CE-APCC Elevating African Cohorts, Transforming Health Research

Prof Alash'le Abimiku

Prof. Alash’le Abimiku is the Executive Director of the International Research Center of Excellence of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN). She is a Professor in the department of Medicine at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine, a Co-founder of IHVN, and Executive Director, Laboratory Diagnostics and Research at IHVN. Through the International Research Center of Excellence (IRCE), she is building a world class platform for the implementation of research and clinical trials at international standards. Prof. Abimiku is also fostering collaboration between Nigerian researchers and their counterparts globally

Her career for over 30 years has distinguished her as an academic, scientist and researcher who has blazed the trail in promoting quality laboratory medicine practices in Nigeria and Africa. In 1993, her post-doctoral research was the first to document the unique HIV strain prevalent in Nigeria as HIV subtype G, different from the subtype B circulating in Europe and USA. She also established the first reliable HIV research laboratory in Central Nigeria and chairs the Board of Directors of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM).Her research interests are in the epidemiological characterization of viruses and HIV disease models from selected target study populations in Nigeria to understand the pathogenesis of HIV and coinfections; and protective mechanisms through HIV vaccine research.

She is currently a member of the International Scientific Advisory Group for University of Cape Town and serves as a member of the Scientific Advisory Group WHO R&D for preparedness for Epidemics, member of the steering committee of WHO Global HIV Drug Resistance Network (RESNET), member of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) , fellow of the African Academy of Science, and member of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) Research Advisory Board.

Dr Sonia Abdelhak

Dr. Abdelhak is principal biologist at the Institut Pasteur de Tunis, head of a research unit on orphan genetic diseases, and is mainly involved in the study of the molecular basis of monogenic rare disorders (genodermatosis, DNA repair diseases, etc.) and multifactorial disorders (cancer and type II diabetes). Dr. Abdelhak contributed to the mapping of the spinal muscular atrophy gene, positional cloning of a syndromic deafness gene and the molecular characterization of several genetic diseases in the Tunisian population (over 30 publications on this subject), thus providing tools for the diagnosis of genetic diseases in North Africa. Dr. Abdelhak is also the supervisor of 20 Ph.D. students and has tutored several undergraduate students. She is coordinating a NEPAD/NABNet project on type II diabetes in five North African countries.

Dr. Abdelhak received a Masters in Immunology, a Ph.D. in Human Molecular Genetics from Université Paris VII and a State Doctorate in Science (D.Sc.) from Faculté des Sciences de Tunis. She is currently an elected member of the Council of Scientific Advisers of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB). In 2009, she was awarded the second Sanofi-Aventis price for Medical Research and in 2010, she was awarded the Medal of Knight of the National Order of Merit of Tunisia in the sector of education and sciences

Dr Daniel Mwai

Dr. Daniel Mwai holds a PhD in Health economics under the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) collaborative PhD program and a Health Finance Specialist. He is a recognized thought leader in Health Financing; Health policy; health economic evaluation; resource mobilization for health sector; and Program Management in Africa. Dr Mwai is a champion in Primary health financing, focusing of setting up and operationalising primary care network as channel of controlling disease. In his initiative “prevention as a resources mobilisation channel and investment for wealth creation” He has advised the Kenya ministry of health-on-health financing for the last 6 years overseeing mobilization of over US$1 billion for Health sector at the National and County government.

He has been a lead expert on domestic resource mobilization initiative in line with the Universal health coverage agenda at the national and county level in Kenya. Dr. Mwai work experience and advisory work spans the public and private sectors, not-for-profit, international development and Africa. He has led/handled health financing, health policy and research assignments at: USAID health policy project (HPP); USAID health policy plus (HP+); The Global fund (TB, Malarial and HIV); Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); Population Services – Kenya (PS-Kenya); Strathmore school of Global health; United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF); University of Nairobi; Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW Kenya); Palladium group; futures Group: Futures Group international, USAID, Ministry of Health, University of Nairobi, World Health Organization (WHO), Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Catholic Relief Service; and Ministry of health in Kenya ( including National Aids Control Council (NACC), National Aid and STI Control Programme (NASCOP) and Malaria Control Unit) Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria among others countries.

In addition, Dr Mwai is a capable professional in the field policy formulation, with great expertise in design and application of quantitative, qualitative methods in the health sector. His work has contributed to improvement in health care outcomes and expanded high quality pro-poor health services across all levels of the health system. He has played critical role in advocating and design of minimum essential package for health and reforms in the NHIF. He is currently a member of the: National Technical Working Group (TWG) on health care financing and Universal Health Coverage (UHC); The Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA); Commissioner -The National Non communicable disease and injuries Poverty Commission on sustainable and efficient financing of health and NCDs; Alternate finance expert – Global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Executive Committee; Member- Strategic Purchasing Africa Resource Centre (SPARC); National health accounts Technical Assistant provider WHO. Member: East Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC). Reviewer: International Journal of Tropical Disease and Health; Research associate: African economic research consortium.

Dr Charles Mwansambo

Dr Charles Mwansambo is a UK trained Paediatrician and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. He is currently the Chief of Health Services for Malawi. Prior to the current post, he was Secretary for Health and before that was a Consultant Paediatrician and Head of Department at the Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawi’s Capital City, Lilongwe , where he still practices to date.He also served as Hospital Director at the same institution in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. His research interests are in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

Prof Alex Ezeh

Alex Ezeh, PhD, is professor of Global Health in the Department of Community Health and Prevention at the Dornsife School of Public Health. Dr. Ezeh brings decades of experience in research, research capacity strengthening, and policy advocacy on a range of global health and development issues. He comes to Dornsife from the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) where he served as the founding Executive Director and, over a period of 17 years, guided APHRC to become one of Africa’s foremost regional research center addressing population, health, education and development issues.

He initiated and directed the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa and the African Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship programs to strengthen doctoral training and the retention of academics at universities across sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Ezeh’s work focuses on urban/slum health, population dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa, and models to strengthen knowledge-based institutions in Africa. His research has highlighted the development implications of SSA’s population and urbanization trends, underscored the unique vulnerabilities slum populations face, defined the systems (education, health, economic, etc.) that best serve slum populations, and has ensured slum populations become more visible in national and global reports and data systems. His work on strengthening knowledge-based institutions is focused on addressing the undermined capacity of African institutions resulting from century-old systems of unequal partnerships with institutions in the global North. Dr. Ezeh provides guidance to a range of institutions. In January 2021 he was appointed as a Member of the High-Level Advisory Board for Economic and Social Affairs of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. He also serves as a member of the WHO’s Human Reproduction Programme Alliance for Research Capacity Strengthening Advisory Board and University College London and Imperial College’s London Research Hub for Urban Sustainability, Health and Equity; and on the Visiting Committee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He also serves on the Boards of Development Initiative and the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). Dr. Ezeh has been part of several Lancet Commissions including the Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health, the Lancet Commission on the Future of Health in Africa, and he Co-Chaired the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. He is also a member of the Vatican-Lancet-Mario Negri Commission on the Value of Life and the Lancet Nigeria Commission on Investing in Health and the Future of the Nation.

Prof Nicki Tiffin

Nicki is professor and principal Investigator, Health Data Integration Group of the South African National Bioinformatics Institute at the University of the Western Cape. She has a Ph D in molecular genomics (University of London, 2000) and a Masters in Public Health-Epidemiology (University of Cape Town, 2017). Her work includes the integration and analysis of routine health data, epidemiological, clinical and genomic data, as well as the ethics and governance of working with health data in research. Nicki leads the public health node of the H3Africa Informatics Network (H3ABioNet), co-leads the ICDA Global Equity working group, co-chairs the IHCC Policy and Systems working group and chairs the PHA4GE Ethics and Data Sharing working group. She is a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences and in 2021 was awarded a Calestous Juma Science Leadership Fellowship by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust to wite the scoping report on the APCC

Prof Oumar Gaye

Prof Gaye is the Director of the Malaria Research Capacity Development Consortium (MARCAD) and professor in the Department of Medical Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry, at L’Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal (UCAD). Prof Gaye serves as a Malaria Advisor for the WHO Regional Office in Africa and for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He chairs the Research Committee for the National Malaria Control Programme in Senegal and is a member of the Senegalese National Academia of Science and Technology (ANST). He has also served as the Malaria Coordinator for the Réseau d’Afrique de l’Ouest pour le Traitement Antipaludique (RAOTAP). Prof Gaye’s main areas of research include malaria biology, epidemiology and drug discovery, and the study of molecular markers of resistance to antimalarial medicines. His work also encompasses the epidemiology and biology of leishmaniasis, and malaria/ schistosomiasis / helminthiasis co-infections.

Prof Andy Haines

Andy Haines was formerly a family doctor and Professor of Primary Health Care at UCL. He developed an interest in climate change and health in the 1990’s and was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the 2 nd and 3 rd assessment exercises and review editor for the health chapter in the 5 th assessment. He was Director (formerly Dean) of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine from 2001- October 2010. He chaired the Scientific Advisory Panel for the 2013 WHO World Health Report, the Rockefeller /Lancet Commission on Planetary Health (2014-15) and the European Academies Science Advisory Council working group on climate change and health (2018-19). He currently co-chairs the InterAcademy Partnership (140 science academies worldwide) working group on climate change and health and is also co-chairing the Lancet Pathfinder Commission on health in the zero-carbon economy. He has published many papers on topics such as the effects of environmental change on health and the health co-benefits of low carbon policies. His current research focuses on climate change mitigation, sustainable healthy food systems and complex urban systems for sustainability. He was awarded the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement in 2022

Prof Simisola Akintola

Professor Simisola Akintola (Ph.D), is a professor of Bioethics and Health Law at the Faculty of Law University of Ibadan. She is also a Faculty Member at the Centre for Bioethics, Akobo, Ibadan. Simisola O Akintola is a distinguished academic known for her expertise in the fields of Health Law and Bioethics. With a deep commitment to exploring the intricate intersection of legal principles and ethical considerations in the realm of healthcare and life sciences, Professor Akintola has made substantial contributions to the understanding and advancement of these areas. Her research is motivated by the yawning gap between technology, medical science, and the existing regulatory framework. Professor Akintola is involved in the advancement of knowledge in healthcare system and regulation. She has several peer-reviewed articles published in both local and international journals of repute. She has presented her papers at numerous international fora. She participated in the development of the National Health Ethics Code for Nigeria, the Intellectual Property Policy of her institution and other policies within the institution and outside. She also served on the institutional review board of her university and the teaching hospital for years. She is currently chair of a research ethics Committee. She is Co-Investigator on an NIH/Forgathy grant for Data Science Health Research in Nigeria. She is PI on a Wellcome trust Fund for Law and Genome Editing in Nigeria.