The Aaka Pande and Sumit Majumdar Memorial Award


The Division of Health Policy and Insurance Research (HPI) invites nominations for the Aaka Pande and Sumit Majumdar Memorial Award.  The Award honors the inspirational lives and work of two former HPI fellows: Aakanksha Pande, BS, MS, PhD and Sumit ‘Me2’ Majumdar, MD, MPH, FRCPC whose lives tragically ended far too early.   

Through the Aaka Pande and Sumit Majumdar Memorial Award, the Division recognizes annually the talents of outstanding research fellows who are making significant contributions to constructive health policy dialogue through exceptional papers, highly regarded blogs or op-eds.

Selection Criteria

Nominees must:

1. Be a current or former fellow in the Department of Population Medicine.

2. Have published or had accepted for publication in the 12 months before the annual award announcement an exceptional manuscript that presents or discusses evidence to inform health policy decisions; exceptional contributions include, but are not limited to, research reports or other publications that employ sound methods to generate important evidence for health policy decisions or writings that constructively highlight the need for or synthesize high-quality evidence.

In the spirit of Drs. Pande’s and Majumdar’s efforts, nominations by colleagues whose work demonstrates a commitment to improving equity or quality of health care are particularly welcome. 

The deadline for 2024 nominations is April 30, 2024. Please contact Alyssa Halbisen with questions.

About Drs. Pande and Majumdar

Aakanksha Pande, BS, MS, PhD (1980-2018) | HPI Fellow 2009-2011

Aaka was passionate about making the world a better place.  She used her deep understanding of humankind, her heartfelt compassion, and her analytic brilliance to change the lives of poor people around the world.  Trained in molecular biology, public health, and health policy at Yale, Harvard, and Cambridge Universities, she dedicated her life to providing access to healthcare for the neediest among us.

Most recently, as a Senior Health Economist at the World Bank, she led a US$150 million emergency health project to provide quality affordable care to poor Jordanians and Syrian refugees.

Aaka embodied finding common ground in our shared humanity - described most wonderfully in her 2011 New York Times Op-Ed (about cricket!). 

Sumit ‘Me2” Majumdar, MD (1966-2018) | HPI Fellow 1997-1999

Me2 was a highly respected and acclaimed clinician-scientist in the Division of General Internal Medicine within the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta, Canada. He graduated from the University of Alberta School of Medicine and was a Professor in the Department of Medicine, held the Merck Frosst Chair in Patient Health Management and was a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

His inter-disciplinary research involved improving the quality of care and outcomes of complex medical conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension, heart and lung diseases and obesity.

Me2, a successful researcher with over 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts, was widely cited and a sought-after speaker. After he returned from Boston to Alberta, he continued to be an inspirational and brilliant mentor to DPM faculty and fellows and he helped train numerous future clinicians, researchers, and clinician-scientists.