It is with great pleasure that we announce Dr. Mikashmi Kohli as the recipient of the inaugural 2020-2021 Dr. Margaret Becklake Fellowship in Respiratory Research. Dr. Kohli obtained her PhD in molecular medicine from the AII India Institute of Medical Sciences. Since 2018, Dr. Kohli has been working as a postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Madhukar Pai. During this time, her research has focused on tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics, and she was involved in an international project to assess the availability and accessibility of diagnostics at primary health care centres in India. To date, Dr. Kohli has contributed to 18 publications, four as first author, including a paper in Lancet Infectious Diseases. She is also lead author on two Cochrane systematic reviews and has been a part of two WHO guideline meetings at which she presented her systematic reviews and meta-analyses on TB diagnostic tests.
In order to formalize her training in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dr. Kohli will start her MSc in the Fall of 2020 under the supervision of Dr. Pai. Her MSc project will evaluate access to TB and other essential respiratory diagnostic tests in India. The project will require field work and will result in the development of a survey tool for use in primary health centres across India. This research will provide a comprehensive national scorecard on access to essential tests, and enable national health authorities to address major gaps and improve access.
Dr. Kohli aspires to continue working in the field of global health and to pursue research that can be used to inform important policy decisions. With support from the Dr. Margaret Becklake Fellowship, Dr. Kohli will be able to continue her training at McGill University. This will allow her to continue her active involvement in the Indian healthcare system. We are proud to honour Dr. Becklake’s legacy and immense contributions through this Fellowship, and we wish Dr. Kohli every success in her research career.
ABOUT THE DR. MARGARET BECKLAKE FELLOWSHIP
The Montreal Chest Institute Foundation and the MUHC Respiratory Division are proud to support the Dr. Margaret Becklake Fellowship. Over the course of her career, Dr. Becklake had a major interest in respiratory health in lower-income countries, including in childhood asthma and occupational lung disease. She conducted research in this area for many years. She also trained and hosted students in respiratory research from lower-income countries, who then became leaders in research and care in those countries. Beginning with the inaugural award for 2020-21, the Dr. Margaret Becklake Fellowship will be awarded to at least one trainee in respiratory research every year as they conduct research under the supervision of scientists at the Montreal Chest Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. Recipients are chosen from low- and middle-income countries as well as from Canadian Indigenous communities. This fellowship will help us train the next generation of respiratory researchers and specialists in areas of the world where the need is greatest.