Story

Calvin Ke
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PhD Candidate
Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation

I am a PhD candidate in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME). I am also enrolled in the Collaborative Specialization in Global Health (CSGH) and the U of T Clinician Investigator Program. I am fascinated by the process of applying research as a tool to answer questions that address the global diabetes epidemic -- one of the most pressing challenges of our time.

The CSGH is a unique multidisciplinary training program offered only at U of T, involving fourteen departments in seven faculties. As a clinical epidemiology trainee, it has been a remarkable experience to share a classroom with clinicians from so many different disciplines. The expertise that everyone brings from their diverse backgrounds adds meaningful depth to our discussions about research methodologies and makes for a rich learning experience.

It is a great privilege to learn directly from leading scholars at U of T, which attracted me as a powerhouse in diabetes research. My primary supervisor is Baiju Shah, a leader in diabetes epidemiology research. In the area of global health, U of T is also home to many world-renowned scholars including my co-supervisor, Prabhat Jha. My research applies a global lens to better understand how the diabetes epidemic affects Asian populations across Canada, India, and China. This year, I spent time in India to collaborate with colleagues and discuss our research on how diabetes is causing more and more Indians to die of heart attacks and strokes. Sharing my findings in face-to-face discussions with international colleagues was a fruitful experience because it allowed us to translate our research into practical solutions, and provided me with novel perspectives that opened up new avenues in my career. Currently, I am a Visiting Scholar at the Asia Diabetes Foundation and The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

I am grateful for funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health via the Clinician Investigator Program, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Detweiler Traveling Fellowship, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Canada Graduate Scholarships and Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements.

In terms of advice for prospective students, I would emphasize that strong mentorship is valuable in guiding you through your journey. A trusted mentor can help you narrow down the specific focus of your future studies, as there are many excellent graduate training programs at U of T. Speak with as many people as possible to get a good idea of what your experience may be like, and to determine whether your program of interest is an appropriate fit for your goals.

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