Our Speakers 

Monday, February 22 - 12:00 - 2:00PM - National, Regional and Global Response to an Unprecedented Challenge

  • Welcome

    • Lee Bollinger, JD – President, Columbia University

    Lee C. Bollinger became Columbia University’s 19th president in 2002 and is the longest serving Ivy League president. Under his leadership, Columbia stands again at the very top rank of great research universities, distinguished by comprehensive academic excellence, an innovative and sustainable approach to global engagement, two of the largest capital campaigns in the history of higher education, and the institution’s most ambitious campus expansion in over a century.

    Bollinger is Columbia’s first Seth Low Professor of the University, a member of the Law School faculty, and one of the nation’s foremost First Amendment scholars. Each fall semester, he teaches “Freedom of Speech and Press” to Columbia undergraduate students. He has two books coming out in 2021: National Security, Leaks and Freedom of the Press: The Pentagon Papers Fifty Years On, co-edited with Geoffrey R. Stone, which will be published by Oxford University Press; and Regardless of Frontiers: Global Freedom of Expression in a Troubled World, co-edited with Agnès Callamard, which will be published by Columbia University Press.

    Bollinger is a director of Graham Holdings Company (formerly The Washington Post Company) and serves as a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board. From 2007 to 2012, he was a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he also served as Chair from 2010 to 2012. 

    From 1996 to 2002, Bollinger was the President of the University of Michigan. He led the university’s historic litigation in Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger, Supreme Court decisions that upheld and clarified the importance of diversity as a compelling justification for affirmative action in higher education. He speaks and writes frequently about the value of racial, cultural, and socio-economic diversity through columns, interviews, and appearances around the nation and across the world.

  • Keynote: The Role of the Wellcome Trust in COVID-19 Vaccine Preparedness

    • Sir Jeremy Farrar, BSc, MBBS, PhD – Director, Wellcome Trust

    Jeremy Farrar is Director of the Wellcome Trust - a politically and financially independent global charitable foundation that exists to improve health by helping big ideas to thrive. Jeremy is a clinician scientist who before joining Wellcome was, for eighteen years, Director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Viet Nam, where his research interests were in infectious diseases and global health with a focus on emerging infections, he has published almost 600 articles. He was named 12th in the Fortune list of 50 World’s Greatest Leaders in 2015 and was awarded the Memorial Medal and Ho Chi Minh City Medal from the Government of Viet Nam.

    In 2018 he was awarded the President Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian of the Year Award. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences UK, the National Academies USA, the European Molecular Biology Organisation and a Fellow of The Royal Society.  Jeremy was knighted in the Queen’s 2018 New Year Honours for services to Global Health. 

  • Moderator

    • Lawrence R. Stanberry, MD, PhD – Director of the Programs in Global Health, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

    Lawrence Stanberry, MD, PhD is Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Dean for International Programs and Director of the Programs in Global Health. Dr. Stanberry received his  MD (James Scholar) and PhD (Pharmacology) degrees from the University of Illinois in Chicago. His postgraduate medical training was in Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases and Virology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He spent a sabbatical year at SmithKline Beecham Biologicals, Rixensart, Belgium working on the development of therapeutic vaccine for persistent viral infections and cancer. From 2008 to 2018 he was the Reuben S. Carpentier Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at VP&S. From 2000 to 2008, he was the John Sealy Distinguished Professor and Chairman of Pediatrics and Director of the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Prior to joining the faculty in Galveston, he was the Albert B. Sabin Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.   

    Dr. Stanberry is an authority on vaccine development and viral diseases. He has served on numerous advisory and review panels including serving as the chair of the Vaccine Study Section and the Pediatrics Review Panel at the National Institutes of Health. He has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, numerous vaccine, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His areas of research include the development of antiviral drugs, topical microbicides, prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines and basic studies of the pathogenesis and immunobiology of herpes simplex virus. His vaccine research has ranged from preclinical animal model studies through phase 3 multinational clinical trials. He has participated in four first-in-human vaccine trials. His laboratory provided the first experimental evidence to support the concept of vaccine immunotherapy for the treatment of persistent viral infections. Dr. Stanberry was one of the lead researchers on the GlaxoSmithKline herpes simplex virus vaccine trials. These trials produced the first scientific evidence that a vaccine could protect humans against genital herpes infection. An unexpected finding of these trials was that the vaccine was effective only in women. This was the first demonstration of gender-specific vaccine protection. Dr. Stanberry has authored over 200 scientific articles and chapters. He is the author of a book for the general public entitled, “Understanding Herpes” University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Mississippi (1st edition 1998, 2nd edition 2006). He is the editor or co-editor of 5 textbooks including: “Genital and Neonatal Herpes” John Wiley and Sons, Ltd, London (1996), “Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Vaccines, Prevention, and Control” Academic Press, Ltd., London (1st edition 2000, 2nd edition 2012), “Vaccines for Biodefense and Emerging and Neglected Diseases, London, Elsevier (2009). “Understanding Modern Vaccines” Elsevier (2011) and “Viral Infections of Humans: Epidemiology and Control,” (5th edition 2014, 6th edition anticipated 2021).

  • Presentation: A South African perspective on vaccine preparedness and availability

    • Shabir Madhi, MBChB, MMed, FCPaeds PhD – Professor of Vaccinology, University of the Witwatersrand

    Shabir Madhi is Professor of Vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; and co-founder and co-Director of the African Leadership Initiative for Vaccinology Expertise (ALIVE). He currently also holds the positions of Director of the South African Medical Research Council Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytical Research Unit (VIDA) and is Research Chair in Vaccine Preventable Diseases of Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation. He is the National Principal Investigator and Protocol co-Chair of the first two COVID-19 vaccine studies being undertaken in South Africa.

  • Presentation: A US CDC perspective on vaccine preparedness and availability

    • Nancy Messonnier, MD – Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, US CDC

    Nancy Messonnier, MD, is the Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) and is currently serving as Vaccine Incident Manager of CDC’s COVID-19 response. In late 2019, Dr. Messonnier directed NCIRD to activate a center-based response to an unknown respiratory disease in China that later transitioned to a full agency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Vaccine Incident Manager, Dr. Messonnier is leading the effort to support the COVID-19 vaccine program in the areas of distribution, administration, implementation, safety, and access for hard-to-reach populations with the goal of ensuring that a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is available to every American who wants one.

    Since becoming Director of NCIRD in 2016, Dr. Messonnier has been a champion for the prevention of disease, disability, and death through immunization and control of respiratory and other vaccine-preventable diseases. Dr. Messonnier spearheaded CDC’s Vaccinate with Confidence initiative which works with national organizations to strengthen public trust in vaccines and prevent vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks by advancing three key priorities: Protect Communities, Empower Families, and Stop Myths. The initiative includes activities aimed at reaching communities with low flu vaccination rates or high likelihood of COVID complications such as African American and Hispanic communities.

    Dr. Messonnier began her public health career in 1995 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in what is now the Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases (DDID) and has held a number of leadership posts across CDC.  She served as acting Director for the Center for Preparedness and Response (CPR) for four months in 2019, Deputy Director of NCIRD from October 2014-March 2016, and led the Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch in NCIRD’s Division of Bacterial Diseases from 2007-2012.

    Dr. Messonnier has extensive experience in prevention and control of bacterial meningitis and, among other accomplishments, played a pivotal role in the successful public-private partnership to develop and implement a low cost vaccine to prevent epidemic meningococcal meningitis in Africa. More than 150 million people in the African Meningitis Belt have been vaccinated with MenAfriVac since 2010, with remarkable impact. Dr. Messonnier has also been a leader in CDC’s preparedness and response to anthrax, including during the 2001 intentional anthrax release and in evaluating simplified schedules for use of licensed anthrax vaccine.

    Dr. Messonnier has written more than 140 articles and chapters and has received numerous awards. She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and MD from the University of Chicago School of Medicine and completed internal medicine residency training at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Presentation: A South Korean perspective on vaccine preparedness and availability

    • Youngmee Jee, MD, PhD – Chief Executive Officer, Institut Pasteur Korea

    Dr. Youngmee Jee is Special Advisor to the Prime Minister in health and Chief Executive Officer, Institut Pasteur Korea. She is also a Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Public Administration, Seoul National University. Dr. Jee has broad experience in collaborating with WHO and international public health partners. Currently, she is a member of the WHO International Health Regulation Emergency Committee on COVID-19 and of the WHO Scientific Advisory Group for the Blueprint on Research and Development Preparedness for Epidemics. From 2014 to 2019, she served as Director-General of the Center for Infectious Disease Research of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and led various international activities including the WHO-Korea Joint Mission on MERS Outbreak in 2015 and the WHO International Health Regulation (IHR) Joint External Evaluation (JEE) on national public health emergency response capacity in 2017. She received a President Medal of Distinguished Service in 2017. She also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the International Vaccine Institute (2016-2019) and President of the Korean Society of Infectious Diseases (2018-2019). During 2007-2014, Dr. Jee worked for the Expanded Programme on Immunization in the WHO Western Pacific Region to coordinate national and regional public health institutes in over 20 countries in the region. She received her M.D. from Seoul National University Medical School (1986), a Diploma in Medical Microbiology (1988) and her Ph.D. in Virology from the University of London (1997). 

  • Presentation: Pan American Health Organization Perspective on vaccine preparedness and delivery

    • Cuauhtémoc Ruíz Matus, MD – Unit Chief, Comprehensive Family Immunization, PAHO

    Dr. Ruiz Matus studied at the National Polytechnic Institute’s Superior School of Medicine. He specialized in Epidemiology at Mexico’s School of Public Health and did his Residency in Applied Epidemiology at the Ministry of Health, a program offered in conjunction with the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is also a graduate of the Senior Management Program for Public Entities of the National Institute of Public Administration.

    He worked for the Ministry of Health of Mexico for 25 years, occupying various posts, including the Assistant Director of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine in the State of Oaxaca, Head of the Department of Control of Diarrheal Diseases in the Directorate-General of Epidemiology, Secretary to the Director-General of Epidemiology, Director of the Residence Program in Applied Epidemiology, Director of Applied Epidemiology, and Director of Epidemiological Surveillance. In his last 10 years at the Ministry of Health of Mexico, he served as the Coordinator of Advisors for the Undersecretary of Health Prevention and Promotion.

    Since 2007 Dr. Ruiz Matus has been the Comprehensive Family Immunization Unit Chief, and worked as Acting Director (2014-2015) of the Family, Health Promotion and Life Course Department of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) at the Headquarters in Washington, DC. Because of his role in PAHO, he is the Regional Advisor on Immunizations of the World Health Organization for the Region of the Americas.

    Dr. Ruiz Matus has carried out his professional work mainly in the area of applied epidemiology, directly participating in the study of outbreaks, health hazards, natural disaster response, implementation of epidemiological surveillance systems and the formation of priority programs in disease prevention and control. Additionally, he has extensive experience teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as lecturing at various national and international forums.

    Within the Mexican Society of Public Health, he has served as President during the period 2003-2004. He also served as Chairman of the World Federation of Public Health Associations from 2004 to 2006.

Tuesday, February 23 - 12:00 - 2:00PM - Global Solutions to an Unprecedented Demand

  • Welcome

    • Anil K. Rustgi, MD – Interim Executive Vice President, CUIMC

    Anil K. Rustgi, MD, is Interim Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine at Columbia University. In those roles he is Dean of the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and also administratively responsible for the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, and the School of Nursing at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC), for which he also is Interim Chief Executive.

    Dr. Rustgi graduated summa cum laude from Yale College with a bachelor of science degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry (departmental honors) and earned his medical degree at Duke University School of Medicine, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed an internal medicine residency at Beth Israel Hospital and a gastroenterology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), both at Harvard Medical School. He rose to associate professor of medicine at MGH before joining the University of Pennsylvania in 1998, where he served as Chief of Gastroenterology and directed two Centers and NIH T32 training grants until 2018.

    In 2019, Dr. Rustgi was recruited to be the Director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University and NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP)/CUIMC, and he successfully renewed the center’s NCI comprehensive status in 2020. He is also Irving Professor of Medicine, Associate Dean of Oncology, and Chief of Cancer Services at NYP/CUIMC. Dr. Rustgi is a world-renowned leader in the field of gastrointestinal oncology. His interdisciplinary research focuses on tumor initiation, tumor microenvironment, and tumor metastasis in the context of gastrointestinal cancers, including cancers of the esophagus, pancreas, and colon. Dr. Rustgi's lab works to translate discoveries into improving molecular diagnostics and finding new experimental therapeutics for patients and is funded through several grants including an NCI P01 (program project on esophageal cancer), an NCI U54 on Barrett's esophagus, two NIH R01 grants (for pancreatic cancer and colon cancer) and an American Cancer Society Research Professorship. He has more than 350 publications and his work has appeared in high-impact journals such as Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature Medicine, Cancer Cell, Genes and Development, Gastroenterology, Journal of Clinical Investigation, PNAS, and New England Journal of Medicine. He maintains a clinical practice in hereditary GI cancers and teaches students and fellows.  

    He has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been designated as American Cancer Society Professor. Previously, he was president of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), editor-in-chief of Gastroenterology, and president of the International Society of Gastroenterological Carcinogenesis. Dr. Rustgi is 2020 president of the American Pancreatic Association.

    He has been recognized for his contributions with numerous awards, including the AGA Julius Friedenwald Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Gastroenterology Medal, AGA Distinguished Mentor Award, the Ruth C. Brufsky Award for Excellence in Research in Pancreatic Cancer, and the Distinguished Achievement Award from the South Asian American Society for Cancer Research. In addition, he received the top mentorship awards (Arthur Asbury for faculty and one from the postdoctoral fellow program) during his tenure at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Keynote: The Role of the WHO in COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Distribution

    • Tedros Ghebreyesus, MS, PhD – Director-General, World Health Organization

    Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected as WHO Director-General for a five-year term by WHO Member States at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May 2017. He is the first WHO Director-General to have been elected from multiple candidates by the World Health Assembly, and is the first person from the WHO African Region to serve as WHO’s chief technical and administrative officer. Immediately after taking office on 1 July 2017 Dr. Tedros outlined five key priorities for the Organization: universal health coverage; health emergencies; women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health; health impacts of climate and environmental change; and a transformed WHO.

    Prior to his election as WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012–2016. In this role he led efforts to negotiate the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, in which 193 countries committed to the financing necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Dr. Tedros served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Health from 2005–2012, where he led a comprehensive reform of the country’s health system. All roads lead to universal health coverage for Dr. Tedros, and he has demonstrated what it takes to expand access to health care with limited resources. The transformation he led as Ethiopia’s Minister of Health improved access to health care for millions of people. Under his leadership Ethiopia invested in critical health infrastructure, expanded its health workforce, and developed innovative health financing mechanisms.

    Beyond Ethiopia, Dr. Tedros’ global leadership on malaria, HIV/AIDS, and maternal and child health has been immensely impactful. He was elected as Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Board in 2009, and previously served as Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Board, and Co-chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Board.

    Born in the city of Asmara, Eritrea, Dr. Tedros holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Community Health from the University of Nottingham and a Master of Science (MSc) in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the University of London. Dr. Tedros is globally recognised as a health scholar, researcher, and diplomat with first-hand experience in research, operations, and leadership in emergency responses to epidemics.

    Throughout his career Dr. Tedros has published numerous articles in prominent scientific journals, and received awards and recognition from across the globe. He received the Decoration of the Order of Serbian Flag in 2016, and was awarded the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award in recognition of his contributions to the field of public health in 2011.

  • Moderator

    • Philip LaRussa, MD – Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, CUIMC

    Dr. Philip LaRussa is a pediatric infectious disease specialist with four decades of experience in clinical and epidemiological infectious diseases research in local and global settings. He received an M.D. degree from the Università degli Studì in Bologna, Italy in 1978, completed residency training in Pediatrics (1978-1981), and a fellowship training in pediatric Infectious diseases (1981-1981) at New York University-Bellevue Hospital Medical Center, New York. He was an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, New York University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, in New York from 1983-1986. From 2000-2019, he was Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University School of Medicine, and since 2019, he is emeritus Professor of Pediatrics at the same institution.

    His research interests include the pathogenesis, immune response, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of varicella zoster virus infections in children. He developed the first PCR assay to distinguish varicella vaccine virus from wild-type strain, which allowed the accurate differentiation of adverse events due to the vaccine from complications of wild-type infection, and described the effectiveness of varicella vaccine in healthy and immunocompromised hosts. He also described important co-factors influencing the perinatal transmission of HIV and outcomes of perinatally infected infants. He was the principal investigator for the Women and Infants Transmission Study (WITS IV: 2001-2007), and of the NIH-funded International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent Clinical Trials site at Columbia University Medical Center and director of its the on-site retrovirus study laboratory from 2006-2013. Since 2001, his research has focused on immunization safety issues, and has been the Principal Investigator for the CDC-funded Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Center at Columbia University Medical Center. During the last ten years he has also focused on capacity assessment, and capacity building research projects in sub-Saharan Africa, and has recently completed a study of capacity in 24 hospitals that care for children in sub-Saharan Africa.

    He has been a member of numerous national and international advisory committees including the Brighton Collaboration Working Group for development of case definitions for smallpox vaccine associated adverse events (2003-2005), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Subcommittee on varicella vaccination (2004-2006), the F.D.A. Advisory Committee on Vaccines & Related Biological Products (2004 – 2008), Chair of the NIH NIAID Influenza Research Collaboration (NIRC) Combination Therapy Focus Group (2009 – 2010), Member, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, National Vaccine Advisory Committee [NVAC] (2011 – 2015), Co-chair, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) Global Immunization Working Group (2012-2014), Member, W.H.O. Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization Working Group on Varicella & Zoster vaccines (2012 – 2014), and Member, F.D.A., Pediatric Advisory Committee (2012 – 2016). He is the author of 164 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and 28 chapters in textbooks.

  • Presentation: Vaccine nationalism, global preparedness and delivery

    • Nicole Lurie, MD – Strategic Advisor, CEPI

    Nicole Lurie, MD, MSPH is currently the Strategic Advisor to the CEO and response lead at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). She is also a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Medical School, a member of the research faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor of Medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine. She served an 8-year term as Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the US Department of Health and Human Services. In that role she led the HHS response to numerous public health emergencies, ranging from infectious disease to natural and man-made disasters and is responsible for many innovations in emergency preparedness and response. She also chaired the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise, a government wide organization ultimately responsible for the development of medical countermeasures, including vaccines against pandemics and emerging threats.  

    Dr. Lurie has a long history in health services research. Prior to federal service, she was the Paul O'Neill Professor of Policy Analysis at RAND, where she started and led the public health preparedness program and RAND's Center for Population Health and Health Disparities. She has also had leadership roles in academia, as Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Minnesota, as Medical Advisor to the Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Health, and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services. 

    Dr. Lurie received her BA and MD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her residency and public health training at UCLA. Her research has focused on access to and quality of care, health system redesign, equity, mental health, public health and preparedness. She is recipient of numerous awards and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.  She continues to practice clinical medicine in a community clinic in Washington DC.

  • Presentation: Perspective on the vaccine roll-out in West Africa

    • Samba Sow, MD, MSc – Director-General, Center for Vaccine Development - Mali

    Professor Samba Sow is a former Minister of Health of Mali and currently Director-General for the Center for Vaccine Development (CVD), Ministry of Health, Mali. He was appointed by the Director General of WHO as one of six Special Envoys to WHO on COVID-19, to provide strategic advice and high-level political advocacy and engagement in different parts of the world. He also holds a faculty appointment as Professor at the University of Maryland, Division of Geographic Medicine. He has been Director of CVD-Mali since its inception in 2001. 

    He received his Bachelor of Science from the Lycée Askia Mohamed, Bamako, Mali, his Doctor of Medicine degree from the École Nationale de Médecine et Pharmacie du Mali (ENMP), and his Master of Science from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. 

    During his career, he has made substantial contributions to basic vaccinology, bacterial pathogenesis, clinical research, field epidemiology and public health policy in Mali and in Sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Sow is an Honorary International Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (FASTMH).

    Professor Sow has received the Prix Laviron de Médecine Tropicale, the Commemorative Fund Lectureship of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and was also named to the rank of Officer of the National Order of Mali, by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, for his efforts in controlling outbreaks in the country. He has authored and co-authored more than 90 scientific articles and chapters.

  • Presentation: The role of GAVI in preparedness, distribution and access

    • Seth Berkley, MD – CEO, GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance

    A medical doctor and infectious disease epidemiologist, Dr. Seth Berkley joined Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance as its CEO in August 2011, spearheading its mission to protect the world’s poorest children by improving access to new and underused vaccines. In its 20 years of existence, Gavi has reached more than 820 million children in the 73 poorest countries. In 2015, Dr. Berkley led Gavi to its second replenishment, raising US$ 7.5 billion in donor commitments. In June 2020, Dr. Berkley led Gavi to its third successful replenishment, raising US$ 8.8 billion and exceeding the ask of at least US$ 7.4 billion in the presence of 42 heads of state. The ambitious goals for the 2021–2025 strategic period are to reach 300 million more children, preventing an additional 7–8 million deaths and contributing to a further US$ 80–100 billion in economic benefits.

    Dr. Berkley is co-leading the Vaccines Pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, working to develop and distribute a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine globally. In July 2020, Fortune honoured him with a leadership award at Brainstorm Health, calling Gavi “arguably the most productive multilateral health collaboration in history.” Under Dr. Berkley’s leadership, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance received the 2019 Lasker~Bloomberg Public Service Award for providing sustained access to childhood vaccines in the world’s poorest countries, as well as the Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation 2020.

    Prior to Gavi, in 1996, Dr. Berkley founded the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the first vaccine product development public-private sector partnership, where he served as President and CEO for 15 years. Under his leadership, IAVI created a virtual vaccine product development effort involving scientists from low-income countries, industry and academia – developing and testing HIV vaccines around the world. He also oversaw a global advocacy programme that ensured HIV vaccines received prominent attention in the media and in forums such as the G8, the European Union and the United Nations.

    Previously, Dr. Berkley served as an officer of the Health Sciences Division at The Rockefeller Foundation. He has worked for the Center for Infectious Diseases of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and the Carter Center, where he was assigned as an epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health in Uganda. Dr. Berkley played a key role in Uganda’s first national HIV sero-survey and helped develop its national AIDS Control Program. He has been featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine; recognised by TIME magazine as one of “The TIME 100 – The World’s Most Influential People”; and named by WIRED magazine as among “The WIRED 25 – a salute to dreamers, inventors, mavericks, leaders.” His TED talks have been viewed by more than 2.3 million people, and he has published over 250 articles and opinion pieces. He has consulted or worked in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Dr. Berkley sits on a number of international steering committees and corporate and not-for-profit boards, including those of Gilead Sciences and the New York Academy of Sciences, and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Geneva’s Institute of Global Health in the Faculty of Medicine.

    Dr. Berkley received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown University and trained in internal medicine at Harvard University. In 2013, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, for services to global public health and advancing the right to health care for all.

  • Presentation: The International Financing of COVAX

    • Jeffrey D. Sachs, PhD – Columbia University

    Jeffrey D. Sachs is a University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he directed the Earth Institute from 2002 until 2016. He is also President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development. He has been advisor to three United Nations Secretaries-General, and currently serves as an SDG Advocate under Secretary General António Guterres. He spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, where he received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. He has authored numerous bestseller books. His most recent book is The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions(2020). Sachs was twice named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders and was ranked by The Economist among the top three most influential living economists.

  • Presentation: The role of the WEF in vaccine distribution and access

    • Martina Szabo, MPH – Lead, Engagement and Strategy, COVID Action Platform, World Economic Forum

    Martina Szabo has been with the World Economic Forum since 2016, and is currently a Global Leadership Fellow and leads the COVID Action Platform. Prior to this, she built and led partnerships with companies from Europe and North America, particularly in the Healthcare and Consumer industries. Previous experience as a strategy consultant focused on developing and sustaining public-private partnerships to advance global health.

    She holds a Master of Public Health from Columbia University and a BA in International Politics and Economics and Philosophy from Middlebury College.

Wednesday, February 24 - 12:00 - 2:00PM - Ethical and Societal Challenges

  • Welcome

    • Safwan Masri, PhD – Global Centers and Development EVP, Columbia University

    Professor Safwan M. Masri is Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University and a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). He joined Columbia University in 1988 as a member of the faculty of Columbia Business School and served as Vice Dean from 1993-2005. He previously taught engineering at Stanford University and was a visiting professor at INSEAD (Institut Européend’Administration des Affaires) in France. Masri is the author of Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly (Columbia University Press, 2017). He is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an honorary fellow of the Foreign Policy Association. Masri also serves on the Board of Directors for AMIDEAST and on the Global Advisory Board for the Chazen Institute at Columbia Business School.

  • Keynote: Preparedness and Assuring Equitable Access

    • A Conversation with Melinda Gates (with Meg Tirrell, CNBC)

    Melinda French Gates is a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls.

    As the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda sets the direction and priorities of the world’s largest philanthropy. She is also the founder of Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company working to drive social progress for women and families in the United States, and the author of the bestselling book The Moment of Lift.

    Melinda grew up in Dallas, Texas. She received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Duke University and an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School. Melinda spent the first decade of her career developing multimedia products at Microsoft before leaving the company to focus on her family and philanthropic work. She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband, Bill. They have three children, Jenn, Rory, and Phoebe.

    Melinda Gates
  • Preparedness and Assuring Equitable Access: A Conversation with Melinda Gates

    • Meg Tirrell – Senior Health & Science Reporter, CNBC

    Meg Tirrell is CNBC’s senior health and science reporter.

    Since joining CNBC in April 2014, Tirrell has covered the development of new medicines for Alzheimer’s, cancer and rare diseases, and tracked public health emergencies from Ebola to Zika to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her reporting has also chronicled the massive set of trials seeking to hold the drug industry accountable for the opioid epidemic, market failures that have led to life-threatening drug shortages, and the ongoing fight over the cost of medicines.

    Prior to joining CNBC, Tirrell covered the biotechnology industry for Bloomberg News, where she also contributed to Bloomberg Television and Bloomberg Businessweek.

    Tirrell holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in English and music from Wellesley College.

  • Moderator

    • Wilmot James, PhD – Senior Research Scholar, Columbia ISERP

    Wilmot James, PhD is Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP). He received his PhD (Sociology and African History) from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Dr. James was a post-doctoral fellow of the Southern African Research Program at Yale University, the American Bar Foundation in Chicago and the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College. Dr. James pursued his interest in science and society (James, Nature’s Gifts: Why we are the way we are, WITS University Press, 2010) as a visiting fellow at the Economic and Social Research Council at the University of Edinburgh and as the Gordon Moore Visiting Professor in the Humanities at the California Institute of Technology.

    Dr. James is a policy specialist. He joined the University of Cape Town in 1986 as a member of the academic faculty in sociology, and became department chair in 1992. His research on labor migration (James, Our Precious Metal: African Labour in South Africa’s Gold Industry, Indiana University Press, 1992) led to his appointment as chairman of the task team that designed the first post-apartheid refugee protection and immigration policies under President Nelson Mandela. As a Member of Parliament and opposition spokesman on health and, given Africa’s disease burden and infectious disease outbreak patterns, Dr. James developed an enduring interest in global health security policy formulation and practice. He authored and edited twenty books and policy monographs, forty plus journal articles and book chapters and over 200 opinion/education articles. He is a contributing author to and editor of Vital Signs: Health Security in South Africa (Brenthurst Foundation, 2020). His greatest honor was to serve as a co-editor of the late President Nelson Mandela’s presidential speeches published as Nelson Mandela In His Own Words (Little Brown and Co, 2003). 

    As Trustee of the Ford Foundation and Chairman of its Education, Media, Arts and Culture (EMAC) committee, Dr. James oversaw the introduction of a $320 million International Fellowship Program, the largest single program investment the Foundation ever made. Over 4,300 students graduated with masters level degrees worldwide with support from the Foundation.  

    Dr. James current research interests are in global health security with a particular interest in the welfare of children. He also serves as a senior consultant to the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and is an honorary professor of public health at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

  • Presentation: Ethical challenges in assuring global access to vaccines: a view from the South

    • Ames Dhai, MD, LLM, PhD – Visiting Professor of Bioethics and Health Law at the School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

    Ames Dhai is a leading authority in Bioethics. She is Founder and Past Director of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at the Faculty (2007 – 2019), Visiting Professor of Bioethics and Health Law at the School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Specialist Ethicist at the Office of the President and CEO of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and member of the Academy of Science South Africa (ASSAf). She is Honorary Professor in the College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, UK; Chairperson of the National Bioethics Committee of the UNESCO National Commission, and the SAMRC Bioethics Advisory Panel. She is also a Vice Chairperson of the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO. She is on the ASSAf Biosafety and Biosecurity Committee and has served on several consensus panels of the ASSAf, including the ASSAf Panel on Gene Therapies and Gene Editing ELSI. She also serves as Vice-Chair on the Ministerial Advisory Committee for COVID-19 Vaccines. She is Editor-in-chief of the South African Journal of Bioethics and Law and Associate Editor of the South African Medical Journal. She is a mediator with international accreditation through the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, UK. She can be credited with entrenching bioethics and human rights as an integral aspect of health sciences in SA. Using an academic platform, Professor Dhai has taken a lead in health advocacy and activism locally and internationally and has published extensively in this field.

  • Presentation: Ethical challenges in assuring global access to vaccines: a view from the North

    • Ruth Faden, MPH, PhD – Founder, Berman Institute of Bioethics, Johns Hopkins University

    Ruth Faden is the founder of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. She was the Berman Institute’s Director from 1995 until 2016, and the inaugural Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director (2014­-2016). Dr. Faden is also the Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics. Her research focuses on structural injustice theory and its manifestations in national and global challenges in public health, food and agriculture, education policy, learning health care, health systems design and priority setting, and access to the benefits of global investments in biomedical research. Dr. Faden also works on ethical challenges in biomedical science, with a particular focus on women’s health and the rights and interests of pregnant women. Currently Dr. Faden is working at the intersection of structural justice and the COVID-19 response, primarily in vaccine allocation and prioritization and K-12 education.

  • Presentation: The World Bank’s perspective on assuring global access to vaccines

    • Mukesh Chawla, PhD – Coordinator, Chief Advisor, Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility, World Bank

    Mukesh Chawla, PhD, Adviser, Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank, and Coordinator, Pandemic Emergency Financing facility, has worked for over twenty years with governments and international development partners in Europe, Asia and Africa on a variety of health sector issues, including insurance solutions for global public goods, design and diffusion of complex innovations in health, identification of innovative business solutions to address systemic and process issues in the health sector, and economics of health.

    His current area of interest and responsibility is helping countries get better prepared to respond immediately and effectively to disease outbreaks that have the potential of assuming pandemic proportions.

    Dr. Chawla has written extensively on the role of markets and market-like institutions in the creation of incentives that strengthen health systems, fiscal space for health, innovations in health financing, design of health sector reforms and economics of aging populations. Prior to joining the Bank, he held a research faculty position at Harvard University, Boston, USA. Before that, as member of the Indian Administrative Service in India, he held several key government positions between 1980 and 1998. He attended St. Stephen’s College and Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India, and Boston University, Boston, USA.

  • Presentation: Assuring vaccine take-up and use

    • Peter Hotez, MD, PhD – Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine

    Peter J. Hotez, M.D., Ph.D. is Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine where he is also the Director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics.  He is also University Professor at Baylor University, Fellow in Disease and Poverty at the James A Baker III Institute for Public Policy,  Senior Fellow at the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University, Faculty Fellow with the Hagler Institute for Advanced Studies at Texas A&M University, and Health Policy Scholar in the Baylor Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy.

    Dr. Hotez is an internationally-recognized physician-scientist in neglected tropical diseases and vaccine development.  As head of the Texas Children’s CVD, he leads a team and product development partnership for developing new vaccines for hookworm infection, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis,  Chagas disease, and SARS/MERS/SARS-2 coronavirus, diseases affecting hundreds of millions of children and adults worldwide, while championing access to vaccines globally and in the United States.  In 2006 at the Clinton Global Initiative he co-founded the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases to provide access to essential medicines for hundreds of millions of people.

    He obtained his undergraduate degree in molecular biophysics from Yale University in 1980 (phi beta kappa), followed by a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from Rockefeller University in 1986, and an M.D. from Weil Cornell Medical College in 1987.  Dr. Hotez has authored more than 500 original papers and is the author of four single-author books, including Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases (ASM Press); Blue Marble Health: An Innovative Plan to Fight Diseases of the Poor amid Wealth (Johns Hopkins University Press); Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism (Johns Hopkins University Press); and a forthcoming 2020 book on vaccine diplomacy in an age of war, political collapse, climate change and antiscience (Johns Hopkins University Press).

    Dr. Hotez served previously as President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and he is founding Editor-in-Chief of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (Public Health Section) and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (Public Policy Section).  In 2011, he was awarded the Abraham Horwitz Award for Excellence in Leadership in Inter-American Health by the Pan American Health Organization of the WHO.  In 2014-16, he served in the Obama Administration as US Envoy, focusing on vaccine diplomacy initiatives between the US Government and countries in the Middle East and North Africa.  In 2018, he was appointed by the US State Department to serve on the Board of Governors for the US Israel Binational Science Foundation, and is frequently called upon frequently to testify before US Congress. He has served on infectious disease task forces for two consecutive Texas Governors.  For these efforts in 2017 he was named by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the 34 most influential people in health care, while in 2018 he received the Sustained Leadership Award from Research!America.   In 2019 he received the Ronald McDonald House Charities Award for Medical Excellence.

    Most recently as both a vaccine scientist and autism parent, he has led national efforts to defend vaccines and to serve as an ardent champion of vaccines going up against a growing national “antivax” threat. In 2019, he received the Award for Leadership in Advocacy for Vaccines from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.  Dr. Hotez appears frequently on television (including BBC, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC), radio, and in newspaper interviews (including the New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal). 

Thursday, February 25 - 12:00 - 2:00PM - Government and Industry

  • Welcome

    • Linda Fried, MD, MPH – Dean, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

    Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH, leads one of the founding Schools of Public Health, a graduate school of science and education for the public’s health whose faculty work in over 100 countries. Under her leadership, the School has built visionary programs to address the critical issues of our century that affect the public’s health and require knowledge for effective prevention and mitigation, from the health effects of climate change to protecting populations in the face of novel viruses and other infections, to increasing health span for our society of longer lives.

    Prior to 2008, Dr. Fried was the Director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and of the Center on Aging and Health at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.   A renowned scientist, she has defined frailty and its causes, research on the prevention of disability and cardiovascular disease, and the keys to creating health span in longevity, and proposes that investments in health for longer lives could build a Third Demographic Dividend.

    Dean Fried was named one of the 1% most influential scientific minds of the past decade in 2014 by Thomson Reuters.  She is an elected member of the US National Academy of Medicine, and of its executive Council. The recipient of numerous awards and prizes, she received the French National INSERM International Prize in Medical Research in 2017 and was named a Living Legend in Medicine by the US Congress.

  • Keynote: The Role of the NIAID-NIH in COVID-19 Vaccine Development

    • Anthony Fauci, MD – Director, National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease, National Institute of Health

    Anthony S. Fauci, MD is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, where he oversees an extensive research portfolio focused on infectious and immune-mediated diseases. As the long-time chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, Dr. Fauci has made many seminal contributions in basic and clinical research and is one of the world’s most-cited biomedical scientists. He was one of the principal architects of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program that has saved millions of lives throughout the developing world.  

  • Moderator

    • Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPA, MPH – Director, Columbia ICAP

    Wafaa El-Sadr is the founder and director of ICAP at Columbia University, University Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine and Mathilde Krim-amfAR Professor of Global Health at Columbia University. ICAP, the Center she founded and directs, supports large-scale health programs in more than 30 countries around the world that integrate research, education, training and program design, implementation, scale-up and evaluation. ICAP's work is focused on confronting major public health challenges including HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases and most recently on the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. El-Sadr has extensive research experience and expertise, currently co-leading the NIH-funded HIV Prevention Trials Network. 

    Dr. El-Sadr received her medical degree from Cairo University in Egypt, a masters degree in public health (Epidemiology) from Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and a masters degree in public administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. She was named a McArthur fellow in 2008, is a member of the National Academy of Medicine in 2009 and a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences in 2018.

  • Presentation: China’s role in COVID-19 vaccine development

    • George F. Gao, PhD – Director, China CDC

    Professor George F. Gao obtained his PhD (DPhil) degree from Oxford University, UK and did his postdoc work in both Oxford University and Harvard University (with a brief stay in Calgary University). His research interests include enveloped viruses and molecular immunology. His group research is mainly focusing on the enveloped virus entry and release, esp. influenza virus interspecies transmission (host jump), structure-based drug-design and structural immunology. He is also interested in virus ecology, esp. the relationship between influenza virus and migratory birds or live poultry markets and the bat-derived virus ecology and molecular biology. He has published more than 450 refereed papers, 10 books or book chapters and has applied and obtained more than 25 UK, US and Chinese patents. His research has recently expanded on public health policy and global health strategy. He led the China CDC team in 2014 (From Sep. to Nov.) to work in Sierra Leone for fighting against Ebola and his heroic role there has made a great deal for the field work. Gao is a member (academician) of Chinese Academy of Sciences, a fellow of The Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS, also known as The World Academy of Sciences), a fellow of American Academy of Microbiology (AAM)and an associate member of EMBO. Gao is a recipient of several international and national awards, including TWAS Medical Prize (2012), Nikkei Asian Prize (2014) and HLHL S&T Advancement Award (2015).

  • Presentation: Industry perspective on vaccine development

    • Kathrin Jansen, PhD – Head of Vaccine Research and Development, Pfizer Inc.

    Kathrin U. Jansen, Ph.D., is the Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research and Development (VRD) at Pfizer Inc, and a member of Pfizer’s Worldwide Research, Development and Medical leadership team. She has over 25 years of pharmaceutical experience in Vaccine R&D. Dr. Jansen leads a fully integrated, global vaccines research and development organization, with responsibilities ranging from discovery to registration and post-marketing commitments. With her team she manages a clinical vaccines portfolio that includes vaccines to prevent or treat diseases of significant unmet medical need such as those caused by Streptococcus pneumonia, Clostridium difficile, Respiratory syncytial virus, Group B streptococcus, Lyme disease and SARS-CoV-2. Important accomplishments are the global licensures of Prev(e)nar13® to prevent pneumococcal diseases and the development and licensure of Trumenba®, the first vaccine licensed in the United States to prevent invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B.Before the Wyeth acquisition by Pfizer in 2009, Dr. Jansen served as Senior Vice President at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and on Wyeth’s R&D Executive Committee since 2006 and was responsible for vaccine discovery, early development and clinical testing operations.

    Dr. Jansen spent 12 years at Merck Research Laboratories where she directed or supported a number of vaccine efforts, including Merck’s novel bacterial vaccine programs and viral vaccine programs (rotavirus, zoster and mumps, measles and rubella). Dr. Jansen initiated R&D activities and led the research and development activities of Gardasil®, the world’s first cervical cancer vaccine. Dr. Jansen received her doctoral degree in microbiology, biochemistry & genetics from Phillips Universitaet, Marburg, Germany, in 1984. Following completion of her formal training, she continued her postdoctoral training at Cornell University working on the structure and function of the acetylcholine receptor. She then joined the Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology in Geneva, Switzerland, where she focused on basic studies of a receptor believed to be a drug target to treat allergies.

    Dr. Jansen was appointed an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania – School of Medicine in 2010 and has authored and co-authored over 160 publications. She is a member of the CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) scientific advisory committee, American Society for Microbiology and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.

  • Presentation: CEPI’s global perspective on COVID-19 vaccine development

    • Richard Hatchett, MD – CEO, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations

    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 supports the development of vaccines against high priority public health threats and technology platforms to allow the rapid development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Dr. Hatchett was previously the acting Director of the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and served as Director of Medical Preparedness Policy on the Homeland and National Security Councils under Presidents Bush and Obama, respectively.  He received his medical degree from Vanderbilt and completed clinical training in internal medicine and medical oncology at Cornell and Duke.

  • Presentation: WHO’s global perspective on vaccine discovery and development

    • Soumya Swaminathan, MD – Chief Scientist, WHO

    Dr. Soumya Swaminathan was appointed WHO’s first Chief Scientist in March 2019. A paediatrician  from India and a globally recognized researcher on tuberculosis and HIV, she brings with her 30  years of experience in clinical care and research and has worked throughout her career to translate  research into impactful programmes. Dr. Swaminathan was Secretary to the Government of India for Health Research and Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research from 2015-2017. In that position, she focused on bringing science and evidence into health policy making, building research capacity in Indian medical schools and forging south-south partnerships in health  sciences. From 2009 to 2011, she also served as Coordinator of the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases in Geneva. 

    She received her academic training in India, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, and has published more than 350 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. She is an elected  Foreign Fellow of the US National Academy of Medicine and a Fellow of all three science academies in India. The Science division’s role is to ensure that WHO stays ahead of the curve and  leverages advances in science and technology for public health and clinical care, as well as  ensuring that the norms, standards and guidelines produced by WHO are scientifically excellent,  relevant and timely. Her vision is to ensure that WHO is at the cutting edge of science and is able to  translate new knowledge into meaningful impact on population health worldwide.

Friday, February 26 - 12:00 - 3:00PM - A Most Remarkable Year in Vaccines

  • Welcome

    • Ira Katznelson, PhD – Interim Provost, Columbia University

    Ira Katznelson is Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University, currently serving as Interim Provost. His Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time (2013) was awarded the Bancroft Prize in History and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award in Political Science. Other recent books include Southern Nation: Congress and White Supremacy after Reconstruction (2018; with David Bateman and John Lapinski), Liberal Beginnings (2008; with Andreas Kalyvas), When Affirmative Action Was White (2006), and Desolation and Enlightenment (2003). He has served as Pitt Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge (2017-18), and as president of the Social Science Research Council (2012-17), the American Political Science Association (2005-06), and the Social Science History Association (1997-98).  

  • Keynote 1: Operation Warp Speed – Lessons Learnt about Delivering Vaccines in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

    • Moncef Slaoui, MS, PhD – Former Director, Operation Warp Speed, US Government

    Dr. Moncef Slaoui is the Chief Advisor to Operation Warp Speed. He brings to the mission extensive experience in vaccine and Medicines development and production from a long career in the field of life sciences.

    Dr. Slaoui spent nearly 30 years at GlaxoSmithKline holding a number of leadership positions including member of the board; Chairman of Pharmaceutical R&D; Chairman Global R&D, Vaccines & Oncology; and Chairman, Global Vaccines. As Chairman of Pharmaceutical R&D, Dr. Slaoui led a restructuring to improve focus on innovation and productivity. As Chairman of Global Vaccines, Dr. Slaoui was directly involved in the company's vaccine pipeline, which led the industry during his time, with the broadest portfolio of vaccines of any company—48—and the creation of 14 new vaccines in ten years. Dr. Slaoui led the development of a number of novel vaccines, including Cervarix, to prevent cervical cancer; Mosquirix, a candidate to prevent malaria; Rotarix, to prevent rotavirus gastroenteritis; Shingrix, to prevent shingles; and Synflorix, to prevent pneumococcal disease.

    Dr. Slaoui is also a partner at Medicxi, a venture capital firm specializing in seed, Series A, early stage and late stage life sciences investments; he also sat on various biotechnology companies’ boards,, including Moderna, Inc., Lonza Group AG, Galvani, and Vaxcyte, an independent vaccine development platform.

    Among other honors, in 2016, Dr. Slaoui was recognized as one of Fortune's 50 Greatest World Leaders for his work in under-researched diseases common in the developing world, served on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the NIH from 2011 to 2016, and has advised the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

    Dr. Slaoui holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Immunology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, in Belgium; completed postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine; and has been a professor of Immunology at the University of Mons, Belgium. He received an accelerated Master of Business Administration from IMD, Switzerland in 1998.

  • Keynote 2: Using Vaccines Optimally in the Future

    • Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, MSc, PhD – Vice Provost, Global Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania

    Ezekiel J. Emanuel is the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, the Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, and Co-Director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. From January 2009 to January 2011, Dr. Emanuel served as a Special Advisor on Health Policy to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and National Economic Council. Prior to that he was the founding chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health from 1997 to August of 2011.

    Dr. Emanuel received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in political philosophy from Harvard University. He has published over 300 articles mainly on health care reform, research ethics, and end of life care.  He has also authored or edited 15 books. His new book entitled Which Country Has the World’s Best Health Care? was published in June. Dr. Emanuel is the most widely cited bioethicist in history.

  • Moderator

    • Marc Grodman, MD – Department of Medicine, Columbia University, CEO, Genosity Inc.

    Marc Grodman, MD, is the co-Founder and CEO of Genosity Inc, a life science biotechnology company that provides novel software, technical and laboratory solutions to enable its strategic partners to realize the value of precision medicine. He previously founded BioReference Laboratories in 1986 which became the third largest commercial laboratory in US with annual revenues approaching $1B, and served for almost 30 years as its CEO (BRLI-Nasdaq-NMS). He created specialty business units, GenPath and GenPath Oncology, focusing on Women’s Health and Oncology respectively. Grodman acquired GeneDx in 2005 and turned it and other sequencing services at BioReference to almost $200M in revenue across multiple clinical areas while establishing GeneDx as world-leader in clinical genomic testing for rare and ultra-rare disorders. BioReference was also the first clinical lab to offer Next-Gen Sequencing based tests. As Chair, Vice Chair and Board Member of the American Clinical Laboratory Association, Grodman is leading efforts to address issues such as the challenging reimbursement environment, FDA and CMS regulations, guidelines for testing, competitive bidding, PAMA, patient copay and associated changes with regard to passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Grodman also served as Board Member and Chair of Patient Safety and Quality Task Force of the Health Care Leadership Council. A member of the CUIMC Board of Advisors, Dr. Grodman has been on staff at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons since 1983, made teaching rounds for over 25 years, and has created and endowed new programs in alternative career tracks for medical students. 

  • Presentation: Response from a former FDA commissioner

    • Margaret Hamburg, MD – Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Medicine

    Dr. Hamburg is an internationally recognized leader in public health and medicine.  She is the immediate past Chair/President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and just completed her term as foreign secretary of the National Academy of Medicine, where she served as senior advisor on international matters and liaison with other Academies of Medicine around the world.
    Dr. Hamburg is a former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where she was known for advancing regulatory science, modernizing regulatory pathways, and globalization of the agency. Before this, she was founding vice president and senior scientist at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a foundation dedicated to reducing nuclear, chemical and biological threats. Other positions have included Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Health Commissioner for New York City, and Assistant Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.
    Dr. Hamburg currently sits on the Boards of The Nature Conservancy, The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, The Simons Foundation, The Commonwealth Fund, The Urban Institute, The Council on Foreign Relations, and the American Museum of Natural History, as well as the Board of Directors of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. Dr Hamburg also serves in various advisory roles, including the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats, Harvard University Global Advisory Council, the Scientific Advisory Committee for Global Health of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ending Pandemics and chairs the Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows. She also chairs the Joint Coordinating Group of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation and is co-chair of the WHO Expert Advisory Committee on Developing Global Standards for Governance and Oversight of Human Genome Editing.

    The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Dr Hamburg is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as an Honorary Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American College of Physicians.
    Dr. Hamburg is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School.


  • Presentation: The role of Public-Private Partnerships in vaccine distribution and supply chain

    • Stanley M. Bergman – Chairman of the Board and CEO, Henry Schein, Inc.

    Since 1989, Stanley M. Bergman has been Chairman of the Board and CEO of Henry Schein, Inc., a Fortune 500® company and the world's largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental and medical practitioners, with more than 19,000 Team Schein Members and operations or affiliates in 31 countries. Henry Schein is a member of the S&P 500® index. In 2019, the Company's sales from continuing operations reached $10 billion. Henry Schein has been a Fortune World's Most Admired Company for 20 consecutive years.

    Mr. Bergman serves as a board member or advisor for numerous institutions including New York University College of Dentistry; the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine; the Columbia University Medical Center; University of the People; Hebrew University; Tel Aviv University; the University of the Witwatersrand Fund; The World Economic Forum’s Health Care Governors; the Business Council for International Understanding and the Metropolitan Opera.  Mr. Bergman is an honorary member of the American Dental Association and the Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity.  Mr. Bergman is the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor; the CR Magazine Corporate Responsibility Lifetime Achievement Award; the 2017 CEO of the Year award by Chief Executive Magazine; Honorary Doctorates from The University of the Witwatersrand, Western University of Health Sciences, Hofstra University, A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, Case Western Reserve University, and Farmingdale State College (SUNY); and Honorary Fellowships from King’s College London - Dental Institute and the International College of Dentists.

    Stan and Dr. Marion Bergman and their family are active supporters of organizations fostering the arts, higher education, and cultural diversity, as well as grassroots health care and sustainable entrepreneurial economic development initiatives in the United States, Africa, and other developing regions of the world.

    Mr. Bergman is a graduate of The University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and is a South African Chartered Accountant and a NYS Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

  • Presentation: Progress in and challenges of vaccine distribution in Africa

    • John Nkengasong, MSc, PhD – Director, Africa CDC

    Dr. John Nkengasong is director of African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Until recently he was the Associate Director for Laboratory Science and Chief of the International Laboratory Branch at the Division of HIV & TB, Center for Global Health, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta. In addition, Dr. Nkengasong co-chairs the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’s (PEPFAR) Laboratory Technical Working Group and serves as the founding chair of Board of Directors for the African Society for Laboratory Medicine.

    He received a Master’s in Tropical Biomedical Science at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, and another Master’s Degree in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Brussels School of Medicine and a Doctorate in Medical Sciences (Virology) from the University of Brussels, Belgium. Between 1993-95 he was Chief of the Virology and the WHO Collaborating Center on HIV diagnostics, at the Department of Microbiology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.

  • Reaching Nerd Immunity – A Journalist’s Perspective

    • Kai Kupferschmidt – Contributing Correspondent, Science Magazine

    Kai Kupferschmidt is a science journalist based in Berlin. He has a degree in molecular biomedicine and has reported on infectious diseases all over the world. As a contributing correspondent for Science Magazine he has been following the COVID-19 pandemic since January 2020. He also writes for German media outlets and has written two books, most recently one about the science of the color blue.

  • Closing Remarks: State of Vaccinology 2021: Where do we go from here?

    • Stanley Plotkin, MD – Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania

    Dr. Stanley A. Plotkin is Emeritus Professor of the University of Pennsylvania. Until 1991, he was Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, Professor of Virology at the Wistar Institute and at the same time, Director of Infectious Diseases and Senior Physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. For seven years he was Medical and Scientific Director of Sanofi Pasteur, based at Marnes-la-Coquette, outside Paris. He is now a consultant to vaccine manufacturers and non-profit research organizations.

    He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the French Academy of Medicine. His bibliography includes over 800 articles and he has edited several books including a textbook on vaccines. He developed the rubella vaccine now in standard use throughout the world, is codeveloper of the pentavalent rotavirus vaccine, and has worked extensively on the development and application of other vaccines including anthrax, oral polio, rabies, varicella, and cytomegalovirus.