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18 June 2022
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15 July 2022
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Richard is currently the Chief Scientist at CARB-X which he joined following almost 20 years in large pharma infection R&D teams followed by 4 years at a small antibacterial biotech company. He has supported the progression of small molecule compounds from discovery through to late-stage clinical development. He obtained his PhD in molecular microbiology from the University of Adelaide, and prior to joining industry he had two post-doctoral positions in the AMR area, one in Australia and one in Canada.
Born in Jerusalem, Dr. Roi Avraham completed a BSc in computer science at Tel Aviv University in 2001 and earned his MSc in neuro-immunology there in 2006. He completed a PhD in 2011, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He joined the Weizmann Institute’s Department of Biological Regulation in May 2016 and is the incumbent of the Philip Harris and Gerald Ronson Career Development Chair.
Dr. Avraham’s lab studies what happens in the body when invading pathogens, like the bacteria Salmonella or Mycobacterium tuberculosis, meet the body’s immune cells. The lab uses cross-disciplinary, single-cell analysis platforms that enable them to extensively profile and precisely monitor host-pathogen interactions during infections in living tissues and look closely at the cellular interactions between cells of the immune system and the invading pathogens. Looking at this battleground, we develop new strategies to study the very early events of infection, to predict the outcome of infection and to suggest novel treatments addressing such attacks, especially in the face of widespread antibiotic resistance.
Dr. Avraham academic and professional honors include an Israel Ministry of Science Fellowship, an ERC starting grant, an ISF personal grant and an NIH grant.
Dr.Manica Balasegaram trained as a medical doctor at the University of Nottingham, UK from where he started his career in internal and emergency medicine.From 2001, he worked as a doctor and researcher in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and gained important experience in emergency medicine during humanitarian interventions, including with Doctors Without Borders (MSF). At the end of 2007, he joined the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative(DNDi) as Head of the Leishmaniasis Clinical Program, a position he held for four years before returning to MSF as Executive Director of their Access to Essential Medicines Campaign in Geneva. In June 2016, he was appointed Director of GARDP and its Executive Director in July 2018. Dr. Balasegaram is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and the Scientific Advisory Board of FIND, two Geneva-based organizations. He has also been a lecturer since 2013 at the University of Geneva for a Diploma and Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) program in clinical research and development.An expert in global health and infectious diseases, Dr. Balasegaram is also recognized for his international work on health policies and access to medicines. He also has experience in clinical trials and drug development as a lead investigator and in project management.
Dr. Clifton E. Barry III received his Ph.D. in organic and bio-organic chemistry in 1989 from Cornell University, studying the biosynthesis of complex natural products. Following postdoctoral research in the chemistry department at Johns Hopkins University (1989 to 1992), Dr. Barry joined the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID’s) Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana. In 1998, he was tenured as chief of the Tuberculosis Research Section (TRS) in the Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases of NIAID.
The TRS is a multidisciplinary group of research scientists comprised of biologists, chemists and clinicians who share a common focus on TB. TRS projects focus on understanding the scientific issues that facilitate the development of drugs that will make a genuine difference in the outcome for TB patients globally. TRS scientists are highly interactive worldwide in this endeavor and as a result of our outstanding collaborations TRS is the most highly cited TB research group in the world according to Thomson Reuters. Dr Barry has authored over 250 publications in the scientific literature. Working with scientists at PathoGenesis in Seattle, TRS played a key role in the preclinical development program that led to PA-824 (Pretomanid, currently in Phase 2/3 clinical trials). TRS scientists also conducted the entire preclinical program leading to SQ109 (currently in Phase 3 clinical trials in Russia). TRS scientists conceived and conducted the Phase 2 clinical trial showing the utility of using linezolid for the treatment of patients suffering from extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis.
In addition to TRS laboratories in Bethesda TRS works closely with Chinese colleagues at the Henan Provincial Chest Hospital in Zhengzhou, China; and with colleagues at Stellenbosch University (SUN) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. Dr. Barry holds honorary appointments at both UCT and SUN and has a growing laboratory in the Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine.
DST/NRF South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Sustainable Malaria Control
Prof Lyn-Marie Birkholtz is full professor in Biochemistry at the University of Pretoria and director of a Tier 1 DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Sustainable Malaria Control. She leads the Parasite Cluster within the UP Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control. Prof Birkholtz is an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa and serves on the council for the South African Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She received her PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Pretoria, followed by postdoctoral fellowships in Germany and the USA. UP recognised her as Exceptional Young Researcher in 2010 and 2013, as Exceptional Academic Achiever in 2019. She received the Vice Chancellor’s Exceptional Supervisor Award in 2017 and the NSTF Science Communication Award in 2018.
Lyn-Marie’s research harness expertise in malaria control in South Africa to enable sustained malaria control particularly in the African context. Her research area contributes to the interplay between malaria control and elimination by focussing on both the pathogenic and transmission forms of the parasite to ensure sustainability in malaria control and elimination, by broadening our understanding of essential biological processes of malaria parasites as a catalyst to antimalarial drug discovery.
Professor Adrian Brink is Head of the Division: Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and the National Health Laboratory Services, Cape Town, South Africa.
Prof Brink was founding President of the Federation of Infectious Diseases Societies of Southern Africa and is an Executive Member of the latter council. He is the founder and currently co-chair of the South African Antibiotic Stewardship Program (SAASP). Prof Brink currently serves on the South African Minister of Health’s Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Antimicrobial Resistance and representing Africa, and is member of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases International Affairs Subcommittee, representing Africa
His is main research interests are the clinical and molecular epidemiology of antibiotic-resistant infections, the mechanisms of resistance as a confounder in antibiotic stewardship, the design and implementation of large-scale antibiotic stewardship and infection prevention and control interventions in low and middle-income countries. The current focus includes the protective, metabolic and immune functions of the gastro-intestinal and – vaginal biome, resistome and metabolome.
Dr. Collins is and Assistant Professor and the Rita and William P. Clements Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research in the Department of Pharmacology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. Prior to joining the UT Southwestern faculty in 2014 he was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Professor Phillip Newmark (Howard Hughes Medical Institute) at the University of Illinois and received his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis working with Professor Kerry Kornfeld. His work focuses on the basic biology of schistosomes, a group of parasites that infect of 200 million people around the globe. He is an Associate Editor for PLoS Pathogens and an organizer of the annual Molecular and Cellular Biology of Helminths Meeting.
Brendan M. Crowley, PhD, Principal Scientist, Discovery Chemistry, Merck Research Laboratories
Brendan Crowley received his Ph. D. in organic chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute under the direction of Prof. Dale Boger where he worked on vancomycin-class antibiotics. Following postdoctoral research with Prof. Sam Danishefsky at Sloan-Kettering focused on alkaloid natural product total synthesis, Brendan began his industrial career in medicinal chemistry at Merck at the West Point site, where he has been for the last 13 years. There he has contributed to and led projects in neuroscience and infectious disease research with a focus on delivering therapeutics for pain (P2X3 RAs), migraine (CGRP RAs), and cognition (Alpha7 PAMs) as well as the discovery of antiviral (broad spectrum antiherpetics and others) and antibacterial agents (for TB and others). These teams have delivered multiple clinical candidates and two marketed drugs. He has also contributed to and led a variety of projects and initiatives in molecular imaging, synthetic methodology (transition metal catalysis), PK optimization strategies, chemical safety, intern and Ph.D. hiring and he is currently one of the Merck contributors to the Tuberculosis Drug Accelerator.
Flavio da Silva Emery
Pharmacist graduated from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1998), I obtained the title of Doctor of Chemistry of Natural Products in 2005 by the same institution in the Nucleus of Natural Products Research (NPPN). I am currently an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto at the University of São Paulo, and co-coordinator of the Center of Research and Advancement of Fragments and molecular Targets (CRAFT) developing research projects in the areas of medicinal chemistry and synthesis of heterocycles. Past President of the Brazilian Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2019-2020), and an active member of the IUPAC Drug Discovery and Development Subcommittee. I also act as coordinator of the Post-Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto.
TASK Foundation, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa Andreas Diacon is a Professor of Physiology and Principal Specialist in Pulmonology at the University of Stellenbosch and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.
He received his MD from the University of Zürich, Switzerland, in 1987, specialized in Internal Medicine and Pulmonology, and earned a PhD from Stellenbosch University in 2007.
Andreas Diacon developed an early interest in tuberculosis during training in a former TB sanatorium in Davos in the Swiss Alps, also named the “magic mountain”. After migrating to South Africa he started his own anti-tuberculosis drug research. He is the founder and CEO of TASK, an organisation specialising in clinical studies with novel TB treatments, vaccines and diagnostics. Many novel compounds have since been tested at TASK research sites. His main research interests now lie in the techniques and clinical methods for the evaluation of novel anti-tuberculosis agents. He is engaged in various research collaborations within South Africa and with the USA and Europe.
Recently Andreas Diacon was named as one of Bill Gates’s Heroes in the Field through his contributions and continuing search for better treatment solutions for tuberculosis.
Miguel Duran Frigola
Miquel is a computational pharmacologist whose research interests lay at the intersection between drug discovery, AI/ML and large-scale biological data analysis. During his PhD studies and early career, Miquel developed several in silico methods, producing scientific publications in a broad range of topics, from theoretical chemistry to cell-based data analysis. Along this process, he has worked at IRB Barcelona, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Tel Aviv University, ISGlobal-CISM (Mozambique), CIDRZ (Zambia), CeMM (Austria), and H3D (South Africa). Currently, Miquel is Lead Scientist at the Ersilia Open Source Initiative, a UK-registered charity that promotes open science and adoption of AI/ML technologies. With Ersilia, he hopes to apply his data science skills in underfunded settings such as research institutes based in Low and Middle Income Countries.
As Chief Scientific Officer for the TB Alliance, Dr. Nader Fotouhi guides and oversees the organization’s research and preclinical development activities.
Dr. Fotouhi has 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with significant research and early development expertise in a variety of therapeutic areas. Prior to joining the TB Alliance, Dr. Fotouhi held various leadership positions at Hoffmann-La Roche, including the head of the Discovery Chemistry group at the Nutley New Jersey site, the global head of Discovery Technologies, and served as the Nutley New Jersey Pharma Research and Early Development Site Leader.
Dr. Fotouhi holds a Ph.D. and Post Doctoral fellowship in Organic Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Fotouhi has authored or co-authored more than 50 articles and presentations and holds 22 patents.
David A. Fidock is a Professor of Microbiology & Immunology and of Medical Sciences (in Medicine) at the Columbia University Medical Center. He received his B.Sc. (Maths) with Honors from Adelaide University in 1986 and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 1994. Following postdoctoral research at UC Irvine with Dr. Anthony James and the NIH with Dr. Thomas Wellems, he started his group at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York in 2000. He moved to Columbia University in 2007. His research program focuses primarily on the genetic and molecular basis of antimalarial drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum and research into antimalarials in development. He has authored 200 articles on malaria. In 2014 he received the ASTMH Bailey K. Ashford Medal. In 2016 he was named the Advance Global Australian of the Year in Life Sciences and a Fellows of the ASTMH. His work is supported by the NIH, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Medicines with Malaria Venture. He also works closely with Kelly Chibale and colleagues at H3D and is currently training two former U Cape Town graduate students as postdoctoral scientists in his group.
I am a medicinal chemist by training. My PhD training was in synthetic organic chemistry with Prof Andy Holmes at the University of Cambridge. Following a post-doctoral fellowship with Parke-Davis Research in Cambridge, I spent a year as a Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Zambia in Lusaka. I returned to the UK and undertook post-doctoral research with Prof Jim Staunton in Cambridge in chemical biology. I then moved to the Welsh School of Pharmacy in Cardiff, where I set up a medicinal chemistry group, working on parasitic diseases. After 11 years in Cardiff, I moved to the University of Dundee to help set up the Drug Discovery Unit in 2005. I became Head of Chemistry in the Drug Discovery Unit, which since its start in 2006 has grown to about 130 people. I became Head of the Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery. I have a particular interest in drug discovery for infectious diseases, development of novel methodology for drug discovery and understanding the mode of action of compounds.
Fabian Gusovsky, PhD (VP Global Head Research) manages a team responsible for a portfolio with assets in Malaria, Tuberculosis and Neglected Tropical Diseases. The portfolio is rich in collaborative efforts with academic experts around the world. More recently, the team undertook the management of projects related to the COVID19 pandemic (Eisai has several ongoing initiatives in COVID19 including one asset in Clinical Development for the treatment of patients in Critical Care). He is a member of Eisai’s Access to Medicines Group, and Manager for the Americas for the Diethylcarbamazine (a drug used for the treatment of lymphatic filariasis) donation program. He is a member of the Executive Group of the Global Alliance for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis, and of the Executive Council supporting the Gates Foundation CEO Round Table.
Prof. Dr. Anna K. H. Hirsch obtained her M. Sci. from the University of Cambridge and received her Ph.D. from the ETH Zurich in 2008 under Prof. F. Diederich. Subsequently, she joined the group of Prof. J.-M. Lehn at the Institut de Science et d’Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (ISIS) in Strasbourg as an HFSP postdoctoral fellow, before taking up a position as assistant professor at the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry at the University of Groningen in 2010 where she was promoted to associate professor in 2015.
In 2017, she became head of the department “Drug Design and Optimization” at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) and full professor at Saarland University. Her work focuses on target-based anti-infective drug discovery, recognised by numerous prizes such as the Innovation Prize for Medicinal Chemistry of the GdCh/DPhG or the the EFMC Young Medicinal Chemist in Academia runner-up Prize.
Carolina Horta Andrada
Prof. Carolina Horta Andrade, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Federal University of Goiás, Brazil, and head of LabMol – Laboratory for Molecular Modeling and Drug Design. She obtained her Ph.D. in Drugs and Medicines from University of Sao Paulo (USP, Brazil), with internship at University of New Mexico (USA), under the supervision of Prof. Antony Hopfinger. Her research focuses on Computer-Assisted and Artificial Intelligence-oriented Drug Design, aiming at discovering new drug candidates for Neglected and Emerging diseases. Her research also focuses on the development and application of AI tools and QSAR models for the prediction of toxicity properties of chemical compounds. Her major software tools and models developed are publicly available in LabMol web portal www.labmol.com.br. She was awarded with the For Women in Science award from L’Oréal-UNESCO and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences in Brazil (2014), and with the International Rising Talents award from L’Oréal – UNESCO in France (2015). She has been elected to the Young Academy of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), and to the Global Young Academy (GYA). She is Associate Editor for the Artificial Intelligence in the Life Sciences and is Editorial Board Member of Communications in Chemistry.
Dr. Mary Jackson currently is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology at Colorado State University. She earned a Bioengineering degree and a MSc. Degree from the National School of Agronomy, Rennes, France in 1994, and a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry, and Cellular and Molecular Biology from the Pasteur Institute, Paris, France, in 1998.
Her research focuses on the elucidation of critical pathways leading to the biosynthesis and export of (glyco)lipids, fatty acids and polysaccharides in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other mycobacterial pathogens of clinical interest with the goal to inform novel therapeutic strategies. Dr. Jackson has published over 140 peer-reviewed scientific articles and serves on numerous grant review panels for the National Institutes of Health and other Federal, private and non-profit funding agencies globally.
Jennifer Keiser heads the Helminth Drug Development Unit at Swiss TPH, which maintains a large and unique set of helminth-rodent models. She is a Professor of Neglected Tropical Diseases at the Faculty of Science of the University of Basel. Research objectives of her team include in vitro and in vivo evaluation of biological activities of chemical compounds, assay development, preclinical studies such as pharmacokinetics and metabolism, and clinical trials in helminthiasis-endemic countries, particularly in Côte d’Ivoire, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Russia and Tanzania. Keiser holds a 5-year ERC Advanced grant and leads a 5-year multi-partner EU grant to develop new drugs against neglected helminth infections.
Anil is currently Vice-President and Head of Discovery Research and Partnerships at the Global Public Health unit of Johnson and Johnson, where he is leading a multidisciplinary team of scientists. He is also Professor of Translational Discovery at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he set up a lab, working on mycobacterial metabolomics. Till recently, he served as Director of the CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology, one of India’s premier biomedical laboratories. He is also member of the Board of Directors at Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Belgium, and Scientific Advisory Board member for Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India. Anil is also a core member of the United Nations Stop TB Partnership Group on the discovery of new drugs.
Anil received his Ph.D. from the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Germany and IGIB, Delhi University. He has more than 20 years of experience in drug discovery and has played a key role in discovery and development of Bedaquiline, a novel drug for treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, which is on the WHO’s list of essential medicines. For the discovery of Bedaquiline, he received several awards, including the American Chemical Society’s annual “Heroes of Chemistry” award in 2020. Anil has also discovered novel drugs against several respiratory viral pathogens, some of which are in late-stage clinical trials.
Valerie Mizrahi is the professorial director of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town and founding co-director of the DSI/NRF CoE for Biomedical TB Research. She is a former International Research Scholar and Senior International Research Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (USA). She was based at the Wits/NHLS School of Pathology for 22 years before moving to UCT in 2011.
Valerie is a recognised leader in tuberculosis research. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, African Academy of Science and Royal Society of South Africa, Associate Fellow of The World Academy of Science, and member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. Her major awards include the 2000 Unesco-L’Oréal For Women in Science Award (Africa & Middle East), the 2013 Christophe Mérieux Prize from the Mérieux Foundation, the Order of the Mapungubwe (Silver, 2007), SAMRC Platinum Award (2017), and Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship (2018).
Valerie has served on numerous scientific advisory boards locally and abroad. She has trained more than 80 postgraduate students and postdocs, some of whom have moved into leadership positions in South Africa and abroad and has also mentored or sponsored many other early-career researchers.
Prof. Müller is W3 Professor for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at Saarland University and Managing Director of the Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Saarbrücken. Having received his training from the University of Bonn, he held research positions at University of Washington and Braunschweig University of Technology, prior to being appointed as professor to Saarland University. He has authored >500 peer reviewed papers (cited over 30.000 times) and his h-index is 89. Prof. Müller has received several awards, including the prestigious Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, the PHOENIX Pharmacy Research Award, the DECHEMA Prize, and the Inhoffen Medal, is elected member of acatech, Leopoldina, and the German Academy of Sciences and Literature, and acts as editorial board member for several scientific journals. His laboratory has dedicated itself to the exploration of bacterial natural product biosynthetic pathways for almost 20 years and has extensive experience in working with myxobacteria and other microbial producer strains. Starting from the isolation and characterization of new microorganisms, the scope of work includes microbiology-, biotechnology-, bioinformatics-, and chemistry-based methods to exploit these isolates as sources of new drugs. A variety of analytical methods and subsequent biological assays are used to perform biological and chemical characterization of these compounds.
Mathew Njoroge is a young scientist at the Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3D), University of Cape Town (UCT), where he works as part of a multidisciplinary team to advance preclinical drug discovery projects. His interest in drug discovery was sparked during his undergraduate in Pharmacy at the University of Nairobi and forged during postgraduate studies with Prof. Kelly Chibale’s group at UCT, where he graduated with his PhD in 2010. His postgraduate work, and his career since then, have focused on investigating the metabolism and pharmacokinetics of novel compounds as part of preclinical drug discovery work. Mathew also has research interests in the variation of drug metabolism in the African population and the contribution of genetics and the gut microbiome to this variation.
Neil Osheroff received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Northwestern University and was a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Fellow at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He currently is Professor of Biochemistry and Medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and holds the John G. Coniglio Chair in Biochemistry. Neil’s laboratory focuses on the functions, mechanism, and drug interactions of enzymes known as topoisomerases. His research program has made seminal contributions to all aspects of the field. Beyond the critical roles of topoisomerases in a variety of DNA processes, the human enzymes are the targets for several important anticancer drugs (including etoposide and doxorubicin). Furthermore, the bacterial enzymes (gyrase and topoisomerase IV) are the targets for fluoroquinolones (including ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin), which are the most widely used antibacterials worldwide. Neil’s antibacterial work recently has expanded to include novel bacterial topoisomerase inhibitors (NBTIs) and spiropyrimidinetriones. Neil has received awards for mentoring, teaching, curricular design, educational leadership and service, and affirmative action, and he is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published more than 265 papers and has presented nearly 400 scientific and educational talks in 37 different countries
Jutta Reinhard-Rupp is the Head of the Global Health Institute at Merck, based in Switzerland. Her focus is the discovery and development of innovative health solutions for most vulnerable populations such as children and their mothers in developing countries in order to strengthen local capacity and to foster human progress.
Since January 2008, she has been working at Merck in Switzerland with increasing responsibilities on the implementation of key strategic initiatives in drug discovery and development. In 2011, Jutta implemented the Merck Bioethics Advisory Panel with renowned experts from various fields of bioethics, biomedical law and religious studies. Since 2017, she is the Head of the Merck Global Health Institute steering a comprehensive portfolio of products to control and eliminate schistosomiasis and malaria, including a new pediatric formulation of Praziquantel, new anti-malarial treatments & diagnostics and access to water programs. Pan-African partnership networks and fundraising are key contributors to the Institute’s success. Jutta also serves as scientific advisor at various boards, including EDCTP, the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership and DZIF in Germany.
Philip J. Rosenthal is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and Associate Chief for Academic Affairs and Research in the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital. At UCSF he is a member of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program and the Global Health Sciences Program. He has directed an NIH/Fogarty International Center training program entitled “Training in Malaria Research in Uganda” since 2000. Dr. Rosenthal has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene since January, 2014, and he is on the editorial boards of four other medical journals. He has served on numerous review groups and advisory bodies for the NIH, WHO, Medicines for Malaria Venture, the Worldwide Antimalarial Resistance Network, and other organizations. Dr. Rosenthal’s research, funded principally by the NIH, focuses on the treatment of malaria, including studies of antimalarial treatment and chemopreventive efficacy, translational studies of drug resistance, evaluation of antimalarial pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, characterization of mechanisms of action of novel antimalarial agents, and antimalarial drug discovery. Primary research sites are in Uganda and at UCSF, and collaborations are in place with groups in a number of other countries.
Dirk Schnappinger joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology of Weill Cornell Medical College in 2001. He received his Ph.D. from the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, in 1998 for his work on the repressor protein that controls the expression of tetracycline resistance in Gram negative bacteria. After his graduate work Dr. Schnappinger began to study the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, first at UC Berkeley, in the lab of Dr. Lee Riley, and then at Stanford under the guidance of Dr. Gary Schoolnik, where he helped to adapt microarray-based RNA profiling to the analysis of bacterial pathogens. His current research focuses on the biology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Within the Global Health Institute at Merck, Thomas is responsible for drug discovery activities focusing primarily on Malaria and Schistosomiasis.
Before joining Merck, Thomas worked with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) in the discovery team on the early stages of the pipeline from compound screening to candidate selection. Also Thomas led the open source Malaria Box and Pathogen Box initiatives designed to catalyze drug discovery research in neglected diseases.
Thomas holds a PhD in organic chemistry from the Universities of Strasbourg (France) and Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany). In 2009, he was appointed as a Post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University (USA) where he contributed to the total synthesis of the mycolactones and the development towards the point-of-care diagnosis of Buruli ulcer, a neglected necrotizing skin disease. He authored and co-authored over 25-peer-reviewed articles and is a co-inventor on several patents.
Bala co-founded Bugworks Research Inc. (www.bugworksresearch.com), a Delaware, Bangalore and Adelaide based biotech innovator that is at the forefront of scientific innovation to deliver novel life-saving drugs. The successful outcome of these efforts, generously supported by CARB-X, resulted in the discovery of a brand-new class of broad-spectrum antibacterial leads – a first since the 1960’s, which are effective on all known resistant mechanisms. The drug candidate, BWC0977 is currently in Phase 1 clinical development in Australia. Bugworks’ solutions address the needs of serious hospital & community infections, and biothreat indications. Bugworks has extended its drug discovery portfolio by discovering a novel class of dual target small molecule immune-oncology inhibitors that have the potential to treat several cancers including colorectal, triple negative breast, non-small cell lung and pancreatic cancers.
Bala spent two decades at AstraZeneca India, setting up the in vitro and in vivo TB & malaria research infrastructure & expertise, led the science of pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic relationships for anti-TB drugs, the discovery of several novel drug classes for the treatment of tuberculosis & malaria. Bala has worked extensively with cross-disciplinary and transnational teams, established collaborations with several globally leading academic groups; served as Principal Investigator on grants from CARB-X, Wellcome Trust, GATB, MMV, EUFW7, and BIRAC.
Jürg Utzinger is the Director of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Basel. He holds an MSc in environmental science, a PhD in epidemiology and pursued several years of postdoctoral research in demography and epidemiology at Princeton University in the US. His research, teaching and training interests pertain to the epidemiology and integrated control of neglected tropical diseases and health impact assessments of large footprint projects in low- and middle-income countries. He is engaged in trans-national global health research consortia with ongoing projects in China, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa and Tanzania.
ELIZABETH ANN WINZELER, PH.D.
Elizabeth Ann Winzeler is a Professor at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. She leads a group that uses systematic, data intensive methods to solve problems at the interface of host pathogen biology typically involving large collections of chemical screening data and whole genome sequencing at UC San Diego. She is a fellow of the American Academy in Microbiology. She has published more than 175 publications. She has received awards from the Keck Foundation, the Ellison Medical Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has received the 2014 Bailey-Ashford Medal, 2017 Medicines of Malaria Venture Project of the year, 2018 Alice and C.C. Wang Award, 2018 William Trager Award, 2020 Rady Children’s Hospital Awards of Excellence in Basic Research, the 2020 UCSD Health Sciences Women Leadership Award and was recently elected to the National Academy of Medicine.
Dr. Sergio WITTLIN is a group leader at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH). He received his PhD in biochemistry from the Biozentrum (University of Basel, Switzerland) in 1999 and obtained a 3 years of postdoctoral experience in molecular genetics at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (Melbourne, Australia). In 2002 he moved to the Swiss TPH, where his research is focused on the malaria parasite in cell culture assays and mouse models, with the ultimate aim to discover new antimalarial drugs in a multidisciplinary approach. In 18 years of collaboration with the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) in Geneva, his laboratory was significantly involved in moving 4 compounds in the MMV pipeline into clinical trials.