Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association

Canadian Pharmacist of the Year

Dr. Sherif Hanafy Mahmoud

Profile picture of Sherif Hanafy Mahmoud

Edmonton, AB

This award recognizes a pharmacist who demonstrates leadership and exemplifies the evolution of the pharmacy profession toward an expanded role in health care.

Dr. Sherif Hanafy Mahmoud stands as a beacon of excellence in the field of pharmacy, with a career spanning over 2 decades characterized by remarkable achievements and contributions. Dr. Mahmoud completed a pharmacy degree and master’s in clinical pharmacy from Ain-Shams University in Egypt, a PhD in pharmacokinetics at the University of Alberta and clinical research training at Harvard Medical School. He has excelled in diverse roles as a clinician, researcher, educator and leader. Currently serving as a neurocritical care pharmacist at the Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit at the University of Alberta Hospital (UAH), as well as a clinical professor and the associate dean, academic at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta, Dr. Mahmoud's numerous awards, peer-reviewed publications and national and international presence underscore his significant impact on the profession throughout his career.

A globally recognized leader in the field of neurocritical care pharmacy practice (care for patients with life-threatening neurological illnesses), Dr. Mahmoud led the integration of pharmacists into the neurocritical care team at UAH. His commitment to excellence is tangible as he developed and revised numerous drug therapy protocols and provided invaluable education to health-care professionals, optimizing patient care. Actively engaged with the Neurocritical Care Society, he assumed key leadership roles, advocating for pharmacy practice and driving collaborative research initiatives.  

Dr. Mahmoud’s achievements are complemented by a robust research portfolio. His overall research program aims to translate benchside and bedside observations into clinical practice protocols that will potentially improve outcomes in neurocritical care and epilepsy patients. Currently, he leads 2 prospective multicentre studies funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and University Hospital Foundation. To date, he has received approximately $1.5 million in grant funding as a principal or co-investigator. Never content to simply accept the status quo, Dr. Mahmoud’s ongoing work has contributed to changes in clinical practice locally and globally in the fields of neurocritical care and epilepsy. “The health-care landscape is evolving rapidly, demanding that we stay vigilant and adaptable,” he says. “By embracing innovation, advocating for patient-centered care and actively engaging in research and education, pharmacists can continue to expand their role and contribute significantly to improving health-care outcomes for all.”

Dr. Mahmoud identifies his role as professor and educator as one of the most gratifying parts of his career. “Observing my pharmacy students evolve into successful pharmacists, dedicated to enhancing the lives of their patients, is deeply rewarding,” he says. His dedication to education is underscored by his involvement in program development and receipt of prestigious teaching awards. He has participated in the development of the post-graduate and entry-level PharmD programs at the Faculty of Pharmacy, and he led the development of the Certificate to Canadian Pharmacy Practice (CCPP) program, a certificate program aimed at supporting internationally educated pharmacists. He has also contributed to global pharmacy education by developing various tools aimed at supporting pharmacists worldwide, and as the editor of the textbook "Patient Assessment in Clinical Pharmacy: A Comprehensive Guide," a resource that has garnered over a quarter-million downloads and is embraced by many pharmacy schools and practitioners worldwide for enhancing patient assessment skills in diverse settings.

Moreover, Dr. Mahmoud's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) exemplifies his holistic approach to pharmacy practice. As an associate dean at the Faculty of Pharmacy, he championed initiatives promoting inclusivity and actively revising admission policies to foster diversity among pharmacy students. His efforts to promote cultural competence in patient care and ensure diversity in research participation highlighted his ongoing commitment to advancing DEI in pharmacy.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Mahmoud has received numerous accolades, including Fellow of the Neurocritical Care Society, and several Presidential Citations for his outstanding service. His impactful research and practice innovations have not only contributed to neurocritical care and epilepsy management but have also paved the way for future generations of pharmacists to push the boundaries of the profession further. “Just because something hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean it can’t be done,” he says. “Every pharmacist has the opportunity to drive positive change in the profession. Being an exemplary model to other pharmacists seeking excellence, where practice is multifaceted, involving patient care, leadership and research, and challenging the status quo, are very important in the evolution of the profession.”