Doctoral student Sacha Williams combines a career interest in child health research with the study of gender and sex


Sacha Williams, a doctoral student at McGill University, trainee at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and Jean-Martin Laberge Global Pediatric Surgery Fellow in the Department of Pediatric Surgery, Montreal Children’s Hospital, has garnered several distinctions recently.


She was accepted in the Empowering Next-Generation Researchers In Perinatal and Child Health (ENRICH) Program with an award for Recipients of External Awards in Perinatal and Child Health (REACH). Through an individualized research development plan, learners in the REACH Enrichment Program enhance their skills with advanced training in areas ranging from research methods to managing multisite teams, with attention to personal wellness and other relevant topics for researchers.


“The goals of the program align closely with my career aspirations, and provide a platform to enhance my skillsets, so that I can better serve the pediatric community globally,” says Williams.


Williams was also accepted into the Canadian Mother-Child Collaborative Training Platform (CAMCCO-L) and Maternal Infant Child and Youth Research Network (MICYRN), and she received an IDRC International Doctoral Research Award from the International Development Research Centre, Universities Canada. This year she was invited to co-chair the Canadian Organization for Gender and Sex Research (COGS) Program Committee.


“Serving on the Executive Committee has strengthened my work involving children’s health equity,” she says. “My current research focuses on gender disparities in pediatric surgical care. Working closely with COGS experts, who are national leaders in sex and gender research, is an amazing opportunity – one that enables me to explore the latest theories, frameworks, and policies directly with the groundbreaking innovators advancing the field.”


Several awards from McGill University rounded out her successful academic year. These include the 2024 Global Health Scholars – Graduate Program and, from the Department of Experimental Surgery, the PhD Fast Track Tuition Award, Graduate Excellence Award and Great Travel Award.


Williams is supervised by Dr. Dan Poenaru of the Child Health and Human Development Program and conducts research at the Centre for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at the RI‑MUHC.