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St. Michael’s researcher named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™

Toronto, April 28, 2011

Dr. Muhammad Mamdani Dr. Muhammad Mamdani

Muhammad Mamdani, director of the Applied Health Research Centre (AHRC) at St. Michael’s Hospital, has been named a recipient of the prestigious Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™ award.

The national program celebrates excellence in Canadian leadership and honours Canadians who have achieved great success before the age of 40.

“This award is a reflection of all the inspiring people whose lives I have been fortunate to be a part of including family, friends and colleagues,” Mamdani said. “It’s truly an honour.”

Mamdani and his peers were selected from more than 1,200 nominees by an independent advisory board comprised of 25 business leaders from across Canada. Honourees were chosen based on five key criteria: vision and leadership, innovation and achievement, impact, community involvement and contribution, and strategy for growth.

Mamdani, 39, joined the staff at St. Michael’s in 2007 and has been the director of the AHRC since its launch in 2009. The AHRC is an academic research centre that specializes in designing and conducting clinical research, including multi-centre clinical trials. It offers start-to-finish assistance to researchers who have an idea for a clinical trial but lack the experience or infrastructure to conduct one – from drawing up a budget to providing secure computer services and data management storage in more than 20 different languages, crunching the numbers and analyzing the results. The centre is closely linked to the University of Toronto, but its services are available to researchers anywhere in the world.

Mamdani is also a scientist in the hospital’s Keenan Research Centre, which celebrates its new facilities on Shuter Street on May 5.

Mamdani has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan, a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University and a Master of Arts degree in economics from Wayne State University.

He has published more than 200 papers on pharmaceutical epidemiology and drug policy in peer-reviewed medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the British Medical Journal, the Lancet and the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Mamdani is also heavily involved with drug policy decision-makers.

He is the researcher responsible for the first large study linking congestive heart failure with the arthritis drug Vioxx. Vioxx was subsequently withdrawn from the international market in 2004 due to cardiovascular safety concerns.

“He is an amazing talent and an incredibly accomplished academic. I’ve never met anybody with such a strong academic pedigree,” said hospital CEO Dr. Robert Howard. “At the same time, he’s a really sensible, down-to-earth guy whose ability to communicate is one of the reasons he’s so effective in leading the AHRC. He understands the scientific complexities but can communicate them in a way that everyone can understand.”

Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™, now in its 16th year, is managed by founding sponsor, The Caldwell Partners International. Other national sponsors include Deloitte, National Bank Financial, The Globe and Mail, and WestJet.