Scientific Advisory Committee

The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) is an advisory panel of independent scientific experts from Europe and Africa. Working with the Secretariat, the SAC develops the strategic framework for EDCTP and advises the General Assembly on technical and scientific matters relating to the EDCTP programme. The SAC is not involved in the review of applications submitted to EDCTP calls for proposals.

An overview of former members of the Scientific Advisory Committee can be found here.

Dr Catherine Hankins (Chair)
Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, The Netherlands

Catherine Hankins MD PhD is Deputy Director Science of the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, Scientific Chair of the institute’s international INTEREST conference on HIV, and Honorary Professor at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She chairs the Scientific Advisory Board of CAPRISA, KwaZulu-Natal and the USA National Institutes of Health’s HIV Prevention Trials Network’s Scientific Advisory Group. She was principal investigator of studies involving women, prisoners, and people who inject drugs and of population-based epidemiological studies. As Chief Scientific Adviser to UNAIDS, she led the scientific knowledge translation team focused on ethical and participatory HIV prevention trial conduct, convening mathematical modelling teams, and supporting country implementation of proven biomedical HIV prevention modalities. She was the editor of the popular UNAIDS’ science blog HIV This Week. A trustee of the UK HIV Research Trust and member of the International AIDS Society Industry Liaison Forum, she was named to the Order of Canada in 2013.

Prof. Eleni Aklillu
Karolinska Institute, Sweden

Prof Eleni Aklillu is Full Professor of Pharmacogenomics at Karolinska Institute, previously Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden since 2009. She has a Bachelor degree in Pharmacy (1987) from Addis Ababa University and worked as a hospital pharmacist at Tikur Anbessa University Hospital, Ethiopia from 1987-1992. She obtained a Master’s degree in biochemistry (1997) through a joint venture between Karolinska Institute and Addis Ababa University. Following posts as Head of Department of Biochemistry, Jimma Medical University and Head of R&D at Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing (EPHARM), she received her PhD degree in molecular genetics (2003) from the Karolinska Institute. She took a postdoctoral position at the Karolinska Institute in 2003 and served as head of the research laboratory (2004 -2010) at the division of clinical pharmacology, where she has risen through the ranks to Associate Professor and Senior Research Scientist. Prof Aklillu’s research interests focus on pharmacology and treatment of HIV, TB and malaria, as well as on hospital-acquired infection plus antimicrobial use and resistance.

Dr Maryline Bonnet
Institute of Research for Development, France Dr Maryline Bonn

Dr Maryline Bonnet is Research Director at the Institute of Research for Development (IRD) in Montpellier, France since December 2013. Following her medical degree (1992) and a Master’s degree in Physiology and Parasitology (1993) at the University of Grenoble, she worked for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) from 1994-2003. During this time, she was based in various countries, including Benin, Vietnam and the former Russian states, where she managed MSF tuberculosis programmes. From 2003 she worked at Epicentre, Geneva as an epidemiologist and completed a doctorate in public health at the Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris in 2009. She took up her post as Research Director at IRD in December 2013. Dr Bonnet is a clinical epidemiologist with considerable experience in the clinical management of tuberculosis and the management and evaluation of tuberculosis control programmes. Moreover, she has served on several review and advisory boards of the ANRS and WHO.

Prof. Christian Burri
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland

Professor Christian Burri, PhD, MPharm, Dipl SwAPP, is a member of the Directorate of the Swiss Tropical & Public Health Institute, Head of the Department of Medicines Research and Professor for pharmacy & clinical pharmacology at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland. For 20 years he has been involved in the management and conduct of clinical trials on drugs and vaccines against neglected tropical and poverty-related diseases. The trials are mainly executed in low-income countries, but also in Europe.

Prof. Burri has significantly contributed to the improved treatment of parasitic diseases with a particular passion for studying sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis). In addition to his contributions to the conduct of clinical trials he has published over 40 peer-reviewed papers, numerous reviews and book chapters. From 2000 to 2011, he built up and directed the Institute’s academic CRO (PMU) specialized in the management of clinical trials on drugs and vaccines against tropical and poverty-related diseases. From 2000 to 2008, he was also deputy head of the Swiss Centre for International Health, a position provinding substantial insight into various aspects of public and international health. Since 2011, he has been responsible for the Department’s Research Cluster active in translational research projects in drug development, epidemiology and public health, and in clinical trial methodology.

Prof. Burri trained as a pharmacist at the University of Bern, Switzerland, holds a PhD in medical parasitology from the University of Basel and received post-doctoral training in molecular pharmacology at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, United States. He holds a Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Swiss Association of Pharmaceutical Professionals (SwAPP) since 2000.

Prof. John Gyapong (Vice-Chair)
University of Health and Allied Science, Ghana

Professor John Gyapong is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Health and Allied Science in Ghana. Prior to this, he was the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research Innovation and Development and Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Ghana, and an Adjunct Professor of International Health at Georgetown University in Washington, United States. He is a public health physician and an epidemiologist.His main area of research is infectious disease epidemiology, especially lymphatic filariasis, other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and malaria.

Professor Gyapong received his basic medical education in Ghana and later pursued a Master of Science in Public Health in Developing Countries, and a PhD in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, United Kingdom. He practised as a doctor in rural Ghana for nine years. During this period, he worked on the Ghana Vitamin A Supplementation Trials which were conducted by the Navrongo Health Research Centre. He also headed the Paediatric Unit of the Navrongo War Memorial Hospital and occasionally acted as the District Director of Health Services.

He was the Director of Research and Development of the Ghana Health Services for 12 years where was responsible for health systems and implementation research. He has coordinated several large-scale field intervention studies in Ghana. He established and managed the Ghana Neglected Diseases Control Programme for eight years. Professor Gyapong has served as chair/member of several WHO NTD Committees. Currently, he is a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) of WHO-TDR. He was the Representative of the African Ministers of Health/WHO AFRO in the EDCTP General Assembly from 2010 to 2014 and the Ghana Representative in the EDCTP2 General Assembly. He serves on several international research review committees and boards. He has over 120 publications in peer-reviewed journals and published a book on NTDs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Prof. Stefan Kaufmann
Max Planck Institute for infection Biology, Germany

Professor Stefan Kaufmann is founding and current managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, where he chairs the Department of Immunology. He graduated in Biology from the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz (1973), where he undertook his PhD in 1977. Professor Kaufmann is recognised as a world leading researcher in the field of TB immunology, with more than 700 publications in leading journals and an H index of 86. He has received multiple awards and prizes for his research and has served in numerous scientific and policy advisory roles, including to the German Ministry of science and technology, WHO, the European Union, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Prof. Maria Fraga Oliveira Martins
Institute for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, New University of Lisbon, Portugal

Professor Maria Fraga Oliveira Martins is Professor of Biostatistics at the New University of Lisbon (UNL), Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Portugal. She also holds the positions of member of the General Council of the UNL and member of the Ethics Committee for Clinical Research (CEIC), Ministry of Health of Portugal. She took a Bachelors degree in Economics at UNL (1986), and has a Masters and PhD in Econometrics from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (1994, 1999). Her research interests include biostatistics, health economics, econometrics, ethics, statistical modelling of tropical diseases. She has a particular focus on research capacity strengthening and training in Portuguese-speaking African countries.

Prof. Clara Menéndez Santos (Vice-Chair)
Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (ISGlobal), Spain

Professor Clara Menéndez Santos is a Research Professor at the ISGlobal/Hospital Clinic-University of Barcelona since 2007; since 2012 she is Director of the Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health Initiative (SAMIR) at ISGlobal. She trained in medicine at the Autonomous University of Madrid (1983) and has a PhD from the University of Barcelona (1999). Her research interests include malaria in pregnancy, maternal and child health, antimalarial drugs, clinical trials, epidemiology and pharmacovigilance. She has a track record of over 25 years of research in maternal and child health, focused on developing countries with a special interest in infectious diseases. She leads several large-scale, international, multi-disciplinary research consortia in Africa, Asia and Latin America, which incorporate capacity building and scientific leadership development initiatives. She has an extensive research track record and has served in numerous international scientific advisory roles.

Prof. Martin Meremikwu
University of Calabar, Nigeria

Professor Martin Meremikwu is a tenured Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at the College of Medical Sciences University of Calabar in Cross River State, Nigeria where he also leads the clinical trials and evidence-based healthcare programme of the Institute of Tropical Diseases Research and Prevention.

He obtained MBBCH at the University of Calabar in 1985 and a Master of Science in Mother and Child Health at the Institute of Child Health, University London, United Kingdom in 1993. He holds a specialist fellowship of the Faculty of Paediatrics of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria and is a Fellow of Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, United Kingdom. He has received additional training and fellowships in disease control, clinical trials, research ethics, evidence-based healthcare and research synthesis. Currently, he teaches these topics in postgraduate programs and as short courses.

He pioneered the Cross River Health and Demographic System which became an INDEPTH member site in 2013. Prof. Meremikwu served as Editor in the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group for several years and still maintains an active link with the group by providing support to systematic review authors. He is the Director of Cochrane Nigeria and current Chair of the Nigerian National TB/HIV Technical Working Group. He was awarded the Kenneth Warren Prize for excellence in developing Cochrane systematic reviews in 2009.

Dr Jutta Reinhard-Rupp
Merck Serono, Switzerland

Dr Jutta Reinhard-Rupp is Head of the Research & Development Translational Innovation Platform for ‘Global Health’ at Merck Serono. Her focus is the discovery and development of new drugs and health solutions for children suffering from poverty-related diseases such as malaria and schistosomiasis. Jutta Reinhard-Rupp studied Biology in Mainz and Tübingen and received her PhD at the Max-Planck Institute in Tübingen. After her postdoctoral training at Novartis, she was head of laboratory at Evotec Biosystems in Hamburg. In 1997, she joined Aventis in various assignments in R&D. Since January 2008, she works with Merck Serono in Switzerland with main responsibilities on the implementation of key strategic initiatives in drug discovery and development, including the lead of several ‘Global Health’ programmes. The current flagship programme is the development of a new paediatric formulation of praziquantel to treat young children in schistosomiasis endemic areas.

Prof. Philippe Sansonetti
Pasteur Institute, France

Professor Philippe Sansonetti is professor and head of the Unité de Pathogénie Microbienne Moléculaire at the Pasteur Institute of Paris and chair of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the Collège de France. Professor Sansonetti qualified in medicine from the University of Paris in 1979. Following clinical work in France, he established his research career in cellular microbiology and the pathogenesis of enteric infections, particularly Shigella. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards for his research, including the Louis Jeantet Prize and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar. Professor Sansonetti was a member and chair of the WHO Steering Committee for Enteric Vaccine Development and has chaired several technical advisory boards in France.

Prof. Peter G Smith
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom

Peter Smith is Professor of Tropical Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene &Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). He graduated in mathematics and statistics from City University, London and in 1965 joined the Medical Research Council’s Statistical Research Unit in London. Since then he has worked on various aspects of epidemiological and statistical research in: the MRC Clinical and Population Cytogenetics Research Unit, Edinburgh (1967-69); Makerere University Medical School, Uganda (1970-71); the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France and Uganda (1971-72); the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Oxford (1972-79); Harvard School of Public Health, Boston (1987); and the Tropical Diseases Research Programme of WHO (1987). He joined LSHTM in 1979 to head the Tropical Epidemiology Unit and headed the Department of Epidemiology and Population Sciences from 1990-96 and the newly created Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases from 1997 to 2004.

His research interests include large-scale intervention studies against tropical diseases, including vaccine trials. He was involved in research on the link between Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans. Up to 2011, he chaired the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety and chairs the WHO Global Malaria Programme/Initiative for Vaccine Research Joint Technical Expert Group (JTEG) on Malaria Vaccines in Pivotal Phase 3 Trials & Beyond. He has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Vaccine Institute in Korea and the Board of Management of the Medicines for Malaria Venture. He currently chairs the Programme Board for Global Health and Vaccination Research (GLOBVAC) of the Research Council of Norway. He has served as the Deputy Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and from 2004 to 2014 was a Governor of the Wellcome Trust. He also was a member of the Board of Directors of PATH.

* Last updated on 20-02-2017

Prof. Marleen Temmerman
Aga Khan University (AKU) Hospital Nairobi, Kenya; Ghent University, Belgium

Professor Marleen Temmerman is Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Aga Khan University (AKU) Hospital Nairobi, Director of the Centre of Excellence in Women, Child and Adolescent Health, AKU East-Africa, and also a full Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Ghent University in Belgium. As an obstetrician she supervised over 18,000 births in many parts of the world. Her interest is women’s health and rights. She has over 500 publications and books in the area of women’s health, many PhD students in Europe, Africa (mainly Kenyan scientists), Latin-America and China, and several awards and honours. In 2007, she was elected as Senator in the Belgian Parliament where she was member of the Committee on Social Affairs, and Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

From 2012-2015, she was the Director of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) at the World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, the main instrument within the United Nations for research in women’s health. It brings together policy-makers and programmers, scientists, health care providers, clinicians, consumers, advocates and women’s groups, to identify and address priorities for research to improve women’s health from a rights-based perspective. She was one of the main penholders of the UN Global Strategy for Women’s, Children and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030, launched by the UNSG and partners in September 2015, transitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs.

Her international career took off in Kenya in 1986 when she joined the University of Nairobi (UON) as a visiting lecturer in the College of Health Sciences, to lead research in the field of HIV/AIDS and women-child health. She worked for 5 years at the University as well as in Pumwani Maternity Hospital, in research, learning, and capacity building. She is the Founding Director of the International Centre of Reproductive Health (ICRH) that she started in 1994 at Ghent University. In 2000, she initiated ICRH-Kenya, a research-based organisation with over 100 Kenyan staff in offices at the Kenyatta National Hospital and at the Technical University Mombasa (TUM) campus.

Prof. Halidou Tinto
Institute for Research in Health Sciences, Burkina Faso

Professor Halidou Tinto Pharm D by background, worked from 1995 to 1999 as Research Associate at Centre Muraz, Burkina Faso where he was involved in the epidemiological surveillance of malaria drug resistance. From 1999 to 2000, he worked at the Royal Danish School of Pharmacy, Denmark as Research Fellow in the development of alternative medicine against malaria. From 2001, he was recruited to be a research associate at the Institute for Health Research (IRSS) and seconded at Centre Muraz. From 2003 to 2006, he worked as PhD fellow in Medical Sciences at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, where he studied the epidemiology of malaria drug resistance in Burkina Faso and the mechanism of resistance in Rwanda.

After obtaining his PhD in 2006, he returned to Burkina Faso where in 2008 he created a Clinical Research Unit. The unit has successfully conducted several trials including a malaria Phase III vaccine trial (RTS, S) and employs approximately 200 collaborators working on several research projects. He served as Scientific Director of Centre Muraz from 2013 to 2014 and recently as Regional Director of the IRSS in the Centre-West Region of Burkina Faso. In July 2016, he graduated as Professor of Parasitology at the Polytechnic University of Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. He is the author and co-author of 93 publications in international peer-reviewed journals.

Prof. Sir Alimuddin Zumla
University College London, United Kingdom

Professor Sir Alimuddin Zumla is Professor of Infectious Diseases and International Health at University College London and Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases at University College Hospital, United Kingdom. He qualified with honours in medicine in 1979 from the University of Zambia, School of Medicine. He subsequently completed specialty training in infectious diseases, tropical medicine and clinical immunology in the United Kingdom and United States, which included Master’s and PhD degrees from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (1981, 1987). Professor Sir Alimuddin Zumla is globally renowned for his leadership of health policy relevant research and for his outstanding and extensive output in infectious diseases, tropical medicine, with a focus on TB, HIV and respiratory diseases. He is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes for his research and advocacy in the field of TB, including the Order of the Grand Commander of Distinguished Services Award First Division awarded to him by the President of Zambia on Zambia’s independence day, October 24th 2012. In June 2017, he was honoured in the United Kingdom with a Knighthood (KBE).