Vohra Miller Foundation
The Vohra Miller Foundation’s extraordinary generosity has enabled the launch of two important public health initiatives at the University of Toronto.
When Sabina Vohra-Miller (BSc 2006 SMC, MSc 2009) and her husband Craig Miller co-founded the Vohra Miller Foundation in January 2020, they had no idea that their philanthropic mission—to improve the health of people and the planet—would take on a profound sense of urgency in just a few short months. Within months, the world had been plunged into a global pandemic, and the Vohra Miller Foundation had helped establish the University of Toronto’s Institute for Pandemics.
The opportunity to help launch the Institute with a $1-million investment was a natural fit for the Vohra Miller Foundation. Sabina, who has a background in clinical pharmacology and runs a popular science blog, has long been committed to combatting what she calls a “war on science.” She is particularly concerned about the mistrust of scientific evidence and recommendations, especially in relation to pandemic preparedness and vaccines.
The Institute for Pandemics, which opened in August 2020 at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, is working to strengthen co-ordination, communication and collaboration between science and government—an approach rooted in evidence-based policies that will support quicker responses to future pandemics.
The Vohra Miller Foundation’s investment to launch the Institute for Pandemics was just the start of its extraordinary new partnership with the University. In February 2021, the couple once again made history—for the University of Toronto and for public health in Canada—with a $5-million commitment to help create First Exposure, an innovative new research network and information hub for maternal, reproductive and child health also housed at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
First Exposure’s mission is to equip families and health providers with evidence-based information about the risks and impacts of early-life exposure to medications, environmental pollutants and other substances during pregnancy and lactation. The initiative is also advancing knowledge in this critical area through the collection and analysis of secure, anonymous patient data, with a focus on reaching families and health providers in marginalized communities. Funding a range of scholarships, fellowships, research and outreach activities, the Vohra Miller Foundation’s investment will build long-term health and resilience for generations of families.
As the Vohra Miller Foundation continues to take its place as a powerful new force of social impact in the midst of one of the most significant public health crises in modern history, Sabina Vohra-Miller and Craig Miller are more determined than ever to build a future in which no one is left behind.