UBC’s Dr. Mel Krajden awarded Order of B.C.

Dr. Mel Krajden

UBC’s Dr. Mel Krajden, professor in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine, is one of 13 individuals being recognized for this year’s Order of British Columbia, one of the province’s highest honours.

Dr. Krajden, also the medical director of the Public Health Laboratory and medical head of hepatitis at the B. C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), has been central to helping B.C. build a global reputation in the field of communicable disease control and innovative scholarship in public health sciences.

When COVID-19 emerged, Dr. Krajden provided critical scientific leadership, working with his team at the BCCDC to rapidly develop an assay for the province to commence COVID-19 testing in January 2020, weeks before other jurisdictions. Access to this test was an essential element in the management and control of the outbreak and the safety of British Columbians.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Krajden has made significant contributions to various fields, including Hepatitis, HIV, and HPV. He created the world-leading B.C. Hepatitis Testers Cohort, which has produced influential pieces of evidence that shaped clinical and public health guidelines and policy in Canada and globally. He was also one of the key personnel in the STOP HIV initiative in B.C., a public health endeavour that helped lead to the lowest HIV incidence on a provincial scale in decades. Dr. Krajden has also played a pivotal role in global public policy changes in HPV vaccine dosing regimen and the associated reduction of financial access barriers to care.

In his educational capacity, Dr. Krajden is a valued mentor, training researchers, health professionals and students at all levels.

The Order of B.C. investiture ceremony will be postponed for 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions and held for recipients and invited guests in Victoria in 2021.

A total of 460 British Columbians have been appointed to the Order of B.C. Members have been appointed from all regions of the province and their contributions have enriched the lives of British Columbians.