UNESCO MARS 2017 Scientific & Steering Committee

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Rasha Kelej

Rasha Kelej
Chief Executive Officer, Merck Foundation

Chairperson of the Steering Committee

Rasha Kelej was born in February 1972 and has 22 years of experience in International Pharmaceutical Industry, she joined Merck in 1996 and served as a Chief Social Officer and Head of the Global Social Responsibility & Market Development, SVP of Merck Healthcare from 2013 until June 2017. Mrs. Kelej holds a degree in Pharmacy of Alexandria University and an MBA at Robert Gordon University, Scotland on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) integration with Business Strategy.

In this position, she defined a coherent and structured CSR agenda and led many impactful corporate responsibility initiatives that focused on building healthcare capacity and improving access to health in Africa and developing countries such as Merck Capacity Advancement program, Merck Cancer Access Program and Merck More Than A Mother.

Mrs. Kelej has successfully established strong partnerships with Governments, ministries of health and genders, academia and global non-for profits organizations which contributed significantly to the success of Merck Foundation’s programs.

About Merck Foundation
The Merck Foundation is a philanthropic organization that aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to innovative healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM* with a special focus on women and youth.

* STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Merck Foundation has several initiatives:

  • Merck Capacity Advancement Program: By the end of 2016, more than 20,000 medical undergraduates and postgraduates in partnership with African and Asian universities benefited from European accredited clinical chronic diseases management training, seeking to equip them with skills to better manage and prevent these diseases.

    Merck is planning to target more than 25,000 students by the end of 2018 expanding to more African, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern countries with special focus on non-communicable Diseases such as Hypertension, Cancer and Fertility management

    The program has also launched Merck Diabetes and hypertension Awards to help creating a platform of Diabetes and hypertension experts in Africa and Asia.
  • Merck Cancer Access Program:

    The Merck Cancer Access Program builds medical capacity, supports the implementation and development of specialized healthcare solutions and is augmented by community awareness campaigns to contribute to the reduction of cancer incidences and improve survival rates.

    It consists of three initiatives to enhance cancer care on all relevant levels:
    1. Merck Africa Oncology Fellowship Program focusses on building additional capacity by medical education and training.
    2. Merck more than a patient empowers female cancer survivors to reclaim their lives by reintegration into society.
    3. Merck Community Awareness shares accurate cancer information to help in tackling
  • Merck More Than a Mother Initiative: will not only provide medical education and awareness for medical students and general practitioners but will also support governments to define policies to improve access to safe and effective fertility care, address the need for interventions to reduce stigmatization and social suffering of infertile women and raise awareness about male infertility and the necessity for a team approach to family building among couples.

    Merck More Than a Mother Initiative addresses together with local stakeholders, the key challenges that are associated with resource-constrained settings such as prevention of infertility, education & self-development, assisted reproductive technology (ART) & in vitro fertilization (IVF) regulation, geographic barriers, reproductive rights and over-population and limited resources arguments.
  • UNESCO- Merck Africa Research Summit: The program has also kick off initiatives on building research capacity in Africa and prepare for the road ahead in Africa’s development as an international hub for research excellence and scientific innovation.

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Ahmed Fahmi
Program Specialist, Division of Science Policy and Capacity-Building UNESCO, Paris – France

After a peripatetic education in Africa, Asia, Italy and the UK, Ahmed Fahmi settled for a PhD on investigating the role of membrane proteins in controlling the electro-chemical behaviour of cardiac cells, which he obtained in 2000 from the University of Cambridge.

Thereafter he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Imperial College and Kings College of the University of London and the Max Planck Institute in Germany before landing a university post for teaching biochemistry at the University of London. Dr. Fahmi joined UNESCO in 2006 working in South Asia and the Asia-Pacific region on managing and coordinating the execution of the organization global programme in Basic and Engineering Sciences and Science Policy. He worked on a variety of projects, notably the development of a field guide manual on repair and retrofitting of historical building for earthquake engineers, e-learning programme in renewable energy, Teachers training program for Sri Lanka, policy formulation on the marine environment of the Maldives, the planning and execution of the reform of the Kingdom of Bhutan’s science and higher education system and the establishment of the UNESCO Regional Centre for Biotechnology in India. He was a visiting professor at the United Nations University in Japan in 2012, working on socio-economic theories of development. He was transferred to UNESCO Head Quarters in Paris in 2013 and has been involved in the establishment of UNESCO centres of excellence and in the reform of the biotechnology sector of Ethiopia.

He also leads the Global Observatory of Science Policy Instruments (GOSPIN) working on the review and formulation of STI policies in Africa. He has many peer-reviewed articles in his name.

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Ahmed Hamdy
Executive Secretary Scientific, Technical, and Research Commission African Union Commission

Dr. Ahmed HAMDY is an Egyptian born in Cairo in 1968. He is the Executive Secretary of the African Union, Scientific, Technical and Research Commission (AU/STRC); and former Head of Science &Technology and ICT Division of Department of Human Resources Science and Technology of the African Union Commission (AUC).

Dr. Hamdy has 24 years of national and international work experiences out of which 10 years are devoted fully to Science and Technology policy development. His main achievements in the field of Science policy were the development of the book of lighthouse projects; and Africa’s Regional Action Plan on the Knowledge Economy and its book of flagship projects. This resulted in successful projects and programs such as the African Union Research Grant; Connect Africa Research and Education; African Leadership Programme on ICT, African Internet Exchange Points; African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Award; the African Network of Infectious Diseases Surveillance; African Scientific Research and Innovation Council; and the African Network of Sciences.

He had a significant contribution to other continental project and programs such as the establishment of the Pan African Intellectual Property Organization and the African Science Technology and Innovation Observatory. Most recently he was among the core contributors to the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA 2024) which is a continental strategy for next 10 year to shape and direct the continent on the STI landscape among others.

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Andrew Kambugu
Director of the Research Program at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) Makerere University, College of Health Sciences (MakCHS), Uganda

Dr. Kambugu is the Director of the Research Program at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS), and is an honorary Senior Lecturer in the Department of Medicine at MakCHS. He is also an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota (UMN), USA. He received his basic medical training as well as his residency in Internal Medicine at Makerere University in Uganda and undertook specialist training in Infectious Diseases in the USA and Canada. He has over 12 years of clinical experience in HIV medicine and is a member of 2 National HIV Subcommittees (Adult Antiretroviral Therapy and HIV Drug Resistance) of the Ugandan Ministry of Health. He directed the HIV Clinic at the IDI for seven years. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP), London, UK.

Dr. Kambugu’ s research interests include HIV treatment outcomes in resource limited settings, as well as the diagnosis and management of opportunistic infections in these settings with a focus on cryptococcal meningitis and tuberculosis. He has accrued considerable experience in assembling clinical cohorts as well as conducting fairly large clinical trials in Uganda.

He is a principal investigator on a number of clinical trials spanning the fields of HIV therapeutics, HIV treatment strategies and implementation science in Uganda.

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Elijah Songok
Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg Canada & Principal Research Scientist Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya

Prof. Elijah M. Songok, is a Principal Research Scientist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Nairobi. He also holds the position of Assistant Professor at the Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba Canada and is similarly cross appointed as a professor at the Department of Virology and International Health, Kanazawa University, Japan.

Prof. Songok holds a BSc and MSc in Biochemistry from the University of Nairobi, a PhD in Virology from Kanazawa University Japan, and a post doctorate in genomics from University of Manitoba. He has published more than forty articles in peer reviewed journals, most as a first or corresponding author, and has supervised more than 8 students for the PhD degrees and 14 for their MScs. He has two patents and one innovation currently undergoing clinical trials. On grants, Prof Songok has won more than twenty research grants and awards as principal investigator from diverse grant making organizations as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), Canada Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), USAID, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Third World Academy of Sciences, Canada International Development Research Centre (IDRC) among others.

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Vittorio Colizzi
Professor of Immunology, Director UNESCO Chair of Biotechnology, University of Rome

Born in Rome the 7/12/1949, 5 children, held the medical degree at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” with full honour. VC is specialist in Clinical of Infectious Diseases (University of Rome) and in Hygiene and Public Health (University of Pisa), and PhD in Immunology (Brunnel University, England).

His doctorate and post-doc experience have been carried out at the Clinical Research Centre in Harrow (England). He has been Assistant in Microbiology, and Associate professor in Immunology at the University of Pisa. Since 2000 to now, VC is Full Professor of Immunology and Director of the UNESCO Chair in Biotechnology at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. VC has been also President (2007-2010) of the Board of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Lazzaro Spallanzani” in Rome, Italy.

He is consultants for several agencies of the United Nations (UNESCO, UNDP, OMS) and is scientific coordinator of several European and international Projects. VC has been Scientific Director and member of the Board of the International Reference Centre for AIDS “Chantal Biya” in Yaounde, Cameroon and President of the University Spinoff Eurobiopark (European Group of Biotechnology at the Tor Vergata Science Park)..

Actually, V.C. is the coordinator of the European Project STARBIOS2 (Structural Transformation to Attain Responsible BIoSciences). VC published over 300 scientific publications on peer-review journals (Nature, Journal of Immunology, Infection and Immunity, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Immunology, Clinical Experimental Immunology, A, IDS, AIDS and Human Retrovirus Journal, etc.) in the sector of Microbial Immunology

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Doonunjoy (Joy) Dassaye
Deputy Permanent Secretary responsible for Non-Communicable Disease and HIV AIDS, Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, Republic of Mauritius.

He joined the Administrative Cadre of the Public Service in December 2001 and worked as an Assistant Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities up to August 2011, where he was desk officer for the waste water sector from 2001 to 2004 and as desk officer for the energy sector for 2004 to 2011. He served as the Secretary of the Maurice Ile Durable fund from 2008 to 2011.

In 2011, he was posted at the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life as Desk Officer for the Foreign Medical teams. He served as Secretary of the Medical Disciplinary Tribunal from 2012 to 2015. In August 2015, he was promoted to Deputy Permanent Secretary and remained posted at the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life, Republic of Mauritius. Doonunjoy Dassaye is a Civil Engineer, graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, India in 1996 and worked on various civil engineering projects in the private sector. He is holder of a Master in Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Mauritius in 2002. He is also member on the Wastewater Management Authority Board, National Women Council and the National Children Council in Mauritius

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Tiziano Peccia
Consultant, Division of Science Policy and Capacity Building, UNESCO, Paris

Mr. Tiziano Peccia was born in Salerno, Italy. He began his tertiary education at La Sapienza University of Rome, spending one Erasmus year at University College Dublin in Ireland. He continued his postgraduate studies, obtaining a Master in “International Affairs and Development”, from the Paris Dauphine University in partnership with Ecole Normale Supérieure. He graduated with a first specialization in Peace Studies in the Francophone world as “major de promotion” (best student). During his academic career, he has been awarded several excellency grants.

Mr Peccia joined UNESCO in April 2015 in the Division of Science Policy and Capacity Building. He has worked on several projects with actors of different natures, such as those from NGOs (i.e. Human Variome Project), the private sector (i.e. Merck), independent research facilities (i.e. Synchrotrons) and from universities. Furthermore, he undertook fieldwork in Africa and Asia, supporting the establishment of excellency centers and in the implementation of scientific networks to support North-South and South-South collaborations. Prior to joining the United Nations, Mr Peccia had acquired international work experience including at La Sapienza University of Rome and Applied Medical in the Netherlands. He has published numerous double-reviewed articles in Scientific Journals on the subject of international relations and development-related fields.

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Prof. Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp
Chairman of the Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG and member of the Merck family Chairman of Board of Trustees of Merck Foundation

Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, born in 1948 in Dorsten, Germany.

He is The Chairman of the Executive Board and Family Board of E. Merck KG and member of the Merck family.

Following his German University entrance qualification (Abitur) he served with the German Air Force, which he left as Lieutenant. At the University of Freiburg/Br. he studied economics and economic history.

After completing his studies he worked at Commerzbank and the Investment Bank Baring Brothers and Hambros in London.

In 1984 he was elected to the Board of Partners of E. Merck KG and has been the Chairman of the Board since 2004. In January 2014 he was elected as the Chairman of the Executive Board and the Family Board of E. Merck KG.

Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp is married and has 7 children.

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Ms. Audrey Azoulay
UNESCO Director General

Audrey Azoulay, born on 4 August 1972 in La Celle-Saint-Cloud (Yvelines – France) has been Minister of Culture and Communication since 11 February 2016. Her childhood was spent in France and Morocco, where she has family ties. A graduate of the Ecole nationale d’administration (ENA) (1998-2000, “Averroès” graduation), she is also a graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) (1996) and holds a Master of Business Administration (Lancaster University, Great Britain – 1993) obtained under the Erasmus European exchange programme. She began her career as Head of the Public Broadcasting Sector Office at the Media Development Directorate, where she worked on the roll-out of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) in France, the establishment of an international news channel and the reform of public broadcasting.

Since 11 February 2016, Audrey Azoulay has been Minister of Culture and Communication. She is implementing the plan of action for the protection of endangered heritage in conflict zones. She supported a statement by the Director of the Louvre Museum at the G7 Summit held in Tokyo on 26 May 2016, and the organization by France and the United Arab Emirates of the International Conference on Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage, held in Abu Dhabi in December 2016

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Hon. Dr Mohammad Anwar Husnoo
Minister of Health and Quality of Life Republic of Mauritius

Hon. Dr Mohammad Anwar Husnoo is the Minister of Health and Quality of Life for the Republic of Mauritius.

Hon. Dr. Mohammad Anwar Husnoo has an MBChB from the University of Aberdeen (UK), a Diploma in Child health (UK) and an MRCP (UK). He has been qualified as a Paediatrician since 1981 and has worked in the UK, Mauritius and in Saudi Arabia.

Hon. Dr. Mohammad Anwar became the Minister of Health and Quality of Life in January 2017. He has been a member of parliament since December 2014.

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H.E. Inonge Mutukwa Wina
Vice-President of The Republic of Zambia

Mrs. Wina's first school was Nanjucha Primary School, seven kilometres from her village. She attended a girls’ boarding school in Senanga, and later, the Barotse National School (now Kambule Secondary School) in Mongu, Western Province. Mrs. Wina completed her education at Santa Monica High School in Los Angeles, California and later obtained a diploma in social work at Santa Monica City College. She came back to Zambia to pursue a BA Degree in social work at the University of Zambia.

In 2001 Inonge Wina was elected as Member of Parliament of Nalolo Constituency and In 2011 she stood again and was elected MP for Nalolo on the Patriotic Front Party ticket, the current ruling party. While in Parliament she was elected chairperson of a number of portfolio committees, including the Committee on Human Rights Gender and Governance, and Women Parliamentary Caucus.

In 2011, she was included in President Michael Sata's initial 18-member cabinet as Minister of Gender and in 2014 Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs.

On January 26, 2015, newly elected President Edgar Lungu appointed Mrs. Wina as Vice President of Zambia, the position she is holding to this day. Her leadership so far has given many Zambian women hope.

In 2016, Mrs. Wina was Running Mate to His Excellency the Republican President Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu in the General Elections and became Zambia’s first elected Vice President.

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H. E. Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim
G.C.S.K., C.S.K., PhD., DSc President of The Republic of Mauritius

H.E. Dr Ahmeenah Gurib has served as President of Mauritius since 2015. She is also a noted biodiversity scientist. She is the founder of the Centre for Phototherapy Research and is currently working to promote new investments within science and technology within Mauritius and Greater Africa.

H.E. Dr Ahmeenah Gurib graduated from the University of Surrey (UK) in 1993 with a BSc in Chemistry. She then completed a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at the University of Exeter (UK). She then went on to hold positions at the University of Mauritius as Dean of the Faculty of Science and Pro–Vice Chancellor.

H.E. Dr Ahmeenah Gurib has been awarded the L'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science and the African Union Award for Women in Science.

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Hon. Sarah Opendi
Minister of State of Health, Uganda

Hon. Sarah Opendi is the Minister of State for Health – Her professional career began at Uganda Consolidated Properties Limited, a subsidiary of the government-owned Uganda Development Corporation (UDC).

She went on to serve as the Deputy Speaker of Tororo District Council from 1998 until 2000. She also served in the office of the Inspector General of Government, and was promoted to Principal Inspectorate Officer in 2004.

She has held roles in many other organizations, such as the DANIDA Anti- Corruption Project, where she was Deputy Project Coordinator; the Acholi Bursary Program, a project of the Royal Netherlands Embassy, where she was the accountant; and the Windle Trust Uganda, where she was the finance manager.

In 2011, she successfully contested the parliamentary seat of Women's Representative for Tororo District, and was appointed to her current position in 2012.

She has a distinguished and long experience in politics, management and corporate affairs in the public and private sector.

Hon. Sarah Opendi holds Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, Master's Degree in Business administration.

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Hon. Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun
Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research Republic of Mauritius

The Hon. Mrs Leela Devi Dookun– Luchoomum has been the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research for the Republic of Mauritius since January 2017.

Hon. Mrs Leela Devi Dookun–Luchoomun has a BSc Hons Zoology (University of Delhi) and a PGDip within Science Education (University of Brighton). She is a Part time lecturer at the Mauritius Institute of Education.

Despite having a rich political career, Hon. Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomum is a renowned educator and a highly respected biology Teacher in Mauritius .

She is Vice President of the MSM party and President of the women’s wing MSM party.

She is married and is the mother of two children.

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Hon. Phoebe Luo
Minister of Higher Education Republic of Zambia

Hon. Phoebe Luo is the current Minister of Higher Education for the Republic of Zambia. She has previously served as Health Minister.

Hon. Phoebe Luo holds a MSc in microbiology from Moscow State University (Russia) and a MSc and PhD in immunology from Brunei University. She served as head of Pathology and Microbiology at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka (Zambia) and has also worked at Saint Mary’s Hospital in London (UK).

Hon. Phoebe Luo has carried out extensive research on HIV and has created a network of thirty national AIDS advocacy groups as well as founding the non profit organization Tasintha. She also established the Prevention of Mother to Child transmission of HIV/AIDS program.

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Hon. Prof. Jonathan Moyo
Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Republic of Zimbabwe

Hon. M. Jonothan Moyo is the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, which he has held since 2015.

He previously served as Minister of Information from 2000 to 2005 and again from 2013 to 2015. He was elected to the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe as an independent candidate in 2005 and 2008. He is considered the core architect of AIPPA and POSA.

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Hon. Andre Mama Fouda
Minister of Health, Republic of Cameroon

Hon. Andre Fouda, after a scientific baccalaureate, joined the École nationale superieure polytechnique de Yaounde (ENSP), obtaining a diploma of civil engineer. Furthermore, he obtained a diploma at the Centre de perfectionnement aux affaires of Paris.

His career started at Societe immobiliere du Cameroun (SIC) as engineer; in the 90s he became Director-General ad interim of the firm and Director-General of the Mission d'amenagement et d'equipement des terrains urbains et ruraux (MAETUR).

Since 2007, he is Minister of Health of the Republic of Cameroon.

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Hon. Somia Abu Kashawa
Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Republic of Sudan

Hon. Somia Abu Kashawa is the current Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Republic of Sudan.

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Hon. Dr. George Kronnisanyon Werner
Minister of Science and Higher Education, Republic of Liberia

Hon. Dr. George Kronnisanyon Werner currently serves as the Minister of Education and Chair of the Inter- Ministerial Scholarship Committee of the Government of Liberia. Prior to his ascendency as Minister of Education, he held the position of Director General of the Liberian Civil Service Agency where he led a massive clean-up of the Government of Liberia’s payroll system of “ghost names” and rationalizing pay structures and functions Before joining the Government of Liberia in 2011, he worked as a Catholic missionary educator in West Africa and the Republic of South Africa.

In the USA, he worked in six states on juvenile delinquency, sexual abuse treatment and youth welfare policy issues.

At Pennsylvania Clinical Schools for Resources and Human Development, Inc, and Wordsworth as a Clinical therapist /Coordinator.

He earned a BA degree in General Education from the Catholic University of East Africa and Master of Social Work and Practice from the University of Pennsylvania.

He is charged with reforming the Liberian broken education sector after a fourteen year of civil war.

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Hon. Deng Deng Hoc Yai
Minister of General Education and Instruction Republic of South Sudan

Hon. Deng Deng Hoc Yai received an international education; he obtained his bachelor in English Language and Literature at Cairo University and a Master’s degree at University of Bedfordshire. He undertook other classes and diploma at City and Guilds Institute, London, British Broadcasting Corporation and Kenya Institute of Government.

Prior to becoming Minister of General Education and Instruction, he worked as National Policy Development Advisor at British Refugee Council; Policy Advisor at Association of Teachers and Lecturers; Director General of Special Programmes in the Office of the President of the Government of Southern Sudan; South Sudan-Anticorruption Commission. Furthermore, he has also served as Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Minister of Environment.

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Hon.REALY Onitiana Voahariniaina
Minister of Population. Social Protection and Promotion of Women, Republic of Madagascar

Madame REALY Onitiana Voahariniaina MINISTRE DE LA POPULATION, DE LA PROTECTION SOCIALE ET DE LA PROMOTION DE LA FEMME 41 ans Directrice Generale, Fondatrice et Associee de TV PLUS MADAGASCAR ACTIVITES PROFESSIONNELLES Octobre 2012 – Janvier 2015 : Directrice Generale de TV PLUS & RADIO PLUS Direction et management de la station (105 salaries) Definition et pilotage de la strategie d’expansion de TV PLUS MADAGASCAR sur l’ensemble du territoire (Antananarivo, Mananjary, Toliary, Antsirabe,…) et sur Internet (9 500 abonnes, 4,2 million de vue depuis 2012) Creation de RADIO PLUS Aout 2002 – Janvier 2015 :

Animatrice de « L’Invité du Zoma », emission de debat politique Conception, preparation et présentation de cette emission-phare de TV PLUS MADAGASCAR, reference en matiere politique Interview de tous les acteurs du monde politique, economique, social et culturel Aout 2002 – Janvier 2015 : Directrice de la Publication et Redactrice en Chef de TV PLUS & RADIO PLUS Definition de la ligne redactionnelle de la station Direction et supervision des Journaux televises Conception d'emissions et de concepts novateurs, dont les teles-realite Sobika (2010, 2011) ; KopiKole (2013) Creation d’evenementiels : Fiest’Ampefy (2005, 2006,2007) ; Fiesta Boina a Mahajanga (2006) TV PLUS MADAGASCAR est la chaine numro Un depuis 2008 jusqu'a aujourd'hui. 2003-2009 : Consultante en communication de la Fondation Friendrich Ebert DIPLOMES 2011 : Diplome de fin de cycle en Etudes Diplomatique et Strategique-Centre d'etudes diplomatique et strategique. 1999 : Maitrise Specialisee en Journalisme-Faculte des lettres et Sciences Humaines-Universite d'Antananarivo.

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Mr. Stefan Maron
Managing Director of Merck (Pty) Ltd and General Manager of Merck South East Africa

Stefan Maron joined Merck in 2001 and fulfilled various responsibilities over the years. He is currently the Managing Director of Merck (Pty) Ltd and General Manager of Merck South East Africa.

He has held various positions such as Head of CEO Office Merck KGaA, Director of Environmental and Governmental Affairs, Director of Information Management.

Previous employments include consulting in the financial industry at Arthur Anderson. Stefan Maron has a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration: Technical from the University of Berlin and a Masters degree at École Supérieure de Commerce de Toulouse/France

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Hon.Hon. Zuliatu .M. Cooper
Minister of Health & Sanitation Sierra Leone

Hon. Zuliatu M. Cooper is the Minister of Health and Sanitation of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone. In addition she was the Regional Coordinator for the western area ebola response Center since 2014 to 2015. She was the one that set up the District ebola response centers (DERC) all across the country.

She was in the Medical field for over 30 years and was awarded a silver medal from the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr Ernest Bai Koroma for the fight against Ebola. And as a Minister of Health and Sanitation she is in charge of sanitation and head of public health in the country. She was recognized by the World Health Origination in the country for the good work in the fight against Ebola and the Social secretary of Women’s Con-gress under the ruling party.

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Hon. Susan Shabangu
Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Republic of South Africa

In May 2014, Ms Susan Shabangu was appointed as Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women. Prior to which she was the Minister of Mineral Resources of the Republic of South Africa since from 11 May 2009 till 24 May 2014. She has been a member of the African National Congress (ANC) National Working Committee since December 2007 and a member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC.

She was one of the women who led the revival of the Federation of South African (FEDSAW) during the time of high repression in the late 1978, leading up to the formation of the Federation of Transvaal Women (FEDTRAW), Natal Women’s Organization (NOW), Port Elizabeth Women’s Organisation (PEWO) and UWCO. She became the assistant secretary of the Federation of Transvaal Women. In 1981 she was an active member of the Anti-Republic Campaign Committee and she was involved in the formation of the Release Mandela Campaign Committee (RMC) in 1982.

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Hon. Julia Duncan-Cassell
Minister of Gender and Social Development, Republic of Liberia

Hon. Julia Duncan-Cassell has been passionate about the promotion of gender equality and protection of women's rights since adolescence. She is a born motivator in bringing about change. Change,which brings people together, encourages good governance and advocates for a just and peaceful society that will inspire social and economic progress. Minister Cassell is a great source of strength and leadership to local communities across Liberia and in the diaspora. Her analytical, intuitive, results-driven approach, complimented with 20 plus years of progressive management makes her an asset to any project that she is a part of. Sworn in as Liberia’s Minister of Gender and Development since early 2012, she played a critical role in helping shape, coordinate and implement the Government of Liberia’s National Gender Policy,through the enabling of Gender Mainstreaming as a goal of achieving gender parity and equality.

She studied business with an emphasis in banking and finance from A&M University in Texas and University of Phoenix in California. In the United States she spent ten years excelling in the private banking and finance sector; at the same time remaining actively involved in Liberian organizations and communities throughout the country before returning home in 2006, with great determination to help rebuild her country.

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Hon. Dr Chitalu Chilufya
Minister of Health, Republic of Zambia

He is refered to as a consumate Professional by his friends and associates. Dr Chilufya was born on the 15th of July in 1972.

Upon completion of his grade 12, Dr Chilufya went on to persue Medicine at the University of Zambia.

His qualifications include: BscHB, MBA, MBchB, MPH

Raised from an ordinary background in Lusakas Kaunda Square, Dr Chilufya worked hard and proved that excellence has no limitation when one has a clear vision and determination for one’s purpose in life.

He is a qualified Medical doctor . A product of public health education and a graduate of the University of Zambia.

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Hon. Madeleine Tchuente
Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation Republic of Cameroon

Hon. Tchuente holds a baccalaureate in science and a diploma in Pharmacy from the University of Strasbourg, France. She is from the department of Koung-ghi, in the commune of Bayangam.

She is President of the section RDPC of Mifi, a department of West Provice in Cameroon. She serves as Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation in the Republic of Cameroon.

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Hon. Mallam Adamu Adamu
Minister of Education, Republic of Nigeria

Hon. Adamu Adamu attended the Government Secondary School Azare and he obtained his B.Sc Degree in Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University. Hon. Adamu Adamu also holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from Columbia University. He started his working career as an accountant and then he joined the New Nigerian Newspapers as a Special Correspondent and Member of the Editorial Board. He rose to become the Deputy Editor of the Daily Newspaper.

Prior to his appointment as Minister of Education, he was Secretary of Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF; Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), and Member/Secretary, Strategy Committee of the APC Presidential Transition Committee. Hon. Adamu Adamu is fluent in Arabic, Persian and French.

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Hon. Awut Deng Acuil
Minister of Gender Child and Social Welfare, Republic of South Sudan

Hon. Awut Deng Acuil is the Minister for Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare since August 2013, she is also a member of the South Sudan Transitional National Legislative Assembly representing Tonj East Constituency.

She served as Presidential Advisor on Gender and Human Rights from 2005 to 2008 and as Minister for Mnistry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development from 2008 to 2011. She also serves as a member of the Politcal Bureau of the National Liberation Council of the SPLM and is the Chairperson and a prominent member of Sudan Women Association Network (SWAN).

In her current portfolio, she aspires to see her children in a child-friendly environment, as such she introduced the Child Mobilization Initiative, to ensure that living children and working on the streets are removed from the streets, reunified with their families and put back in schools. She also strives to ensure the rights of people with special needs through the Diability and Inclusivity Policy.

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Hon. Fidelis Macdonald Molao
Assistant Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Republic of Botswana

Honorable Assistant Minister Fidelis Mmilili Macdonald Molao holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities - Majoring in English Grammar and Literature in English and History of International Relations. He also completed Post Graduate Diploma in Education – Majoring in Educational Psychology and Teaching methods which he completed in 2000 and 2001 respectively both from University of Botswana. He also completed various short courses in Security Sector Governance, Post Graduate Diploma in Public Relations, Civil and Military Relations and Parliamentary oversight at various institutions. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Research and Public Policy with the University of Botswana.

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Hon. Heva Muakasa
Minister of Scientific Research and Technology, Democratic Republic of Congo

Hon. Heva Muakasa est un homme politique de la République Démocratique du Congo né le 30 avril 1955 à Lukula dans le KONGO CENTRAL en République Démocratique du Congo. Il entame ses études primaires à L'Ecole Primaire de Kangu. Ensuite, il fait ses études secondaires au Collège Notre Dame de Mbansa-Mboma où il obtient son diplôme d'Etat en 1974.

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Prof. Cristina Stefan
President of African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer

Professor Cristina Stefan is the President of the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer and the Vice President of the South African Medical Research Council. Professor Stefan holds a masters in cancer epidemiology and a PhD in education. She was a fellow at St Jude Children’s Cancer Research Hospital and received a fellowship in cancer prevention and control at NCI. Professor Cristina Stefan has published a book and number of articles in the field of cancer research.

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Prof. Dr.Kailash Sharma
Director (Academics) Tata Memorial Centre Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care & Pain, Tata Memorial Centre, India

Prof. Dr. Kailash Sharma is the Director & Dean (Academics) of Tata Memorial Centre since Jan – 2010 and a Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care & Pain at Tata Memorial Centre.

He is a Government of India Nominee on Post Graduate and Superspeciality Committee, Medical Council of India, New Delhi from December 2013.

In 1979, he graduated MBBS from Government Medical College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra and an MD (Anesthesiology) from Government Medical College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra.

He obtained his Postgraduate Diploma in Hospital & Healthcare Management (PGDHHM) from Symbiosis.

Presently, Dr. Sharma is involved on the selection of candidates for different PG and super specialty courses, appointments and promotions of staff members in different specialties, preparing curriculum for different specialties for Homi Bhabha National Institute (Deemed University), running of Oncology training programs in different specialties atTata Memorial Hospital and Advanced Center for Training Research in Cancer (ACTREC)and Post-Doctoral Program in Life sciences and Health sciences in different branches at Advanced Center for Training Research in Cancer (ACTREC), running PhD programme in life sciences.

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Prof. Nicholas Anthony Othieno-Abinya
Professor of Medicine and Head of Haematology/Oncology University of Nairobi and Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya

Prof. Nicholas Anthony Othieno-Abinya is Professor of Medicine at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, where he is the director of Medical Oncology Fellowship Program. He is also the head of Haematology/Oncology at the University of Nairobi and Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi. In 2009 and 2010 he was head of oncology at AgaKhan University Hospital, Nairobi.

He holds a Masters degree in Internal Medicine of the University of Nairobi, and completed his fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Royal London Hospital (University of London) in 1992. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.His research interests are in malignant haematology and breast cancer, in which he has published widely in peer-reviewed journals. He also has keen interest in molecular oncology. He has also authored a text book titled Drug Treatment of Haematologic Neoplasms’ (second edition in 2016 by Jomo Kenyatta Foundation). He has also co-authored cancer booklets, and has written chapters in several books.

Prof. Othieno-Abinya is a member of American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and served in its International Affairs Committee from 2010-2012; Africa Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC), having been Vice Chair for Eastern Africa and is a member of Council; and European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO). He founded Kenya Society of Haematology and Oncology (KESHO), of which he was the first Chair, and is still a member of its Advisory Committee. His outstanding academic achievements were recently profiled in the University of Nairobi magazine,’ Varsity Focus’ of September 2017.

He is married with four grown-up children, and has grandchildren.

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Prof. Dileep Mhaisekar
Vice Chancellor, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), India

Prof. Dr. Deelip Mhaisekar is the Vice-Chancellor, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik.He completed his M.B.B.S. from Government Medical College, Aurangabad and M.D. (Pulmonary Medicine) from Seth G. S. Medical College & K.E.M. Hospital, Mumbai.He was the Professor and Head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Dr. S.C.G.M.C. Nanded.

And Dean, Dr. Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College, Nanded. He has also worked as an Acting Vice-Chancellor, Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, Nashik.His broad work experience includes:· Ex Member, Academic Council & Senate at S.R.T.M.U., Nanded and M.U.H.S., Nashik · Member, Medical Council of India, New Delhi and PG Committee· Ex-Member, Maharashtra Medical Council.

Governing Council Member, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi · Member, Haemovigilance Programme Govt. of India, New Delhi· Life Member· Indian Chest Society Association of Physicians in India· I.M.A.· Faculty at various National Conferences · A Number of National / International Publications

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Prof. Eduardo Cazap
President of the Latin American & Caribbean Society of Medical Oncology (SLACOM), Past- President of the International Union against Cancer (UICC)

Prof. Eduardo Cazap MD, PhD is an Argentinean medical oncologist with a longstanding clinical and scientific career in Argentina and Internationally.

Founder and first President of the Latin American & Caribbean Society of Medical Oncology (SLACOM) , Past- President of the International Union against Cancer (UICC) and Member of the Executive Committee of the National Cancer Institute of Argentina since 2010 Published over 190 papers with main areas in global health, cancer control and prevention, breast and cervical cancer and independent clinical research.

He is one of the beginners of the concept of “Global Cancer Control” and in the year 2000 was signatory of the Charter of Paris against Cancer.

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Prof. Dinesh Pendharkar
President Indian Society of Oncology Chair of the International Affairs Committee (American Society of Clinical Oncology)

Dr. Dinesh Pendharkar MD PhD MBA Head department of cancer chemotherapy at Asian Cancer Institute Mumbai. President Indian Society of Oncology Chair of International Affairs Committee of American Society of Clinical Oncology Present-Mentor Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, District cancer Care Services, Govt of Odisha and Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.

One of the First Practitioners in cancer chemotherapy in India. Has many publications including international recognized practice changing research.

Presently as a social service involved in empowering government run district hospitals of the country with creation of Nodal Caner Units in each of them and creating Community Point of Contacts for Cancer-a physician- in each district. The unique cancer care delivery model completely covers four states of India ( 110 districts of India -17%).These units in the district are capable of assisting patients in counseling, diagnosis, treatment , follow-up care, palliative care and are additionally doing public educational activities with assistance from the state.

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Prof. Hany A. El-Shemy
Dean of Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University Arab Republic of Egypt)

Prof. Hany A. El-Shemy is working as a Dean of Faculty of Agriculture at Cairo University. He is also the Advisor for the Ministry of High Education and Scientific Research - Egypt- Prof. Hany El Shemy received his two Ph.D. degrees in Biochemistry and Genetic Engineering from the University of Cairo, Egypt and University of Hiroshima, Japan respectively.

He became an Assistant Professor with Biochemistry Department of Cairo University, Egypt from Sept, 1996, and advanced to Associate Professor in Sept, 2002, as well as full Professor in March 2007. His research interests are in the fields of plant biotechnolo-gy and medicinal plants (Molecular Biology). He received 2 patents, wrote 9 international books, published more than 80 SCI Journal papers, and 40 conference presentation, and served as the technique committee member as well as chair in many international confer-ences and the editors including PLoS ONE journal, BMC Genomics, Current Issue in Molecular Biology also reviewer for more than 25 SCI cited journals. He received several awards, including State prize awarded from Academy of Science, Egypt (2004), Young Arab Researcher prize Awarded from Shuman Foundation, Jordan (2005), State Excel-lence prize from Academy of Science, Egypt (2011), Cairo University Prizes 2007, 2010, 2014. He served an expert for African Regional Center of Technology, Dakar, Senegal plus visiting professor at Pan African University, African Union, Nairobi, Kenya.

He was appointed acting Vice President of the Academy of Science and Technology from 11/2013 to 11/2014, Egypt.

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Dr. Shyam Manraj
Director of Laboratory Services, Central Health Laboratory, Mauritius National Cancer Registry Coordinator

Dr Shyam Manraj graduated in medicine at University Aix-Marseille, France in 1982 and then pursued post-graduate studies in Pathology there. In 1986, he took employment at Ministry of Health & Quality of life as pathologist. He is presently Director for Laboratory Services.

In 1993, he was nominated National Cancer Registry (NCR) coordinator, a responsibility which he is still holding up to present day. He is also an active member of various cancer-related International Organizations such as :

  1. International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR)
  2. African Organization for Research and Training In Cancer (AORTIC)
  3. African Cancer Registries Network (AFCRN)
  4. American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

Over the past decades, he has been involved in various research projects concerning cancer epidemiology and care, useful in guiding policies on cancer control in Mauritius.

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Dr. Richard Hatchett,
CEO of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation

Dr. Richard J. Hatchett, MD, is Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a partnership of public, private, philanthropic and civil organizations that will finance and co-ordinate the development of vaccines against high priority public health threats and vaccine platform technologies to respond rapidly to emerging infectious diseases with pandemic or epidemic potential.

Prior to joining CEPI, Richard most recently served as acting Director of the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), after serving for five years as BARDA’s Chief Medical Officer and Deputy Director.

Over the past decades, he has been involved in various research projects concerning cancer epidemiology and care, useful in guiding policies on cancer control in Mauritius.

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Prof. Verkonika von Messling
Director Veterinary Medicine Division Paul Ehrlich Institute

Professor Verkonika von Messling is director of the Veterinary Medicine Division at Paul-Ehrlich-Institut which is the German regulatory authority for vaccines and biomedicines.

Professor von Messling obtained a veterinary degree and a doctorate degree in veterinary virology from the Veterinary School Hannover, Germany.

Verkonika von Messling aims her research around the study of recombinant and genetically modified virus in vitro and in different animal models.

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Dr. Caroline Trotter
Senior Lecturer, University of Cambridge, UK

Dr Caroline Trotter is a Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology at the University of Cambridge and an honorary epidemiologist at Public Health England. Her research examines the potential and actual impact of immunization using a range of methods from classic epidemiology to mathematical modelling and health economics. Her work has been used to inform national and (as a consultant to the World Health Organisation) international vaccine policy. Much of her research is focused on meningococcal disease and carriage in the UK and Africa, working with African partners. She has been involved in a range of projects in the African meningitis belt, both to quantify the impact of MenAfriVac (an affordable group A meningococcal conjugate vaccine), and to investigate both short (epidemic response) and long-term (preventive vaccination) options for the control of epidemic meningitis. Caroline also has current projects on the impact of vaccination against group B streptococcus, norovirus and rabies. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Wellcome Trust-Cambridge Centre for Global Health Research, which is part of the Cambridge-Africa Programme at the University of Cambridge.

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Prof. Tebello Nyokong
UNESCO L'OREAL Award Winner

Prof Tebello Nyokong holds a Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation (DST/NRF) professorship in Medicinal chemistry and Nanotechnology at Rhodes University in South Africa. She has successfully supervised 83 PhD/MSc students. She has published close to 640 manuscripts (including patents, a book and book chapters). Her H index is 58 (ISI) and 65 (Google Scholar).

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Prof. Louis Jean Claude Autrey
Chancellor of University of Mauritius

Le Dr. Louis Jean Claude Autrey, CSK (photo), a ete nomme Chancelier de l’Universite de Maurice. Cette nomination est la consecration d’une longue association du Dr. Autrey avec l’Universite de Maurice qui remonte a 1978. Le Dr. Autrey a ete un charge de cours a temps partiel a l’Ecole d’Agriculture, a ete Membre du Senat pendant une dizaine d’annees et Membre du Conseil à partir de 1998. Il etait jusqu’a sa nomination comme Chancelier, Vice-President du Conseil d’Administration et President de la Commission du Budget et des Infrastructures de l’Universite. Il a siege sur differentes commissions de l’Universite a travers les annees. L’annee derniere il fut President du Comite Organisateur pour les Celebrations du Centenaire de l’Ecole de l’Agriculture, tache qu’il accomplit avec distinction. Il a ete Membre du Conseil d’Administration entre autres du Mauritius Institute of Education, du Mauritius Research Council et du Mauritius Academy of Science and Technology. Il a ete President du Conseil d’Admnistration du Mauritius Standards Bureau de 2002 a 2005. Il a toujours privilegie la formation et dispense des cours sur la canne a sucre au Regional Training Centre, au MSIRI, depuis sa creation en 1980 a jour.

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Dr. Elizabeth Marincola
Senior Advisor for Communications and Advocacy, African Academy of Science

Dr. Elizabeth Marincola is a longtime leader of science publishing, advocacy, education, communication and policy. She is Senior Advisor for Communications and Advocacy at the African Academy of Sciences, a pan-African organization dedicated to the advancement of quality science across the Continent. At AAS, she is leading the development and launch of AAS Open Research, an innovative, transparent publishing platform.

Marincola prior served as CEO of PLOS, publisher of the world’s largest open access journal. She was President of the Society for Science & the Public, Publisher of Science News, and Executive Director of the American Society for Cell Biology. She has served on multiple national and international advisory committees and boards, including the Board of Directors of eLife and the Strategic Planning Committee for the NIH National Library of Medicine. Marincola received the (U.S.) Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health.

She received her A.B. from Stanford University and MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

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Dr. Collen Masimirembwa
CEO African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology

Dr. Collen Masimirembwa is a biochemical pharmacologist with a DPhil in Biochemistry from the University of Zimbabwe and a PhD in Pharmacogenetics from Karolinska Institute in Sweden. After working for AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical company in Sweden for 10 years as a Principal Scientist, he returned to Zimbabwe to establish the African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology (AiBST) with the aim of promoting the sciences and technologies of drug discovery and development in Africa. He is the current President and Chief Scientific Officer of AiBST. Collen is an Honorary Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Cape Town and of Heath Sciences at the University of KwaZulu Natal.

His research focus is in drug metabolism & pharmacokinetics (DMPK) and in pharmacogenomics, fields in which he has made many original contributions with over 90 research publications to his credit. Collen has won many awards in recognition of his work including a certificate of distinction in Biochemistry from the Government of Zimbabwe. Under his leadership AiBST has gained international reputation including nomination as a Centre of Excellence in DMPK & Toxicology by the African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation (ANDi). Collen is a fellow of the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences (ZAS) and of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS)

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Mr. Matth?as Getrost
Head of Research & Applied Commercial Africa Merck Life Science

Education: Degree of University of Applied Science, Frankfurt

Professional Experience: Started at Merck more than 30 years ago. Previous roles;

GM for PCS products Sales and CS Head in The Netherlands, Belgium and UK Key Account Manager (PCS) for Baxter/Baxalta and GSK Bio Head of Field Marketing in Europe (North) Head of Field Marketing Asia Director of Field Marketing PS Emerging Countries (150 countries)

Personal Life: Married with 2 kids and one grandchild

Hobbies & Interests: Cooking & Eating Travelling Music – Classic and Modern – but especially Hard Rock Reading – Action and Biographies Sports

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Ms. Ashveena Gajeelee
Berkman Klein Center Fellow, Harvard University

Ashveena Gajeelee is a public policy specialist with experience in government, regulatory affairs and negotiation. She is a Global Access in Action (GAiA) Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Ash supports GAiA’s action-oriented research which focuses on global public health challenges facing the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Ash is a current teaching fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She has worked in several governmental ministries in her home country of Mauritius including Agriculture, Prime Minister's Office and Environment. After several years in government, she joined the Financial Services Commission, where she was the Head of Policy and International Affairs. Following the financial crisis, Ashveena was intensely active in working with Southern African Development Community countries to implement international norms in the financial services sector and ensuring compliance to fight money laundering and financing of terrorism. As a Fulbright Humphrey Fellow she worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to research best practice of community development outreach and financial literacy. She was most recently the advisor to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development. She has a strong research interest in how regulatory policy impact access to medicine and health equity. Ashveena holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Biochemistry at Rhodes University, a MPA from Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA), France and a dual master from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (MPA) and the Graduate Institute of Geneva (International Affairs).