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.
Mike Catchpole is the Chief Scientist at ECDC. As Head of the Scientific Methods and Standards Unit, he is responsible for driving the scientific agenda and overseeing the quality of the scientific outputs of the Centre. Prior to joining ECDC in 2014, he was the Director of Public Health England’s national Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control. He is a medical doctor with over 20 years of experience working in infectious disease epidemiology at national and international levels and was chair of the EPIET Steering Committee for six years, prior to the oversight passing to ECDC. His main research interests have been in the fields of sexual health, major incident and disaster response, and medical information systems.
Mircea Ioan Popa
Mircea Ioan Popa is Microbiology Professor at Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, since 1991. He has been working in the Cantacuzino National Medico-Military Institute for Research and Development since 2018; however he has been working for Cantacuzino Institute since 1997. He successfully completed the Applied Epidemiology Introductory Course (CDC, Atlanta and Emory University, 1999) and the EPIET Introductory Course (2001). He was appointed as a member of the Standing Committee of the Regional Committee for Europe (SCRC, 2000-2001). He coordinated the catch-up campaign to prevent measles and rubella (2.1 million people vaccinated, 1998-1999). Dr Popa initiated (2000) the PHARE Project (Strengthening of Communicable Diseases Surveillance on Laboratory Issues; Europe Aid/113121/D/SV/RO 0107.14), co-financed by the Romanian Ministry of Health. He worked with WHO EMRO in Afghanistan (2002-2003) and acted as the National Microbiology Focal Point in relation with ECDC (2007-2009), Director of Preventive Medicine Department (1997-1999), General Director for Public Health (1999-2001), and Co-Chair of the National Commission on Epidemiology (2005-2006), within the Romanian Ministry of Health. General Director of Cantacuzino Institute (2017-2018). He has been authored/co-authored more than 150 publications in national/international peer-reviewed journals and several chapters in national/international books. He obtained his PhD in 1998 and Master of Management in Social Services and Healthcare in 2001.
Petronille is Policy Officer in the Health Security Unit in DG SANTE at the European Commission. She is working on prevention, preparedness and response planning. Previously at Sciensano, she was project researcher and head of unit EU health information systems. Her work primarily focussed on European research projects in the area of population health information and the re-use of health data. She coordinated the Population Health Information Research Infrastructure (PHIRI) and was working on the Joint Action Towards the European Health Data Space, EHDS2 Pilot, HERA-IT, BY-COVID and Healthy Cloud. She is a graduate from a double European Master of Public Health. She also holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Biomedical Sciences and has a PhD on the European perspective to support health information systems. She is president of the EUPHA Public health monitoring and reporting.
Adam Roth is a medical doctor (M.D.) specialized in Clinical Bacteriology and Virology and an associate professor with a PhD in epidemiology. He has several years of experience from running research and public health projects in low-, middle- and high income countries, as well as in developing epidemiology training in the Pacific Region. Prior to joining ECDC as Head of Fellowship Programme, Adam headed the Unit for Vaccination Programmes at the Public Health Agency of Sweden.
Stine Nielsen is the vice-president of the EPIET Alumni Network which brings together more than 600 European field epidemiologists and public health microbiologists. She has a MSc in public health sciences from Copenhagen University and a promotion (dr.rer.medic) from the Charité university in Berlin. She has worked mainly on HIV and viral hepatitis focusing mostly on increasing access to health and harm reduction services for people who use drugs. She worked at WHO/Europe (2004-2008) and the Robert Koch Institute (2008-2015). From 2015-2022 she was a home-based consultant in Madrid working for Epiconcept and others. Since August 2022, she is a senior epidemiologist in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Prevention at Statens Serum Institut (SSI) in Denmark. Stine is active on Twitter as @StineNielsenEPI.
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 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 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
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 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 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.