Speakers at ESCAIDE 2018

More information on the 2019 speakers coming soon.

ESCAIDE 2018 Keynote address: “New diseases in the ‘Old World’’: Perspectives on pathogen emergence and capacity to respond in Africa and beyond”

Keynote speaker: Dr. John Nkengasong

Dr. John Nkengasong

Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
Declaration of interest - EN - [PDF-370.88 KB]

Prior to his current position, Dr. Nkengasong 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.

Dr. Nkengasong 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, and was knighted in 2017 as the Officer of Loin by the President of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, for his significant contributions to public health.

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.

Keynote speaker: Prof. Christian Drosten

Prof. Christian Drosten

Head of the Institute of Virology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Declaration of interest - EN - [PDF-185.94 KB]

Prof. Christian Drosten is a physician by training. He started his career in a diagnostic virology context but expanded his research interest to viral evolution and ecology after he co-discovered the SARS-coronavirus. He has since worked on the ecology of RNA viruses in mammals and insects, while maintaining a focus on epidemiological and molecular virology of emerging coronaviruses. He has co-authored more than 280 peer-reviewed papers. He currently heads the Institute of Virology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. 

Plenary session B: “Sequencing for Public Health; the four S’s (sensing, surveillance, source attribution, and sharing)”

Invited speaker: Prof. Nick Loman

Prof. Nick Loman

United Kingdom
Professor of Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics, Institute of Microbiology and Infection, University of Birmingham

Nick is Professor of Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics in the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham and a Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. He is supported by a Fellowship in Microbial Genomics Bioinformatics as part of the MRC CLIMB project. His research explores the use of cutting-edge genomics and metagenomics approaches to the diagnosis, treatment and surveillance of infectious disease. Nick has so far used high-throughput sequencing to investigate outbreaks of important Gram-negative multi-drug resistant pathogens, and recently helped establish real-time genomic surveillance of Ebola in Guinea and Zika in Brazil. His current work and focuses on the development and evaluation of novel molecular biology, sequencing and bioinformatics methods to aid the interpretation of genome and metagenome scale data generated in clinical and public health microbiology.

Invited speaker: Vicky Lefevre

Vicky Lefevre

Acting Head of Unit, Surveillance and Response Support, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

Vicky Lefevre joined the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in April 2018, as Acting Head of Unit for Surveillance and Response Support. She is a veterinarian by training and started her career as policy officer with the Belgian Food Safety Agency in 2003, where she was responsible for the implementation of European and national legislation in the area of food safety. Since then, she has been professionally involved in food safety and public health from different angles. Between 2009 and 2012, she was a research programme officer with the European Commission, DG Research, responsible for the management of EU funded research projects in the area of public health, food safety and quality. In 2012, she returned to the Belgian Food Safety Agency as Director responsible for Control Policy in the area of Food Safety. She became the Director General responsible for Control Policy in the area of Plant Health, Animal Health and Food Safety in that same Agency in 2015.

Plenary session C: “What have we overlooked in the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Europe?”

Invited speaker: Prof. Dame Sally C. Davies

Prof. Dame Sally C Davies

United Kingdom
Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health and Social Care
Declaration of interest - EN - [PDF-378.74 KB]

Dame Sally was appointed Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England and Chief Medical Advisor to the UK Government in March 2011, having held the post on an interim basis since June 2010.  Dame Sally is an independent advisor to the UK Government on medical matters, with particular responsibilities regarding Public Health. 

From 2004-2016, Dame Sally was the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) for the Department of Health (DH), where she was actively involved in NHS R&D from its establishment and founded the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). In 2013, Dame Sally became a Non-Executive Director of Genomics England Ltd, wholly owned and funded by DH, to sequence 100,000 whole genomes from NHS patients by 2017.

Dame Sally was a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board 2014-2016 and has led delegations to WHO summits and forums since 2004.  She advises many governments and organisations on health and policy, holding positions on a number of Boards.

Dame Sally advocates globally on AMR.  She has spoken on AMR at numerous events including, the World Health Assembly side events, the G8 Science Ministers’ meeting in 2015, the Global Health Security Initiative in 2015, and the UN General Assembly side event in 2016.  She was chair of the 2013 AMR forum at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) and is chair of the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on AMR.  Most recently, Dame Sally has been appointed a co-convener of the UN Inter-Agency Co-ordination Group on AMR, set up in response to the AMR declaration made at UNGA 2016.

Dame Sally received her DBE in 2009. She was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014 and a member of the National Academy of Medicine, USA in 2015.

Invited speaker: Prof. Michael A. Borg

Prof. Michael A. Borg

Head of Department, Department of Infection Control, Mater Dei Hospital, Malta
Declaration of interest - EN - [PDF-255.9 KB]

A clinical microbiologist by training, Prof. Michael A. Borg heads the Department of Infection Control at Mater Dei Hospital in Malta and chairs the country’s National Antibiotic Committee. He is also a past chair of the International Federation of Infection Control (IFIC) and has provided expert advice to the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) on the prevention & control of healthcare associated infections and the prudent use of antimicrobial agents in human medicine.

He has been involved in several EU funded projects on the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance, prevention and control of healthcare associated infections and antibiotic use within Europe and the Mediterranean region. He has authored or collaborated in more than 80 publications on these subjects within peer reviewed journals. His latest research interests focus especially on human behaviour and change management and their role in infection prevention and control as well as antibiotic stewardship.

Plenary session D: “Respondent driven sampling for communicable disease control”

Invited speaker: Dr. Mart Stein

Dr. Mart Stein

Senior Researcher, Centre for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
Declaration of interest - EN - [PDF-73.73 KB]

Dr. Mart Stein works as senior researcher at the Centre for Infectious Disease Control of National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands. He gained an MSc in Health Sciences (VU University, Amsterdam) and in Epidemiology (Utrecht University, Utrecht). His main interests are the use of respondent-driven methods combined with innovative m- and e-health for communicable disease control. He currently works on the use of respondent-driven methods to reach non-western immigrant populations and to study dynamics of health behaviour within social networks, with peer-driven interventions as ultimate goal. He also contributes to a large project, led by Prof. Dr. Anna Thorson of the Karolinska Institutet, which applies web based respondent-driven sampling to study and reduce sexual risk behaviours for HIV among men who have sex with men in Vietnam.

Mart began his professional career at the National Coordination Centre for Communicable Disease Control of the RIVM. He collaborated in the AsiaFluCap project, an international project funded by the EU and Rockefeller Foundation, aimed to assess and strengthen the health care capacity to respond to pandemics in six countries in Southeast Asia. He was awarded his PhD in communicable disease epidemiology from the Utrecht University in 2016, which focused on the use of online respondent-driven methods for studying communicable disease transmission and case finding. Mart received the Young Researcher Award (2015) and two Innovation Awards (2015 and 2016) at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. He also developed the game Bactemon, a serious game combined with augmented reality and hand tracking technology to improve hand hygiene among children.

Invited speaker: Dr. Lisa G. Johnston

Dr. Lisa G. Johnston is an Epidemiologist-Independent Consultant providing technical assistance on behalf of international organizations, Universities and institutions worldwide to conduct surveys and population size estimation techniques among hard-to-reach populations, including people who inject drugs, sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender persons, youth and migrants. She has published over 45 peer reviewed journal articles about RDS, authored several book chapters on RDS, and wrote manuals and guidance on implementing surveys and analyzing data using RDS. She is the co-founder of the Hidden Populations Methods Research Group (www.hpmrg.org) which has developed user friendly software (RDS Analyst) in R program to analyze RDS data and population size estimation techniques, and estimators to improve inference of RDS data. For more information and access to materials and publications, please see www.lisagjohnston.com.

Plenary session E: “Intercontinental response to emerging health threats: capacity and coordination”

Invited speaker: Dr. Nada Ghosn

Dr. Nada Ghosn

Head of the Epidemiological Surveillance Program, Lebanese Ministry of Public Health
Declaration of interest - EN - [PDF-69.55 KB]

Dr. Nada Ghosn is a Medical Doctor, specialised in public health and social medicine, having graduated from Faculty of Medicine of University of Lille II. She is currently Head of the Epidemiological Surveillance Program at the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health since July 2000, whilst also teaching Epidemiology and Epidemiological Surveillance at the Faculty of Public Health of the Lebanese University, and Faculty of Health Sciences of Balamand University. Dr. Ghosn is the National Focal Person for EU projects: Episout/Episouth Plus and MediPIET I/MediPIET II.

Invited speaker: Dr. Teresa Zakaria

Dr. Teresa Zakaria

Health Emergency Officer, World Health Organization (WHO)
Declaration of interest - EN - [PDF-50.96 KB]

Dr. Teresa Zakaria is a medical doctor and public health practitioner with over 10 years of experience working in response to humanitarian and public health emergencies. Dr. Zakaria is currently a Health Emergency Officer at WHO’s Headquarters, where she provides technical and operational support to WHO country operations in fragile and vulnerable settings. Prior to joining WHO, Dr. Zakaria worked with IOM, where she led the development of technical guidance and tools on mapping population movement as it relates to the potential risk of spread of diseases. Dr. Zakaria is an Indonesian national. She obtained her medical and public health degrees in Indonesia and Australia respectively.”