​Dr. Salim S. Virani

Welcome Message from the Vice Provost, Research

I am honoured to return to my alma mater as AKU's Vice Provost Research. I still remember the day I joined AKU as a student 30 years ago and as a graduate 25 years ago. Thank you to my colleagues, friends, and well-wishers for a warm and joyous welcome back to our university!

This is a momentous year for the Aga Khan University. We have been extremely good consumers of knowledge with a good recent track record for knowledge creation. However, global research priorities are constantly evolving, and so is AKU's research portfolio. What will maintain our University's global footprint for decades and centuries to come, is the creation and preservation of knowledge as clearly articulated by our Chancellor. Whether the said knowledge is medical, educational, environmental, or focuses on media and culture, our goal is to foster a research environment that brings together a diverse group of people in their quest for knowledge. Our global footprint and collaborations across several continents is a strength that we will continue to leverage.

This was made evident during the COVID pandemic, with clinical trials on vaccine assessment and even projects on mental health taking center stage. While new tools and technologies have made detection and diagnosis of infectious and non-communicable diseases easier and much more efficient, our awareness of the environment and society in which we operate has increased several fold. As we move forward, we continue to delve deeper into the areas of big data and artificial intelligence using the IQRA framework (Impact, Quality, Relevance, and Access), extending our mission of creating impact across the communities in which we live and the communities in need.

Recent years have shown us the power of sharing knowledge and innovative prowess through global collaborations. As we mark the 40th year for AKU, we will continue to expand our research portfolio beyond the borders in which we operate, inspiring budding scientists, researchers, and educators, and creating an identity of knowledge production. This will require us to create an enabling environment which allows growth for our researchers, especially those in early to mid-career and research administration. This global journey to create meaningful and contextually relevant knowledge is truly exciting and I am glad to be part of our university with all of you!