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Portrait of Dr. James Blanchard.

UM Faces and Spaces: Dr. James Blanchard

Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology and Global Public Health

For our monthly UM Faces and Spaces feature, we’re highlighting James Blanchard, professor of community health sciences at Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, executive director of the Institute for Global Public Health and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology and Global Public Health.

What you should know about Dr. James Blanchard and his research:

  • Dr. James Blanchard [B.Sc.(Med.)/86, MD/86], executive director of the UM Institute for Global Public Health, leads health research and programming to support reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health in Asia and Africa.


  • The Institute for Global Public Health (IGPH) has helped position UM health researchers as leaders in global public health. IGPH is rooted in the Department of Community Health Sciences in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences but has a university-wide mandate.


  • In Canada, he has been a leader in developing methods to study the emerging epidemics of diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.

Research impacts:

  • In 2014, approximately 45 out of every 1,000 babies died within the first month of life in Uttar Pradesh, India. By 2019, neonatal mortality rates decreased to 36 per 1,000 live births.


  • Over the past 25 years, Blanchard has also provided leadership globally to applying research to improve the design and implementation of large public health programs related to sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS.

Recent honours and honourable mentions:

  • In 2022, Blanchard’s research was given a major injection of support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The funding of US$87 million will help the government of Uttar Pradesh scale up critical initiatives across the state to prioritize the health of pregnant women and their children.


  • Elected as a fellow the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) in 2022. The CAHS Fellowship recognizes excellence in health sciences. Election to Fellowship in the Academy is considered one of the highest honours for individuals in the Canadian health sciences community.

Must-read or Must-see:

READ: Cross collaborations in health with university and government in India

VIDEO: How UM researchers are saving lives in India

What’s next:

  • New global health initiatives and collaborations with partners will advance UM’s role in promoting the use of science in designing and implementing high-impact public health programs.


  • Advancing knowledge to improve health programs and services for socially and economically excluded urban and peri-urban populations in south Asia.


  • Developing partnerships with academic institutions in other countries for graduate education in community health sciences and global health.


UM Faces & Spaces is a monthly feature showcasing the people and places across UM that are transforming the student experience, advancing innovation in research, driving change and creating a lasting impact here in Manitoba and globally. For more stories go to our YouTube playlist.

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