Meet the experts

The aim of these sessions is to provide an informal atmosphere where delegates can interact with experts over lunch to exchange knowledge and insight, as well as gain networking opportunities. Topics such as the challenges and opportunities of careers in health research will be discussed. These sessions are open to all but strictly on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Delegates interested in attending these sessions are invited to register through the registration online form available below, or at the Forum registration/information desk.

Date and time: Tuesday 8 November, 12:30–13:30
Location: Banquet Hall

Biographies of experts and table assignments

Table 1:

charles-mgoneProfessor Charles Mgone was the Executive Director of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) from 2007-2015. Professor Mgone is a paediatrician by training and holds a PhD degree in Medical and Molecular Genetics. He has worked in Africa, Europe and the Pacific where he has served as advisor at international and national levels. He has considerable experience in research, research administration, capacity development and training, particularly in sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS, malaria and other tropical diseases. Before joining EDCTP, Prof. Mgone was the Network Director of the African Malaria Network Trust (AMANET) responsible for coordinating capacity development and networking in accelerating the development and assessment of malaria vaccines and other interventions.

Table 1:

catherine-hankinsDr Catherine Hankins is the Deputy Director, Science and Scientific Chair of the INTEREST conference, Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development and Honorary Professor at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She chairs the Scientific Advisory Board of CAPRISA, KwaZulu-Natal and the USA National Institutes of Health’s HIV Prevention Trials Network’s Scientific Advisory Group. She was principal investigator of studies involving women, prisoners, and people who inject drugs and of population-based epidemiological studies. As Chief Scientific Adviser to UNAIDS, she led the scientific knowledge translation team focused on ethical and participatory HIV prevention trial conduct, convening mathematical modelling teams, and supporting country implementation of proven biomedical HIV prevention modalities. She was the editor of the popular UNAIDS’ science blog HIV This Week. A trustee of the UK HIV Research Trust and member of the International AIDS Society Industry Liaison Forum, she was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2013.

Table 2:

patrick-phillipsDr Patrick Phillips is senior statistician and programme leader track at the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL. He has worked on late-phase clinical trials in tuberculosis for more than a decade, most recently as trial statistician in the EDCTP-funded REMoxTB and RIFAQUIN phase III TB trials published in 2014. He is part of the EDCTP-funded European/African PanACEA consortium evaluating novel regimens for the treatment of TB, designing the PanACEA MAMS-TB phase II trial with an adaptive design published in 2016. He is lead statistician for the STREAM trial evaluating novel shorter MDR-TB regimens, and for the TRUNCATE-TB trial evaluating 2–3 month regimens for drug-sensitive TB in East Asia. Ongoing methodological areas of interest include the evaluation and use of surrogate endpoints, the conduct and analysis of non-inferiority trials and trial design with a focus on adaptive designs.

Table 2:

sodiomon-sirimaDr Sodiomon Sirima is Head of Centre National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He graduated in 1993 with a Doctorate in Medicine and Surgery (MD) from the University of Ouagadougou, followed by a Master of Socio-anthropology (BA) in 1997. His PhD in epidemiology was obtained at “La Sapienza” in 2002. Between 1993 – 1995 Sodiomon Sirima worked as MD at a medical centre in Burkina Faso. He has also been Principal Investigator on more than twenty epidemiological and community based studies, more than ten drug and malaria vaccines clinical trials. From 1997 he has been/is a member of several national and international scientific committees and boards in Africa Europe or international Organization and has had over 50 articles published in peer reviewed international journals since 1993.

Table 3:

marie-louise-newellProfessor Marie-Louise Newell is Professor of Global Health at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom since October 2013. She is also Professor of Health and Population Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal and honorary Professor of Public Health of the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. She trained in medicine at the University of Groningen (1980) and has a Masters and PhD in medical demography from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (1981) and University of London (1991). She led a large European cohort study on HIV infected mothers and their children from 1987 until 2005, from University College London Institute of Child Health. From 2005-2013, she was Director of the Africa Centre, University of KwaZulu-Natal where she led a research programme that focussed on the impact of HIV and antiretroviral treatment on the rural population; the Centre is based in a rural setting with very high HIV prevalence. The Centre employed around 400 people, and in addition to the Centre’s surveillance progamme, also established a data collection system on more than 55,000 HIV-infected people accessing the district HIV treatment programme. Professor Newell’s research interests include mother-to-child transmission of HIV; epidemiology; HIV prevention; pregnancy; evaluation; HIV treatment programmes. Professor Newell has served in numerous international scientific and policy advisory roles.

Table 3:

hannah-akuffoProfessor Hannah Akuffo was born in Ghana, West Africa and pursued her education partly in Ghana and partly in the UK. Her research training was in the field of immunology of leprosy and she moved on in her postdoctoral years to research on the mechanisms of resistance to the infections caused by the parasite Leishmania sp. Her contribution in this field include showing the importance of innate/natural immunity to leishmaniasis in humans, the quest for the identification of surrogate markers of immunity to leishmaniasis, which is a prerequisite for adequate follow-up of candidate anti-leishmaniasis vaccine candidates, and the consequences of co-infection with HIV and Leishmania infection. Her studies have also included studies to develop an affordable tool for diagnosis of the causative agent of river blindness. She has served over the last 12+ years in various research steering committees of the World Bank/UNDP/WHO Special programme on Tropical Disease Research and Training (TDR). For 5 years she served as the chairperson of the Research Strengthening Group of TDR. As a representative of Sida she is the Swedish representative on the Assembly of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Programme (EDCTP).

Date and time: Wednesday 9November, 12:30–13:30
Location: Banquet Hall

Biographies of experts and table assignments

Table 1:

jeremiah-chakayaDr Jeremiah Chakaya is a holder of MBChB and M.Med degrees from the University of Nairobi and a post graduate diploma in Thoracic Medicine from the University of London. He has been working with KEMRI at the Center for Respiratory Diseases Research since 1992 working mainly on TB in people living with HIV. Between 2003 and 2006, he served as the TB program manager for Kenya. He has been engaged in global TB care and control through the Global TB Program of WHO where he served as the chair of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group – TB for six years (2008–2013) and the Stop TB Partnership where he served as the chair of the DOTS Expansion Working Group and the Vice Chair of the Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board. He was a core member of the TB Research Movement of the Stop TB Partnership.

Table 1:

stefan-kaufmannProfessor Stefan Kaufmann is founding and current managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, where he chairs the Department of Immunology. He graduated in Biology from the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz (1973), where he undertook his PhD in 1977. Professor Kaufmann is recognised as a world leading researcher in the field of TB immunology, with more than 700 publications in leading journals and an H index of 86. He has received multiple awards and prizes for his research and has served in numerous scientific and policy advisory roles, including to the German Ministry of science and technology, WHO, the European Union, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Table 2:

gita-ramjeeProfessor Gita Ramjee is Director of the HIV Prevention Research Unit at the Medical Research Council of South Africa since 2001. She has a Bachelors degree in Chemistry and Physiology from Sunderland, United Kingdom (1980) and Master’s and PhD degrees from the University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa (1980, 1994). Since 1994 she has been working in the field of HIV in South Africa, where she has risen through the ranks to her current post as Unit Director. Her research expertise include HIV epidemiology, prevention, phase I-III clinical trials in Africa, as well as social and behavioural community-based interventions. She has extensive experience in management and leadership, capacity building and research governance. She was recently awarded a lifetime achievement award for her contribution to HIV prevention research.

Table 2:

veronica-mulengaDr Veronica Mulenga is a paediatrican working in the Infectious Disease unit at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia. She has been treating and caring for HIV-infected children since 2004 when antiretroviral drugs were made available in Zambian public institutions. Dr Mulenga is an honorary lecturer with the University of Zambia, School of Medicine. She has extensive experience in conducting clinical trials in HIV. In 2001, Dr Mulenga coordinated the clinical trial: Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis trial (CHAP trial), the first trial to show that cotrimoxazole reduced mortality and hospital admissions in HIV-infected children not on HAART (before ART became readily available in public health institutions in Africa). She has also coordinated the clinical trial that evaluated the pharmacokinetics and dosing of the first paediatric fixed dose combination antiretroviral formulation (triomune junior and baby). Dr Mulenga was the Clinical Head of Department at University Teaching Hospital from 2010 to 2014.

Table 2:

wim-parysDr Wim Parys obtained a MD degree from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. He was in private practice for 9 years before joining Janssen Research Foundation in Beerse, Belgium where he held R&D positions and developed Galantamine for Alzheimer’s Disease (marketed as Reminyl™/Razadyne™ by Johnson & Johnson (J&J)). In 2000 he became the Head of Development at the biotech company Tibotec and relocated to US to establish Tibotec Inc., the US-based subsidiary. Under his tenure, Tibotec (acquired by J&J) developed and launched Prezista™, Intelence™ and Edurant™, three innovative HIV drugs. As Development Head of Janssen’s infectious diseases and vaccines therapeutic area, he lead the discovery and development of other medicines for HIV, Hepatitis C (Incivo™), Simeprevir (Olysio™), MDR-TB (Sirturo™) and respiratory viral diseases. In 2013 he became R&D head of the newly established Global Public Health group at Janssen which focusses on research and development in the field of HIV, MDR TB and neglected tropical diseases.

Table 3:

salim-abdullaDr Salim Abdulla is the Chief Executive Director of Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), Tanzania since 2008. He qualified as a medical doctor from the University of Dar es Salaam in 1990, obtained a Master’s in epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (1995) and was awarded a PhD from the Swiss Tropical Institute (2000). Dr Abdulla has worked on the large scale evaluation of insecticide-treated bednets and artemisinin-based combination therapy for national malaria policy formulation. He is currently involved in the evaluation of new malaria vaccines and treatments for regulatory approval and has 15 years of experience in the conduct of phase I to phase IV clinical trials in Africa, mainly focused on malaria. In addition to his outstanding research track record, Dr Abdulla is a technical advisor to the Tanzanian government’s national malaria control programme; and a member of the malaria policy advisory committee of the World Health Organisation (WHO). He has served on numerous scientific review and advisory panels, including the EDCTP Partnership Board. He is a recipient of the centenary medal of the UK Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene for contributions to malaria research and represented IHI to receive the Prince of Asturias award for contribution to international cooperation in health research.

Table 3:

jeffrey-mphahleleDr Jeffrey Mphahlele is the Vice President of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). He concurrently holds the Co-Directorship of the SAMRC/Diarrhoeal Pathogens Research Unit, a World Health Organisation (WHO) Rotavirus Regional Reference Laboratory for Africa, based at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (formerly MEDUNSA) in Pretoria. Prior to joining the SAMRC, he was Professor and Academic Chair of the Department of Virology, National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) at University of Limpopo Medunsa Campus. Dr Mphahlele has built and led internationally recognised research programmes in vaccination control of infections including hepatitis B, rotavirus and HPV, particularly on the African continent. He has close working relationships with vaccination programmes in a number of African countries, and continues to lead international capacity building programmes involving WHO and partners, vaccination practitioners, academics and other key stakeholders, as part of support of routine immunisation services to guide new policy developments and introduction of new vaccines in the region.

Registration

First name (required)

Last Name (required)

Email (required)

Select an expert:
Tuesday 8 November

Wednesday 9 November