Mahadeo Sukhai is a member of the Center for Healthy Minds Equity Advisory Council, an external body of world class scholars and practitioners who are invited to provide advice to the Center's community (leadership, researchers and staff) on all facets of work through the lens of equity, inclusion and diversity.
Sukhai is currently the Director of Research and Chief Inclusion & Accessibility Officer - IDEA Team at CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind). He is Canada’s only congenitally blind biomedical research scientist, and the world’s first congenitally blind geneticist. Sukhai’s research program focuses on indicators of social inclusion – particularly education, employment and technology use – for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted, as well as measurement of healthcare outcomes for the blind or partially sighted population. Sukhai is passionate about accessibility, inclusion and universal design in education – particularly science education – and in the workplace.
Prior to accepting his current role at CNIB, Sukhai obtained his Ph.D. in cancer genetics from the University of Toronto, and completed two postdoctoral fellowships in cancer genomics and experimental therapeutics. He served as, first, Scientific Team Lead for the Advanced Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, and then as Head of the Variant Interpretation Group in the Division of Genome Diagnostics at the University Health Network.
Sukhai also conducted a parallel research career in student experience and higher education, focusing on the experience of students with disabilities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and Mathematics), and in graduate and postdoctoral training. He is the principal investigator of nationwide initiatives in Canada to examine the student experience, culminating in his serving as the Principal Investigator and lead author of Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Sciences, published in 2016. Sukhai brings a wealth of experience to the conversations around accessibility and inclusion in the STEM education, digital and online learning, and employment settings.
Ph.D., Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Cancer Genetics, University of Toronto