Expert in women's reproductive health Dr. Charu Kaushic named Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity
OTTAWA, May 3, 2018 /CNW/ - Dr. Roderick McInnes, Acting President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and CIHR's Governing Council, announced today the appointment of Dr. Charu Kaushic as the new Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Infection and Immunity. This appointment will be effective July 1, 2018.
Dr. Kaushic is a professor of pathology and molecular medicine at McMaster University, where she is also the director of the university's Biosafety Level 3 Lab, which supports researchers working on highly infectious human pathogens.
Dr. Kaushic is a mucosal immunologist by training and her program of research is focused on women's susceptibility and immune response to HIV and the herpes virus, with the goal of developing new ways to protect women from infections using vaccines and immunotherapies.
Worldwide, women bear the heaviest burden of sexually transmitted infections, which has major implications for their health. The ultimate goal of Dr. Kaushic's work is to provide women around the world with information and choices to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.
As Scientific Director, Dr. Kaushic will work with her community to identify research priorities, develop funding opportunities, build partnerships, and translate research evidence into policy and practice to improve the health of Canadians and people around the world. As a member of CIHR's leadership team, she will participate in setting and implementing CIHR's strategic direction.
"As the new Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity, Dr. Charu Kaushic will help lead efforts to tackle some of the most pressing health issues of the day, including HIV, antimicrobial resistance, and vector-borne diseases. I know that the research community will be in excellent hands with the appointment of Dr. Kaushic, who brings to the position an impressive 15-year track record in research into immunology, HIV, and women's reproductive health."
Roderick R. McInnes, CM, MD, PhD, FRSC
Acting President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
"I am thrilled to be given this opportunity to represent and serve the infection and immunity research community. We will work collaboratively with our partners to address key health issues facing Canadians, such as chronic inflammatory conditions, global health issues of TB and HIV, and emerging threats such as antimicrobial resistance and pandemic flu. I also plan to promote STEM careers and leadership roles to young women."
Dr. Charu Kaushic
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity
"We are delighted with Dr. Kaushic's well-deserved appointment and pleased to host the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity here at our university. This institute further enhances McMaster's reputation as a centre of ground-breaking and innovative infectious disease research."
Dr. Patrick Deane
President and Vice-Chancellor of McMaster University
- The CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity (CIHR-III) supports research and helps to build research capacity in the areas of infectious disease and the body's immune system.
- CIHR-III is at the forefront of research into antimicrobial resistance, HIV, hepatitis C, Lyme disease, the microbiome, and organ transplantation.
- III is also equipped to mobilize a rapid research response to emerging infectious diseases, as it has done with the Ebola and Zika viruses.
Associated Product: Biography
At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.
Backgrounder: Biography of Dr. Charu Kaushic
Dr. Charu Kaushic is a professor of pathology and molecular medicine at McMaster University, where she has established her research program and taught for 15 years.
She is a scientist of the McMaster Immunology Research Centre and the Michael G. DeGroote Institute of Infectious Disease Research at the university. She has cross appointments to the obstetrics and gynecology as well as the biochemistry and biomedical sciences departments at McMaster. Dr. Kaushic is also the director of the university's Biosafety Level 3 laboratory, a central research facility which supports researchers working on highly infectious human pathogens.
Dr. Kaushic's program of research is focused on understanding various aspects of host-pathogen interaction as they relate to women's susceptibility and immune responses to the sexually transmitted viral pathogens HIV and herpes virus. Her research program covers a broad spectrum from basic research to clinical and translational projects. She has worked closely in partnership with African-Caribbean-Black community organizations for more than a decade.
Her goal is to develop gender-specific prevention and therapeutic approaches, including vaccines and immunomodulatory interventions, to address the disproportionate burden of STIs on women worldwide, and to provide women with the information and choices to make informed decisions regarding their reproductive health.
Dr. Kaushic has published more than 75 peer-reviewed publications in influential journals, including highly cited papers examining the effect of HIV on mucosal barrier functions and the role of sex hormones in regulating the susceptibility and immunity of the female genital tract to HIV and HSV-2.
She is the past recipient of a CIHR New Investigator Award, and is currently the Principal Investigator on four CIHR grants, including an HIV Mucosal Team Grant and a grant on Innovative Biomedical and Clinical HIV/AIDS Research. She also holds an Applied HIV Research Chair Award from the Ontario HIV Treatment Network.
Dr. Kaushic is an advocate for women's reproductive health and choices and is passionate about encouraging women to pursue careers in STEM.
She completed her B.Sc (Hons) and M.Sc in zoology at Delhi University and her PhD at the National Institute of Immunology in New Delhi, before completing post-doctoral training in mucosal immunology at Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire. She joined the faculty of McMaster University in 2002.
SOURCE Canadian Institutes of Health Research