Where’s the Best Place to Find Powerful Insights?

After having his career transformed by the 2003 SARS outbreak, this researcher seeks out the intersection of discovery and creativity.


Kamran Khan is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation whose research focuses on preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

We asked him everything from how the 2003 SARS outbreak inspired his career path to his admiration for Terry Fox in hopes of giving you a better understanding of what goes on outside the lab for one of the best minds in Canadian research.

What do you like most about being a researcher?

What I enjoy most is infusing creativity into the scientific discovery process.

What advice would you give young researchers?

Powerful insights lie at the crossroads of seemingly disparate disciplines. I enjoy working with and learning from a diverse set of people and communities!

What inspired you to become a researcher?

The SARS outbreak in 2003 had a major impact on my career as a researcher. It revealed the need for “agile” discovery to inform time-sensitive, high-consequence decisions during public health emergencies.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love to travel around the world and explore new places and cultures. Closer to home, I love riding my bike anywhere and everywhere!

What’s your favourite cuisine?

That is a tough call. It’s a tie between Japanese and Indian food.

If you could do any profession other than your own what would it be?

A chef. Cooking is just chemistry that you get to eat and enjoy with others.

If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?

Terry Fox. He demonstrated that an ordinary person is capable of extraordinary things.

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Research2Reality is a groundbreaking initiative that shines a spotlight on world-class scientists engaged in innovative and leading edge research in Canada. Our video series is continually updated to celebrate the success of researchers who are establishing the new frontiers of science and to share the impact of their discoveries with the public.