Dr. Catharina Boehme is the Chief Executive Officer of FIND, an international non-profit organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland that drives the development and delivery of diagnostic tests for diseases of poverty. Under Catharina’s leadership, 10 new diagnostic tools have been introduced in resource poor settings over the last 3 years, for sleeping sickness, Malaria and tuberculosis. She has expanded FIND’s scope to include outbreak preparedness, hepatitis elimination and Antimicrobial Resistance and is passionate about closing the massive diagnostic gap in tuberculosis, the leading global infectious disease killer.
Catharina holds a MD from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and Heidelberg University, Germany, as well as diplomas in Public Health and Management. She is the Chair of the New Diagnostics Working Group of the Stop TB Partnership and serves on several Public Health Advisory Committees (WHO TB STAG; EU Horizon 2020 Dx; Australian Innovation Exchange Programme). She has more than 100 publications.
Prior to joining FIND in 2005 with a focus on clinical trials and laboratory strengthening, she worked for the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases in Munich and established a TB diagnostic research unit at Mbeya Medical Research Program in Tanzania.
Susan has a life time commitment to the development of good public policy, sustainable development advocacy and constructive political engagement. She is Director of Public Policy Engagement at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which consists of WHO, UNICEF, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank and other partners.
Previous to this role, she was Director of Global and Regional Policy and Head of the Policy and External Affairs Cluster for WWF International - a 100 country, €600m organisation – representing and negotiating for them in hundreds of global and regional political and policy dialogues, achieving significant text outcomes and commitments for all areas of sustainable development.
Over 14 years of multilateral negotiation work, she has developed a deep understanding of geopolitical dynamics, considerable knowledge of the behaviours and motivations of decision makers and the process of decision making. She has built strong relationships with country governments, global institutions and civil society organisations at executive level and led global network teams to significant recognition of their objectives in major international processes and forums including the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the Sustainable Development Goals), UN resolutions, the Convention on Biological Diversity (2008, 2010, 2014) the UNFCCC preparatory meetings and Copenhagen COP of 2009, the UN Environment Assembly, Rio +20 (2012), the World Summit of 2005, the World Health Assembly, 12 UN General Assemblies and many others.
Prior achievements include key roles in the substantial expansion and reform of Federal environmental law in Australia (the EPBC Act negotiations), achieving a significant package new and changed spending of energy measures and new environment funding through the GST negotiations, running a conservation organisation covering an extensive area of northern Australia including range lands, complex river systems and the Great Barrier Reef, news and opinion pieces for most of Australia’s major newspapers and operating a successful media consultancy.
Dr. Lucica Ditiu is the Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership since May 2011.
Lucica Ditiu is a Romanian physician and public health expert who has devoted her career to helping and supporting people affected by TB, especially those most vulnerable, most stigmatized and living in impoverished communities.
Lucica Ditiu has led the Stop TB Partnership for the last 8 years. Under her leadership, the organization has gained a clear identity and evolved into a lean, innovative and progressive team that represents one of the most influential advocacy voices on global health and tuberculosis, providing support - financial as well as TB medicines and diagnostics – for a TB response towards a world without TB. A firm believer in innovation, flexibility and change, Dr. Ditiu is relentless in pushing for the inclusion of all people affected by TB, with an ambitious agenda of transparency and accountability that continuously challenges the status quo.
Dr. Ditiu is a specialist in lung diseases and began practicing medicine in 1992 in Romania. She started her international career with the WHO in January 2000 as a medical officer for TB in Albania, Kosovo and FYR Macedonia within the disaster and preparedness unit. She has worked for the past 18 years in the WHO and UN system at every level: national, sub-regional, regional and global, and attributes her experience and expertise to deliver results while navigating all sorts of difficulties.
Lucica doesn’t like hierarchy, formal meetings, scripts of speeches and rules.
She wants to end TB in her lifetime because she will live for many, many years.
Her main motto comes from a Romanian band and is "The day you give up, is the day you die." So far, she has not given up.
Scott F. Dowell, a pediatric infectious disease specialist by training, now focuses on tracking the causes of global childhood mortality for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He joined the foundation after 21 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he studied viral and bacterial pneumonia, and responded to outbreaks of Ebola and other pathogens. He established and directed the International Emerging Infections Program in Thailand, a collaboration that received accolades from both the Thai and U.S. governments for its prominent role in responding to the SARS crisis, and for its leadership in defining the response to avian influenza A (H5N1) in Southeast Asia. He led CDC’s response to the earthquake and cholera epidemic in Haiti, helping to rebuild the public health infrastructure and contributing to the saving of an estimated 7,000 lives. Dr. Dowell served as the Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for International Health Regulations and the Division of Global Disease Detection and Emergency Response, and established the agency’s Global Health Security Agenda. In 2014, he retired from the US Public Health Service at the rank of Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General. Dr. Dowell has co-authored more than 170 publications, holds an Uber rating of 4.90, and has a special interest in targeted reductions in childhood mortality.
Director-General, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC)
Vice President, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
Director and Professor, CAS Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Dean, Medical School, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
George obtained his PhD (DPhil) degree from Oxford University, UK and did his postdoc work in both Oxford University and Harvard University. Using interdisciplinary methods, including virology, immunology and structural biology, Gao has made remarkable contributions to the study of inter-species pathogen transmission. His work revealed the origin and interspecies transmission mechanism of avian influenza virus including the virus entry mechanism and T-cell molecular recognition. He is a leading figure for the control of infectious diseases in China and a world advocate voice of global public health strategy. He led China Mobile Laboratory Testing Team in the fight against Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone in 2014 and continued his leadership in China CDC’s efforts supporting public health capacity strengthening in developing countries in Africa.
George is elected as the foreign associate or corresponding fellow/member of Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Third World Academy of Sciences, African Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Microbiology, European Molecular Biology Organization, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the dean or professor of medical school/universities. He has published more than 490 refereed papers, including papers in Cell, Nature, Science, The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA etc., 10 books or book chapters and holds more than 25 UK, US and Chinese patents.
George was awarded the TWAS Prize in Medical Science in 2012 and the Nikkei Asia Prize in 2014, and with numerous awards and prizes from China, including the recent National Award for the Distinguished Scientist in 2016, the National Science and Technology Award and National Innovation Award in 2017.
Richard J. Hatchett, MD, is Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a partnership of public, private, philanthropic and civil organizations that will finance and co-ordinate the development of vaccines against high priority public health threats and vaccine platform technologies to respond rapidly to emerging infectious diseases with pandemic or epidemic potential.
Prior to joining CEPI, Richard most recently served as acting Director of the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), after serving for five years as BARDA’s Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Director.
During his time at BARDA, he oversaw programs to develop medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases. He also helped lead the development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for a number of emerging viruses, including the H3N2v and H7N9 influenza viruses, MERS, Ebola, and Zika.
Richard served on the White House Homeland Security Council under President George W. Bush and was a member of the White House National Security Staff under President Barack Obama. He is a recipient of the HHS Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service and a five-time recipient of the NIH Director’s Merit Award.
Richard is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the Vanderbilt University Medical School, he completed a residency in internal medicine at the New York Hospital – Cornell Medical Centre and a fellowship in medical oncology at Duke University Medical Centre.
Dr Josephine Aumea Herman is a Cook Islands Public Health Physician and General Practitioner. She is the Secretary for the Cook Islands Ministry of Health and Vice Chair for the Pacific Heads of Health. As part of the Traffic Related Injury in the Pacific (TRIP) research project, she completed her PhD which examined the epidemiology of road traffic injuries in the Pacific with a focus on driver sleepiness in Fiji. In 2017-18, she was a Medical Officer of Health with the Auckland Regional Public Health Service and helped lead the response to the Mumps outbreak in Auckland, and from 2008-09 she was Director of Community Health Services with the Cook Islands Ministry of Health, and helped lead the response to the dengue outbreak in 2009.
Dr Takeshi Kasai began his term as WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific on 1 February 2019, following his nomination by the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific and his appointment by the WHO Executive Board.
The public health career of Dr Kasai began nearly 30 years ago when he was assigned to a remote post on the northeast coast of Japan, providing health-care services for the elderly. His early experiences there impressed upon him value of building strong health systems from the ground up. In the mid-1990s, Dr Kasai attended the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, where he studied in the Department of Global Health and Development and received a master’s degree in public health.
Dr Kasai has worked for WHO for more than 15 years, and at the time of his nomination was Director of Programme Management, the No. 2 position at the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific in Manila, Philippines. As a Technical Officer and later as the Director of the Division of Health Security at the Regional Office, he was instrumental in developing and implementing the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases and Public Health Emergencies, which guides Member States in preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.
Dr Kasai also served as the WHO Representative in Viet Nam from 2012 to 2014, and in 2014 received the For the People’s Health Medal from the Government, the top honor bestowed upon those who have made significant contributions to public health.
Dr Kasai is from Japan. He is married and has three daughters.
A/Prof Vernon Lee is a preventive medicine physician and Director of the Communicable Diseases Division at the Ministry of Health, Singapore. He is also adjunct Associate Professor at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore; and President of the College of Public Health and Occupational Physicians, Academy of Medicine, Singapore.
He was previously the Advisor to the Assistant Director General for Health, Security and Environment at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters, has worked in the WHO Office in Indonesia, and continues to contribute to WHO working groups on infectious diseases.
A/Prof Lee graduated from medical school at the National University of Singapore. He also holds a PhD in epidemiology from the Australian National University, and the Master in Public Health and Master of Business Administration degrees from the Johns Hopkins University, USA.
Ryan Morhard, JD is Lead for Global Health Security at the World Economic Forum.
The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas, including to manage risks associated with emerging infectious diseases of epidemic and pandemic potential.
Prior to joining the World Economic Forum, Ryan served as Branch Chief for International Partnerships in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the United States Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, Ryan led engagement in several multilateral, regional, and bilateral partnerships to support domestic and international response to Ebola, Zika, and other public health emergencies, as well as to strengthen collective preparedness for such emergencies. Before that, Ryan was a Legal Analyst and Associate at the Center for Health Security.
Ryan studied law at Washington University in St. Louis and Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Nkengasong Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to his current position, he served as the acting deputy principal director (acting) of the Center for Global Health, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC), and Chief of the International Laboratory Branch, Division of Global HIV and TB., U.S CDC. He received a Masters in Tropical Biomedical Science at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, and another Masters Degree in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Brussels School of Medicine and a Doctorate in Medical Sciences (Virology) from the University of Brussels, Belgium. Between 1993-95 he was Chief of the Virology and the WHO Collaborating Center on HIV diagnostics, at the Department of Microbiology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. He joined the U.S., CDC in 1995 as Chief of the Virology Laboratory, U.S., CDC Abidjan, Ivory Coast. He has received numerous awards for his work including, but not limited to, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Award for excellence in Public Health Protection Research, the Sheppard Award, the U.S. Director’s Recognitions Award and, most recently, the William Watson Medal of Excellence, the highest recognition awarded by CDC. Awarded for outstanding contributions and leadership in advancing global laboratory services and programs to support the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. He is also recipient of the Knight of Honour Medal by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, was knighted in 2017 as the Officer of Loin by the President of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, and Knighted in November 2018 by the government of Cameroon for his significant contributions to public health. He is an adjunct professor at the Emory School of Public Health, Emory university, Atlanta, GA. He serves on several international advisory boards including the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiative – CEPI, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) among others. He has authored over 200 peer-review articles in international journals and published several book chapters.
Mrs Olubunmi Eyitayo Ojo is the Deputy Director of Disease Surveillance and Epidemiology at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. She is also the Project Coordinator of Nigeria’s World Bank Regional Disease Surveillance Strengthening and Enhancement project (REDISSE) where she manages the $90 million credit for One Health strengthening.
Olubunmi has worked as the IHR National focal point responsible for Nigeria for the last eight years, playing a significant role in communication with the World Health Organisation.
In her primary role as Director of Surveillance, she manages the surveillance arm of the national public health institute, with focus on reporting and analysis of data of Nigeria’s epidemic prone diseases- Lassa fever, cholera, measles, yellow fever, cerebrospinal meningitis and monkeypox.
Heather Pagano is the conflict and humanitarianism advisor for Médecins Sans Frontières based in its Operational Centre Brussels.
She focuses on the politics of epidemic response and global health security, the evolution of the aid system, and the challenges and dilemmas of humanitarianism in contemporary conflict. She joined MSF in 2008, serving as the Ebola advocacy and communication coordinator during the 2014-2015 West African epidemic, after extensive field and operations level communications experience. She has written widely on public health emergencies such as the West Africa Ebola epidemic and the current one in DRC, as well as the South Sudan and northeast Nigeria conflicts.
Stephen C. Redd, MD, is the Deputy Director for Public Health Service and Implementation Science. Previously he served as the Director for the Center for Preparedness and Response, and briefly in 2018 as CDC’s acting principal deputy director.
Prior to these leadership posts, Dr. Redd was Director of CDC’s Influenza Coordination Unit. During the H1N1 pandemic, he served as Incident Commander for the nearly year-long response.
Dr. Redd is a Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General in the United States Public Health Service. He came to CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in 1985. He has investigated outbreaks such as Legionnaires’ disease, developed strategies to control malaria, and worked to eliminate measles in the US.
A graduate of Princeton University, he received his medical degree with honors at Emory University and completed Internal Medicine residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Redd has authored more than 120 scientific publications and received numerous awards, including the Public Health Service Distinguished Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Dr Michelle Rourke is a Scientific Research Officer in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps. As a bench scientist at the Australian Defence Force Malaria and Infectious Disease Institute she researched the genetic variability and evolution of mosquito-transmitted viruses. Michelle completed her doctoral studies in international law at Griffith University Law School and as a Fulbright Scholar at the O'Neil Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. Her PhD focused on virus access and benefit-sharing under the United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity and its Nagoya Protocol. Michelle is a member of the Global Virome Project's Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Working Group and a non-resident Affiliate of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University.
Peter Sands has been the Executive Director of The Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria since March 2018.
Since June 2015 Peter has been a Research Fellow at Harvard University, dividing his time between the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Global Health Institute.
Peter was Group CEO of Standard Chartered PLC from November 2006 to June 2015, having joined the Board of Standard Chartered as Group CFO in May 2002.
Prior to joining Standard Chartered, Peter was a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Co.
Peter has served on various boards and commissions, including as Lead Non-Executive Director of the UK Department of Health, Director of the World Economic Forum/Davos, Member of the International Advisory Board of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Member of the China People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign People’s Global CEO Council, and Co-Chair of the UK-India CEO Forum.
Peter graduated from Oxford University with a First Class degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He also received a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University, where he was a Harkness Fellow. Peter, who grew up in Singapore and Malaysia, is married to author and bookshop owner, Betsy Tobin and has four children.
Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, an Indian national, became the first woman to assume the office of WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia on 1 February 2014. In September 2018 Member States unanimously nominated Dr Khetrapal Singh for a second five-year term as Regional Director. The 144th Session of the WHO Executive Board formally appointed her to the position on 26 January 2019.
Dr Khetrapal Singh’s second term will be defined by a simple though powerful maxim: ‘Sustain. Accelerate. Innovate’. Each of the above pillars complements Dr Khetrapal Singh’s original ‘1 by 4’ plan and the seven (later to become eight) Flagship Priorities that anchored Region-wide progress since 2014.
Prior to Dr Khetrapal Singh’s appointment as Regional Director of the WHO South-East Asia Region, for over two decades she was a civil servant in India as a member of the Indian Administrative Services. This included roles as both Joint-Secretary and Secretary of Health in the State of Punjab, which has a population of 27 million and a health budget of US$ 350 million.
In 1987 she moved to the Health, Population and Nutrition Department of The World Bank. In 1998 she joined WHO headquarters as Executive Director, Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments Cluster, and became a member of the Director-General’s Cabinet.
Dr Khetrapal Singh then served as WHO Deputy Regional Director for the South-East Asia Region from 2000 to 2013. In February 2013 she joined the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India as Advisor for International Health, where her principal task was to strengthen global health outcomes and provide guidance to the Ministry to take forward the international health agenda.
Dr Zabulon Yoti is a public health veteran with over 20 years’ experience in clinical and public health practice. He is best known for his leadership in coordinating public health response to disease outbreaks, natural and man-made disasters. Dr Yoti has provided direct field support to several African countries in responding to disease outbreaks and complex health emergencies.
Dr Yoti, from Uganda, works in the World Health Organization Emergencies (WHE) Programme in the African Regional Office (AFRO) based in Brazzaville, Congo. He is the Acting Regional Emergency Director and Technical Coordinator for WHO AFRO WHE. From June 2014 to December 2015, Dr Yoti was re-assigned as part of WHO AFRO surge deployment for Ebola response in the West African Region with responsibility of providing technical leadership and coordination of the outbreak response. From November 2014 to December 2015, he was the WHO Deputy Head of Office for Sierra Leone where he successfully led WHO’s technical team and partners in responding to the Ebola Outbreak in Sierra Leone. He had previously participated in responding to several Viral Haemorrhagic Fever outbreaks in the African Region.
Apart from his formidable frontline experience, Dr Yoti has published extensive academic papers on emerging infectious diseases in general, Ebola Virus Disease in particular, and the implications of emergency preparedness and response on global health security.
Dr Yoti qualified as a Medical Doctor in Uganda in 1997. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Health (majoring in Communicable Disease Control), a Post-Graduate Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Health (DTM&H) and a Certificate in Health Emergencies in Large Populations from the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Further Invited Speakers will be announced shortly, please stay tuned for further updates. Accompanying the Invited Speakers there will be 300+ Oral and Poster abstracts presented.
|Online registration & accommodation:|
|26 July 2018|
|Call for Abstracts:|
|Notification to authors:|
|31 January 2019|
|Travel bursary announcements:|
|31 January 2019|
|1 March 2019|
|Early bird deadline:|
|18 March 2019|
Conference participation will be capped between 700 to 1,000 places. Delegates will be required to register in advance, and a minimum of 200 places will be reserved for participants from low-income countries.