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 About the speakers at ESCAIDE 2016

ESCAIDE 2016 Keynote address: Open data

Keynote speaker: Prof. Henrik Wegener

Prof. Henrik Wegener is the Executive Vice President at Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and an expert on food safety, zoonosis, antimicrobial resistance as well as emerging infectious diseases.

He has served as advisor to national and international authorities & governments, international organizations and private companies, and universities and research foundations, and is presently serving, on several national and international committees and boards on food safety, veterinary public health, and research policy.

Most recently he was appointed Chair of the High Level Group of the EC Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM).  


 Conflict of interest Declaration .pdfConflict of interest Declaration


PLENARY B: Integrating Epidemiological and Genomic Modelling on Communicable Disease Transmission

Plenary speaker: Prof. Anne-Mieke Vandamme
Prof. Anne-Mieke Vandamme joined the Rega Institute at the University of Leuven in 1990, where she started a unit on virus genetic testing for clinical practice. Together with Professor Van Ranst, she founded a new division, Clinical and Epidemiological Virology.

Anne-Mieke Vandamme and her team perform research on the molecular epidemiology of HIV, HTLV and HCV, on HIV and HCV drug resistance testing (genotyping, phenotyping) in clinical context, and on bioinformatics (data mining, phylogenetic analysis) technology. In the fields of HIV molecular epidemiology and drug resistance, she has an extensive and widely recognized expertise. She has been participating in several European projects (ENVA, SPREAD, EHR, Virolab, CHAIN, VIROGENESIS). She supported the development of a few widely used (bioinformatics) tools, the Rega HIV Drug Resistance algorithm, the Rega HIV typing and subtyping tool, and recently also RegaDB, a free and open source software for collecting and sharing HIV epidemiological, clinical and virological data.

In her address Professor Vandamme will talk about reconstruction and visualising HIV global dissemination networks and its relevance to public h​ealth policy.

Conflict of interest Declaration

Plenary speaker: Dr. Thibaut​ Jombart
Dr. Thibaut Jombart is a lecturer in biostatistics and genetic analysis in the MRC Center for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling, Imperial College London. His work is dedicated to developing new methods and tools for understanding how infectious disease spread, and help informing public health response in outbreak situations.
He has made a number of theoretical contributions for integrating pathogen genomic data into infectious disease epidemiology. This includes the reconstruction of the historical spread of specific pathogens, the inference of transmission trees ('who infects whom') from genetic and epidemiological data, and more recently the identification of the likely origins of contamination in food-borne disease outbreaks, and new algorithms for detecting outbreaks from genomic surveillance data.
Besides his theoretical work, he has also been involved first-hand in several outbreak responses, including the 2009 influenza pandemic, the Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and more recently as a member of the WHO Ebola response team since August 2014. Part of his work over the last years has focused on developing free, open-source tools for outbreak response. He has organised a series of international hackathons dedicated to building a platform for handling and analysing outbreak data. The most recent one, Hackout 3, took place in Berkeley (CA) in June 2016.
In his allocution Dr. Thibaut Jombart will introduce the use of biogenomic data in mathematical models of infectious disease transmission.
Conflict of interest Declaration
Plenary speaker: Dr. Vittoria Colizza

Dr. Vittoria Colizza is senior researcher at Inserm (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) & Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, Faculte de Medecine, Paris, France. She also has a joint appointment at ISI Foundation, Turin, Italy.
After receiving her PhD in Statistical and Biological Physics at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy, in 2004, she spent 3 years in the US at the Indiana University School of Informatics (Bloomington, IN). In 2007 she moved back to Europe after being awarded a Starting Independent Career Grant in Life Sciences by the European Research Council, starting her first lab at ISI Foundation. In 2011 Vittoria joined the Inserm in Paris where she now leads the EPIcx lab (Epidemics in complex environments, within the Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health.

Through her work she has made important contributions to the development of the field of computational epidemiology (50+ publications in international peer-reviewed journals), based on sophisticated models and massive empirical datasets aimed at producing advances in the surveillance, modeling and prediction of epidemic spread. These research activities are further supported by theoretical approaches integrating methods of complex systems, network science and statistical physics aimed at underpinning the mechanisms behind observed spreading phenomena. In addition to the ERC Starting Grant in 2007, Colizza received the Young Talent Award by the Italian Ministry of Youth in 2010, the Prix Louis-Daniel Beauperthuy 2012 for Human biology and Medical sciences by the French Academy of Sciences, the Young Scientist Award for Socio-Econophysics in 2013. She also served as Young Advisor to the Vice President of the European Commission Mrs. Neelie Kroes for the Digital Agenda for Europe.
In her talk, Dr. Vittoria Colizza will discuss the usage of data on travel, social networks, human movement, and disease occurrence, in order to explain how pathogens spread.


PLENARY C: Migrant Health

Plenary speaker: Dr. Bayard Roberts

Dr. Bayard Roberts is Senior Lecturer in Health Policy and Systems at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Bayard has a public health background, much of it related to forced migration and health.
His PhD (2009) examined the health impacts of forced migration in northern Uganda, and he has subsequently led quantitative and qualitative research on forced migration and health in Ukraine, Georgia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and elsewhere. He has also led a number of systematic reviews related to health needs among populations affected by armed conflict. In addition, Bayard has examined the health impact of major social, political and economic change in studies in the countries of the former Soviet Union. The main health outcomes of interest to him are mental health disorders, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases, and related harmful health behaviours.

Bayard has over 100 publications – the majority on health in Europe and/or health of migrant populations. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Conflict and Health, and has taught on the subject of conflict and health and forced migration at LSHTM, WHO, King’s College London and Imperial College London. He is also the Director of ECOHOST – The Centre for Health and Social Change at LSHTM.
Plenary speaker: Dr. Silvia Declich

Dr. Silvia Declich, MSc in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa (Canada), started working in Africa in cooperation Projects in the field of Primary Health Care and Nutrition. In 1993 she joined the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) in Rome and is currently Director of the Communicable Disease Epidemiology Unit of the Centre of Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion.
Dr Declich, a senior researcher, has extensive experience in the direction and management of scientific research projects, national and international, on various areas related to communicable diseases, including those pertinent to migrant health and preparedness.
She has a long standing working experience with the European Commission (in particular with DG SANCO and DG DEVCO) and WHO, as well as with academic and research institutions in Europe and in European Neighbourhood Countries. Additionally Dr Declich, as member of the ECDC Advisory Forum.



PLENARY D: The needs and roles of the public and private sector in delivering effective immunisation programmes: the Yin and Yang of vaccination

Plenary speaker: Andrea Rappagliosi

Andrea Rappagliosi joined the Sanofi Pasteur MSD Executive Committee in July 2012 as Vice President Market Access, Health Policy and Medical Affairs. 

Born in Rome, Andrea received a law degree from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. He began his professional career in the Italian Senate. Before joining SPMSD, he worked at Baxter Healthcare, Serono International and GSK in different European and International positions in the market access and policy area.

Andrea is currently President of Vaccines Europe and Chair of the EFPIA HTA Priority WG. He represents the  healthcare Industry in several European EU Commission and Member States initiatives such as the HTANetwork, EUnetHTA, the EU Active & Healthy Aging Innovation Partnership.  He was member of the High Level Pharmaceutical Forum (2005-2008).

Plenary speaker: Dr. Alain Moren

Dr Moren was trained as an EIS officer at the US CDC (1985-7). He holds a master degree from Johns Hopkins University, USA, and a PhD in epidemiology from Bordeaux University in France and is certified as a research director in France.
He has been Director of the medical department of MSF (1983-4); Director of Epicentre, the scientific department of MSF (1987-95); Coordinator of the EPIET programme (1995-2006); since 2006, Dr Moren has been heading the epidemiology department of EpiConcept. He is mainly involved in supervising vaccine preventable disease research studies aiming at measuring the effectiveness and the impact of vaccines (influenza, pneumococcal, rotavirus, pertussis vaccines). 
 Plenary speaker: Marco Cavaleri
Marco Cavaleri, Head of Anti-infectives and Vaccines, Scientific and Regulatory management Department at EMA, is responsible for the management of pre- and post-authorisation activities of centralised applications/marketing authorisations, and particularly the Safety and Efficacy part, related to medicinal products in the above-mentioned therapeutic areas.
Marco Cavaleri is a Pharmacologist who spent several years in industry in R&D mainly in the area of antibacterials and antifungals covering different positions in preclinical and clinical development. In 2005 he joined the EMEA as Scientific Administrator in the Scientific Advice and Orphan Drugs Sector, specifically being in charge of anti-infectives and vaccines scientific advice procedures.
He returned to the Agency in 2008 as Group Leader Anti-infectives in the Safety&Efficacy Sector, Pre-Authorisation Human Unit following a short period in industry leading clinical and preclinical development in the area of Gastroenterology and Infectious Diseases. In 2009 he was appointed as Head of Section for Anti-infectives and vaccines in the Safety&Efficacy Sector, Human Medicines Development and Evaluation Unit.


PLENARY E: Zika/ Publ​ic Health Event 2016

Plenary speaker: Dr. Lyle Pet​ersen​

Lyle R. Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., has served as the director of the Division of Vector-borne Diseases since 2004. 

Dr. Petersen began his training at the University of California, San Diego where he received an undergraduate degree in biology. He then studied medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he was awarded a Regent’s Scholarship. After medical school, Dr. Petersen completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Stanford University. He then joined Tulane University’s tropical medicine research efforts in Cali, Colombia before starting CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) applied epidemiology training program in 1985.  After his EIS training at the Connecticut State Health Department, he joined the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS where he worked until 1995.  

During that time, he completed CDC’s Preventive Medicine Residency Program, received an MPH degree from Emory University, and served in several posts, including the Chief of the HIV Seroepidemiology Branch. From 1996 to February 2000, Dr. Petersen guided Germany’s efforts in creating a new national infectious disease epidemiology program at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin. From 2000 to 2003, he served as the Deputy Director for Science of the Division of Vector-borne Diseases.  He is the author of more than 175 scientific publications. 

Dr. Petersen has been the recipient of several scientific awards including the Charles B. Shepard Science Award, the Alexander D. Langmuir Award, James H. Nakano Citation, and twice the HHS Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service. He served on the National Security Staff at the White House, currently serves on the editorial boards of two medical journals, is a member of the Faculty of 1000, and is the Incident Manager of the Zika Response at the CDC.  Dr. Petersen’s current research focuses on the epidemiology of arboviral and bacterial vector-borne zoonoses.

Conflict of Interest Declaration​


Plenary speaker: Dr. Joacim Rocklöv

Dr. Rocklöv an Associate Professor in epidemiology with application to infectious disease. His main focus is with vector-borne disease, such as dengue and Zika. He has a specific interest in disease dynamics, understanding drivers of spread, and establishing predictions and forecasting models to inform policy and facilitate timely preparedness. 

Conflict of interest Declaration​


Plenary speaker: Dr. Anna Thorson

Dr Anna Thorson joined the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at WHO as Research Manager in 2016. 

She also works with Dr Nathalie Broutet, RHR, WHO in the Ebola Viral Persistence Study in Sierra Leone, which investigates Ebola viral persistence in a cohort of male and female survivors, and in the research investigating viral persistence and sexual transmission of the Zika virus. Anna is affiliated to the Department of Public Health, Global Health, Karolinska Institutet, where she holds a Professorship in Global Infectious Disease Epidemiology. 

Anna has extensive experiences of leading research focused on HIV and TB epidemiology, health systems and implementation research, specifically in low-income settings and vulnerable groups.  Anna´s research also includes infectious disease epidemiology related to influenza, as well as innovative m- and e- health methods for sampling and modelling related to sexual risk behaviour, HIV and PMTCT. Anna was awareded an honorary professorship at Hanoi Medical University, Vietnam in 2011. She is a member of the Global Fund Technical Evaluation Reference Group (TERG).

Anna’s talk will focus on the latest evidence-base on sexual transmission of the Zika virus, and  the methodology and rationale adopted by WHO for making recommendations on the prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus.​


Plenary speaker: Dr. Colleen Acosta

Dr Colleen Acosta is an epidemiologist at the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark. She currently works with the Alert and Response Operations Team, WHO Health Emergencies Programme. She is also the focal point for Zika surveillance, information and planning for the European Region under the WHO Incident Management System.

Colleen was awarded her PhD in perinatal epidemiology from the University of Oxford in 2014. Prior to that, Colleen received her bachelor degree from Stanford University and master degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Colleen has extensive experience in research, having been a research associate at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She was also the research focal point for the WHO TB and Multidrug resistant TB Programme, WHO Regional Office for Europe, where she coordinated research capacity building in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Colleen additionally served as a field epidemiologist for the WHO Ebola Response Team in Sierra Leone, and has a long experience of working in outbreak investigation and early warning surveillance.

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