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Dr. Prabhat Jha receives CIHR Trailblazer Award

Toronto, April 13, 2016

Dr. Prabhat Jha
Dr. Prabhat Jha

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Population and Public Health has awarded Dr. Prabhat Jha its inaugural Trailblazer Award in Population Health Solutions.

The Trailblazer award recognizes Dr. Jha’s exceptional policy and practice contributions to population health. Dr. Jha’s wide scope of research with health policy impact are demonstrated by projects such as his Million Death Study, global tobacco control research and studies on maternal and child health.

Dr. Jha is director of the Centre for Global Health Research of St. Michael’s Hospital. His research has shown that the benefits of quitting smoking are substantially greater than had been previously estimated. Smokers who quit when they are young adults can live almost as long as people who never smoked. Smoking cuts at least 10 years off a person’s lifespan. But the Centre for Global Health Research’s comprehensive analysis of health and death records in the United States found that people who quit smoking before they turn 40 regain almost all of those lost years.

“There has never been a better time to work in global health—we’ve achieved huge reductions in child mortality and now the world is slowly paying attention to powerful ways to reduce premature adult mortality,” said Dr. Jha , who also holds the Endowed Chair in Epidemiology and Global Health at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. “I am deeply honoured to receive the Trailblazer Award as it recognizes our centre’s collective efforts at improving the health of populations around the globe.”

Dr. Jha’s research and advocacy have helped to reduce premature deaths from smoking in many countries.

“Most of the world’s estimated 1.1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries,” said Dr. Jha. “These are countries where quitting remains uncommon so our centre curbs cigarette use by quantifying local tobacco health hazards and conducting economic research on interventions.”

The Centre for Global Health Research uses population health data to work directly with national or institutional leaders. Dr. Jha’s research program has influenced tobacco tax increases—the most effective way to encourage smokers to quit—in the Caribbean, India, Mexico, South Africa, the Philippines, Canada and elsewhere.

The award also recognizes the Dr. Jha’s leadership, mentorship and innovative contributions.

“It’s an honour to be given the Trailblazer Award,” said Dr. Jha. “The prize also serves as a reminder that much more needs to be done to address public health needs in Canada and abroad.”

Dr. Jha has worked at the World Health Organization and the World Bank, where he conducted analyses on global tobacco that led to the world’s first global treaty on health, now signed by 180 countries.


This paper is an example of how St. Michael's Hospital is making Ontario Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Media contacts

For more information or to arrange an interview with Dr. Jha, please contact:

Kendra Stephenson
Communications Advisor - Media
416-864-5047
stephensonk@smh.ca