Career Compass

22 Nov 2023
EPIET Alumni Network (EAN)

The Career Compass is a Q&A session about the different career paths of established public health professionals. Since 2017 it takes place as an evening session at ESCAIDE. This event provides the ideal platform to help junior public health professionals connect with senior professionals and discover future career opportunities.

Date and time

Wednesday, 22 November, 12.50 - 13.50 CET


Alma Tostmann

Epidemiologist and Deputy Head | Infection Prevention and Control Unit, Dept Medical Microbiology | Radboud University Medical Centre

Alma Tostmann works as an infectious disease epidemiologist and assistant professor at Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands. She is Deputy Head of the Infection Prevention and Control Unit responsible for the surveillance of hospital acquired infections and the detection of outbreaks. Her research and teaching interests include global public health, infectious disease prevention, outbreak detection and control. She received the Dutch Women in Media award in 2022 for her active role in explaining epidemiological concepts and providing updates on the COVID pandemic in the media. She has also served as regional epidemiologist for the Antimicrobial and Infection Prevention Regional Healthcare Network of the province Gelderland (GAIN) and is affiliated to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) as Regional Epidemiology Consultant for AMR. She is also a previous EPIET fellow and has previously served as the vice president of the EPIET Alumni Network.

Jane Whelan

Epidemiologist and Specialist in Public Health Medicine

Jane Whelan is a medical epidemiologist and public health specialist originally from Ireland. She holds a medical degree from University College Dublin, working initially in clinical medicine in Ireland and New Zealand before specialising in Public Health Medicine in Ireland. She is an alumnus of EPIET cohort 2009 (RIVM, NL). On completing EPIET, Jane joined the Municipal Health Service in Amsterdam. She holds a PhD in infectious disease epidemiology from the Academic Medical Centre (University of Amsterdam) where her research focused on the use of surveillance data for the control of vaccine-preventable disease.  Her interest in vaccines led her to private industry where she worked as a senior epidemiologist for 7 years with Novartis and GSK Vaccines. Jane left industry in April 2021 to work independently, taking her first steps into the start-up world while rediscovering her roots in public health.


Michael Edelstein

Associate Professor in epidemiology | Bar-ilan University, Israel

Dr. Michael Edelstein is a public health doctor specialised in infectious diseases and vaccine epidemiology. His career spans academia and national and international public health service. After EPIET (2012-2014) at the Swedish Public Health Institute and a public health residency in the UK, He worked as the vaccination data lead at Public Health England (2015-2020), now UK Health Security Agency), before switching to academia, taking up a position of Associate Professor in epidemiology at Bar-ilan University, Israel. In parallel, in the last 10 years,  Michael has been consulting with the WHO on a range of projects that include both emergency response and policy. He is also deputy editor of the journal Epidemiology and Infection, and has over 80 peer-reviewed publications.

Nadine Zeitlmann

Senior epidemiologist | Robert Koch Institute

Nadine Zeitlmann is a senior epidemiologist and cohort 2013 PAE alumnus. Before entering the fellowship, she studied Biology and later on Public Health in Munich and worked for around 2 years in public health and infectious disease epidemiology in Denmark. She completed her PAE fellowship at the Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority in Munich, Germany.

After graduating from EPIET/PAE she moved to the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin where she worked for 8 years as an epidemiologist in different international programmes. There, she supported countries in North Africa and the Balkan peninsula in building up surveillance and crisis management structures as well as training on outbreak investigation and IHR implementation. She has furthermore been deployed as an epidemiologist on GOARN missions in West Africa (Ebola, 2014) and Bangladesh (Rohingya Refugee Crisis, 2018). During the COVID-19 pandemic she supervised various COVID-19 field investigations of EPIET/EUPHEM/PAE fellows and played an active role in RKI’s Public Health Emergency Operation Centre. 

Patrick Keating

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Patrick Keating works as an Epidemiology Advisor with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and is an EPIET alumnus. He conducted a PhD in Biochemistry and later an MSc in Public health at LSHTM. His current role focuses on infectious disease surveillance, outbreak response and operational research in humanitarian settings. He previously worked with the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team and provided support to Ebola outbreak response activities in the DRC. Prior to completing EPIET, he worked in academia and the private and NGO sectors. 

Sabine Dittrich

Deggendorf Institute of Technology

Sabine Dittrich is a Professor for Global Public Health at the Deggendorf Institut of Technology a German University for Applied Science connecting health and engineering topics in one international campus at the European Campus Rottal-Inn. Before returning to Germany she led the work on malaria and febrile illness diagnostic at FIND, the global alliance for diagnostic in Geneva to help shape innovations and access for diagnostic tools in resource-limited settings. This work was informed by her time at Mahosot Hospital in Vientiane (Lao PDR) were she spent 5 years as a scientist with the University of Oxford exploring the causes and implications of febrile illnesses in Southeast Asia. Sabine´s passion for applied public health research started at RIVM in the Netherlands as one of the two.

Giovanna Jaramillo Gutierrez

Co-founder | Milan & Associates

Giovanna is the co-founder of Milan and Associates, a social enterprise offering consultancy services to start-ups, NGOs, and UN agencies, in – and bridging across – the fields of global health, epidemic intelligence, outbreak response, digital health, Artificial Intelligence for Health, and algorithmic impact assessment. 

She obtained her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the US National Institutes of Health’s joint programme with the Free University of Brussels, and holds an M.Sc. in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She joined the WHO’s Global Influenza Programme in 2009 as an epidemic intelligence officer to support the response to the swine flu pandemic.  After completing her EUPHEM fellowship in the Netherlands at the RIVM in 2012, she went on to carry out several field epidemiology deployments, such as the Ebola outbreak in Guinea in 2015, the plague outbreak in Madagascar in 2017, and the Ebola outbreak in the DRC in 2019, as well as WHO and PAHO consultancies.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked for the GOARN secretariat, supporting countries’ surveillance teams to put in place COVID-19 contact tracing and software implementation onsite in the Pacific region countries and Moldova and remotely for the PAHO countries.