McMaster University scientist Charu Kaushic has been inducted into the Government of Canada’s ‘Woman of Impact’ Gallery in the STEM category for her contributions in infectious diseases research and her leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kaushic, a long-time advocate for increasing female representation in health sciences research, received the honour in advance of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

“We need to expand our research environment to include a diverse workforce and communities and bring more women in leadership roles to empower new ideas and voices that will enable Canada to contribute uniquely to 21st century innovations,” said Kaushic, professor of medicine and scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Infection and Immunity, based at McMaster.

Kaushic has represented the federal government at numerous national and international forums on infectious diseases and currently chairs the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness. She is also a member of both the McMaster Immunology Research Centre and the Michael G. DeGroote Institute of Infectious Disease Research.

Kaushic has been part of the COVID-19 leadership group of the ‘variants of concern’  formed by the federal government as well as being on the leadership group of Canada’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force that was formed in early 2020.

Since joining McMaster in 2002, Kaushic has built an interdisciplinary translational research program in women’s reproductive health and researched the susceptibility and immune responses to sexually transmitted viruses such as HIV-1.

Kaushic has received multiple grants and awards for her research. She has built close collaborations with African, Caribbean and Black Canadian communities in the last 15 years and has consistently pushed for the involvement of communities in scientific research.

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