It is with great pleasure that we announce Dr. Thomas Kerr as Interim Head, UBC Division of AIDS, effective May 9, 2019.
Dr. Kerr is a Research Scientist with the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU). He is a Professor of Medicine, and Associate Faculty Member in the School of Population and Public Health at UBC. As well, Dr. Kerr is an Associate Scientist with The Ontario HIV Treatment Network. Dr. Kerr’s primary research interests involve illicit drug use, HIV/AIDS, health policy and service evaluation, and community-based research methods. His long history of involvement in healthcare issues in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside includes ground-breaking work on peer-driven interventions, needle exchanges, and supervised injecting. Dr. Kerr has worked closely with a number of drug user-led organizations, including the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, the Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, and the Thai Drug Users Network. Dr. Kerr has published more than 630 scientific papers in international peer-reviewed journals and has received numerous local and national awards for his contributions to public health, human rights, and the fight against HIV/AIDS. In 2016, he received the Providence Health Care, Department of Medicine, and UBC Martin M. Hoffman Award for Excellence in Research. He has also been the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Governor General of Canada, the National Knowledge Translation Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for his efforts to promote scientific discussion on the topic of illicit drug policy, and was the recipient of CIHR’s inaugural Population and Public Health Research Milestones Initiative Award for his outstanding contribution to developing Canada’s research base for harm reduction and health equity approaches to HIV prevention and control. Dr. Kerr has also been the recipient of the Alfred R. Lindesmith Award for Achievement in the Field of Scholarship, which recognizes scholars whose personal courage and quality of published research constitute a source of inspiration in drug policy scholarship.
We look forward to working with Dr. Kerr in his new role as interim division head.
At this time, we would to express our gratitude to Dr. Richard Harrigan, who served as Interim Head, Division of AIDS from 2017 to 2019. Dr. Harrigan has done an outstanding job and we are grateful for his contributions to the division and the department.