Home News Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta receives the 2023 Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research

Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta receives the 2023 Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research


Dr. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, distinguished university professor and founding director of the Institute for Global Health and Development and the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University, has been awarded the prestigious Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research for his contributions to global child health.

The Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research is a prestigious award that recognizes outstanding contributions to health research. Established in 2005 by the Friends of Canadian Institutes of Health Research (FCIHR), the prize is awarded annually to a researcher who has made a significant impact on health research globally. Nominees are evaluated based on the impact and quality of their research, as well as their contributions to the broader health research community.

A prominent name in the circles of public health research and global health advocacy, Dr. Bhutta has made outstanding contributions to the field of child health and development, with a focus on improving maternal and child health in developing countries. This is evident from his impressive academic background, his association with leading global health institutions, and the list of various honors conferred on him. As a Distinguished National Professor of the Government of Pakistan, Dr. Bhutta chairs the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Health, Pakistan. He has also served as co-Chair of the Maternal and Child Health oversight committee of the World Health Organization Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO) and as a technical member of the high-level UN Health and Human Rights committee.

Dr. Bhutta is a leading member of major Lancet series advocating for evidence-based interventions in global health. He leads large research groups based in Pakistan, Canada, and Central Asia, with a special interest in research synthesis, scaling up evidence-based interventions in community settings, and implementation research in fragile health systems. Recently, he led the Lancet series on optimizing child and adolescent health (2022), which provides a blueprint for post-COVID-19 recovery for children globally. Till date, he has published over 1,275 indexed publications, including ten books and over 150 book chapters. He is one of the most highly cited academics in global health.

Dr. Bhutta has received numerous awards and recognitions over the years, including being admitted to the National Academy of Medicine, elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, and ranked among the top 100 medical scientists globally by Research.com. He was recognized by the Senate of Canada with its Canada 150 Medal for contributions to Global Child Health and awarded the Roux Prize 2021 for his work on evidence-based public health impact. Dr. Bhutta is also the recipient of the John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award that recognizes his work on the development and evaluation of evidence-based interventions in child and maternal health for marginalized populations.

Professor Bhutta is one of the earliest members of AKU’s faculty. Having begun his career at AKU in 1986, the University provided a foundation for his illustrious career in which he built research programmes on maternal and child health and nutrition with national and global impact. At AKU, he holds the title of Distinguished University Professor – the highest faculty rank the University can confer – as well as an Award of Distinction and Award of Excellence in Research.

As the recipient of the Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research, Dr. Bhutta will deliver public talks in 2023 in conjunction with the Friesen Prize Program.

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