Dr. Richard Lester
Dr. Richard Lester is the Director of the Neglected Global Diseases Initiative (NGDI) and an Associate Professor in Global Health in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, at the University of British Columbia. He completed his research fellowship in HIV in Kenya at the University of Manitoba and University of Nairobi collaborative, where he initiated development of an innovative mobile phone health (mHealth) service that was demonstrated in a landmark trial, WelTel Kenya1 (Lancet 2010), to improve HIV outcomes. He is Scientific and Executive Director of the WelTel International mHealth Society, a non-profit organization and Grand Challenges Canada $1M award winner for transitioning the mHealth service to scale in remote Kenya. Dr. Lester also conducted a trial for LTBI in Canada and member of the WHO Task Force for Digital Health in TB Control. His program’s ‘research to action’ and patient self-management approach has been published in top-tier medical journals, including the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, and Nature, and has been featured in non-academic international and local media, such as CBC’s The National and The Economist. Dr. Lester continues to conduct studies internationally, in Kenya, Canada, and the United States, has consulted on mHealth innovations with the World Health Organization, and is a CIHR Foundation Scheme recipient and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar.