas with big impact can save lives."

The grantees were selected through a rigorous peer review process. Among the criteria the proposals needed to meet were Grand Challenges Canada's Integrated Innovation approach, which smoothes the path to implementation of the discovery. Innovators must consider ethical and cultural barriers, the health systems required to deliver the discoveries and the commercialization of their solutions so that they can be distributed to the people who need them, cost-effectively.

Dr. Karim may be eligible for an additional Grand Challenges Canada scale-up grant of $1 million.

Grand Challenges Canada is funded by the Government of Canada through the Development Innovation Fund announced in the 2008 Federal Budget and is hosted at the Sandra Rotman Centre for Global Health at the University of Toronto and University Health Network. For more information, visit grandchallenges.ca

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