Abdallah Daar is Professor of Public Health Sciences and of Surgery at the University of Toronto, and Senior Scientist and Director of Ethics and Commercialization at the Sandra Rotman Centre, University Health Network and University of Toronto. He is also Chief Science and Ethics Officer and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Grand Challenges Canada.
Professor Daar was born in Tanzania and after medical schools in Uganda and London, England, Daar went to the University of Oxford where he did postgraduate clinical training in surgery and also in internal medicine, a doctorate in transplant immunology, and a fellowship in transplantation. He was a clinical lecturer in Oxford for several years before going to the Middle East to help start two medical schools. He was the foundation chair of surgery in Oman for a decade before moving to the University of Toronto in 2001.
Daar's academic career has spanned biomedical sciences, organ transplantation, surgery, global health, and bioethics. He works in various advisory or consulting capacities with the UN, the World Health Organization and UNESCO, and was a member of the African Union High Level Panel on Modern Biotechnology.
Daar is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and the New York Academy of Sciences, and is a Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto. He is a member of UNESCO's International Bioethics Committee and a former member of the Ethics Committee of the Human Genome Organisation. He is a member of the board of Genome Canada.
His international awards include the Hunterian Professorship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the UNESCO Avicenna Prize for Ethics of Science, and he holds the official world record for performing the youngest cadaveric-donor kidney transplant. He was awarded the Anthony Miller Prize for Research Excellence at the University of Toronto in 2005.
Daar's major research focus is on the use of life sciences to ameliorate global health inequities, with a particular focus on building scientific capacity and increasing innovation in developing countries, in addition to studying how technologies can be rapidly taken from lab to village.
Daar is the founding Chair of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (2009-2011) and is Chair of the Advisory Board of the United Nations University International Institute of Global Health. He has published about 350 articles in peer reviewed scientific journal and as book chapters. He has also published 6 books : the latest one, published in September 2011 is "The Grandest Challenge: Taking Life-saving Science from Lab to Village" was co-authored with Peter Singer.