​Our Leadership

Dr. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta holds the ​​esteemed position of Distinguished University Professor and serves as the Founding Director of the Institute for Global Health and Development, along with the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University. Simultaneously, he holds the Robert Harding Inaugural Chair in Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and assumes the role of Co-Director at the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health. His expertise is recognized internationally, evident in his adjunct professorships at esteemed institutions such as the Schools of Public Health at Johns Hopkins (Baltimore), Tufts University (Boston), Boston University School of Public Health, University of Alberta, and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

In acknowledgment of his exceptional contributions, Dr. Bhutta has been honored as a Distinguished National Professor by the Government of Pakistan. Additionally, he played a pivotal role as the Founding Chair of the National Research Ethics Committee of the Government of Pakistan from 2003 to 2014. Further emphasizing his global impact, Dr. Bhutta served as a member of the Independent Expert Review Group (iERG) appointed by the UN Secretary-General, overseeing the monitoring of global progress in maternal and child health MDGs from 2011 to 2015.

Educated at the University of Peshawar, where he attained his MBBS degree, Dr. Bhutta earned his PhD from the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Sweden. He holds fellowships with the Royal College of Physicians in both Edinburgh and London, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in London, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Pakistan Academy of Sciences. Leading a dedicated research team in Pakistan, he addresses critical issues pertaining to maternal, newborn, and child survival, as well as global and regional nutrition concerns. His influential leadership extends to presiding over organizations such as the Commonwealth Association of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (CAPGAN), the Federation of Asia-Oceania Perinatal Societies (FAOPS), and the International Pediatrics Association, where he advocates for integrated maternal, newborn, and child health on a global scale.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Dr. Bhutta holds the distinction of being the first dual recipient of the Aga Khan University Distinguished Faculty Award for Research in 2005 and the AKU Award of Distinction in 2012. His accolades include the Programme for Global Pediatric Research Award for Outstanding Contributions to Global Child Health in 2009, the American Academy of Pediatrics' Sam Fomon Award for lifetime contributions to Nutrition Research in 2014, and the WHO Ihsan Dogramaci Family Health Award in 2014. His global influence further shines through awards such as the inaugural TUBA Academy of Sciences Award for contributions to Health and Life Sciences in 2015, the University of Toledo Medical Missions Hall of Fame Award in 2016, and the McKinsey Geneva Forum for Health award for contributions to maternal and child health globally in 2016. Dr. Bhutta's enduring commitment to advancing medical knowledge earned him the World Academy of Sciences (Trieste) TWAS Prize in Medical Sciences in 2017.

In testament to his exceptional standing in the field, Dr. Bhutta received the Canada 150 Medal from the Senate of Canada for his remarkable contributions to Global Child Health and was honored with the BMJ Award for Outstanding contributions to South Asia. His illustrious career reached new heights as he was admitted to the National Academy of Medicine in October 2018, representing the highest academic and scientific recognition in North America. Most recently, in 2020, Dr. Bhutta was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, an esteemed honor from the oldest scientific institution in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Sajid Bashir Soofi, MBBS, FCPS, holds the position of Professor at the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health and serves as the Associate Director at the Centre of Excellence in Women & Child Health at Aga Khan University. Dr. Soofi is a distinguished clinician-researcher and a seasoned public health expert, boasting extensive experience in community-based research and surveys. His remarkable contributions to the field have garnered prestigious accolades, including the International Health Research Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2010 and the esteemed Charles C. Shepard Science Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Soofi's research portfolio spans across crucial domains, encompassing maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health, with a particular focus on nutrition and infectious diseases. Over the past decade, his primary focus has revolved around epidemiological and interventional trials, with an emphasis on neonatal child health and nutrition. A substantial portion of these trials takes the form of cluster randomized trials and surveys. The evidence generated through these endeavors has played an instrumental role in shaping policy and programs, including the evaluation of health interventions at both local and regional levels.

Dr. Soofi's academic contributions are substantial, with a bibliography comprising over 120 publications, book chapters, reviews, and commentaries. His work has found its way into several high-impact international journals, such as Lancet, BMC Research, Journal of Infection and Public Health, and Vaccine. Furthermore, he has served as a co-investigator in National Nutrition Surveys conducted in various countries, including Maldives, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Pakistan in both 2011 and 2018. Dr. Soofi has also provided critical support to National and Provincial Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) in Pakistan and Afghanistan, aiding in the generation of essential evidence regarding polio sero protection levels in children. This evidence has been pivotal in the review and enhancement of operational strategies aimed at eradicating polio from Pakistan.

At present, Dr. Soofi is at the helm of implementing several significant initiatives, including the Third Party Verification Immunization Coverage Survey, Strengthening Essential Immunization, Willows Reproductive Health Projects, Stunting Prevention Projects, Polio and Sero Prevalence Surveys, and the Strengthening Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health (MNCH) services. These efforts receive financial support from prominent institutions such as the World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Health Organization, Harvard University, World Food Program, Swiss Red Cross, and UNICEF, with a focus on diverse districts within Pakistan. Dr. Soofi's dedication to advancing public health is evidenced by his multifaceted and impactful work in these critical areas.

Dr. Syed Asad Ali, a distinguished Professor in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, also holds the esteemed position of Associate Dean for Research at the Medical College. He occupies the Noordin Noormahomed Sheriff Endowed Chair, a testament to his exceptional contributions to the field of medicine.

Dr. Ali's educational journey is marked by excellence. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics in Infectious Diseases, earning certification in 2009. His pursuit of knowledge led him to acquire a Master of Public Health degree from Vanderbilt University in the USA in the same year. Additionally, he holds Diplomat​ status in the American Board of Pediatrics for General Pediatrics, granted in 2006. His foundational medical education took place at The Aga Khan University in Pakistan, where he earned his MBBS degree in 2001.

Dr. Ali's commitment to enhancing his expertise is evident through his extensive training. He completed a Fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, USA. Prior to this, he underwent Residency training in Pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Dr. Ali's professional journey has been marked by excellence. He currently serves as a Professor in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at The Aga Khan University in Pakistan. In his clinical role, he holds the esteemed designation of Consultant Pediatrician, where he specializes in Infectious Diseases and General Pediatrics.

Dr. Syed Asad Ali's rich educational background, comprehensive training, and extensive experience make him a distinguished expert in the fields of Infectious Diseases and General Pediatrics. His contributions to the medical community continue to be invaluable, reflecting his commitment to advancing healthcare.