Scientific Committee

The ESCAIDE Scientific Committee is composed of external experts in the field of infectious disease prevention and control and representatives of ECDC. They contribute to the development of the scientific programme of the conference through the proposal, coordination and moderation of the plenary sessions, overseeing the abstract selection process and advising on programme outlines. They also serve as advocates for ESCAIDE within their countries and networks. Members are appointed by the ECDC Director for rolling three-year periods. Detailed information on the operation of the Scientific Committee can be found in the Terms of Reference.

Piotr Kramarz

Deputy Head of Unit/ Deputy Chief Scientist | Chair of ESCAIDE Scientific Committee | ECDC

Piotr Kramarz is a physician by training, with a PhD in immunology of viral infections, and eight years of clinical practice experience in a teaching hospital in the field of infectious diseases.  Between 1997-2000, he worked at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) and then as a medical epidemiologist.  Since 2007, he has worked at the ECDC as a Deputy Head of the Unit (first of the Scientific Advice Unit and now of the Disease Programme Unit) and, since April 2011, as the Deputy Chief Scientist of the Centre. His research interests include burden of communicable diseases and vaccine-preventable diseases.

John Kinsman

Expert Social and Behaviour Change | ECDC

John Kinsman has conducted social and behaviour change research since 1996, including on the social determinants of health, health system strengthening, public health emergency preparedness, and the prevention and control of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Zika and poliomyelitis. He joined ECDC in 2019, working initially on promoting vaccination acceptance and the prevention of antibiotic resistance in the EU, but with a focus on COVID-19 during the pandemic. COVID-19-related projects have included addressing pandemic fatigue, supporting socially vulnerable populations, promoting vaccination, and countering online vaccination misinformation. John gained his PhD in medical anthropology at the University of Amsterdam in 2008, and was Associate Professor in Global Health at Umeå University in Sweden from 2013 until he joined ECDC.

Luísa Peixe

Professor of Bacteriology | University of Porto

Luísa Peixe has a degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and doctorate in Microbiology. During her career as Professor of Bacteriology at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto (FFUP), Portugal (1987- present) she has conducted research on antimicrobial resistance on different clinically relevant bacteria, with a One Health approach. This is done to understand the ecology, drivers and evolution of bacteria, as well as to help improve their detection and control. As the effectiveness of standard antimicrobial treatments in urinary tract infections has vastly diminished, her research team has been investigating the role of the urinary microbiome in urinary tract health and disease. Currently, she is Director of Department of Biological Sciences at FFUP and has published over 200 publications in international peer-reviewed journals. She holds several positions in national and international institutions in connection with her expertise in clinical bacteriology and antimicrobial resistance. These include the Biological Hazards Panel at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the Qualitative Presumption of Safety Working Group at EFSA and the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR) Scientific Board.

Chikwe Ihekweazu

Assistant Director-General | Health Emergency Intelligence | WHO

Chikwe Ihekweazu is the Assistant Director General at the World Health Organization (WHO) for Surveillance and Health Emergency Intelligence and leads the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence, based in Berlin, Germany. Previously, Dr Ihekweazu was the first Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which he led July 2016 - October 2021, building it from a small unit to a leading public health agency in Africa. He acted as Interim Director of the West Africa Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control through 2017. Dr Ihekweazu trained as an infectious disease epidemiologist and has over 25 years’ experience working in senior public health and leadership positions in national public health institutes including NCDC, South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the UK's Health Protection Agency, and Germany’s Robert Koch Institute. Dr Ihekweazu has led several short-term engagements for WHO, mainly building surveillance systems and responding to major infectious disease outbreaks. He was part of the first WHO COVID-19 international mission to China. Dr Ihekweazu is a graduate of the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria and has a Masters in Public Health from the Heinrich-Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany. In 2003, he was awarded a Fellowship for the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training and subsequently completed his Public Health specialisation in the UK. He has over one hundred publications in medical peer review journals, mostly focused on the epidemiology of infectious diseases. Dr Ihekweazu is on the board of the NGOs: African Society of Laboratory Medicine, Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance, Public Health Foundation of Nigeria, Health Watch Foundation, Society for Family Health, Education as a Vaccine, and the Africa Policy Advisory Board of ONE. He was a TED Fellow and co-founded and delivered the TEDxEuston event from 2009 to 2019.

Jet (Henriette) de Valk

Head of Unit | Foodborne, Vectorborne and Zoonotic Infections Unit | Santé Publique France

Jet (Henriette) de Valk is a medical doctor and infectious diseases epidemiologist at the French National Public Health Agency (Santé Publique France). As the head of the Foodborne, Vectorborne and Zoonotic Infections Unit she is in charge of surveillance, outbreak investigations and applied research. She is actively involved in European networking activities for surveillance of infectious diseases, as a national representative in supranational surveillance networks, as a member of the coordination group of the Vectorborne and Emerging Diseases network of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and as supervisor in the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training. She recently worked on guidelines for surveillance of emerging arboviruses, on the disease burden of foodborne intestinal infectious diseases and on whole genome sequencing for surveillance. She is serving on the national committee nominating the National Reference Centres (laboratories) for infectious agents in France and in Belgium. Jet graduated from the University of Leyden in the Netherlands, the London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom and the Institut for Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium and is an alumnus of The European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training. Prior to coming to the Santé Publique France she worked for the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in emergency relief programmes in Sudan, Uganda and Mali, for the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in Cameroon and for the World Health Organization in Indonesia at the control programmes for diarrhoeal and respiratory infections.

Jacobo Mendioroz

Sub-director General | Surveillance and Response to Public Health Emergencies | Public Health Agency of Catalonia

Jacobo Mendioroz is a medical doctor (M.D.) specialist in Preventive Medicine and Public Health and has a master in Public Health from Pompeu Fabra University. In 2020, he was designated by the Catalan government as director of the COVID-19 response unit for the Health Department of Catalonia. Currently he is the Sub-director General of Surveillance and Response to Public Health Emergencies at the Public Health Agency of Catalonia. He started his career as a researcher on the field of epidemiology of congenital diseases for the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) of Madrid. He also worked as field epidemiologist and researcher for the study of tropical diseases in Angola as part of the International Health Program (PROSICS) of the Catalan Health Institute (ICS). For the same institution, he worked at the Health Territorial Management of Central Catalonia as head of Health Data Managing Area and as scientific coordinator of the Research Support Unit for primary health care professionals. As a researcher, he has been studying epidemiology of both transmissible and non-transmissible diseases and, in the last years, medical information systems and delivery of health care. During this time, he reconciled his research interests both with technical support to the health management directions and as an emergency room M.D. both in hospitals and in primary health care centres of Catalonia.

Ágnes Hajdu

Senior Advisor | Unit of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology | National Center for Public Health and Pharmacy, Hungary

Ágnes Hajdu is a medical doctor, specialist in preventive medicine and public health, and EPIET alumna. For more than 15 years she has worked in the field of healthcare epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). As a senior advisor in the Unit of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology at the National Public Health Center in Hungary, she has contributed to the development of national methodological guidances in infection prevention and control (IPC), coordination of surveillance modules of healthcare-associated infections, multidisciplinary investigations of nosocomial outbreaks, policy initiatives on IPC and AMR, and behavioural research on antimicrobial prescribing in primary care. She is a member of the Hungarian National Infection Control and Antibiotic Committee. She has a longstanding collaboration with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) through various national functions. 

Alicia Barrasa

EAN Network

Alicia Barrasa is part of the EPIET Alumni Network which brings together more than 600 European field epidemiologists and public health microbiologists. She has a PhD and MSc in public health and epidemiology. She has worked on HIV focussing on factors associated with disease progression, and on field epidemiology training as Scientific Coordinator for the Spanish FETP (2004-2008), EPIET (2008-2020) and currently for the UK FETP. She has also been part of the TEPHINET Accreditation Working Group (2019-2023).

Nadine Zeitlmann

Senior epidemiologist | Robert Koch Institute

Nadine Zeitlmann is a senior epidemiologist at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin, Germany and a part-time Scientific Coordinator for the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET) for ECDC. She has a Master Public Health from the University of Munich and a Master of Science in Applied Epidemiology from the Berlin Charité. Between 2011 and 2013 she worked in the field of public health and infectious disease epidemiology in Denmark and completed her EPIET/PAE -fellowship between 2013 and 2015 based at the Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority in Munich, Germany. In the subsequent 8 years she worked as an epidemiologist in different international programmes at the RKI where she supported partner countries in North Africa and the Balkan peninsula in building up surveillance, outbreak investigation and crisis management structures as well as in their IHR implementation. During this time, she also been deployed as an epidemiologist on different international assignments on the African and Asian continent and worked as a field epidemiologist in various COVID-19 outbreak investigations in Germany during the pandemic. Currently, next to her role as an EPIET Coordinator, she works in coordinating roles in the field of epidemic intelligence, early warning and outbreak coordination in the RKI’s “Unit for crisis management, outbreak investigation and training programmes’’.

Kateřina Šédová

Czech Republic
Physician, CEO | Loono | Faculty Hospital Bukova

Kateřina Šédová 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.

Angeliki Melidou

Principal Expert Respiratory Viruses | ECDC

Angeliki Melidou is a virologist with a PhD in molecular epidemiology of influenza. She is an Assistant Professor of Molecular Microbiology-Virology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Microbiology Department, Medical School in Greece with which she is affiliated since 2004. Since 2016, she has been working at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), initially as a Seconded National Expert and currently as a Principal Expert in Respiratory Viruses at the Respiratory virus and legionella (RVL) group. Her expertise lies in the areas of microbiology, disease surveillance, and scientific advice related to respiratory viruses. During the COVID-19 pandemic she was serving as a coordinator of the ECDC Public Health Emergency Microbiology team.