UNESCO MARS Speakers Profile 2016

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Rasha Kelej

Rasha Kelej
Chief Social Officer & Vice President Merck Healthcare

Chairperson of the Steering Committee

Rasha Kelej was born in February 1972 and has been Vice President and Chief Social Officer of Merck Healthcare since May 2014.

In this position she is responsible for the Social Responsibility and Market Development Strategies and Plans that are integrated with business Strategy.

She has elaborated a structured and coherent Social Responsibility agenda that is adding significant value to society and scientific communities in Africa and Developing countries such as India and Indonesia.

Rasha has applied the concept of CSR integration with business strategy and developed Global Merck Capacity Advancement Program- CAP that started in Sub-Saharan Africa improving access to innovative & equitable healthcare solutions and encompassing capacity and capability building initiatives in R&D, supply chain integrity, pharmacovigilance, patient safety practices and medical education support for undergraduates and physicians in rural areas and awareness creation for communities in support of the overall Merck Africa Strategy.

Rasha Kelej has more than 20 years of experience in the international pharmaceutical Industry. She joined Merck Serono in 1996 and holds a degree in Pharmacy of Alexandria University and an MBA at Robort Gordon University, Scotland on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) integration with Business Strategy.

About the Merck Capacity Advancement Program (CAP)
Merck CAP is a 5-year program aiming to expand the professional capacity in developing countries in the areas of research and development, advocacy building, supply-chain integrity and efficiency, pharmacovigilance, medical education, and community awareness.

Merck CAP has several initiatives:

Merck Universities Program: by the end of 2016; the program will reach more than 12,000 medical students in partnership with African universities such as University of Nairobi, Makerere University, Namibia University and University of Ghana, in addition to Asian universities such as Maharashtra university, India and University of Indonesia will benefit from European-accredited clinical chronic diseases management training, which is seeking to equip them with skills to better manage and prevent these diseases.Merck is planning to target more than 25,000 students by the end of 2018 expanding to more African, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries with special focus on non–communicable diseases such as Diabetes, Hypertension, Cancer and Fertility management.

The program has also launched Merck Diabetes and Hypertension Awards to help create a platform of Diabetes and Hypertension experts in Africa and Asia.

Merck Cancer Access Program: includes two important initiatives:

1-Merck Africa Fellowship Program for Sub-Saharan Africa countries with the aim to increase the limited number of medical oncologists hence improve access to cancer care in Africa.

2-Merck More than a Patient: is a new initiative to empower women cancer survivors through helping them to establish small business so that they become productive members in society.

Merck More Than a Mother Initiative: will not only provide medical education and awareness for medical students and general practitioners but will also support governments to define policies to improve access to safe and effective fertility care, address the need for interventions to reduce stigmatization and social suffering of infertile women and raise awareness about male infertility and the necessity for a team approach to family building among couples

Merck More Than a Mother Initiative addresses together with local stakeholders, the key challenges that are associated with resource-constrained settings such as prevention of infertility, education & self-development, assisted reproductive technology (ART) & in vitro fertilization (IVF) regulation, geographic barriers, reproductive rights and over-population and limited resources arguments.

- UNESCO- Merck Africa Research Summit: The program has also kick off initiatives on building research capacity in Africa and prepare for the road ahead in Africa’s development as an international hub for research excellence and scientific innovation.

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Ahmed Fahmi
Program Specialist, Division of Science Policy and Capacity-Building UNESCO, Paris – France

After a peripatetic education in Africa, Asia, Italy and the UK, Ahmed Fahmi settled for a PhD on investigating the role of membrane proteins in controlling the electro-chemical behaviour of cardiac cells, which he obtained in 2000 from the University of Cambridge.

Thereafter he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Imperial College and Kings College of the University of London and the Max Planck Institute in Germany before landing a university post for teaching biochemistry at the University of London. Dr. Fahmi joined UNESCO in 2006 working in South Asia and the Asia-Pacific region on managing and coordinating the execution of the organization global programme in Basic and Engineering Sciences and Science Policy. He worked on a variety of projects, notably the development of a field guide manual on repair and retrofitting of historical building for earthquake engineers, e-learning programme in renewable energy, Teachers training program for Sri Lanka, policy formulation on the marine environment of the Maldives, the planning and execution of the reform of the Kingdom of Bhutan’s science and higher education system and the establishment of the UNESCO Regional Centre for Biotechnology in India. He was a visiting professor at the United Nations University in Japan in 2012, working on socio-economic theories of development. He was transferred to UNESCO Head Quarters in Paris in 2013 and has been involved in the establishment of UNESCO centres of excellence and in the reform of the biotechnology sector of Ethiopia.

He also leads the Global Observatory of Science Policy Instruments (GOSPIN) working on the review and formulation of STI policies in Africa. He has many peer-reviewed articles in his name.

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Ahmed Fahmi
Program Specialist, Division of Science Policy and Capacity-Building UNESCO, Paris – France

After a peripatetic education in Africa, Asia, Italy and the UK, Ahmed Fahmi settled for a PhD on investigating the role of membrane proteins in controlling the electro-chemical behaviour of cardiac cells, which he obtained in 2000 from the University of Cambridge.

Thereafter he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Imperial College and Kings College of the University of London and the Max Planck Institute in Germany before landing a university post for teaching biochemistry at the University of London. Dr. Fahmi joined UNESCO in 2006 working in South Asia and the Asia-Pacific region on managing and coordinating the execution of the organization global programme in Basic and Engineering Sciences and Science Policy. He worked on a variety of projects, notably the development of a field guide manual on repair and retrofitting of historical building for earthquake engineers, e-learning programme in renewable energy, Teachers training program for Sri Lanka, policy formulation on the marine environment of the Maldives, the planning and execution of the reform of the Kingdom of Bhutan’s science and higher education system and the establishment of the UNESCO Regional Centre for Biotechnology in India. He was a visiting professor at the United Nations University in Japan in 2012, working on socio-economic theories of development. He was transferred to UNESCO Head Quarters in Paris in 2013 and has been involved in the establishment of UNESCO centres of excellence and in the reform of the biotechnology sector of Ethiopia.

He also leads the Global Observatory of Science Policy Instruments (GOSPIN) working on the review and formulation of STI policies in Africa. He has many peer-reviewed articles in his name.

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Ahmed Hamdy
Executive Secretary Scientific, Technical, and Research Commission African Union Commission

Dr. Ahmed HAMDY is an Egyptian born in Cairo in 1968. He is the Executive Secretary of the African Union, Scientific, Technical and Research Commission (AU/STRC); and former Head of Science &Technology and ICT Division of Department of Human Resources Science and Technology of the African Union Commission (AUC).

Dr. Hamdy has 24 years of national and international work experiences out of which 10 years are devoted fully to Science and Technology policy development. His main achievements in the field of Science policy were the development of the book of lighthouse projects; and Africa’s Regional Action Plan on the Knowledge Economy and its book of flagship projects. This resulted in successful projects and programs such as the African Union Research Grant; Connect Africa Research and Education; African Leadership Programme on ICT, African Internet Exchange Points; African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Award; the African Network of Infectious Diseases Surveillance; African Scientific Research and Innovation Council; and the African Network of Sciences.

He had a significant contribution to other continental project and programs such as the establishment of the Pan African Intellectual Property Organization and the African Science Technology and Innovation Observatory. Most recently he was among the core contributors to the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA 2024) which is a continental strategy for next 10 year to shape and direct the continent on the STI landscape among others.

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Andrew Kambugu
Director of the Research Program at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) Makerere University, College of Health Sciences (MakCHS), Uganda

Dr. Kambugu is the Director of the Research Program at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS), and is an honorary Senior Lecturer in the Department of Medicine at MakCHS. He is also an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota (UMN), USA. He received his basic medical training as well as his residency in Internal Medicine at Makerere University in Uganda and undertook specialist training in Infectious Diseases in the USA and Canada. He has over 12 years of clinical experience in HIV medicine and is a member of 2 National HIV Subcommittees (Adult Antiretroviral Therapy and HIV Drug Resistance) of the Ugandan Ministry of Health. He directed the HIV Clinic at the IDI for seven years. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP), London, UK.

Dr. Kambugu’ s research interests include HIV treatment outcomes in resource limited settings, as well as the diagnosis and management of opportunistic infections in these settings with a focus on cryptococcal meningitis and tuberculosis. He has accrued considerable experience in assembling clinical cohorts as well as conducting fairly large clinical trials in Uganda.

He is a principal investigator on a number of clinical trials spanning the fields of HIV therapeutics, HIV treatment strategies and implementation science in Uganda.

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Elijah Songok
Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg Canada & Principal Research Scientist Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya

Prof. Elijah M. Songok, is a Principal Research Scientist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Nairobi. He also holds the position of Assistant Professor at the Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba Canada and is similarly cross appointed as a professor at the Department of Virology and International Health, Kanazawa University, Japan.

Prof. Songok holds a BSc and MSc in Biochemistry from the University of Nairobi, a PhD in Virology from Kanazawa University Japan, and a post doctorate in genomics from University of Manitoba. He has published more than forty articles in peer reviewed journals, most as a first or corresponding author, and has supervised more than 8 students for the PhD degrees and 14 for their MScs. He has two patents and one innovation currently undergoing clinical trials. On grants, Prof Songok has won more than twenty research grants and awards as principal investigator from diverse grant making organizations as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), Canada Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), USAID, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Third World Academy of Sciences, Canada International Development Research Centre (IDRC) among others.

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Mahlet Habtemariam
Director General Office of the Minister Ministry of Health Democratic Federal Republic of Ethiopia

Dr. Mahlet Kifle Habtemariam is a medical doctor with a Master's Degree in Public Health from the University College, Dublin. She has served both as a Clinician and Public Health Specialist in the Ethiopian Health system.

Dr. Mahlet has held the post of Director General in the Office of the Minister of Health since October 2015. In her current role, Dr Mahlet is in charge of managing the office of the Minister and overseeing the operations of the various directorates and parastatal agencies.

During her tenure at the Ministry, she has served as a focal person for the national HIV/AIDS program, lead coordinator for the prevention and control of NCDs and acting director for Disease Prevention and Control Directorate. In addition to leading the engagement to roll out cervical cancer screening services, Dr. Mahlet has also been a champion and led the development of the first national strategic action plan for the prevention and control of NCDs, and the first national cancer control plan.

She is also the chair of the National Coordinating Committee tasked to support the establishment of an IGAD Regional Cancer Center.

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Vittorio Colizzi
Professor of Immunology, Director UNESCO Chair of Biotechnology, University of Rome

Born in Rome on December 7, 1949, Dr Colizzi received the medical degree at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” with full honour. Dr Colizzi is a specialist in Clinical of Infectious Diseases (University of Rome) and in Hygiene and Public Health (University of Pisa), and PhD in Immunology (Brunnel University, England).

His doctorate and post-doc experience have been carried out at the Clinical Research Centre in Harrow (England). He has been Assistant in Microbiology, and Associate professor in Immunology at the University of Pisa. Since 2000 to now, Dr Colizzi is Full Professor of Immunology and Director of the UNESCO Chair in Biotechnology at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. Dr Colizzi has been also President (2007-2010) of the Board of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Lazzaro Spallanzani” in Rome, Italy.

He is a consultant for several agencies of the United Nations (UNESCO, UNDP, OMS) and is the scientific coordinator of several European and International Projects. Dr Colizzi has been Scientific Director and member of the Board of the International Reference Centre for AIDS “Chantal Biya” in Yaoundé, Cameroon and President of the University Spinoff Eurobiopark (European Group of Biotechnology at the Tor Vergata Science Park).

Actually, Dr Colizzi is the coordinator of the European Project STARBIOS2 (Structural Transformation to Attain Responsible BIoSciences). VC published over 300 scientific publications on peer-review journals (Nature, Journal of Immunology, Infection and Immunity, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Immunology, Clinical Experimental Immunology, A, IDS, AIDS and Human Retrovirus Journal, etc.) in the sector of Microbial Immunology and Infectious Diseases, with special focus on AIDS and Tuberculosis.

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Dr. Pauline Essah
Manager of the Cambridge-Africa Programme, University of Cambridge Cambridge, UK

Dr Pauline Essah is appointed by the University of Cambridge as Manager of the Cambridge-Africa Programme (http://www.cambridge-africacam.ac.uk/) which is a key strand of its official international strategy.

Originally from Ghana in West Africa, Dr Essah obtained a first class honours degree in Agriculture at the University of Ghana, Legon. She then moved to the University of Cambridge to study for MPhil and PhD degrees in biological sciences. This was followed by three and a half years of post-doctoral research at the Department of Plant Sciences in Cambridge. In 2009, Dr Essah joined the Cambridge-Africa Programme as its first Coordinator (for the THRiVE initiative).

Dr Essah has been instrumental in growing THRiVE into the unique, coordinated, multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary umbrella Cambridge-Africa Programme (which now incorporates initiatives such as THRiVE, MUII and CAPREx, the ALBORADA Research Fund, and the Wellcome Trust-Cambridge Centre for Global Health Research) that she now manages at the University of Cambridge.

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Nadia Khelef
Senior Advisor for Global Affairsand Representative of Institut Pasteur in Geneva

Nadia Khelef is Senior Advisor for Global Affairs at Institut Pasteur, in charge of reinforcing the partnerships between the Institut Pasteur (and the International Network of Institut Pasteur) and the International Organizations in Geneva.

Her scientific career began in the pharmaceutical industry, then she spent most of her research career in academia at the Institut PASTEUR, France, and in New York City, USA (Columbia and Cornell Universities), in the field of bacterial infectious diseases.

She has published around 20 peer review publications, given international seminars and taught at international level. She is the co-inventor of a patent for a vector exploited to develop a therapeutic cancer vaccine.

In 2007, she has set up and managed a Grants Office at the Institut Pasteur. She was also in charge of the European Affairs at the Institut PASTEUR, where she dealt with Science and European Policies. In 2011, she has contributed to setting up the first French Public Private Partnership in Health: the Research Technology Institute, BIOASTER, dedicated to accelerate the translation of biomedical discoveries in microbiology and infectious diseases.

More recently, she has served as Diplomatic Advisor to the French Minister of Higher Education and Research.

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Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg- Haverkamp
Chairman of Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG

Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, born in 1948 in Dorsten, Germany. He is The Chairman of the Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG and member of the Merck family. Following his German University entrance qualification (Abitur) he served with the German Air Force, which he left as Lieutenant

At the University of Freiburg/Br. he studied economics and economic history. After completing his studies, he worked at Commerzbank and the Investment Bank Baring Brothers and Hambros in London.

In 1984 he was elected to the Board of Partners of E. Merck KG and has been the Chairman of the Board since 2004.

Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp is married and has 7 children.

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Getchaw Engida
Deputy Director – GeneralUNESCO

Mr. Getachew Engida holds a BA Econ (Honours) Upper Second Class in Economics / Agricultural Economics at the University of Manchester, England (July 1981), and his MBA with commendations in International Banking & Finance at the City University Business School, London (April 1993). He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.

Getachew was appointed as Deputy Director-General of UNESCO in April 2010. In this capacity, he supports the Director General in crafting strategic directions, policy development and program execution.

Before his appointment as DDG, Getachew served as the Comptroller of UNESCO for almost six years, responsible for the financial management of some $1 billion dollars budget over a biennium including treasury management, financial information systems, members’ contributions, etc.

Responsible for making sure that appropriate delegation of authority and accountability mechanisms exist throughout a decentralized organizational set up and implement strategic input to decision making as a Senior member of the Direction General. Interface with the External Auditor and a resource person for the Finance & Administration Commission of the Executive Board.

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Hon. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ethiopia

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. He took up his post in November 2012. Prior to this he served as Minister of Health from October 2005 to November 2012.

Dr. Tedros also served in a number of expert and leadership positions within the Ministry of Health at both federal and regional levels, including the positions of Minister of State and as Head of the Tigray Regional Health Bureau. First joining the Ministry in 1986, Dr. Tedros has dedicated his entire career to public service and scientific research, focusing on health concerns.

After joining the health sector in 1986, Dr. Tedros dedicated his career to public service and scientific research on health concerns. A globally recognized researcher on Malaria, Dr. Tedros has co-authored numerous articles on the subject in scientific publication.

Dr. Tedros holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Community Health from the University of Nottingham in the UK in 2000. He obtained a Master of Science degree in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the University of London (UK) in 1992, and completed his undergraduate studies in Biology at Asmara University in 1986.

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Hon. Prof. Yifru Berhan
Minister of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

H.E Professor Yifru Berhan is Minister of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and a medical doctor with a specialty in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Since graduating from a medical school in 1997, H.E. Professor Yifru has served as a medical practitioner in the most remote areas of Ethiopia, culminating in 2015, as Dean of College of Health Sciences of Addis Ababa University with the rank of vice president. Such a wide ranging sustained experiences and accomplished academic credentials have provided the necessary depth and breadth for him to be appointed as Minister to provide leadership to the vibrant and internationally recognized Ethiopia’s health sector transformation plan.

H.E. Professor Yifru’s contributions to Ethiopia’s health sector development has spanned, both in health service delivery and academic settings, and have resulted in major contributions to fighting and mitigating disease outbreaks, scaling up of health service and medical education.

H.E. Professor Yifru is committed to public services and to ensuring the delivery of quality and equitable services to all regardless their station in life.

As an accomplished researcher, his passion to public service and promotion of health delivery systems is reflected in over 70 articles he has published in reputable and refereed national and international journals.

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Hon. Sarah Opendi
Hon. Minister of State of Health, Uganda Primary Health Care/Member of Parliament

Hon. Sarah Opendi is the Minister of State for Health – Primary Health Care/ Member of Parliament from 2014 to date. Her professional career began at Uganda Consolidated Properties Limited, a subsidiary of the government-owned Uganda Development Corporation (UDC).

She went on to serve as the Deputy Speaker of Tororo District Council from 1998 until 2000. She also served in the office of the Inspector General of Government, and was promoted to Principal Inspectorate Officer in 2004.

She has held roles in many other organizations, such as the DANIDA Anti- Corruption Project, where she was Deputy Project Coordinator; the Acholi Bursary Program, a project of the Royal Netherlands Embassy, where she was the accountant; and the Windle Trust Uganda, where she was the finance manager. In 2011, she successfully contested the parliamentary seat of Women's Representative for Tororo District, and was appointed to her current position in 2012.

She has a distinguished and long experience in politics, management and corporate affairs in the public and private sector.

Hon. Sarah Opendi holds Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, Master's Degree in Business administration

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Hon. Ashraf Mohamed El Shihy
Minister of Higher Education and Minister of State for Scientific Research

Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Professor Dr. Ashraf El Shihy, obtained his PhD in 1986 from Southampton University England in Instruction Engineering after being graduated from the Faculty of Engineering of Cairo University, in 1977. In 1981, he attained his Master’s degree in Materials Engineering from the University of Zagazig and the University of Southampton in England. Professor El Shihy assumed various positions throughout his professional career, including Professor at the Construction Engineering Department, University of Zagazig, in 1991 and Director of the Faculty’s Consultancy and Research Center, in 1997. He became Vice Dean of the Faculty of Engineering in 1999, then Dean in 2005. He also became Vice President, then President, of the University for Graduate Studies and Research in 2011. In 2014, he then became President of the University of Zagazig.

Prof. El Shihy enjoys membership in many cultures, education and research related organizations and institutions. He is a member of supreme council of culture. He is also a member of Alexandria library board of trustees. He is a member of supreme committee for promoting professors of construction engineering in Egypt and in Arab Gulf countries. He is president of board of directors of Egyptians university sports union; supreme council for university hospitals; council of private and community universities; and supreme council for research institutes, centers and institutions. He is also president of supreme council of universities and Egyptian National Commission for UNESCO.

At the African level, he is a number of Pan African Council. As Egypt is a pioneering country in all fields especially the educational and research ones on the African continent, Prof. El Shihy is holding the office of president of Association for the Development of Education, Science and Technology.

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Hon. Julia Duncan-Cassell
Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Liberia

Julia Duncan-Cassell has been passionate about the promotion of gender equality and protection of women's rights since adolescence. She is a born motivator in bringing about change. Change, which brings people together, encourages good governance and advocates for a just and peaceful society that will inspire social and economic progress. Minister Cassell is a great source of strength and leadership to local communities across Liberia and in the diaspora. Her analytical, intuitive, results-driven approach, complimented with 20 plus years of progressive management makes her an asset to any project that she is a part of.

Sworn in as Liberia’s Minister of Gender and Development since early 2012, she played a critical role in helping shape, coordinate and implement the Government of Liberia’s National Gender Policy, through the enabling of Gender Mainstreaming as a goal of achieving gender parity and equality. In 2014 Minister Cassell assumed further responsibility when the Ministry changed to Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

She studied business with an emphasis in banking and finance from A&M University in Texas and University of Phoenix in California. In the United States she spent ten years excelling in the private banking and finance sector; at the same time remaining actively involved in Liberian organizations and communities throughout the country before returning home in 2006, with great determination to help rebuild her country. She is married to Mr. Josephus Monyue Cassell. They have three children (two girls and one boy).

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Hon. Filiga Michel Sawadogo
Minister of Education & Science Burkina Faso

Professor Michel Filiga Sawadogo is the Minister of Secondary and Higher Education of the transitional government, since 23 November 2014. Prof. Sawadogo is a Professor of Law, holder of l’UFR Juridical and Political Sciences of the University of Ouaga II, head of department of 3rd cycle (2001 to 2011), former dean, former president of the University of Ouagadougou (1995 to 2000), and former member of Constitutional Council of Burkina Faso (2002 to 2008).

Prof. Sawadogo was also advisor to ARCEP (l’Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes) from August 2009 to August 2012, former General Director of Tax from 9 June 2010 until 3 July 2012. Furthermore, Prof Sawadogo occupied functions such as Director of Studies from 1983 to 1986; director of l`Ecole Supérieure de Droit; then dean of the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences from 1986 to 1995.

Prof. Sawadogo has been a member of the Administrative Council of l’ERSUMA since 2003, the Management Board of National Funds for research and innovation for development (FONRID), since April 2012.

He has also mediated in several arbitration cases alongside the International Chamber of Commerce of Paris and the Arbitration, Mediation and Conciliation Centre of Ouagadougou (CAMC-O).

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Hon. Jesus ENGONGA NDONG
Minister of Education & Science Equatorial Guinea

Hon. Jesus Engonga Ndong is currently the Honourable Minister of Education and Science to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. He received his graduate degree in History from la Universidad Completense de Madrid, in Spain. Previously, however, Hon. Ndong occupied the positions of Minister Delegate of Education and Science; Deputy in the Chamber of Representative of the people; General Director of Secondary Education; and Regional Delegate of the Ministry of Education and Science in the continental region.

Before his ministerial positions, Hon. Ndong assumed various academic positions, including Director of the National Institute of Secondary Education "Carlos Lwanga" de Bata; Professor at la Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial (UNGE); and finally, Professor at the National Institute of Secondary Education "Carlos Lwanga".

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Hon. Assane NGUEADOUM
Minister of HealthChad

Hon. N'gueadoum Assane was born on January 1, 1964, in N'Djaména. He studied at the University of N'Djamena, Ecole Nationale d'Administration de Paris, in France; Institut Forhom de la Rochelle, in France; Institut Supérieur de Gestion, in N'Djamena; and Educatel, in Paris. Hon Assane received his Certificate of Higher Education in Management and Human Resources in 2002, and his Diploma of Higher Education in Management of Projects and Programs in 2004. Hon Assane also has certification and training in domains against mines, unexploded ordnance, cluster munitions, disarmament, and public security.

Previously, Hon Assane assumed the positions of: Head of Administration and Finance for the High National Commissioner for Mine Clearance (HCND), from 2001 to 2003; Administrative, Financial and Logistic Director for HCND, from 2003 to 2005; Program Administrator for HCND, from 2005 to 2007; Technical Advisor of the National Center of Mine Clearance, in charge of implementing Strategic Plan and Operations, from 2007 to 2011; Minister of Regional Planning, Urban Planning, and Housing, from 2011 to 2013; and Secretary of State for Public Health, Social Action, and National Solidarity, from 2014 to 2015. Since the end of 2015, he has been the Minister of Public Health.

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Hon. Octave Nicoue Broohm
Minister of Education Togo

In 1987, Hon. Octave Nicoué Broohm received his Doctorate in Ethics and Politics, from the University of Paris, Sorbonne. From 2005 until 2009, he was the head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Lomé. Hon. Broohm was also the Minister of Labour and Social Security from 2007 until 2008.

In 2008, Hon. Broohm became the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security, a position that he maintained until 2012. Since 2012, he has occupied the esteemed position of Minister of Higher Education and Research. He is currently a member of the General Council, of the Confédération Syndicale Internationale (CSI) and the Vice- Pan-African President, of CSIAfrique. In addition, he is a former member of the Commission Nationale des Droits de l'Homme and a coordinator of the Conseil National du Dialogue Social (CNDS).

Hon. Broohm is the recipient of the 1993 Lorenzo Natali prize, European Union, and the recipient of the 2010 Officier de l'Ordre du Mono.

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Hon. Leon N'ZOUBA
Minister of Health of Gabon

Mr Leon N'ZOUBA completed his medical studies at l'Ecole Royale du Service de Sante Militaire Rabat, obtaining his Doctorate in Medicine on 14 November 1984 with 'honorable mention'. During his postdoctoral curriculum, Mr N'ZOUBA obtained the following diplomas and distinctions: in 1985, Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Disaster Medicine from l'Institut de Medecine Tropicale du Service de Sante des Armees de Marseille (France); in 1990, assistant of Hopitaux des Armees in ORL /CCF ; in 1993, Diploma Inter-University of Specialisation; in 1994, specialist at Hopitaux des Armees in ORL/CCF; and in 2000, Agregation du Val de Grace in Paris.

At a professional level, Mr N'ZOUBA has occupied high responsibility positions, including: from 1985 to 1988, Head Physician of l'Infirmerie de Garnison de Port-Gentil; from 1995 to 1997, Associate Physician to Head of Service ORL/CCF at Centre Hospitalier de Libreville; in December 1997, Head of Service ORL/CCF at Centre Hospitalier de Libreville; in 2006, Head of Department ORL/CCF, Ondo-Stomatologie and Chirurgie Maxillo-faciale at l'Hopital des Instructions des Armee Omar Bongo Omdimba and at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences; finally from 1999 to 2009, Director General of Service of Military Health.

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Hon. Joao Sebastiao Teta
Secretary of State for Science Angola

Hon. Dr. Joao Teta is an engineer, professor and politician, as well as an expert in higher education institution management. He studied at the Technical University of Wroclaw (UTW) and at Academy of Mining and Metallurgy at Cracovia Academy, both in Poland. He was awarded BSc, MSc and PhD degrees.

Dr. Teta was Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at University Agostinho Neto and Rector and Chancellor at the same University for 2 mandates. He was also Chairman of the Portuguese Language Universities Association.

From 2010 to date, he is working as a Member of the Angolan Government. He was appointed Secretary of State for Science and Technology at the Ministry of Science and Technology and he represents the Angolan government at the UNESCO Executive Committee.

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Hon. Ms Zuliatu M. Cooper
Deputy Minister of Health & Sanitation Sierra Leone

Zuliatu M. Cooper is the Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone. In addition she was the Regional Coordinator for the western area Ebola response Center since 2014 to 2015.

She was the one that set up the District Ebola response centers (DERC) all across the country. She was in the Medical field for over 30 years and was awarded a silver medal from the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for the fight against Ebola. And as a Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation she is in charge of sanitation and head of public health in the country.

She was recognized by the World Health Origination in the country for the good work in the fight against Ebola and the Social secretary of Women’s Congress under the ruling party.

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HRH Princess Nisreen El-Hashemite
Founder of the World Women's Health and Development Forum

HRH Princess Nisreen has not only dedicated herself to serving mankind, but is also an internationally recognized medical doctor and scientist and winner of awards in the fields of science, arts, literature, and humanitarian affairs.

Qualified in science and medicine, with a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, Master of Science, Medical Doctorate (MD) and a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Human Genetics, she published several scientific papers and studies as original investigations and is the author of four books. As a medical doctor and scientist at University College London, she developed techniques for diagnosing single gene disorders from one cell (a technique known as Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis) that is now in use as a preventive procedure in more than 100 centers worldwide. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital - Harvard Medical School, she conducted research on sex differences in tuberous sclerosis related cancers, which will lead to new therapeutic strategies and early detection of major types of cancer through accurate blood tests.

In 2007, Princess Nisreen left her scientific career at Harvard Medical School, to which she was very committed, to devote herself to serving Science Technology & Medicine Education and Research in the world, throughout RASIT and its programs. Currently, she is working on establishing an International Institute of Medicine and Public Health for Science and Innovation in the MENA Region. She also is working on serving the children and women of Iraq in particular and those in need of help in all aspects of their lives. At present, Princess Dr Nisreen is the Executive Director of the Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT), and President of the Women in Science International League.

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Pontiano Kaleebu
Director MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS Deputy Director, Uganda Virus Research Institute

Pontiano Kaleebu is the Director of the MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS and Acting Director Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe. The MRC Unit is one of the two MRC-UK Units outside of the United Kingdom and is a multidisciplinary Programme studying the HIV epidemic in rural and urban settings and recently expanding work in non-communicable diseases.

The UVRI is the largest Government Research Institution in Uganda dealing in health research pertaining to human infections and disease processes associated with or linked to viral etiology

He holds a medical degree from Makerere University and a PhD from Imperial College, London. He is honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

He is a Fellow of Royal College of Physicians-Edinburgh. He leads a number of national and regional networks including the EDCTP East African Networks of Excellence. He is also a member of the EDCTP General Assembly representing Uganda.

His main research interests are HIV vaccine research especially understanding protective immune responses, HIV diversity and resistance to antiretroviral drugs. He has co-authored more than 200 publications in peer reviewed journals

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Joe Leigh Simpson
President of IFFS International Federation of Fertility Society

Joe Leigh Simpson, M.D. received his medical education and training at Duke University in 1968. He subsequently trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Pediatrics at Cornell University Medical College (New York City), and took laboratory training in cytogenetics. Previous positions were at Northwestern University (1975-86), and as Chair at University of Tennessee Memphis (1986-94), and then Baylor College of Medicine (1994-2007). He is certified in medical genetics as well as in obstetrics and gynecology.

Dr. Simpson has played leadership roles in many professional organizations. He was 1993-1994 President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 1994-1998 President of the International Society of Prenatal Diagnosis, and 1998-1999 President of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation. 2007-2009 President of the American College of Medical Genetics and 2006-2009 President of the Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society. He is President Elect of the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS) (2010-2013). He is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies of Sciences.

Dr. Simpson has written 15 major books and over 700 articles and chapters. He is active in many areas of prenatal genetic diagnosis, cytogenetics and reproductive genetics. At FIU Dr. Simpson and colleagues in the College of Engineering are seeking to develop nanoscale devices to detect exposure to toxins unspecified with respect to nature and magnitude, thus providing application in both civilian (superfund contaminated sites) and military theatres.

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James Wood
Co-Director of Cambridge Africa InitiativeUniversity of Cambridge

James Wood is Head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine. He is a veterinary epidemiologist and joined the Department in Cambridge in 2005, initially as Director of the Cambridge Infectious Diseases Consortium, prior to appointment as Alborada Professor of Equine and Farm Animal Science in 2009. He studies the dynamics of emerging infectious diseases, including viral infections of fruit bats in West Africa, focused in Ghana, mammalian influenza, rabies and bovine tuberculosis. Funders include BBSRC, EU FP7 (Antigone Consortium),ESPA, Defra, the RAPIDD program of the Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security, Fogarty International Centre, National Institute of Health and the Alborada Trust.

He has an MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (1991) and a PhD from the Open University (1997) which he completed when Head of Epidemiology at the Animal Health Trust. He is an RVC graduate (1988), having also completed a BSc in Physiology at UCL (1985).

In addition to his research, his is also involved in the Cambridge-Africa programme, which focuses on building links between Cambridge and African institutions and which aims to strengthen Africa's own capacity for a sustainable research.

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Nicholas Abinya
Professor of Medicine, Head of section of Haematology/Oncology, Department of Clinical Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Nairobi and Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya

Prof. Nicholas Anthony Othieno-Abinya is Professor of Medicine, head of section of Haematology/Oncology, Department of Clinical Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Nairobi and Kenyatta National Hospital.

His research interests are in the areas of malignant haematology and breast cancer, in which he has published widely in peer-reviewed journals. He has also authored a text book titled ‘Drug Treatment in Neoplastic Disorders of the Haematopoietic and Lymphoreticular Systems’ by Jomo Kenyatta Foundation, 2006.The second edition is in press. He has also written chapters in several text books.

Dr. Othieno-Abinya was founder and first chairman of Kenya Society of Haematology and Oncology (KESHO). He is also a member of ESMO, and ASCO, of which he was a member of the International Affairs Committee from 2010 to 2013.

He is a member of AORTIC, of which he was vice chairman representing Eastern Africa in 2012-2013, and is currently a member of AORTIC Council and co-Chair of Education and Training Subcommittee of AORTIC.

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Bich-Tram Huynh
Institute Pasteur, INSERM University of Versailles Saint-Quentine

Bich-Tram HUYNH (MD, PhD) is a medical epidemiologist in the Pharmacoepidemiology and Infectious Disease Unit at Institut Pasteur, Paris. Her main research topics focus on maternal and child health in low income countries (LICs).

More specifically, Bich-Tram worked at the Research Institute for Development on the consequences of malaria during pregnancy for both mother and child in Benin from 2008 to 2011

Since 2012, she is interested in antibiotic resistance in LICs.

Currently, she is the coordinator of the BIRDY program (http://www.birdyprogram. org) which is an international mother and child cohort implemented in Madagascar, Senegal and Cambodia. The program is dedicated to tackle bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance in children in LICs.

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Serge Eholie
Professor of Tropical and Infectious Diseases University Felix Houphouet-Boigny

Serge Paul Eholie, MD, PhD, is a professor of Tropical and Infectious Diseases in the Medical School of University Félix Houphouet-Boigny, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. He also works as a Medical Doctor in the Unit of Infectious Disease, Treichville University Teaching Hospital, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Dr. Eholie is the President of African Network for HIV Practitioners on HIV/AIDS (ANEPA), Vice-President of Alliance Francophone des Acteurs de Santé contre le VIH (AFRAVIH) and Coordinator of steering committee of therapeutic handbook for HIV in Africa.

Furthermore, Dr. Eholié is a Member of the Guidelines developing Group of HIV WHO guidelines 2013. Dr. Eholie is a member of the WHO GDG for HIV, treatment and prevention 2015, for HP C guidelines 2014, deputy treasurer of Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA).

He was the Principal Investigator of ANRS 12 269-THILAO Study (Third Line Antiretroviral Optimization). Third line trial in sub-Saharan countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina-Faso, Cameroun, Mali, Senegal) and Principal Investigator of ANRS_HIV-2 First line trial in West Africa (Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina-Faso, Guinee, Senegal, Togo).

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Manoel Barral-Netto
Head of Research and Director of the Centro de Pesquisas Goncalo Moniz, Brazil-Awardee of UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea Award

Manoel Barral Netto, MD, PhD is a Professor at the Federal University of Bahia and Oswaldo Cruz Institute at Salvador, Bahia. At present he is one of the four directors of the Brazilian Research Council (CNPq), and has been the Dean of the Medical School and the Research Provost of the Federal University of Bahia.

He is one of the most recognized Brazilian researchers in human immunology and parasitology. On the basis of Web of Science, he has published 154 articles and received 3,000 citations (h=28).)

He has dedicated most of his career to the study of Leishmaniasis and Malaria and has contributed to the development of science and control tools in the area of transmissible diseases and the neglected diseases of poverty.

He is one of the 2015 Laureates of the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences.

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C. R. Volonantenaina
Head of the Department Pathology Institut Pasteur de Madagascar

Dr. Raharisolo Vololonantenaina is a Physician and Training pathologist, she is responsible for the pathology lab. She has held this position since 1996. She is the only pathologist there, but she has one workmate who is in charge of cytological examinations. They receive about 2000 anatomical specimen and 4000 Pap smears a year.

Dr. Raharisolo Vololonantenaina was part of three research projects within the female genital schistosomiasis with the Danish Bilharziasis Lab in Denmark. These projects were realized in schistosomiasis endemic areas of Madagascar: in 2010, case definition of female genital bilharziasis (Danish Bilharziasis Laboratory, bilharziasis unit IPM, Oslo University Hospital, Norway; in 2001, Monitoring urogenital schistosomiasis and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Madagascar (WHO-TDR); in 2000, Implementation of the program on schistosomiasis of the female genitals in a hyperendemic area of S. haematobium in Madagascar (2000) (Danish Bilharziasis Laboratory). Additionally, she was part of ACIP Projects (Actions Concertees Inter-Pasteuriennes): from 2007 to 2009, she was the local investigator: "Study of the frequency of Helicobacter pylori infection in patients with peptic disease, the sensitivity of strains to antibiotics and diversity of the 3 'region of cagA gene. "(IPM, IPD); then in 1998, she was part of an ACIP project for a study on HHV-8 and Kaposi's sarcoma. Finally, she was the principal investigator of the HPV genotyping project on invasive cervical cancer. It was an internal project in collaboration with the Virology Unit and financed by Institut Pasteur of Madagascar. This project was conducted in 2014.

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Iqbal Parker
Director, International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology Cape Town

Professor M. Iqbal Parker is Director of the UCT/MRC Oesophageal Cancer Research Group. Professor Parker obtained his PhD at UCT in 1979, and proceeded immediately with a postdoctoral fellowship to the University of Florida in the USA.

He returned in 1981 with expertise in molecular biology and his research focus has been on gene mutation and transcriptional deregulation of genes in cancer.

In 1998, he was appointed as head of the Division of Medical Biochemistry (1998 to present), Director of the School of Biomedical Sciences (2001– 2003) and Director of Research (2003 – 2006). He is currently the holder of a personal Research Chair in Cancer Biology.

In August 2007, he was appointed as the Director of the newly established Cape Town Component of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB). One aspect of his research is on the transcriptional regulation of the type 1 human procollagen genes and the identification of transcription factors that modulate the expression of these genes in diseased states, such as in cancer.

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B. Chandrasekar
Director UNESCO Biotechnology Centre India

Dr. Chandrasekar is presently the Registrar, UNESCO-Regional Centre for Biotechnology, NCR Biotech Science Cluster, Faridabad, (a Category 2 Centre) set up by the Govt. of India under the auspicious of UNESCO, as an institute of National Importance set up by an act of parliament. The Regional Centre serves as a hub for education, training, research and development sector not only for India including the Asian region at large. He was instrumental in organising and conducting “Regional Dialogue in Science & Technology Policy in the Context of Sustainable Development 2015” at Delhi supported by UNESCO Delhi Office.

Currently he is actively pursuing projects for the Regional Centre in building the capacity by design and developing Integrated Masters’ and PhD programmes in Biotechnology & related areas, networking with international institutions for designing Joint Masters’ degree on the lines of Erasmus Mundus programmes for the Asian Region, which is in line with the mandate of the Centre.

He also held key positions as Head, Technical Assistance Division, EdCIL, (a Govt. of India enterprise of MHRD), Vice President, Grant Thornton International Ltd., Vice President, IL&FS Education Technology Services Ltd. And IL&FS Skill Development Corporation Ltd. (a JV of NSDC).

Dr. Chandrasekar holds a Doctorate and Post Graduate degree in Biotechnology from IITDelhi and IITKharagpur (respectively) and specialised in Management of the Environment, Renewable Energy. He was awarded NUFFIC fellow by the Royal Govt. of Netherlands lead to award of a PG Diploma in Management from the Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands.

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John Vulule
Chief Research Scientist at the Medical Research Institute, Kenya

Dr John Mudegu Vulule is a PhD-level scientist with over twenty years’ post-PhD qualification experience in biomedical research in different aspects of vector biology/malaria immunology including molecular biology, population genetics, insecticide resistance, vector ecology and other cutting edge science. Currently he is a Chief research officer with the Kenya Medical Research Institute based in Western Kenya.

Over the years he has served in different research and training leadership positions both within his home institute and national bodies including being the Director of the Centre of Global Health Research of KEMRI (leading and supervising a staff force of 1500 people) for a period of 13 years. He has wide experience in student mentorship and research leadership.

Apart from his formal training in genetics and vector biology, he has research interests and has collaborated on several projects in the areas of HIV and enteric diseases. Currently he is involved in studies in malaria immunology and programmatic work on malaria prevention.

Among his other areas of interest are Integrating research with educational curricula, Capacity building for young African Scientists and Building research partnerships and collaborations. John has extensive linkages and networks with researchers and institutions across the globe.

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Rashika El Ridi
Professor, Cairo University, Egypt UNESCO-L'OREAL Award Recipient

Dr Rashika El Ridi is an Egyptian scientist, a pioneer in immunology. She is a part of the faculty of Sciences at Cairo University, in Egypt. She was awarded the 2010 Laureate for Africa and the Arab States.

She received the UNESCO-L'Oreal Foundation award for Women in Science "for paving the way towards the development of a vaccine against the tropical parasitic disease bilharzia, which affects over 200 million people." The program serves to distinguish exceptional women in science who are helping change the world.

She has devoted a large part of her research to the development of a vaccine against schistosomiasis. Also known as bilharzia or "snail fever", this tropical parasitic disease affects over 200 million people, making it one of the most devastating epidemics in the world, second only to malaria.

While showing unfaltering resolve in her research, Dr El Ridi has preserved her independence. This independence can be seen in her determination to help advance science.

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Oladapo Ashiru
President of African Fertility society

Prof. Oladapo Ashiru is the President of the Africa Fertility Society, Nigeria.

He has a MB.BS from the University of Lagos, MS and Ph.D. from the Universities of Nebraska at Omaha.

One of the significant contributions of Prof. Ashiru in the field of reproductive endocrinology is in the elucidation of mechanisms controlling pituitary gonadotropins (FSH) release. He showed that exogenous FSH has a positive feedback on the release of endogenous FSH. That is the basic science behind the use of exogenous gonadotropins (Pergonal, Metrodin and others) for extra follicular development, in infertility management and IVF cycles. Currently his area of research is in embryo culture techniques and implantation failure.

He pioneered the IVF program in Nigeria in 1984 and his team successfully delivered the first test tube baby in Africa in 1986. He has over twenty five years in the management of difficult cases of infertility, 28 years experience in IVF and 15 years experience with ICSI and new assisted reproduction technologies.

He obtained a joint appointment with the departments of Anatomy and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Illinois at Chicago(UIC) at Professorial level. He established two IVF programs for the University in 1996 and became the pioneer director of the University based IVF program at Chicago in 1996. It is currently one of the best IVF centres in the US. He has established collaborations with several infertility centres internationally. Professor Ashiru obtained the licentiate of the American Board of Bioanalysis in High Complexity Laboratory Director HCLD (ABB) in 1997. (The American regulatory and licensing body for assisted reproduction technologies).

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Endashaw Bekele
Head of Ethiopia Biotechnology Task Force University Professor & Researcher Addis Ababa University

Prof. Bekele has the capacity for scientific leadership in an academic setting. He has ably served as a research executive of the university. Earlier on, he has also served as a Dean of an academic faculty.

He has administered research at Addis Ababa University and coordinated many big research programs interacting and negotiating on behalf of the University and the country at large with major global partners like SIDA-SAREC, NUFU, NORAD, IPGRI and many others. He was doing this while undertaking his own research, advising M.Sc. and PhD students and organizing a high-level, up-to-date genetics laboratory within the Department of Microbial, Cellular and Molecular Biology.

During his leadership, Addis Ababa University has made a great stride forward and many of his colleagues have their highest appreciation and regard for what he did based on a good scientific leadership quality to rely on which definitely contributed to the success of his plans.

Professor Endashaw Bekele has been a member of various professional societies and science academies including the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, the World Academy of Sciences and the New York Academy of Sciences to mention some among many others. He had a faculty position at Kyoto University and is a fellow of Japanese advancement for Science and a member of the international advisory committee of Kyoto University. He has extensively published in the leading and referred international and national journals and has supervised a large number of PhD and M.Sc. students in the graduate programmes of Addis Ababa University and others.

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Akpaka Kalu
Regional Director for Africa World Health Organisation (WHO)

Dr. Akpaka Kalu holds M.PH and M.B.B.S degrees from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and the University of Nigeria, respectively. Before his assumption of duty in Addis Ababa, he had previously served between June 1999 and May 2016 in the WHO regional office for Africa in Harare, Zimbabwe and in Brazzaville, Congo; in WHO Inter-country support teams in Harare, Zimbabwe and in Libreville, Gabon; as well as in the WHO country offices for Kenya and Sierra Leone.

Over the years Dr. Kalu’s professional interest has been in disease control, programme performance management and health entrepreneurship. Thus in the regional office and inter-country offices, Dr. Kalu served either as Coordinator of Malaria Action Coalition or Malaria strategic information and planning Officer; in the country offices he served either as Immunization Adviser, Malaria Adviser or as acting Country Representative.

Dr. Kalu is a Nigerian Citizen. He assumed the position of WHO Representative to Ethiopia in May 2016.

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Steven Hildemann
Chief Medical Officer, Merck

Steven Hildemann, MD, PhD, Global Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Head of Global Medical and Safety for the Merck Serono division, is responsible for Global Medical Affairs, Global Drug Safety and External Scientific Affairs for Merck Serono. Prior to joining Merck Serono, Dr. Hildemann was Associate Vice President, Global Clinical Trial Operations Europe, MSD (in the U.S.: Merck & Co). In this capacity, he was responsible for the execution of all early- and late-stage development programs, including life cycle management, in Europe across all of MSD’s therapeutic areas with a focus on Infectious Diseases, Central Nervous System Disorders and Oncology.

Dr. Hildemann is a board-certified Internist and Cardiologist trained in the U.S. and Germany. Dr. Hildemann joined the pharmaceutical industry in 1998 as the country medical director cardiovascular for Searle in Germany. After the merger with Pharmacia, he progressed to positions of increasing responsibility and in 2002 moved to New Jersey / U.S. as the Senior Global Medical Director Cardiovascular for Pharmacia, and later Pfizer. In this role, he co-designed and implemented a global Phase IIIb / IV program for the NCE-Eplerenone. This medicine is now included in current treatment guidelines around the world and a standard- of-care in patients with moderate and severe heart failure.

In 2004, Dr. Hildemann joined Schering-Plough (SP) as the country medical director in Germany. In this role, one of his joint responsibilities was the world-wide first launch of a novel combination in lipid-therapy (Ezetimibe-Simvastatin) in partnership with MSD. In 2006, Dr. Hildemann led the design and full implementation of major global change efforts, such as Global Clinical Harmonization at Schering-Plough and global integration activities for MSD-Research- Laboratories during the merger of SP and MSD.

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Jutta Reinhard-Rupp
Head of Translational Innovation Platform Global Health Research & Development

Jutta Reinhard-Rupp is Head of the R&D Translational Innovation Platform for “Global Health” at Merck Serono. Her focus is the discovery and development of new drugs and health solutions for children suffering from poverty-related diseases such as malaria and schistosomiasis.

Jutta Reinhard-Rupp studied Biology in Mainz and Tübingen and received her PhD at the Max-Planck Institute in Tübingen. After her postdoctoral training at Novartis, she was lab head at Evotec Biosystems in Hamburg. In 1997, she joined Aventis in various assignments in Research and Development. Under her leadership, a gene therapy project was moving into clinical phase III worldwide.

Since January 2008, she works with Merck Serono in Switzerland, with her main responsibilities on the implementation of key strategic initiatives in drug discovery and development. This includes the lead of the internal IMI office (European public-private partnerships) and the lead of several “Global Health” programs, such as the development of a new pediatric formulation of praziquantel to treat young children in schistosomiasis endemic areas.

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Rose Gana Fomban Leke
Director of Biotechnology Center University of Yaounde

Rose Gana Fomban Leke is Professor of Immunology and Parasitology. Until March 2013 she was Head of Department at the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Yaounde 1, and Director of the Biotechnology Centre of the same University (replaced upon retirement). She serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Medical Research Institute in Cameroon, IMPM. She also serves as Vice President of the Scientific Committee of Cameroon First Lady’s Research Centre (CIRCB), in Yaounde. She is a Fellow of the Cameroon Academy of Sciences. She was invited as the 2014 Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lecturer at the University of Ghana. She also then received the Doctor Honoris Causa (DSc) from the University of Ghana.

In 2011, she was one of six women who received the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Award for Women, which recognizes female excellence in scientific research. She had a letter of congratulations from the President of the Republic as well as the First Lady. She also received the 2012 award for Excellence in Science from The Cameroon Professional Society (CPS).

She is Executive Director of the Cameroon Coalition against malaria, and is the Chair of the Multilateral Initiative in Malaria (MIM) Secretariat launched on October 15, 2010 at the Biotechnology Centre of the University of Yaounde. She was President of the Federation of African Immunological Societies (FAIS) from 1997-2000, and a Council member of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) for two terms: 1998-2004.

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Golbahar Pahlavan
Deputy Director of the Center for Global Health at Institute Pasteur, Paris, France

Golbahar Pahlavan has worked for over 20 years in biomedical research, management and policy in both public and private sectors across the Research, Development & Innovation value chain.

During the past 9 years she has coordinated programs in sub-Saharan Africa, spanning capacity building in research and public health, clinical research as well as biotechnology and bioentrepreneurship. Golbahar holds a PhD in Life Sciences from Université Paris 7, Paris, France, an MBA from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain and a Master in International Negotiation and Policy Making from the Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland.

She is currently the Deputy Director of the Center for Global Health at Institut Pasteur Paris, France.

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Amany Asfour
Chairwoman, Human Resources, Science & Technology Cluster AU-ECOSOCC

Dr. Amany Asfour graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University and has her Master’s Degree & M.D. degree in Pediatrics from the National Research Center of Egypt. She joined the private sector since she was a student at the Faculty of Medicine. Within few years she was able to establish a company for medical equipment, with more than 30 brands. She realized the importance of creating an organization targeting economic empowerment of women, young women entrepreneurship promotion and creating new jobs and descent work for women. As a result, she established the Egyptian Business Women Association in 1995 with the objectives of promoting young generations of Women Entrepreneurs & giving guidance to women business owners of small and medium enterprises. Dr. Asfour then established the Federation of Business & Professional Women BPW in Egypt. From her belief that financial independence for women gives them the Power of Choice & Voice, she directed her activities toward Economic Empowerment of Women, Capacity Building, Development of Human Resources & to stress on equal opportunity for girls and women for education & training and promotion of Women in Science and Technology.

Due to the importance of civil society organizations as a partner of development Dr. Asfour was elected as Chair of Human Resources, Science and Technology Cluster of the African Union ECOSOCC (Economic, Social and Cultural Council). Dr Asfour is also the Chair of the FEMCOM-Egypt Federation of Business Women Associations in the COMESA Region (Common Market for Eastern & Southern African). Dr Asfour is also elected the Chair of the COMESA Business Council the apex Body of Private sector in COMESA and she is the first Woman to chair this organization. Dr. Asfour has been awarded many awards from Egypt, Africa, Arab world, Islamic world and from all over the world.

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Irukaku Nwamaka Okeke
Professor and MRC/DfID African Research Leader University of Ibadan

Iruka N Okeke is a Professor at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and an MRC/DfID-supported African Research Leader. Her research focus on diarrhoeal pathogens, bacterial drug resistance, and laboratory practice in Africa. She studies the molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli, other diarrhoeagenic E. coli and Salmonella. The Okeke lab is also elucidating the genetic basis for antimicrobial resistance in enterics.

Iruka received B.Pharm, MSc and Ph.D. degrees from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Nigeria and post-doctoral training at the University of Maryland, USA and Uppsala Universitet, Sweden.

She is author of several scientific articles and chapters as well as the books Divining Without Seeds: The case for strengthening laboratory medicine in Africa (Cornell) and Genetics: Genes, Genomes and Evolution (forthcoming Oxford). Iruka has served as a consultant on drug resistance to the Center for Disease Dynamics and Economics, the United States Pharmacopoeia, WHO and other organizations.