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Vice Chairman of the Executive Board and Deputy CEO, Merck
Stefan Oschmann, born on July 25, 1957 in Wurzburg, Germany, has been Vice Chairman of the Executive Board and Deputy CEO of Merck since January 2015. Prior to this he was responsible for Merck’s Pharma business as Member of the Executive Board from 2011 to 2014.Before joining Merck, Stefan Oschmann worked for the Pharma Company MSD. There he served most recently as President of Emerging Markets. His prior positions at MSD included Member of Senior Management and Corporate Officer with responsibility for the business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Canada, Senior Vice President in charge of Worldwide Human Health Marketing, as well as Vice President of Europe and the German business. Before that, Stefan Oschmann held various positions in Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and eastern Europe.
Prior to joining MSD, Stefan Oschmann worked for the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA from 1985 bis 1987 and for the German Animal Health Federation (BfT) from 1987 to 1989, a member association of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI).
Stefan Oschmann studied veterinary medicine at Ludwig‐Maximilians‐Universitat in Munich from 1977 to 1982 and earned a doctorate there in 1985. He is married and has two children.
Stefan Oschmann is the President of International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) and vice president of European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA)
Hon. Minister of State for Health
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 Proportions 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 Bachelors degree in Business Administration , Masters Degree in Business administration
Assistant Director General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO
Flavia Schlegel took up her duties as Assistant Director‐General for the Natural Sciences at UNESCO on 1 October 2014. In 2008, appointed as Director of Swissnex China and Vice‐Consul General based in Shanghai, she was responsible for overseeing the establishment of Swissnex in China, a transdisciplinary institute for Science, Technology, Innovation and Culture. She also served as the Science Counselor for the United States and Canada with the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington D.C. and as Vice‐Director and Member of the Executive Board of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. She is the holder of a Medical Doctorate and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development.
George I. Godia
Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Kenya to UNESCO
H.E. Prof. George Imbanga Godia was appointed as Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Kenya to UNESCO Paris on 17th October, 2014. He had previously served as the Permanent Secretary and Education Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Republic of Kenya.
He has demonstrated a life‐long dedication to an expertise in the expansion of access and quality education at all levels of education throughout the world. His academic qualifications include:‐
- PhD in Education and International Relations;
- M.I.A. (Masters of Arts in International Relations ‐ Development Studies) from Ohio University;
- M.A (Master of Arts in Education from Eastern Michigan University, U.S.A); and
- BE.d Hons. (Bachelor of Education degree from University of Nairobi).
Many countries and International bodies have sought advice on how to increase access to education for all (EFA) in their own countries. Prof. Godia has had the privilege of leading Kenyan delegations to key International conferences organized by UNESCO; Commonwealth meetings on Education Ministries, Organization of African Unity (AU) and East African Community. Prof. Godia has also served as a Director/Board member at the Central Bank of Kenya; a member of a National Task Force to review Maritime Laws, and a member of the National Transport Policy Committee.
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 for 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. In which it resulted on successful projects and programmes 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 programmes 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.
Director of the Immunochemical and Molecular Pathology Laboratory of the
niversity of Rome Tor Vergata
Vittorio Colizzi is a professor of immunology, and one of the most eminent HIV/AIDS researchers in Europe. He has been Director of the UNESCO Chair in Biotechnology at the University of Rome Tor Vergata since 2000.
He has been the Scientific Director and a board member of the International Reference Centre for AIDS “Chantal Biya” in Yaounde, Cameroon, and President of the University Spinoff Afroinnova (Cameroonian SA) since 2012. He was also President of the Board of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Lazzaro Spallanzani” in Rome, Italy from 2007 to 2010. 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. Professor Colizzi has over 217 scientific publications in the fields of microbial immunology and infectious diseases, with special focus on AIDS and Tuberculosis. He holds a medical degree from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” with full honours. He is specialist in Clinical of Infectious Diseases (University of Rome) and in Hygiene and Public Health (University of Pisa), and holds a PhD in Immunology from Brunel University, UK. His doctoral and post‐doc research was carried out at the Clinical Research Centre in Harrow, UK..
Vice President Head of Global Business Responsibility and Market Development
Rasha Kelej was born in February 1972 and has been Vice President and Head of Global Business Social Responsibility and Market Development 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.
Nobel Laureate and Chief Scientific Officer
New England Biolabs
Sir Richard Roberts is a biochemist and Nobel Laureate, having split the 1993 prize in physiology or Medicine with Philip Sharp, for their work on DNA and gene splicing. He currently works at New England Biolabs, a private company carrying out basic research and producing biochemical reagents. Dr. Roberts have worked in the field of restriction enzymes and DNA methyltransferases for 36 years and have extensive experience in biochemical science and with databases (he run REBASE).
He is also is a member of the Advisory Board of Patient Innovation, a nonprofit, international, multilingual, free venue for patients and caregivers of any disease to share innovations. Sir Richard has spent the majority of his career in the US, moving to Harvard for a postdoctoral position in 1969, before moving to Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory to work with James Watson in 1972, and remaining there for the next 20 years. It was during this period that the majority of the research for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize was performed. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a PhD in organic Chemistry from Sheffield University, UK.
Head of Virology Division,University of Cambridge
Ian Goodfellow is Head of the Virology Division at the University of Cambridge, and holds a Wellcome Senior Fellowship. His primary research interests life in the study of small RNA viruses within the Caliciviridae family.
Prior to his current position, he worked in the Section of Virology at Imperial College London. He established his own research group at the University of Reading, having completed postdoctoral research positions in virology both there, and at the University of Glasgow. He holds an undergraduate degree in microbiology and virology from Warwick University, and a PhD from the University of Nottingham, which he gained under the supervision of Professor Liz Sockett.
Director Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research
Institute Research Unit (MRC/UVRI) on AIDS
Professor Pontiano Kaleebu is the Director of the Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute Research Unit (MRC/UVRI) on AIDS and Deputy Director of the Uganda Virus Research Institute, as well as leading the EDCTP East African Networks of Excellence. He heads the Basic Sciences Programme, and is a founder of the UVRI‐IAVI HIV Vaccine Program, having held the role of director from 2001 to 2010. He is an HoMRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit norary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Makerere University, College of Health Science. In 2011 he was admitted to the Fellowship of the Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London. Professor Kaleebu has served on many committees including the WHO HIV Vaccine Advisory Committee, The Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise coordinating committee, The UNAIDS science panel, the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition Board, the NIAID HIV/AIDS clinical trials strategic working group, and the CHAVI‐Immune Discovery Scientific Advisory Board. He has also held the chair of the African AIDS Vaccine Programme (AAVP) and is Uganda’s representative at the EDCTP General Assembly, as well as chairing the National HIV drug resistance working group. His main research interest includes HIV vaccine research especially understanding protective immune responses, HIV diversity and resistance to ARVs. Prof. Kaleebu holds a medical degree from Makerere University, and both a Diploma in Immunology and a PhD from the University of London.
CEO and Founder.
Access to Medicine, Netherlands
Wim Leereveld established the Access to Medicine Foundation in 2004.
He is currently CEO, and leads the team, taking a hands‐on role in the Foundation's day‐to‐day strategic operations.
He also oversees the publication of the biennial Access to Medicine Index, which aims to stimulate positive change by publicly rewarding pharmaceutical companies for their efforts, and encouraging improvements.
Prior to forming the Foundation, he was co‐founder of PMSI and Walsh International, leading providers of information services to the healthcare industry. Both Walsh and PMSI later went on to become listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
Mr Leereveld is a regular speaker on the importance of healthcare companies working to provide medicine to the world’s poorest people at conferences and other events.
Senior Advisor for Global Affairs
and 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.
Rose Gana Fomban Leke
Director of Biotechnology Center University of Yaounde, Cameroon
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, 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.
Scientific Advisor to the Assistant Director‐General of the Health Systems and Innovation Cluster, WHO, Geneva
Cathy Roth is a Scientific Advisor to the Assistant Director‐General of the Health Systems and Innovation Cluster, WHO, Geneva. She trained in medicine in Dundee and Cambridge, and worked in the Coppets Wood High Security Unit for Tropical Diseases in London. She subsequently specialised in medical virology, and worked as a public health virologist in the UK Public Health Laboratory Service, Colindale. Her interest is in viral haemorrhagic fevers and severe emerging diseases.
In WHO, she led a team responsible for readiness and response to those diseases, the WHO smallpox program, and the project on life sciences research and global health security. She was involved in the creation of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, and has led and participated in field responses to outbreaks of Ebola, Marburg, monkeypox, SARS, avian influenza, MERS, and in control of communicable diseases following the tsunami in 2004. She developed an initiative on translational research for improved epidemic control, and a program on Biorisk management. Since 2010, she has advised on scientific policy issues, including those relevant to the animal‐human‐ecosystems interface. She is on the Scientific and Technical Advisory Board of the UN agency for disaster risk reduction (UNISDR). Within the WHO R&D response to Ebola , she leads the team on research priorities, data synthesis and ethics. More broadly, her focus is on the transformational role of innovation and application of new technologies for global health.
Chief Medical Office, Ministry of Health an d Sanitation, Sierra Leone
Dr. Brima Kargbo born in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone and attended the Government Secondary School for Boys before proceeding to Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone in 1978/79 academic year . In the year, 1979 awarded a scholarship to read General Medicine in Romania.Graduated in 1986 from the University of Craiova, Romania. Returned home the same year and worked in the major government hospitals. In 1990 posted to the Lungi Government Hospital as medical Officer in charge. After two years, was awarded a Commonwealth scholarship to pursue a postgraduate course in Public Health Medicine at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom where he obtained a Master of Public Health degree( MPH).Returned home again in 1993 and posted as District Medical Officer to Port Loko in the northern part of Sierra Leone. In 1994, he was subsequently appointed National Coordinator of the Onchocerciasis Control Programme from 1994‐2001. During his tenure as Onchocerciasis Control Coordinator, he pursued a certificate course in Epidemiology and Control of Communicable Diseases at the University of Nairobi, Kenya with sponsorship from the World Health Organization(WHO) In 2002, he was appointed Programme Manager, National AIDS Control Programme and later became Team Leader of the HIV Health Sector Response within the Sierra Leone HIV/AIDS Response Project supported by the World Bank. In 2006, he was made the Director of the National AIDS Secretariat until this year in July 2013 , when he was appointed Chief Medical Officer of the Republic of Sierra Leone. Due to his leadership and commitment in stabilizing HIV/AIDS in our country, Dr. KARGBO was honoured by His Excellency, the President in 2011 with Grand Officer of the Order of the Rokel(GOOR).
UNAIDS Senior Science Adviser
Peter Godfrey‐Faussett is a Professor of International Health and Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and consultant physician at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, with over 20 years experience of HIV and TB research. After training in clinical infectious diseases and molecular genetics, he spent six years in Lusaka, leading the Zambian AIDS‐related TB (ZAMBART) project, a collaboration between the University of Zambia and the LSHTM.
He developed the ProTEST initiative for the Global Tuberculosis Programmed of WHO, the forerunner of the policies on collaborative TB‐HIV activities. He was the grant‐holder and Co‐PI for the ZAMSTAR trial in Zambia and South Africa, a community randomized trial of TB‐HIV interventions covering a population of one million people.
He is currently seconded by LSHTM to the Deputy Director’s office at UNAIDS in Geneva until August 2018. He served as chairman for the Technical Review Panel of the Global Fund against AIDS, TB and Malaria and was one of the founder members of the TB‐HIV core group of the Stop TB Partnership. A regular chairperson and member of WHO expert groups, my research interests remain focused on the impact that the HIV epidemic is having on TB control and on interventions to reduce both diseases.
Chief Executive Officer
Prof. Solomon S. Mpoke is the Director and Chief Research Officer, Centre for Biotechnology Research and Development at Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). Previously he was the head of KEMRI Graduate School of Health Sciences and Chief Research Officer (Training), he was the Graduate Programme Coordinator, at the Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases (ITROMID), and coordinator of Infectious Diseases Program at KEMRI/JICA project.
Prof. Mpoke has an Executive Master of Business Administration from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Post‐doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco, USA, PhD, Department of Biology, Wesleyan University, Middletown, USA, and Bachelor of Science from University of Nairobi.
He is a member of Medical Sciences Advisory Research Committee, Ministry of Health, member of Task force to review and evaluate scientific information on safety of GMO foods on human health, 2012/2014, member of the National Tobacco Control Board, and an Executive Member of African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET)
Director in charge of Laboratories & Blood Safety, Ministry of Public Health
Teaching Coordinator, University of Yaounde I, Department of Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
With over twenty five years of Research and Public Health Microbiology/Virology experience and author of more than 100 scientific papers plus numerous abstracts and book chapters, Prof Mbopi‐Keou possesses a unique breadth and depth knowledge of Laboratory Medicine and HIV/AIDS in Africa.
In collaboration with colleagues in Europe, USA and Africa, pioneer contributions on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases interactions led to the implementation of policies aimed at curbing the spread of AIDS in Africa. In recognition of the ground‐breaking nature of his work describing the association between genital herpes and HIV infection, he was awarded the first GlaxoSmithKline Elion International Research Award 2000, named after the Nobel Prize Laureate Elion Truly.
A former Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Senior Scientist and Senior Research Fellow at the University College of London, and Fellow of Harvard University, Prof Mbopi‐Keou is currently Professor of Laboratory Medicine, Microbiology/Virology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Yaounde I in Cameroon and Head of the Division of Laboratory and Blood Safety at the Cameroon Ministry of Public Health.
He is a member of several National and International professional and academic societies, and Technical Advisory Committees on Laboratory Medicine and HIV/AIDS. In recent years, given the threat of emerging epidemics in Africa, Prof Mbopi‐Keou work has focused on capacity building of research and public health laboratories in this part of the world.
African Society for Scientific Research & Technology
Dr. Amany Asfour is graduated from Faculty of Medicine ‐ Cairo University and had her Master Degree & M.D. degree in Pediatrics In her academic career, she is at the National Research Center of Egypt.
She joined the private sector since she was a student at the Faculty of Medicine. She also believes in the importance of Scientific Research & Technology for development so she established the African Society for Scientific Research & Technology with the objectives of promotion Scientific Research, Technology and Innovation and linking it with Industrialization and Entrepreneurship & transfer of technology for the needs of the African Continent.
Due to the efforts of Dr Asfour to promote Women in Science and Technology and promote Scientific Research and Technology in Africa and Scientific Research for better access to Health Care and Building capacity of the African Pharmaceutical Industries, she is elected the Chair of Human Resources, Science & 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 the private Sector Associations in COMESA Region. (Common Market for Eastern & Southern African)
Clinical Lecturer in Virology, Dept. of Pathology, Cambridge University / Science Journalist
Chris Smith is a consultant medical microbiologist based at Cambridge University, a visiting professor at Murdoch University, Perth Australia, and the managing editor of the Naked Scientists, a science and medicine radio show, podcast and website that reaches international audiences in the millions. Since 2006 Chris has published 4 popular science books, including the international best seller "Crisp Packet Fireworks“, and his Naked Scientists programmes have received over 50 million downloads worldwide as podcasts. His most memorable achievement to date has been delivering the world's first explosive science show on the banks of the Zambezi River in Zambia overlooking the Victoria Falls!
Chris lives in Cambridge with his wife and children, and has won 8 national and international prizes for science communication, including the Royal Society's 2008 Kohn Medal.
Representative of the Executive Director, African Academy of Sciences
Kevin Marsh is a Professor of Tropical Medicine at the University of Oxford and senior advisor at the African Academy of Sciences. He qualified in medicine at the University of Liverpool in 1978.
After undertaking specialist training as a physician he began his research career at the Medical Research Council Unit in the Gambia working on the immunology of malaria. From 1985‐89 he was at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Oxford and in 1989 established with colleagues a series of research projects on the clinical epidemiology and immunology of malaria in Kilifi on the Kenyan coast.
These have subsequently developed into an international programme (the KEMRI Wellcome Trust Research Programme) involving around 800 staff working across a number of countries in East Africa of which he was director until August 2014
Kevin has a broad interest in clinical, epidemiological and immunological aspects of malaria and has authored or coauthored over 400 publications on different aspects of malaria. The research team he leads has made major contributions across these fields and works closely with national and international policy makers. Kevin has a particular interest in developing and strengthening research capacity and scientific leadership in Africa.
He is currently supporting the development of a new platform for the acceleration of science in Africa through the African Academy of Sciences. He is chair of the WHO Malaria Policy Advisory Committee and is a member of a number of international advisory committees relating to malaria and to global health research. He is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was awarded the Prince Mahidol prize for medicine in 2010.