Program Committee

Prof. Dr. Margaret Stanley

Department of Pathology

University of Cambridge
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Margaret Stanley is Emeritus Professor of Epithelial Biology in the University of Cambridge and Honorary Fellow of Christs College, Cambridge. She attended the Universities of London, Bristol and Adelaide, she is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Honorary Fellow of the UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. She has a lifetime award for contribution to research on cervical cancer and cervical precancers from the American Society for Colposcopy and Cytopathology (ASCCP) and a lifetime award for achievement from the International Papillomavirus Society. She has served on several UK Research Council committees and was a member of the Biology and Biotechnology Science Research Council from 2000-2003. She was a member of the Spongiform Encephalopathies Advisory Committee that advised the UK government on prion diseases (mad cow disease) from 2004-2010. In 2004 she was awarded the OBE for services to Virology. She was and still is a research scientist and her research has focussed on how the body defends itself against infections with HPV (human papillomavirus) the cause of cervical cancer in women, how to develop vaccines that prevent HPV infection as well as those that might treat HPV infection. She is a consultant for the 3 companies that market HPV vaccines, MSD, SPMSD and GSK and for small biotech companies developing therapeutic vaccines. She acts as the invited HPV expert for the HPV subcommittee of the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation in the UK.

Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu


Medicaid Cander Foundation
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Her Excellency, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi-Bagudu is a Paediatric Consultant, a loud voice in the fight against cancer and a child’s right advocate. She is the First Lady of Kebbi state, a platform that has turned her into a role model in the state and beyond. Her advocacy for women, children and the youth in Kebbi state and Northern Nigeria, cuts across health, education and skills acquisition. Dr. Zainab Bagudu obtained her MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine) from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria followed by a specialist training in Paediatrics and Neonatology in the United Kingdom. Amongst other academic qualification, she has a Masters in Paediatrics, a Diploma in Tropical Child Health and membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. After her specialist training abroad, she returned to Nigeria in 2002 toset up and head the Paediatric Unit of Garki Hospital under a pioneering Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme with the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. By 2009, she branched into private service with an innovative Diagnostic Centre, Medicaid Radio-diagnostics. The center bridged the healthcare gap created by paucity of diagnostic tools in the region. As well as being the Chief Executive of Medicaid, Dr Zainab Bagudu is the founder of Medicaid Cancer Foundation (MCF), which creates awareness and funds diagnosis, and treatment of the common cancers in Nigeria. MCF has become quite famous for holding an annual one million-walk away cancer fundraiser

Dr. Anissa Sidibe

Senior Programme Manager

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Anissa Sidibe is Senior Programme Manager, HPV vaccine at Gavi (the Vaccine Alliance). Anissa holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and an Master of Public Health. Her previous experience includes work with World Health Organisation (Geneva), Novartis (Nigeria), Foundation Congolaise pour la Recherche Medicale (Republic of Congo) and the Centre for Vaccine Development (Mali). She has worked across many infectious disease areas, developing policies and implementing programme, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa

Prof. Dr. Dang Duc Anh

Microbiologist and public health researcher

Vietnam National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology
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Professor Dang Duc Anh leads Hub activities on human health and provides ethics related consultation to the Hub. His areas of expertise include microbiology and public health. He is the Director of the NIHE.

Dr. Anna Giuliano


Center for Immunization and Infection Research in Cancer (CIIRC), Moffitt Cancer Center
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Anna R. Giuliano, PhD, is the founding director of the Center for Immunization and Infection Research in Cancer (CIIRC) at the Moffitt Cancer Center. Her career had its inception in the relationship between human papillomavirus (HPV) infections and cervical cancer in women, and has evolved over the past several decades to encompass HPV and penile, anal, and oral cancers in men, as well as other infectious diseases and their causal relationships with various cancers. Her work has contributed significantly to our understanding of the rate at which HPV infections are acquired and cleared, the proportion that progress to disease, and also to HPV vaccine protection against multiple diseases in women and men. An expert in the field of cancer research with a longstanding and successful record of National Institutes of Health funding since 1990, she has been actively involved in cancer epidemiology and prevention studies conducted among diverse populations in the United States and abroad. In the course of those endeavors, Dr Giuliano was a contributor to the 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report titled The Unequal Burden of Cancer and the 2005 International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report that concluded for the first time that HPV is a cause of multiple cancers in women and men. In 2013, at the 100th anniversary of the American Cancer Society (ACS), she was the recipient of the ACS Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Award. In 2018, she was selected for the ACS Clinical Research Professor Award for “Prevention of Infection-Related Cancers.”

Prof. Dr. Deborah Watson-Jones

Professor Deborah Watson-Jones, Mwanza Intervention Trials Unit, National Institute for Medical Research

Clinical Epidemiology & International Health in the Clinical Research Department of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
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Deborah Watson-Jones is Professor of Clinical Epidemiology & International Health in the Clinical Research Department of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Born in Kenya and raised in West Africa, she qualified in Zoology and Medicine from Oxford University and she trained in epidemiology at LSHTM. She has been based in Tanzania since 1995. Her research interests include the epidemiology and prevention of HPV and related infections and HPV vaccine and Ebola vaccine research. She has conducted studies in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone DRC and Mongolia. She co-led the first trial of HPV vaccines in sub-Saharan Africa and led on evaluation of lessons learnt from HPV vaccine introductions in low- and middle-income countries. She is currently leading on a number of Ebola vaccine trials and on a clinical trial to evaluate the immunogenicity of single-dose HPV vaccine in Tanzanian girls. She is a member of the Single-Dose HPV Vaccine Evaluation Consortium.

Dr. Dolapo Obayemi-Ajiboye

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) / MRC Gambia unit
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Dr. Edina Amponsah-Dacosta

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Vaccines for Africa Initiative, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town
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Dr. Edina Amponsah-Dacosta is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Vaccines for Africa Initiative (VACFA) based at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She is a trained Medical Virologist, Vaccinologist and Health Systems researcher. Edina obtained her PhD in Medical Virology from the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in 2017. Her postgraduate research was in the field of viral hepatitis, with a particular focus on the impact of universal hepatitis B vaccination in South Africa, and the influence of HBV genetic variants on the disease course. After her PhD, Edina completed a Masters in Public Health (MPH) at the University of Cape Town in 2019, specializing in Health Policy and Systems. Her research focus in this area is on the interaction between national immunization programs and the broader health systems in which they are embedded. In 2018, Edina joined VACFA as an avenue to apply her strong interdisciplinary background in pursuing her research goal of expanding the reach of lifesaving vaccines and reducing the burden of vaccinepreventable diseases across the African region. She is currently project managing a phase IV clinical trial exploring alternative, optimal vaccination strategies against pertussis among adolescents in South Africa. She is also leading a research project assessing progress towards elimination of viral hepatitis in sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on HIV-exposed uninfected children. Furthermore, she is interested in scaling-up health systems capacity to support national immunization programmes like HPV vaccination programmes and maternal immunization programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. During her tenure as a fellow at VACFA, Edina is also involved in conducting systematic reviews, co-supervising postgraduate students and co-organizing the annual African Vaccinology Course hosted by VACFA.

Prof. Dr. Eduardo Franco

James McGill Professor of Oncology and Epidemiology; Chairman, Department of Oncology; and Director, Division of Cancer Epidemiology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

McGill University, Faculty of Medicine
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He is trained in public health microbiology at University of North Carolina and at the Centers for Disease Control, and as a cancer epidemiologist at the National Institutes of Health, International Agency for Research on Cancer, and Louisiana State University. Since 1985, his research has focused on epidemiology and prevention of gynecologic, anogenital, oral, prostate, and childhood cancers, topics on which he published (as of March 2021) 526 articles, 63 book chapters, and edited two books. He is mostly known for his contributions to our understanding of human papillomavirus infection as the cause of cervical cancer and to preventing this disease via vaccination and improved screening strategies. He mentored 128 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. In addition to his regular McGill teaching, he has taught short courses on cancer epidemiology and scientific publishing throughout the world. He is Editor-in-Chief of Preventive Medicine and Preventive Medicine Reports, as well as Senior Editor of eLife. He is Officer of the Order of Canada and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He received the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance’s Distinguished Service to Cancer Research Award; Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology and from the International Papillomavirus Society; the Women in U.S. Government’s Leadership Award; the Canadian Cancer Society’s Warwick Prize; the Geoffrey Howe Outstanding Contribution Award from the Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics; University of British Columbia’s Chew Wei Memorial Prize in Cancer Research; and the McLaughlinGallie Award from the Royal College of Physicians of Canada. He is Foreign Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Joseph Nsiari-Muzeyi Biey

Routine Immunization Officer

WHO Burkina Faso
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Dr. Joseph Nsiari-Muzeyi Biey is a medical officer working as routine immunization officer in West Africa and based at the WHO Inter country support team. His area of work is mainly on routine immunization, new vaccine introduction and new vaccine surveillance focusing mostly on planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. In the past he has worked as district medical officer for 10 years and then joined the WHO in 2000, where he worked in Niger for 7 years and Benin for 8 years proving technical support on polio eradication and routine immunization.

Dr. Kwame Amponsa-Achiano

Senior Public Health Physician Specialist,New vaccine and Vaccine Safety coordinator

Ghana Health Service, Public Health Division
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Kwame Amponsa-Achiano currently works at the Public Health Division of the Ghana Health Service as a Senior Public Health Physician Specialist and Programme Manager, Expanded Program on Immunization. He additionally, teaches at the Faculty of Public Health, Ghana College of Physicians & Surgeons where he is the Deputy Training Coordinator for the Faculty. He does part-time teaching at the Public Health Nurses School of the Ministry of Health in Ghana. Kwame was an occasional lecturer at the Accra College of Medicine and the Ensign College of Public Health. He does research in Public Health. His current project is on COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment.

Prof. Dr. Mario Poljak

Head of Laboratory for Molecular Microbiology

Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Mario Poljak, MD, PhD, specialist in clinical microbiology, is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Head of Laboratory for Molecular Microbiology at Institute of Microbiology and Immunology at Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
He was President of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) from 2016-2018 and member of ESCMID Exective Committee from 2012-2020. ESCMID has 9,000+ members from all European countries and all continents and is organising the world largest conference
in the field of infection – ECCMID – with 15,000+ delegates. He was member of the ECCMID Program Committee from 2010-2020.
Professor Poljak´s laboratory offers 80 different molecular and serological assays and is also working on the development of new molecular diagnostic methods, improvement and evaluation of virological methods/assays.

The research of Prof. Poljak and his co-workers is focused on all diagnostic aspects and genetic
heterogeneity of human papillomaviruses, human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus, coronaviruses, H. pylori and M. tuberculosis, etiopathogenesis of head and neck carcinomas, etiopathogenesis and natural history of HPV-related benign tumors and intrahospital and unusual transmission of blood-born microorganisms
He is author of over 400 original research or review articles published in PubMed-cited journals. His papers have been cited more than 12,500 times (Hirsch index = 54; Hirsch i10 index = 242). As invited speaker he gave more than 350 lectures at international and national scientific and professional meetings. He is Editor of Acta Dermatovenerologica APA, Associate Editor of Journal of Clinical Virology and Editorial Board member of Journal of Clinical Microbiology, AIDS Reviews and
Papillomavirus Research. He serves as peer reviewer for more than 80 scientific journals.
He was supervisor of 32 PhD thesis in the field of clinical microbiology and in 2016 was awarded as Doctoral Mentor of the Year in Slovenia. Professor Poljak is recipient of the prestigious career achievement award from the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology (PASCV), The PASCV Diagnostic Virology Award 2018 which acknowledges
an individual whose contributions to viral diagnosis have had a major impact on the discipline. He was a member of the IDWeek Program Committee from 2018-2021.
Professor Poljak is Fellow of ESCMID (FESCMID) and Fellow of American Academy of Microbiology (FAAM)

Dr. Nelly Mugo

Chief Research Officer and Head, Sexual Reproductive and Adolescent Child Health Research Program (SRACH-RP), Research Associate Professor

Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) University of Washington (USA)
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Dr. Nelly Mugo is actively engaged in clinical trial research, with a focus on HIV and cervical cancerprevention research. She has worked on HIV and cervical cancer prevention research for over 2 decades. She was an investigator for the Partners PrEP studies, that informed the change in indication for Truvada as HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis. At the Kenyatta National Hospital, she provided clinical services and trained specialists on clinical techniques for the management of cervical intraepithelial lesions for over 12 years. Dr. Mugo has conducted observational HPV studies among sex workers in Kenya, HPV vaccine trials among adolescents and is currently a Principal investigator in a study in Kenya evaluating ‘single dose HPV vaccine’ KENSHE. Dr. Mugo leads a clinical trial unit, PHRD, in Thika, Kenya. She is an Associate Research Professor, Department of Global Health, University of Washington and the Center for Clinical Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute.

Dr. Paul Bloem

Senior Officer Immunization and Adolescent Health Linkages

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Mr Paul Bloem is a Dutch national and has worked for the WHO for the past 2 decades in Geneva, Switzerland. Initially working on adolescent health in the Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development at the start of this decade he focuses on HPV vaccine introduction for the Department of Immunizations, Vaccines and Biologicals. Previously, Paul worked for UNICEF in Central America and as health promotion adviser for an NGO in Costa Rica. He holds a Master in Health Sciences from the Free University in Amsterdam and an MBA on Health Systems Management from Keele University, England. In his current capacity, Paul support countries, particularly low and middle income countries with the introduction of HPV vaccination particularly in low and middle income countries. He works with colleagues in WHO and other partner organizations to promote HPV vaccination as part of the comprehensive, integrated approach towards elimination of cervical cancer and promotion of adolescent health.

Prof. Dr. Silvia Sanjosé


US National Cancer Institute and PATH, Seattle
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Dr. Silvia de Sanjosé is an MD, PhD with over 30 years of expertise in epidemiology of HPV and related cancers. She served as the President of the International Papillomavirus Society during 2015- 2018 and has been Co-Chair of the Cape Town, Sydney and Barcelona (virtual) conferences of the IPVS. She has experience in large international studies involving HPV worldwide genotyping and has been involved in the development of HPV based screening guidelines for cervical cancer in Spain and in Catalonia. She has previously worked at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and at the Catalan Institute of Oncology. Currently serving as Consultant for US NCI and PATH. Dr. de Sanjosé leads teams working to evaluate the use of artificial intelligence applied to cervical images. She is also involved in studies providing an insight on the association between HPV and HIV in cervical carcinogenesis applied to screening strategies. She is an affiliated professor at the Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington.