October 25, 2020
Dr. Mel Krajden has had an exceptionally busy year as the medical director of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) Public Health Laboratory which is the primary diagnostic testing facility here in BC. One could argue that human health is not a new area of fascination for Dr. Krajden, in fact his first inkling that he was destined to be a scientist was at a science fair in elementary school where he recalls presenting on human bones.
A keen interest in science and how the human body works led Dr. Krajden to undertake both a Bachelor of Science and medical school at McGill University. He then moved internationally to complete a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Stanford University, before returning to Canada to complete a Residency in Medical Microbiology at the University of Toronto. After this extensive training Dr. Krajden was well positioned to make a big impact in Canada. Which experience does he think was the most pleasantly unexpected? “My work on integrating de-identified laboratory testing information with the corresponding population level administrative data [that] became what we call the BC Hepatitis Testers Cohort, which allows us to go from a test to population health outcome for ~2.5 million people!”
The exceptional contribution that the BCCDC Public Health Laboratory, and Dr. Mel Krajden have made to COVID-19 testing here in BC have been truly invaluable. Within just 10 days of the SARS-CoV-2 genome being released the BCCDC PHL had managed to develop the COVID-19 test that is used here in BC and throughout parts of Canada. The sheer quantity of tests they have been able to process during the pandemic is incredible, and the information gathered by these tests has been exceptionally important for better understanding how the SARS-CoV-2 virus is impacting our province. Following months of hard work Dr. Krajden is dreaming of some time off to enjoy a float plane flight out to Vancouver Island and a relaxing sunset walk on the beach in Tofino with his wife, and we hope they can make it there soon.
You can join Dr. Mel Krajden on October 28th as he speaks at the Genome BC 11th annual Don Rix Distinguished Keynote Address “Battle Lines: Fighting COVID-19 at the Intersection of Policy, Treatment and Prevention” with co-speakers Drs. Bonnie Henry and Carl Hansen.
Learn more about this event and register here: events.genomebc.ca/drdk2020