Plenary Speakers (as of January 1, 2013)
Matthew FISHER, United Kingdom
Presentation title: 'Emerging Fungal Threats to Anmimal, Plant and Ecosystem Health'

Dr. Matthew Fisher works on emerging pathogenic fungi and heads a research group at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College London. His laboratory combines the use of population and comparative genomics with epidemiological modelling to decipher the evolutionary histories of infectious fungi, to investigate their origins and to predict their future trajectories as pathogens. Dr. Fisher's current research interests focus on the drivers underlying contemporary increases in disease-causing fungi and specific focus' include the panzootic emergence of amphibian chytridiomycosis caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the pandemic emergence of Cryptococcus neoformans var grubii and the ecology of human Penicillium marneffei in South East Asia. His laboratory leverages the power of next-generation sequencing to unlock the evolutionary epidemiology of these pathogens, resulting in recent high-profile publications in Nature, PNAS and PLoS Pathogens. His laboratory is supported by a diverse array of funders including the Wellcome Trust, NERC, BBSRC, MRC, the Leverhulme Trust and BioDiversa.

Ziad MEMISH, Saudi Arabia
Presentation title: 'Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Hajj'

Dr. Ziad Memish is currently the Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health in Saudi Arabia. He is a senior Consultant Adult Infectious Diseases at King Fahad Medical City, Professor at the College of Medicine, Alfaisal University and Adjunct Professor in the Hubert Department of Public Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

Positions held include Executive Director Infection Prevention & Control Saudi National Guard Health Affairs, Director Gulf Cooperation Council States and WHO Collaborating Center for Infection Control, and Assistant Deputy Minister for Preventive Medicine from 2009 till April 2012.

He has served as a member of several international committees with WHO and ISID, and of numerous regional organizations. Nationally he is the chair of the Hajj Executive Preventive Medicine Committee and more than 14 National Committees including the National AIDS Committee, and the National Committee for TB. He established the National Infectious Diseases training program at the Saudi Council for Health Specialities.

In November 2007, he was awarded “The King Abdulaziz 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.
Anne Schuchat, MD (RADM, USPHS), USA
Presentation title: 'Science and sensationalism, Emerging infections and Emergency!!'

Anne Schuchat is the acting director of CDC's Center for Global Health. Prior to this appointment, she served as the director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases and has worked at CDC since 1988 on immunization, respiratory, and other infectious diseases. Prior to her current appointment, she served as the director of CDC's National Immunization Program (NIP); acting director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID); chief of the Respiratory Diseases Branch at NCID. Dr. Schuchat was named an Assistant Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service in 2006. She also served as CDC's Interim Deputy Director for Science and Program from February to June 2009.
Globally, she has worked in West Africa on meningitis vaccine studies, in South Africa on surveillance and prevention projects, and in China on SARS emergency response, where she headed the Beijing City epidemiology team for the World Health Organization's (WHO) China Office. She served as a visiting professor for the Beijing Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.

Alessio SIGNORINI, USA
Presentation title: 'Big Data, Industry and Disease Surveillance'

Alessio Signorini is a renowned technologist, particularly active in the fields of artificial intelligence, optimization, and web search engines. He was the Director of Technology of Ask.com and OneRiot, and lately founded Immersive Labs, a digital advertising company. He participated in the prestigious TechStars startup accelerator and was featured in the reality show of Bloomberg TV. On the research side, his innovative epidemiology work uses publicly available Internet data and social media to monitor public opinion, accurately estimate public health indicators and create travel models. He was the winner of the Most Innovative Research Award of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for 2011.

Bernard VALLAT, France
Presentation title: 'Approach to the Global Control and Eradication

Dr. Bernard Vallat, Director General of the OIE, was initially trained as a veterinarian and then obtained a specialised master’s degree in development economics and management.

The first seventeen years of his professional career were spent in Africa, where he was responsible for national and regional programmes covering the eradication of animal diseases and training for livestock owners and civil servants.

In 1995, he became Chief Veterinary Officer of France in charge of animal health and food safety.

He was elected Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in May 2000. His first five-year term of office began on 1 January 2001 and he was re-elected in May 2005 and in 2010.