Dr. Allan R. Ronald, a pioneer of the University of Manitoba's world- renowned infectious disease research program in Africa, is recognized for his tireless work in HIV/AIDS research. In 2002 he retired from a 35-year career at the University of Manitoba but continued to foster the HIV/AIDS Care and Prevention Program in Uganda. He is now Professor Emeritus in the Department of Medical Microbiology and in 2010 he was inducted in to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
Born in Portage la Prairie, Dr. Ronald trained in Manitoba, Maryland, Washington and Pakistan before returning to the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Medicine in 1968 to head its infectious disease unit. In 1978 he established one of the first clinical investigation units studying a new disease that would eventually be known as HIV/AIDS in Africa.
In 1979, he was invited to coordinate a research training centre in Nairobi, Kenya, where he and other members of the Faculty of Medicine have significantly advanced HIV/AIDS prevention programs and the understanding of HIV transmission. The program started small but eventually would put the University of Manitoba on the map as a leader in the field of HIV epidemiology and immunology, as well as improve disease prevention and care. Lessons learned have been used widely throughout Kenya and around the world. The University of Manitoba/ University of Nairobi group has made major discoveries, including recognizing the importance of breast milk in the transmission of HIV from mothers to infants, the role of male circumcision in reducing the risk of HIV infection among men, and the role of the immune system in protecting some individuals from acquiring HIV infection.
He has been a visiting professor at the University of Nairobi on over 40 occasions and at the University of Hong Kong, where he assisted in the development of an Infectious Disease Program.
Dr. Ronald led the department of medical microbiology (1976-85) and then the department of internal medicine (1985-90) before serving as the faculty's associate dean of research (1993-99). He also led programs in Winnipeg's teaching hospitals, initially as head of clinical microbiology and later as physician-in-chief at the Health Sciences Centre and subsequently at St. Boniface Hospital as head of infectious diseases. He has received awards from, among others, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the Canadian Association of Professors of Medicine, the American Venereal Disease Association, and the Canadian Medical Association, which in 2003 presented him with its highest honour, the F.N.G. Starr Award. Dr. Ronald is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and an Officer of the Order of Canada.