Plenary Speakers (as of October 30, 2018)

Jaffar AL-TAWFIQ, Saudi Arabia
Presentation title: ''Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV): Current Understanding"

Dr. Jaffar A. Al-Tawfiq, is a consultant of internal medicine and infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare in Saudi Arabia. He had completed his medical school at King Faisal University School of Medicine, Saudi Arabia. He then completed his internal medicine residency at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indiana (USA). He subsequently completed Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the same university.

During his Infectious Diseases fellowship, Dr. Al-Tawfiq did extensive work on the pathogenesis of Haemophilus ducreyi and the mechanism of the immune response to the various genes. In 1998, he completed a diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTM&H) at London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and was awarded a diploma in TM&H by the Royal College of Physician of London.
Since 2012, Dr. Al-Tawfiq was involved in the management and control of the MERS-CoV in Saudi Arabia.  He worked closely with the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) and international academic organization to control multiple outbreaks of MERS-CoV.  Dr. Al-Tawfiq was a member of the Saudi MERS-CoV scientific committee and was a member of the Saudi MOH to the Republic of Korea to advice on the control of MERS outbreak.  Dr. Al-Tawfiq was designated as an ISID Emerging Leader in International infectious Diseases in 2016.

His current interesta include: hospital epidemiology, healthcare associated infections, antimicrobial resistance, antibiotic stewardship, and emerging respiratory pathogens including MERS-CoV.

Eric BERTHERAT, Switzerland
Presentation title: ''Plague in Madagascar"

Dr Eric Bertherat is a specialist in public health and tropical medicine, graduated in tropical microbiology from the Pasteur Institute. In the department of Infectious Hazard Management, WHO Geneva, he is the focal point for all preparedness and response activities related to plague, tularemia, anthrax, rickettsioses and other bacterial epidemic diseases of international importance. He also supports the WHO activiti

es related to CBRN.
He has taken part in and led more than 15 responses to outbreaks of international importance.  including on cholera, viral haemorrhagic fevers, Nipah virus, meningitis and plague.
Dr Eric Bertherat joined WHO in 2001. Formerly he was a medical officer in the French Armed Forces and worked several years in developing and post-crisis countries at different levels of their health systems.
His areas of expertise include communicable disease epidemiology, outbreak preparedness and response, and biosecurity.

Janet DIAZ, Switzerland
Presentation title: ''Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo"

Dr. Diaz is an accomplished specialist in intensive care and pulmonary medicine with rich expertise in clinical medicine, medical education, training, and quality improvement.  She is committed to promoting the delivery of high quality and cost-efficient care to critically ill patients in resource-limited settings from severe infectious diseases to other serious hazards.
For the past year, she has been working at the World Health Organization as Team Lead for Clinical Management/Expert Network in the World Health Emergency Program.  In this role, she is leading the clinical management response and preparedness to high threat, infectious disease outbreaks.  To do so, she leads the expert clinical network (EDCARN) to deploy clinical expertise to the field in order to provide safe, optimal supportive care as well as disease specific therapeutics, if available. Major outbreaks her team has responded to this year include diphtheria in Bangladesh, Lassa Fever in Nigeria and most recently the Ebola virus disease outbreak in the DRC.  She strives to bring together global clinical experts into a more rapid, resilient and quality focused outbreak response paradigm that incorporates innovation.

Presentation title: 'Nipah Outbreak in Kerala, India"

Dr. Jonathan Epstein (@epsteinjon) is a veterinarian, epidemiologist and Vice President for Science and Outreach at EcoHealth Alliance, a science-based NGO in New York City.  His research is focused on the ecology of emerging zoonotic viruses, particularly those that are bat-borne, such as Nipah virus, Ebola virus, SARS coronavirus, and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.  He currently directs disease surveillance and research activities in Asia and West Africa under USAID's Emerging Pandemic Threats: PREDICT program - a global effort to enhance the detection of and response to emerging zoonotic viruses with pandemic potential.  In 2004, Dr. Epstein was part of the team that discovered bats were the reservoir for SARS CoV in China and in 2012 worked with a team in Saudi Arabia to identify MERS CoV in bats and camels.  Dr. Epstein has served as a technical consultant for the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Microbial Threats.  He is the Chief Science Advisor to a new exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History called "Outbreak:  epidemics in a connected world" (open 2018-2021). Dr. Epstein has more than 75 scientific publications and his work has been extensively featured in the media, including the recent PBS documentary Spillover: Zika, Ebola & Beyond. He currently holds adjunct academic appointments at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts Medical School, and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

Presentation title: 'Biodiversity Loss and Emerging Infectious Diseases'

Dr. Christine K. Johnson is Professor of Epidemiology and Ecosystem Health and Director of the EpiCenter for Disease Dynamics in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis. Her research activities focus on epidemiologic drivers of zoonotic disease spillover and spread and ecosystem level processes that impact wildlife population health and emerging infectious diseases. She provides epidemiologic support to federal and state agencies to address challenging environmental issues and has pioneered surveillance design and risk characterization for field studies on the local to global scale. Professor Johnson currently leads surveillance activities for USAID’s Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT project to identify infectious disease threats at high-risk animal-human interfaces and work with implementing partners and international organizations to meet global health priorities. At the University of California, Davis, her accomplishments include mentorship of post-doctoral scholars and graduate students interested in advanced training in disease dynamics, and the design of core didactic instruction in one health and ecosystem health for graduate and professional degree programs.

Peninah MUNYUA, Kenya
Presentation title: ''Rift Valley Fever in Kenya"

Dr. Peninah Munyua is an epidemiologist and One Health Program Director in CDC Kenya. Over the last 10 years, Dr. Munyua has conducted research to define the epidemiology and burden of infectious diseases, including zoonoses at the human-animal interface, to guide the development of control strategies in unique tropical settings. She has also been involved in implementation of global health security focusing on building capacity for public health systems including the establishment of infectious diseases surveillance systems, surveillance for animal diseases, contingency planning for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, building platforms for the One Health approach in Kenya, disease preparedness and control strategies for influenza, Rift Valley Fever, brucellosis, and rabies among other infectious diseases. She has a Bachelor's degree in Veterinary Medicine, Master's degree in Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics and a PHD in epidemiology from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.

Philip ONYEBUJOH, Zimbabwe
Presentation title: ''Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention - Improving Prevention, Detection, and Response to Infectious Disease Threats across Africa"

Dr. Philip Onyebujoh, is the Senior Technical Advisor for Strategy and Policy to the Director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), a specialized institution of the Africa Union charged with the responsibility of managing and mitigating outbreaks and emergencies on the African continent. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Onyebujoh worked for WHO where he coordinated technical support for the HIV, TB and Hepatitis and laboratories for the WHO Regional Office for Africa, covering WHO's 47 member states in the African region. His academic background is in internal medicine (MD), infectious diseases (M.Sc, FRCP, DTM&H) and clinical immunology of mycobacterial diseases (PhD).

Andre SIQUEIRA, Brazil
Presentation title: ''Yellow Fever in Brazil – Including Controversies around Fractionated Vaccination and Booster"


Dr. Andre Siqueira is an Infectious Diseases Consultant and Clinical Research Scientist at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases Evandro Chagas of Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. He is involved in research on acute febrile illness, including malaria treatment and control strategies and arboviral infections, with a focus on improving management of yellow fever and chikungunya fever natural history and treatment. He has participated in national and international expert panels and is a member of several technical advisory committees. 

Andy TATEM, Sweden
Presentation title: 'Using Mobile Data and Global Mapping to Tackle the Next Outbreak'

Andy Tatem is Professor of spatial demography and epidemiology at the University of Southampton and is the Director of WorldPop (, leading a group of more than 30 researchers and data scientists. He is interested in how populations, their characteristics and their dynamics can be mapped at high resolution across low and middle-income countries, with a particular focus on human mobility and spatial connectivity and how it impacts pathogen spread and elimination strategy design. His research has led to new approaches to the use and integration of satellite, survey, cell phone and census data to map the distributions and dynamics of vulnerable populations for disease, disaster and development applications. He runs international collaborations with national governments, UN agencies and data providers, and leads multiple research and operational projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, World Bank, Clinton Health Access Initiative and others.

Juno THOMAS, South Africa
Presentation title: 'Listeriosis Monocytogenes in South Africa '

Dr Juno Thomas is Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her areas of expertise include communicable disease epidemiology, surveillance and outbreak response. She leads syndromic and laboratory-based surveillance activities for priority enteric bacterial and viral pathogens (including typhoid fever, salmonellosis, cholera, listeriosis, shigellosis and rotavirus). Dr Thomas oversees the food- and water-borne disease outbreak investigation and response activities of her centre, providing key epidemiological and laboratory support to the South African National Department of Health as well as neighbouring southern African countries. Her research activities focus on identifying opportunities for locally relevant public health interventions for endemic enteric diseases and foodborne disease outbreaks.