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Speaker biographies

Rana Jawad Asghar Rana Jawad Asghar
Program Development Branch, Division of Global Public Health Capacity Development, Coordinating Office for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA

Jawad has been a resident advisor of a field epidemiology and laboratory training programme in Pakistan since August 2006. He was an epidemic intelligence service fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before coming to Pakistan. His other positions included a programme manager of a child survival project in Mozambique, a faculty member at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a research associate in the division of infectious diseases and geographic medicine at Stanford University. He did his Masters in Public Health at the University of Washington where he was a fellow of emerging infectious diseases. He did his basic medical education in Pakistan from Allama Iqbal Medical College and obtained his MCPS from the College of Physicians and Surgeons. He was a Franklin Adams Scholar for a year at Bristol University, UK, in the department of epidemiology.

Paul KS Chan Paul KS Chan
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Paul KS Chan is Professor of Microbiology at the Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Honorary Consultant in Microbiology for the New Territories East Cluster Hospitals of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority. Professor Chan is a renowned clinical virologist with special interests in viral epidemiology, pathogenesis, and oncogenesis. He is currently a visiting professor of the Royal Veterinary College, University of London, and the College of Life Science and Bioengineering, Beijing University of Technology. He also serves many key professional bodies, including locally the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases of the Centre for Health Protection; the Grant Review Board for the Research Fund for the Control of Infectious Diseases; the Hospital Authority Avian Influenza Working Group; the Hong Kong College of Pathologists Examiner Committee; and internationally, the Asia-Pacific Advisory Committee on Influenza; and the Asia-Pacific Advisory Committee on Prevention of Cervical Cancer. Professor Chan is also a partner of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network and is a short-term consultant on influenza for the WHO.

Richard Coker Richard Coker
Department of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Richard Coker is Reader in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He heads the Communicable Diseases Policy Research Group which provides a focus of expertise on the diverse public-health problems associated with communicable disease control internationally. Notable areas of research that have received much attention have included health-systems analysis, analysis of strategic planning, law as a tool to support communicable disease control, policy analysis, and development and ranking of indicators to assess performance.

Frederick G. Hayden Frederick G. Hayden
University of Virginia School of Medicine, Virginia, USA

Dr Hayden is Stuart S. Richardson Professor of Clinical Virology and Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. During 2006-2008 he served as a medical officer in the Global Influenza Programme at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, and since September 2008, has been serving as influenza research coordinator at the Wellcome Trust, London. Dr Hayden received his medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1973 and completed his clinical training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester, New York, USA. He joined the faculty of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 1978 and became Richardson Professor in 1990. His principal research interests have been on the respiratory viral infections with a particular focus on the development and application of antiviral agents for influenza and rhinovirus infections. Dr Hayden is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, American Academy of Microbiology, American Society for Clinical Investigation, and Association of American Physicians.

Nguyen Tran Hien Nguyen Tran Hien
National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Vietnam

Associate Professor Nguyen Tran Hien is Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE), a leading scientific research institute in Vietnam in the areas of epidemiology, medical microbiology, immunology and molecular biology, and vaccine development. He graduated from Hanoi Medical College, Vietnam in 1978. He did 2 years (1986-1988) postgraduate training in epidemiology and clinical immunology at the National Institute for Lung Diseases and Tuberculosis, Berlin, Germany. He obtained a Master of Public Health qualification in health development at the Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (1992-1993), and in 2002, he got a PhD degree at Free University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Dr. Hien has a lot of experience in the surveillance and prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and other emerging and re-emerging diseases in Vietnam. He has published more than 30 scientific papers in both international and Vietnam's journals. Dr Nguyen Tran Hien is also Chairman of the Department of Epidemiology and Director of the Center for HIV/AIDS Research and Training of Hanoi Medical University.

Peter Horby Peter Horby
National Institute of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Hanoi, Vietnam

Peter Horby is a public-health physician who trained in medicine and public health in the UK and Australia, specialising in public health and infectious diseases. He has previously held positions as International Research Fellow at the National Centre for Immunisation Research in Sydney, Consultant Epidemiologist with the UK Health Protection Agency and WHO focal point for Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response in the Vietnam Country Office. Since February, 2006, he has been Director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit at the National Institute of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Hanoi, Vietnam. He has experience of a range of emerging infections including variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, SARS, and avian influenza.

Lance C Jennings Lance C Jennings
Microbiology Department, Canterbury Health Laboratories; WHO National Measles Laboratory; Pathology Department, University of Otago, New Zealand

Lance Jennings is Clinical Virologist to the Canterbury District Health Board, Director of the WHO National Measles Laboratory, and Clinical Associate Professor in the Pathology Department, University of Otago. His principal research interests include the epidemiology, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of influenza and other respiratory viral infections. He has been instrumental in the development of influenza control strategies for New Zealand, including the introduction of free influenza vaccine, establishment of influenza awareness education (NISG), and pandemic planning. Dr Jennings co-established and is Chair of the Asia Pacific Advisory Committee on Influenza (APACI). He has held WHO short-term consultancies on measles and influenza in Asia and Europe, and has been a member of WHO/WPRO Avian Influenza Outbreak Response (2004) and Expert Influenza (2005) teams in Asia. Dr Jennings serves on several Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture advisory committees and on advisory boards for vaccine and diagnostics companies. In 2006, his service to virology in New Zealand and internationally was recognised with the award of the Queens Service Order.

Ira M Longini Ira M Longini
Hutchinson Research Center and Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington School of Public Health, Washington, USA

Ira M Longini is Professor of Biostatistics and Biomathematics at the Hutchinson Research Center and the University of Washington. He received a PhD in Biometry and Biomathematics at the University of Minnesota in 1977. Dr. Longini began his career with the International Center for Medical Research and Training and the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, where he worked on tropical infectious disease problems and taught courses in biomathematics. His research interests are in the area of stochastic processes applied to epidemiological problems. He has specialised in the mathematical and statistical theory of epidemics. He has worked extensively in the design, analysis, and interpretation of vaccine trials. This research has been undertaken jointly with other universities, the CDC, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, NIH, and many other institutions. Dr. Longini has worked extensively on the analysis of epidemics of influenza, HIV, cholera, dengue fever, rhinovirus, rotavirus, tuberculosis, and measles. He is also working with the HHS, WHO, IVI, CDC, and other public health interests on mathematical and statistical models for the control of a possible bioterrorist attack with an infectious agent such as smallpox, and other natural infectious disease threats such as pandemic influenza and SARS.

Jai P Narain Jai P Narain
Department of Communicable Diseases, WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, New Delhi, India

Dr. Jai P Narain is Director of the Department of Communicable Diseases at the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO), New Delhi, India, where he is responsible for all communicable-disease surveillance and response activities. He has an MBBS and an MD from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, and a master's in public health and epidemiology from Harvard University, School of Public Health, Boston, USA. Associated with HIV/AIDS and TB prevention and control programmes since 1988, he has held positions at PAHO/AMRO Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (1988-90) and WHO, Geneva (1990-91). He has been with SEARO since 1991, where he has also served as Team Leader for the Global Programme on AIDS (1991-95). Dr. Narain participated in the Global Smallpox Eradication Programme during 1975 and has worked over the years in various prestigious institutions such as the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the Indian Council of Medical Research, and the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta.

Hitoshi Oshitani Hitoshi Oshitani
Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine

Dr Hitoshi Oshitani is a professor at Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, in Sendai Japan. Between 1999 and 2005, he was a regional advisor for Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response at the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Regional Office in Manila, the Philippines. During his tenure at WHO, he led a regional response to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and avian influenza H5N1. His main research interest focuses on epidemiology of viral infections including influenza and other respiratory viruses. He is currently conducting various epidemiological and virological research projects not only in Japan, but also in other Asian countries. He is also a member of an expert committee on pandemic influenza preparedness in Japan.

Mark Simmerman Mark Simmerman
Influenza Division, Coordinating Centre for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bangkok, Thailand

Mark Simmerman earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1994 and a PhD from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 2006. Dr Simmerman has been an officer with the United States Public Health Service for 19 years and has worked for the US CDC for the past 11 years. He has diverse professional experience that includes clinical practice, administration of public-health programmes, and infectious disease epidemiology. Since 2001, Dr. Simmerman has been actively involved in the study and control of human and avian influenza in Southeast Asia. His primary research interest focuses on the burden of human influenza in the region. He has been a leading voice for improved disease burden research, systematic laboratory-based surveillance, and the expanded use of influenza vaccination. He is currently the Chief of the Influenza Section at the US CDC's SE Asia Regional Office in Bangkok, Thailand. Dr. Simmerman is a principal investigator of a study exploring transmission and prevention of influenza in urban Thai households.

Lone Simonsen Lone Simonsen
George Washington University, Washington DC, USA

Lone Simonsen is an expert in infectious-disease epidemiology, mathematical modelling, influenza, pandemic influenza, surveillance, drug resistance, and molecular epidemiology. Over the past 17 years she has developed methodology and analysis strategies for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health. Dr Simonsen earned her PhD in population genetics at the University of Massachusetts in 1991, then trained at the CDC in applied epidemiology and went on to work at WHO in Geneva on the epidemiology of unsafe medical injections, TB drug resistance, and global HIV/AIDS. After returning to the USA in 2000, she advised the NIAID institute leadership on influenza, SARS, and vaccine issues, and was assigned on several occasions to assist WHO with SARS and pandemic influenza epidemiology. Dr Simonsen is currently an adjunct professor and research director in Global Health at the George Washington University and the president and founder of SAGE Analytica.

Gavin Smith Gavin Smith
State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Dr Gavin Smith is a research assistant professor at the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong. His primary training was in ecology and evolution and he obtained his PhD from The University of Hong Kong in 2003. Dr Smith’s research interests relate to the ecology and evolution of emerging infectious viruses, particularly influenza and SARS, and in using computational methods to determine genetic factors involved in the adaptation of viruses to different hosts. In 2007, Dr Smith was awarded a 7-year US$1 million Career Development Award by the US NIAID/NIH for his work on influenza. He is Secretary of the International Society for Influenza and Other Respiratory Virus Diseases, Co-Chair of the WHO/OIE/FAO Working Group on the Evolution and Nomenclature of Influenza A (H5N1) Virus, and a member of the OIE/FAO OFFLU Technical Committee on Avian Influenza Diagnostics.

Iain Stephenson Iain Stephenson
Infectious Diseases Unit, University Hospitals Leicester, UK

Dr Iain Stephenson is Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant at University Hospitals of Leicester, UK. He qualified from Addenbrookes' Medical School, University of Cambridge, and trained in general internal medicine in Stoke-on-Trent and then as a specialist registrar in infectious diseases in Leicester. He has spent time working in west Africa, Zimbabwe, and Thailand. Dr Stephenson gained influenza virology experience at the Influenza laboratory of the UK Health Protection Agency in Colindale, London, where he focussed on immunogenicity of pandemic vaccines. After completing specialist medical training, he was awarded an International Emerging Infectious Disease Fellowship in the Influenza Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA. His research interests focus on serological responses to avian influenza and human influenza infection, evaluation of influenza vaccine candidates, assessment of resistance to antiviral agents, and diagnostic tests for respiratory virus pathogens. He is currently an advising consultant for WHO pandemic vaccine clinical and serology evaluation groups. He is a member of the editorial board for Expert Review of Vaccines.

Paul Tambyah Paul Tambyah
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Paul Ananth Tambyah completed medical training at the National University of Singapore and then national service as a medical officer in the Singapore Armed Forces before doing postgraduate training in the USA. His training in infectious diseases was at the University of Wisconsin under Dr Dennis Maki. Since his return to Singapore, he has been actively involved in clinical care, research, and teaching at the National University of Singapore. He is currently head of the division of infectious diseases in the department of medicine, National University of Singapore, and is an international councilor for the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology in America and a council member of the Western Pacific Society of Chemotherapy and Infectious Diseases. His main research interests are in nosocomial infections and emerging infectious diseases.

Thomas Tsang Thomas Tsang
Centre of Health Protection, Hong Kong, SAR

Dr Tsang obtained his medical degree at the University of Hong Kong in 1990. He graduated with a Masters of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University (USA) in 1992. He obtained Fellowship in Community Medicine under the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine in 1999. During 1998-2000, he underwent a 2-year training programme under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA. Dr Tsang joined the Department of Health as a Medical and Health Officer in 1992. His work experience and publications have mainly been on the prevention and control of infectious diseases, including avian influenza A (H5N1) in 1997 and SARS in 2003. Since 2004, he served as Consultant in Community Medicine with the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health. He is now acting Controller of the Centre for Health Protection.

Kumnuan Ungchusak Kumnuan Ungchusak
Bureau of Epidemiology, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand

Kumnuan Ungchusak graduated from Siriraj Medical School, Bangkok, Thailand in 1979. He got his Master of Public Health from Mahidol University, and subsequently joined a 2 year on-the-job field epidemiology training programme under the Thai Ministry of Health in 1984. Since then he has served as a field epidemiologist supervising surveillance and investigations of communicable-disease outbreaks in the country. At present, Dr Ungchusak is the senior expert in preventive medicine at the Bureau of Epidemiology, Department of Disease Control, and is the country contact person for international health regulation. He played an important part in the set up of surveillance rapid response teams, which now function in every district and province over the country. His current work is related to avian influenza, public-health emergencies of international concern, and joint operations for outbreaks across borders.

Muh-Yong Yen Muh-Yong Yen
Taipei City Hospital, Taiwan; Division for Disease Control and Prevention, Taipei City Government, Taiwan

Dr Muh-Yong Yen was born in Taiwan in 1955. He graduated from the School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University in 1980, and accomplished his training in infectious diseases at the General Veterans Hospital in 1987. He received further education at Columbia University, USA, in molecular biology, and at the National Sun Yat-Sen University where he obtained an EMBA. Dr Yen was appointed chief of the Emergency Medicine and Infection Control Committee at the Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung in 1995. In 2003, during the SARS epidemic of Taiwan, he voluntarily joined the task force and developed the "traffic control bundle" to minimise transmission to health-care workers of nosocomial SARS infection. From 2006 to 2009, he was the elected president of the Infection Control Society of Taiwan. He is now Deputy Superintendent of Taipei City Hospital, and Director of the Division for Disease Control and Prevention, Taipei City Government. His field of interests includes emerging infectious diseases, infection control, and crisis management.

Wang Yu Wang Yu
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, China

Dr. Wang Yu received his MD degree from Peking Medical University in 1989, specialising in hepatology. In 1993, he received his PhD in viral immunology and molecular virology from the department of preventive biology at Jichi Medical School, Tokyo, Japan. From 1985 to 2000, Dr. Wang Yu worked at the Peking Medical University as a researcher, then as Director of the Institute of Hepatology and Vice President of the Peking University Health Science Center. Since September 2000, Dr. Wang has been Deputy Director of the China Biomedical Engineering Development Center, and subsequently Deputy Director General of the Department of Rural and Social Development, Ministry of Science and Technology, People's Republic of China. In July 2004, Dr. Wang Yu was appointed Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kwok-yung Yuen Kwok-yung Yuen
Department of Microbiology, University of Hong Kong, SAR

Kwok-yung Yuen is an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering (Basic Medicine and Health) and is a Silver Bauhinea Star Awardee of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China. He was born in Hong Kong and graduated from the Medical School at the University of Hong Kong. After years of clinical and laboratory training, he established the infectious disease service and rapid molecular diagnosis for cytomegalovirus and tuberculosis at Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong. During the outbreak of avian influenza virus H5N1 in Hong Kong in 1997, Professor Yuen was the first to report in The Lancet about the unusual clinical severity and high mortality of infected patients who were identified with a molecular test developed at his laboratory. During the outbreak of SARS in 2003, he led his team in the discovery of the SARS coronavirus. Subsequently he found the natural reservoir of SARS coronavirus-like virus in the Chinese horseshoe bat, renewing interest in bats as the source of novel microbes causing emerging infectious diseases. He also discovered human coronavirus HKU1, bat coronavirus HKU2-13, bovine and porcine hokovirus, and Laribacter hongkongensis in fish and human beings.


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