Plenary Lectures

Dr. Duane J Gubler

"The Future of Dengue"
Duane J. Gubler, Sc.D., M.S., is Professor and Director, Signature Research Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore.

Prof Gubler is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and has spent his entire career working on tropical infectious diseases with an emphasis on dengue/dengue hemorrhagic fever. He has extensive field experience in Asia, the Pacific, tropical America and Africa, and has published extensively in the area of dengue and other vector-borne infectious diseases. Prior to his Singapore assignment Prof Gubler served as Director, Asia-Pacific Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, and is former Chair, Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai‘I (2004- 2008), Director of the Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (1989-2004), and as Chief of CDC’s Dengue Branch (1981-1989). He is a Fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and is past President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Dr. Ching-Lung Lai

"Treating Hepatitis B in 2012"
Professor Ching-Lung Lai is the Chair Professor of Medicine and Hepatology, and the Chief of the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Division, at the Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, where he has been working since 1971. For the last three decades he has been extensively involved in research into various aspects of HBV, including hepatocellular carcinoma. He is one of the lead investigators in the pivotal trials of various nucleoside analogues which have revolutionized the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. He and his colleagues have also been investigating the still emerging field of the natural history of chronic hepatitis B, with findings which have important bearing on the treatment end-points for chronic hepatitis B. Professor Lai has published over 390 peer-reviewed papers and reviews in international journals. He was invited to give the Leon Schiff State-of-the-Art Lecture at the 2005 annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), entitled "The Natural History and Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B: Consensus and Controversies". A second edition of the book "Hepatitis B Virus" which Professor Lai co-edited with Professor Stephen Locarnini is published in 2008 by the International Medical Press.
Dr. Sharon Lewin

"Finding a Cure for HIV: The Need for Science, Collaboration and Advocay"
Sharon Lewin is an infectious diseases physician and basic scientist. She is Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit at The Alfred Hospital; Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Monash University; and co-head of the Centre for Virology, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Australia. She completed her medical training at Monash University and her specialist training in infectious diseases in Melbourne. She was awarded her PhD in virology from the Burnet Institute in Melbourne and a post-doctoral fellowship from the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, The Rockefeller University in New York. She is a past president of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine and is currently a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Infections, the peak advisory body to the Australian government on blood borne viruses. Her laboratory focuses on understanding how HIV persists in patients on antiviral therapy and strategies to eliminate persistent HIV infection with the eventual goal of finding a way to cure HIV.

Dr. Didier Pittet

"Infection Control: Worldwide Perspectives"
Didier Pittet, MD, MS is the Hospital Epidemiologist and Director of the Infection Control Program at the University of Geneva Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland; Professor of Medicine and Hospital Epidemiology at the University of Geneva; and Attending Physician in Adult and Paediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Geneva Hospitals. He holds Honorary Professorships at Imperial College London, UK, the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Health Science, and the First Medical School of the Fu, Shanghai, China. Professor Pittet is Lead of the World Health Organization First Global Patient Safety Challenge "Clean Care is Safe Care". He is the recipient of several national and international honours including a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II for services to the prevention of healthcare-associated infection in the UK (2007), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America Lectureship for his contribution to infection control and healthcare epidemiology (2008), and the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases' Award for Excellence (2009). Professor Pittet is co-author of more than 300 publications and several chapters in textbooks; his current research interests include the epidemiology and prevention of healthcare-associated infections, methods for improving compliance with barrier precautions and hand hygiene practices, as well as methods for improving the quality of patient care and patient safety. He is also involved in research on the epidemiology of infectious diseases.

Dr. John David Clemens

"Vaccines for Cholera, Shigellosis and Typhoid"
Dr. John D. Clemens, former Director General of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) and Founding Director, Center for Global Infectious Diseases, at UCLA, is an international expert on the evaluation of vaccines in developing countries. A graduate of Stanford (B.S.) and Yale (M.D.) Universities, Dr. Clemens is U.S.-Board Certified in Internal Medicine, and received his post-doctoral research training in clinical epidemiology at Yale. From 1983-88, he served as a research scientist at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, where he led the first efficacy trial of an oral vaccine against cholera, and where he conducted additional research on measles vaccine. After returning to the U.S., he served as Chief of the Epidemiology Section of the Center for Vaccine Development of the University of Maryland, and then as Chief of the Epidemiology Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development , U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). While at NIH he was the Director of the first WHO Collaborating Centre for Vaccine Evaluation in Developing Countries. In 1999 he became the first Director-General of the IVI. During his tenure at the IVI, the IVI has grew from 10 to over 160 staff, its annual budget has increased from under $2 million to over $30 million, and the IVI established field research programs on vaccines against enteric infections, invasive encapsulated bacterial infections, Japanese encephalitis, and dengue fever, and on vaccine safety in 28 developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In 2011 Dr. Clemens left IVI to become Professor of Epidemiology and Founding Director, Center for Global Infectious Diseases, UCLA School of Public Health.

In addition to field evaluations of vaccines, Dr. Clemens’ research has focused on innovative methodological approaches to evaluating vaccines in developing country populations, and to generating evidence needed for policy decisions about vaccine introduction in developing countries. He has conducted clinical studies of vaccines against cholera, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, typhoid fever, pneumococcus, tuberculosis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, measles, and Japanese encephalitis. His work in the developing world has included studies in Bangladesh, Chile, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mozambique, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. He has published over 300 original, peer reviewed articles, and serves on the editorialboards of several international journals. He is an elected member of the American Epidemiology Society and a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and of the Infectious Disease Society of America. Over the past 15 years he has served on several WHO Steering Committees, including committees for enteric vaccines, vaccine epidemiology, and vaccine safety and he currently serves as the advisory committee to the WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research. He was a member of the Board of the GAVI Alliance from 2007-2009, and in 2010 was the recipient of the Sabin Gold Medal.  

Dr. Stephen D. Lawn

"Confronting TB in the Era of HIV"
Stephen Lawn is an Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and a Reader in Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK. He completed his clinical training in infectious diseases in the UK and has previously worked for the Universities of Ghana in West Africa and was a Research Fellow for four years at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA. He has been based at the University of Cape Town since 2005 where he has conducted clinical, epidemiological and laboratory studies on HIV-associated tuberculosis (TB) in the context of the rapid scale-up of antiretroviral treatment (ART). Recent research has focused on evaluation of new TB diagnostics for screening for HIV-associated TB and on the role of ART in the prevention of HIV-associated TB.