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Vinh-Kim Nguyen

SSHRC Aurora Prize

Vinh-Kim Nguyen   ""What I would like [my research] to achieve is that we, in Canada and in wealthy countries, become a little bit more aware of the incredible power that we have and that we project around the world on humanitarian issues. And perhaps be more thoughtful about why we're wielding that power and in whose interest it is."

As the winner of the 2007 SSHRC Aurora Prize, Vinh-Kim Nguyen is changing the way we think about humanitarian relief. In particular, his research on AIDS programs in Africa is exploring the political and social impact these programs have within their recipient countries.

A physician and medical anthropologist at Université de Montréal, Nguyen has worked as a clinician in community-based HIV treatment centres in Burkina Faso, Mali and the Ivory Coast since 1994. He has been a first-hand witness to the effects foreign relief programs can have on local health-care systems—an experience that has shaped his academic lines of inquiry and his life.

As a medical anthropologist, he has written 19 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and has been part of the peer-review panel for eight journals. He is an associate professor and research fellow with the Max-Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Germany, a researcher at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, and a project director at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research in Montréal.

In addition, he is an HIV specialist at the Montréal Clinique medical l’Actuel, a consultant for the UK-based International HIV/AIDS Alliance, and sits on the board of directors for Médecins du Monde Canada.