Plenary Lectures

Uche Amazigo
"Community Directive Initiative and Neglected Tropical Diseases"

Dr. Uche Amazigo is a global public health specialist; an administrator, visionary leader in Tropical Parasitic Disease control, research and community-directed health Interventions - and one of the first female Africans to head a UN agency. She holds a PhD from Vienna University (Austria), DTM&P from Bernhard-Nocht Institute of Tropical Medicine (Germany), and was a Takemi Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health (USA).

For over 25 years, Uche Amazigo has made numerous valuable contributions to health research and disease control. Her ground-breaking research on the social consequences of onchocerciasis (river blindness) in rural Nigeria revealed startling results about the social isolation, suffering and disability caused by onchocercal skin disease. This pioneering discovery fundamentally changed international perceptions of onchocerciasis, forming the scientific basis for the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (WHO/APOC), launched in 1995.

After joining WHO/APOC in 1996, her relentless championing of a Community-Directed Treatment (CDT) approach to drug delivery became the foundation for APOC's success. APOC Director from 2005-2011, she coordinated 16 African governments, 14 international NGDOs, 20 donors, and a philanthropic pharmaceutical company, in supporting 146,000 communities to control onchocerciasis. In 2009, due to APOC's success, she re-targeted the programme from “control” to “elimination”. In 2013, she received an honorary DSc degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and won the highly competitive and prestigious Prince Mahidol Award 2012 in Public Health.

Ron Dagan
"Otitis media as an Infectious Disease: The Debate Goes On"
Ron Dagan, Professor of Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases, Ben-Gurion University, Director of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Unit, Soroka University, Beer-Sheva, Israel, President of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID) (2004-6) and President of the World Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases (WSPID) (2006-9). Currently, chair of the board of the International Symposia on Pneumococcus and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD).

Dagan serves on the editorial board of several peer-reviewed journals; received many grants and awards; contributed >450 original articles, reviews and book chapters; presented over 400 papers at national and international scientific meetings. Dagan’s research focuses on pneumococcal vaccines. epidemiology and introduction of hepatitis A vaccines, the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases, the pathology of otitis media, and prediction of its bacteriological and clinical response to various antibiotics, and the epidemiology and prevention of enteric and invasive infections in young children

Salim S. Abdool Karim
"Preventing HIV"
Salim S. Abdool Karim is Director of CAPRISA - Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa, President of the South African Medical Research Council and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is also Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at Columbia University, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Cornell University and Associate Member of The Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University.

He was co-Principal Investigator of the CAPRISA 004 trial of tenofovir gel which provided proof of concept that antiretroviral drugs can prevent sexually transmitted HIV infection and herpes simplex virus type 2 in women. His clinical research on TB-HIV treatment has impacted on and continues to shape the international guidelines on the clinical management of co-infected patients.

He is the recipient of “TWAS Prize in Medical Sciences” from The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, the Drug Information Association’s “President's Award for Outstanding Achievement in World Health”, the South African National Science & Technology Forum Award, Columbia University’s “Allan Rosenfield Alumni Award for Excellence”, the “Gold Fellowship in Art & Science of Medicine” award from the South African Medical Association, the Gold Medal Award from the Academy of Science in South Africa and the Outstanding Senior African Scientist Award in 2011.

He is a Member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV, Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPfAR), and Member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise.

Jonathan A. McCullers
"Influenza: Understanding Pathogenesis to Improve Outcomes"
Jonathan A. McCullers, MD is the Dunavant Chair of Pediatrics, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center and Pediatrician-in-Chief, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

Dr. McCullers grew up in the Tidewater area of Virginia and attended the University of Virginia as an undergraduate. He received his medical degree and did his internship and residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He moved to Memphis in 1996 for a Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellowship in the joint St. Jude / Le Bonheur program, receiving his laboratory research training from Dr. Robert Webster. He was named a St. Jude Scholar in the Physician Scientist Development Program in 1999, joining the St. Jude faculty and the Department of Infectious Diseases. After 13 years managing a translational research laboratory studying influenza viruses and bacterial pneumonia, Dr. McCullers was recruited to UTHSC and Le Bonheur in 2012 to lead the Department of Pediatrics.

Ziad A. Memish
Ziad Memish is currently the Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health in Saudi Arabia and Director WHO Collaborating Centre for Mass Gathering Medicine. He is a consultant adult infectious disease at King Fahad Medical City, Professor College of Medicine, Alfaisal University. He obtained his MD from University of Ottawa 1987, American Board of Internal Medicine, 1991 (FRCPC) Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Internal Medicine, 1992 (ABID) American Board of Infectious Diseases, 1992 (CIC) American Certification of Infection Control, 1992 (FRCPC) Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and surgeons of Canada in Infectious Diseases, 1993 (FACP) Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He has presented many abstracts internationally and published more than 200 peer reviewed papers and chapters in books. He was awarded a medal from the First Degree - the highest award on a National level in Saudi Arabia for achievements in the field of infectious diseases and infection control.

Peter Piot
"Old and New Global Challenges in Infectious Diseases"
Professor Baron Peter Piot CMG, FMedSci is the Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Professor of Global Health. In 2009-2010 he was the Director of the Institute for Global Health at Imperial College, London. He was the founding Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1995 until 2008, and was an Associate Director of the Global Programme on AIDS of WHO.

Professor Piot co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire in 1976, and led research on AIDS, women’s health, and public health in Africa. He was a professor of microbiology at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, the Free University of Brussels, and the University of Nairobi, was a Senior Fellow at the University of Washington, a Scholar in Residence at the Ford Foundation, and a Senior Fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He held the 2009 chair “Knowledge against poverty” at the College de France in Paris.

He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences, of the Académie Nationale de Médicine of France, and of the Royal Academy of Medicine of his native Belgium, and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal College of Physicians. In 2008-11, he was the President of the King Baudouin Foundation and was knighted as a baron in 1995. He has published over 500 scientific articles and 16 books.