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2019 Chautauqua Season

Abdallah S. Daar • Interfaith Lecture Series

Aug 7, 2019 2:00pm ‐ Aug 7, 2019 3:30pm



Dr. Abdallah S. Daar: Garment of Destiny

Dr. Abdallah S. Daar, O. C. FRS (C), D. Phil, FRCS, FRCP, is Emeritus Professor of Global Public Health and of Surgery at the University of Toronto and a Permanent Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. His other recent appointments include being Senior Scientist at University Health Network Research Institute and at the Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children; and Chief Scientific and Ethics Officer and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board at Grand Challenges Canada. Professor Daar was the founding Chair of the Board of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (2009-2011) and was Chair of the Advisory Board of the United Nations University International Institute of Global Health. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Genome Canada and a Member of the United Nations Secretary-General's Scientific Advisory Board.

After medical schools in Uganda and London, England, he went to the University of Oxford, where he did postgraduate clinical training in surgery and also in internal medicine, a doctorate in transplant immunology, and a fellowship in organ transplantation. He was on the faculty of 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, global health, and bioethics. He has worked in various advisory or consulting capacities with the UN, the World Health Organization and UNESCO; was a member of the African Union High Level Panel on Modern Biotechnology; and is currently a member of its High Level African Panel on Emerging Technologies.

Daar is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), the Islamic World Academy of Sciences, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and the New York Academy of Sciences, and is a Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto. He has been a member of UNESCO's International Bioethics Committee and of the Ethics Committee of the Human Genome Organization.

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 Award for Excellence in Research in Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. He holds the official world record for performing the youngest cadaveric-donor kidney transplant.

His current major research focus is on the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease; and on ameliorating global health inequities through building scientific capacity, especially in Africa, where he works with the African Academy of Sciences and the African Union. He has published over 400 papers in peer-reviewed journals and as chapters in various books. He has also published six books including The Grandest Challenge: Taking Life-Saving Science from Lab to Village, which he co-wrote with Peter Singer.

In 2017 Abdallah Daar received one of Canada’s highest awards for public service, being named an Officer of the Order of Canada. In September 2018 Abdallah released his seventh book, Garment of Destiny, which will form the basis of his lecture at Chautauqua on Grace, inspired by his Swahili Muslim heritage.

(Note: This biography was up-to-date as of the date of the lecture. Biographies are not updated over time.)

Banner photo byMHARI SHAW


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