The purpose of this feature is to showcase Dalhousie faculty whose health research is making an impact on a global scale. Each month we will write about someone who has done significant global health work in collaboration with the Global Health Office. The work these men and women do is invaluable and inspiring. These researchers deserve to be highlighted and with this feature we are trying to do just that.
Dr. Robert Anderson has made a significant impact on global health research working in collaboration with the Global Health Office and various partnerships overseas. He is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University and he is a member of the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology. Dr. Anderson is passionate about global health issues, building research capacity, engaging with students and establishing international partnerships.
Some of Dr. Anderson’s specific interests involve researching to fight infectious diseases and developing better vaccine strategies. He is known for his studies on the Dengue virus and on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). He has done extensive work to develop a vaccine for RSV, a virus that is responsible for infections such as bronchiolitis and the common cold. Through his research and collaborations, he has helped build a global health community at Dalhousie and in South East Asia. This work has developed a network between three universities: Dalhousie, Thammasat University in Thailand and Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan.
“Collaboration, working together, cooperation on global health research can only have the benefit of helping us all,” said Dr. Anderson in an interview with GHO last year. “If we’re going to be able to be masters of infectious disease control, we’re going to have to do that on a global basis.”
Dr. Anderson is also committed to nourishing the experiences of Dalhousie and international students. He has hosted a number of Thai students for research training in his laboratory in Halifax, and this has given the students invaluable experience and research tools. Dr. Anderson has also worked with the Global Health Office to develop a summer program in Thailand for Dalhousie students. The program is hosted by the Faculty of Medicine at Khon Kaen University in Thailand and is provided in both clinical and non-clinical departments.
“Certainly educating our future generation of doctors and scientists in the global aspects of disease, and of course in other aspects of medicine and health care, is going to be key to being successful,” said Dr. Anderson.
In 2010, Dr. Anderson received the Dr. John Savage Memorial Award for Faculty Excellence in Global Health. This award recognizes an outstanding humanitarian contribution to international health by a Dalhousie Medical School faculty member. Along with the aforementioned global health work and various other achievements, this award is representative of Dr. Anderson’s passion and considerable impact on global health research.