Speakers at ESCAIDE 2023

Plenary A: Broadening the horizon: Revisiting the concept of ‘prevention’ for communicable diseases

Kateřina Šédová

Czech Republic
Physician, CEO | Loono | Faculty Hospital Bukova

Katerina graduated from the First Faculty of Medicine at Charles University in Prague. During her studies, she spent a semester at Harvard Medical School. In 2014, after her own cancer experience, she founded the NGO Loono, with the mission of saving millions of lives. Loono raises health literacy in NCDs and participates in policy-making regarding prevention and health. Thanks to her contribution to the field of prevention, she was listed in 30 under 30 by Forbes Magazine, received the EU Commission Health Award for Cancer Prevention Campaign and the Czechs of The Year 2016 Prize. In 2020 she was one of the most active members of the Smart Quarantine project, which created the entire ecosystem for monitoring people who have tested positive for COVID-19. In 2021, Ernst and Young named her The Social Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2022 she founded the Cancer Care Coordinators Project at Faculty Hospital Bulovka (the first ever in Czechia). She currently works as an internal medicine resident with the intention to specialise in preventive healthcare later in her career. Katerina is passionate about projects with a positive impact on society, which is a board member of other non-profits and mentors other social leaders a lot.

Hanna Tolonen

Research Programme Director | Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare

Hanna Tolonen is the current Research, Development and Innovation Director at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, where she is responsible for the RDI programme on population health and welfare monitoring and foresight. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Eastern Finland. She has served as the vice-president of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) section on Public Health Monitoring and Reporting since 2021. Her areas of expertise include the collection of population-based health information through health examination surveys, the evaluation of the impact of survey non-response, and enhancing the accessibility of health information for research both on a national and international level. She holds a master’s degree in statistics and a PhD in public health and epidemiology.

Emilie Karafillakis

European research lead | Vaccine Confidence Project | University of Antwerp

Emilie Karafillakis is the European research lead at the Vaccine Confidence Project, based at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute (VAXINFECTIO) of the University of Antwerp in Belgium and at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. With a background in public health, infectious disease control, and health systems and policies research, she has around 10 years of experience researching vaccine and health intervention confidence. As a social scientist, her work focuses on understanding individual and group beliefs, attitudes and confidence in health interventions and assess how these can influence public health control measures and health promotion strategies, including vaccination.

She holds a Master of Science in the Control of Infectious Diseases and a PhD on vaccine confidence from LSHTM.

Plenary B: Digital transformation and Artificial Intelligence

John Brownstein

Chief Innovation Officer, Professor | Boston Children's Hospital | Harvard Medical School

John Brownstein, PhD is Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School and is the Chief Innovation Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital. He also directs the Computational Epidemiology Lab and the Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator both at Boston Children’s. He was trained as an epidemiologist at Yale University. Overall, his work aims to have translational impact on the surveillance, control and prevention of disease. He has been at the forefront of the development and application of data mining and citizen science to public health.

In addition to research achievements, this translational impact comes from playing an advisory role to numerous agencies on real-time public health surveillance including HHS, DHS, CDC, IOM, WHO and the White House. He was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honour bestowed by the United States government to outstanding scientists and the Lagrange Prize for international achievements in complexity sciences and an Emmy for his contributions to medical reporting during the covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Brownstein is also the co-founder of digital health companies Epidemico and Circulation and an ABC Medical News Contributor. 

Joanna Goodey

Head of Unit - Justice, Digital and Migration | European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

Jo Goodey (PhD) is Head of research for ‘Justice, Digital and Migration’ at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). She is responsible for overseeing the Agency’s EU-wide research and activities in the field of Artificial Intelligence with respect to fundamental rights, which ranges from work on online content moderation through to the use of remote biometric identifiers. Among other roles, in 2019 she chaired the EU Agencies’ Network on Scientific Advice, and in the same period was a member of the European Commission’s High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence. Prior to joining FRA, she was a research fellow at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and in the 1990s held lectureships in criminology and criminal justice at the Universities of Sheffield and Leeds in the UK. In the 1990s-early 2000s she was also a regular study fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the study of Crime, Security and Law in Freiburg. She is the author of an academic textbook on victims of crime, and has published widely in academic journals, as well as several book chapters, on a range of criminological and fundamental rights-related themes.  

Plenary C: Wastewater surveillance: A magic bullet or just one piece of the puzzle?

Paul Griffiths

Scientific Director | European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction

Paul Griffiths is the current Scientific Director of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. He has been active in in the drugs field for over 30 years. Prior to 1999, he worked as a researcher and research manager based at the National Addiction Centre in London. From 2000, his activities have focused on the international monitoring of drug use, working first for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in Vienna, (UNODC).

Paul joined the EMCDDA in 2002, as head of the epidemiology unit and was appointed Scientific Director in 2010. In his current role he is responsible for the overall coordination of the EMCDDA scientific work. He holds an honorary position as a Visiting Senior Lecturer in the Department of Addictions, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London.

Márta Vargha

Head | Water Hygiene Department | National Center for Public Health and Pharmacy, Hungary

Márta Vargha is a chief counsellor at the National Center for Public Health and Pharmacy, Hungary, responsible for water hygiene.

Her team works on drinking and bathing water quality, covering all aspect from research to regulation. The laboratory developed and operates the national wastewater surveillance programme. Marta is a microbiologist by training, holding a PhD in environmental science.

Her main research interests are emerging risks in water and​ the prevention of water related disease. She is the head of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Environmental Risk Management and the current chair of the WHO EURO/UNECE Protocol on Water and Health.

She has been member of the Guideline development group for the WHO interim guidance on Environmental surveillance for SARS-COV-2 to complement public health surveillance and the Guidelines for Recreational Water Quality.

Marion Koopmans

Head | Department of Viroscience | Erasmus Medical Centre

Prof Koopmans is director of the Department of Viroscience at Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands, the WHO collaborating centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, scientific director for Emerging Infectious Diseases of the Netherlands Centre for One Health (NCOH) and scientific director of the Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Centre in Rotterdam/Delft, the Netherlands.

Her research focuses on emerging infections with special emphasis on unravelling pathways of disease emergence and spread at the human animal interface. Creating global networks to fight infectious diseases systematically and on a large scale is a common thread in Koopmans' work.

She coordinates the EU funded consortium VEO, which develops a risk based innovative early warning surveillance in a One Health context, and is deputy coordinator of a recently awarded HERA funded network of centres of excellence for EID research preparedness. In 2021, Koopmans founded the Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Centre PDPC, a research centre with a focus on the occurrence and prevention of pandemics and climate‐related disasters, combining expertise from technical, bio‐medical, environmental and social sciences. During the corona crisis in the Netherlands in 2020, Koopmans was a member of the Outbreak Management Team that advised the national government on measures to stop the spread of SARS‐CoV‐2.

Plenary D: One Health: Tackling global health challenges together

Greg Martin

Director | Health Protection Surveillance Centre | National Health Protection Service

Greg Martin is the Director of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre in Ireland and has a diverse background in global health. He trained as a medical doctor in South Africa, with a specialisation in public health. He has since worked with organisations such as the WHO, UNITAID, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

He runs the Global Health YouTube channel with almost 150K subscribers where he discusses threats and opportunities, including pandemic responses, antimicrobial resistance, and the impact of climate change. He is the editor-in-chief of the Globalization and Health journal and is a founding director of Wellola, a company which provides Electronic Health Records software and patient portals.

Karen Saylors

United States
CEO and Co-founder | Labyrinth Global Health

As CEO and Co-Founder of Labyrinth Global Health, Inc., Karen Saylors, PhD, has worked in the international public health field for over a decade and has spent many years living in Africa establishing global surveillance networks, working with partners to improve Global Health policy on infectious disease detection, response, prevention, and control. At Labyrinth, Dr. Saylors specialises in studies that aim to understand and mitigate biological and behavioural risk of disease transmission. After working with Médecins Sans Frontières on neglected tropical disease impact in Cameroon, she has remained focused in Central and West Africa and continues to work with local partners to expand laboratory and surveillance networks throughout the region.

Dr. Saylors has also worked with Oxford University Clinical Trials Network in Vietnam on zoonotic disease surveillance research and continues to coordinate with regional partners in SE Asia on mitigating the impact of emerging outbreaks in animal and human populations at high-risk interfaces, such as live animal markets. As a lead scientist for Labyrinth, Dr. Saylors has an energetic commitment to multilateral research, coordinating international programs through the Company's offices in DRC, Sierra Leone, Ukraine, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the US.

Sandra Gallina

Director-General | Health and Food Safety | European Commission

Sandra Gallina joined the European Commission in 1988. She is today Director General for HEALTH & FOOD SAFETY. Before joining DG SANTE, between 2018 and 2020 she was Deputy Director General for TRADE. Between 2014 and 2018 she was Director for DG TRADE Directorate D “Sustainable Development; Economic Partnership Agreements - African, Caribbean and Pacific; Agri-food and Fisheries”. 

Sandra Gallina was also the EU chief negotiator for the EU-MERCOSUR Free Trade Agreement. Between 2001 and 2009 she was the EU Lead Negotiator for Non-Agricultural Market Access in the WTO Doha Round and in that capacity, she defined and presented EU policy for the Doha Development Agenda on non-agricultural market access negotiations. Before joining DG TRADE, she worked in the Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD) at the end of the 1990s.

Stef Bronzwaer

Research Coordinator | European Food Safety Agency

Stef Bronzwaer is a medical doctor who currently serves as a Research Coordinator at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in Parma, Italy. His domains of expertise include scientific cooperation and liaison, antimicrobial resistance surveillance, research, communicable diseases and food safety. He has previously worked in the Infectious Disease Unit of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome, Italy, and in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands, where he helped establish the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (EARSS). Before he joined EFSA in 2006, he worked at the European Commission in Luxembourg where he held responsibility for the proper functioning and coherence of a number of European surveillance networks on communicable diseases and followed the implementation of the Community strategy against antimicrobial resistance.

Plenary E: Post-pandemic public health workforce

Lucy Easthope

United Kingdom
Professor in Practice of Risk and Hazard | Durham University

Lucy Easthope is a UK expert and adviser on emergency planning and disaster recovery. She is a Professor in Practice of Risk and Hazard at the University of Durham, and co-founder of the After Disaster Network at the university. She is also Professor in Mass Fatalities and Pandemics at the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath, a researcher at the Joint Centre for Disaster Research at Massey University and a member of the UK Cabinet Office National Risk Assessment Behavioural Science Expert Group.

She is the author of When the Dust Settles: Stories of Love, Loss and Hope from an Expert in Disaster and The Recovery Myth: The Plans and Situated Realities of Post-Disaster Response.

Katarzyna Czabanowska

Professor in Public Health Leadership and Workforce Development | Maastricht University

Prof. Dr. habil. Katarzyna (Kasia) Czabanowska is a professor of Public Health Leadership and Workforce Development and Head of the Department of International Health, Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, the Netherlands, Honorary Member of the UK Faculty of Public Health.

Her research involves leadership development, leadership competencies for public health and health-related disciplines, capacity building in public health, including competency and training needs assessment, design of training programmes, competency-based education and systematic development of competency frameworks for public health and health workforce, public health workforce development and planning including professionalization. 

She is a Past President of the Association of the Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER), and a lead author of the WHO-ASPHER Competency Framework and the Road Map to Professionalizing the Public Health Workforce in the European Region. She is an academic Board Member of the Studio Europa at Maastricht University; visiting professor at the Institute of Public Health Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, and adjunct professor at the Richard Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indiana University, US.

Giorgio Grossi

Behavioural Scientist, Psychotherapist | Karolinska Institutet, The Virtual Stress Clinic

Giorgio Grossi is a behavioural scientist and associate professor in Medical Psychology with a degree from the Department of Psychology of Stockholm University. He has a background as a researcher and conducted his doctoral thesis on stress among the unemployed. In 2000 he began work as a researcher in the Stress Clinic Project at the Institute for Psychosocial Medicine. He trained further as a licensed psychotherapist with a specialty cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), in Uppsala and at the Karolinska Institutet, where he is also an associate professor. He is the author of several books in Swedish and, presently, he is the director of the newly established Virtual Stress Clinic (Virtuella Stressmottagningen).