It is with great sadness and a profound sense of loss that leadership of the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact (HEI) announce the passing of our friend and colleague, Dr. Frederick Morfaw. 

A native of Cameroon, Morfaw joined the HEI community in 2017 to pursue his PhD in Health Research Methodology under the supervision of Lehana Thabane, acting chair of the department. Following the completion of his PhD in the summer of 2019, Morfaw worked as a research fellow in perinatal clinical epidemiology with McMaster’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

A physician by training and a tireless advocate for improving programs to decrease mother-to-child transmission of HIV in his home country and around the world, Morfaw was a compassionate public health champion. 

“Frederick, who was known as Papi, brought joy and laughter with him wherever he went. He was one of my oldest friends and I will miss him dearly,” said Dr. Lawrence Mbuagbaw, assistant professor, HEI. “He is leaving a huge gap in the heart of his friends, family, colleagues and the academic world.”

Frederick Morfaw’s loss will be felt deeply throughout the student community, said Daeria Lawson, PhD student in the Health Research Methodology program. “He had a very special way of connecting with people and bringing joy to those around him with his presence.” 

At this most difficult time, the HEI community extends its deepest condolences to Frederick’s wife Laura and their three children, Vanessa, Prince Henry and Ricka, said Thabane. 

GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the family. 

If you have any questions regarding donations, please contact Emily Thomas at

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