Organization: University of Toronto
Darrell Tan is an infectious diseases physician and clinician-scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. After earning his undergraduate degree at McGill University in Montréal, Quebec, he completed medical school and residency training (2007) and a PhD in clinical epidemiology (2012) at the University of Toronto. Darrell has dedicated his career to working on the HIV epidemic because of its profound impact on key historically marginalized communities in Canada and abroad, including sexual and gender minorities and racialized populations.
His research programme is focused on optimizing strategies for effective HIV prevention and addressing the overlapping epidemics of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). He holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in HIV Prevention and STIs, and has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator in multi-centre clinical trials and cohort studies related to pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP), antiretroviral therapy, herpes simplex virus co-infection, syphilis screening and STI prophylaxis. In particular, Darrell has been a strong advocate for broader and more equitable roll out of PrEP since its inception. Accomplishments in this area include conducting Canada’s first PrEP demonstration project in 2014, initiating and co-chairing the development of evidence-based Canadian clinical guidelines on PrEP and PEP in 2017, and leading an ongoing implementation science project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) on scaling up PrEP delivery among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. In 2018, Darrell was honoured with the CAHR-CANFAR Excellence in Research Award in the Clinical Sciences.
Darrell has played an active leadership role in the Canadian HIV research community in many ways. He served as Co-Chair of the Canadian Association of HIV Research Conference in 2015 and is currently part of the Steering Committee of the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN) as the Co-Lead of the Prevention Core; he previously served on its scientific review committee for 11 years. With community leaders, he co-chaired the HIV Research Ethics Board at the University of Toronto from 2013 to 2018 and co-led the HIV prevention taskforce of Toronto To Zero, an initiative to end new HIV acquisitions in Canada’s largest city.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, his work expanded to include COVID-19 prevention and treatment trials. He led a multi-centre COVID-19 PEP trial and is on the Steering Committee for the Canadian Treatments for COVID-19 (CATCO) trial, the Canadian arm of the global SOLIDARITY trial.
For the International AIDS Society, Darrell has been a conference abstract reviewer every year since 2006, co-chaired poster discussions and served as an organizing committee member for the pre-conference, “Understanding and Addressing the HIV and STI Syndemics”, in Amsterdam in 2018.