Isaac “Zak” Kohane, MD, PhD, is the inaugural chair of Harvard Medical School’s Department of Biomedical Informatics, whose mission is to develop the methods, tools and infrastructure required for a new generation of scientists and care providers to move biomedicine rapidly forward by taking advantage of the insight and precision offered by big data. Dr. Kohane develops and applies computational techniques to address disease at multiple scales, from whole health care systems to the functional genomics of neurodevelopment. He also has worked on AI applications in medicine since the 1990s, including automated ventilator control, pediatric growth monitoring, detection of domestic abuse, diagnosing autism from multimodal data and, most recently, assisting clinicians using whole genome sequencing and clinical histories to diagnose rare or unknown disease patients. He is the inaugural editor-in-chief of NEJM AI, a new journal from the publishers of the New England Journal of Medicine, and co-author of a recent book The AI Revolution in Medicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American College of Medical Informatics.
Demetre Daskalakis, MD, MPH, is an infectious diseases physician who is currently serving as the acting director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CDC. Before this role, Dr. Daskalakis served locally and nationally as a leader in public health as the director for the Division of HIV Prevention at CDC, deputy commissioner for the Division of Disease Control and assistant commissioner for the Bureau of HIV at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Dr. Daskalakis has had extensive experience with outbreak response throughout his career, including serving as incident commander during the 2018-2019 New York City measles outbreak and in 2020 during the COVID-19 response while at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In 2021, he served as deputy incident manager of the Vaccine Task Force in CDC’s National COVID-19 Response. Most recently, Dr. Daskalakis served as the deputy coordinator of the White House National Mpox Response.
Chandy C. John, MD, MS, FPIDS, holds the Ryan White Endowed Chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases and is director of the Ryan White Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Global Health at Indiana University. Dr. John’s research investigates why children develop severe malaria, why they die from severe malaria, and why survivors of severe malaria develop cognitive impairment. Dr. John also studies ways to prevent malaria and other infections in children with sickle cell disease. His research studies are based in Uganda and Kenya, in collaboration with Makerere University and Moi University. He is the author of more than 250 peer-reviewed publications and more than 30 book chapters. Dr. John is co-chair of the Thrasher Research Fund Scientific Advisory Committee, a member of Fogarty International Center Advisory Board, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, and a member of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Polio Working Group. Dr. John served as president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 2019. He received his medical degree and completed his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Michigan, and completed his fellowship training in pediatric infectious diseases at Case Western Reserve University.
Emily Blumberg, MD, FIDSA, is a transplant infectious diseases specialist and a professor of medicine, the director of the Transplant Infectious Diseases Program and the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program director at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the former chair of the IDSA Training Program Directors Committee and the Medical Scholars Award Committee. She is a deputy editor for the American Journal of Transplantation. She served as president of the American Society of Transplantation from 2019 to 2020 and currently serves on the United Network of Organ Sharing/Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Board of Directors. Dr. Blumberg’s academic interests focus on infectious disease complications in transplant recipients and candidates. She is especially interested in donor-derived infections and viral infections, including HIV, CMV, HCV and COVID-19.
Igho Ofotokun, MD, MSc, FIDSA, is the Grady Distinguished Professor of Medicine with tenure at Emory University School of Medicine and professor of behavioral sciences and health education at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. He is a staff physician at Grady Memorial Health System; associate dean for research development, Emory University School of Medicine; associate division director for research, Emory University Infectious Diseases Division; and co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research Clinical Core.
Dr. Ofotokun is a creative clinician-scientist whose career is devoted to caring for individuals with HIV and to combating the long-term sequelae of HIV among vulnerable populations. His research program has focused on the threat that age-related comorbidities pose to healthy aging in persons with HIV and the disproportionate burden in women. Adopting a clinical and translational research approach, he leads an innovative global research collaboration to understand the pathobiology of these phenomena, and he has demonstrated that age-related comorbidities may be driven by disruption in the organ-immune interphase (an amenable target); the higher burden in women may relate to synergy between gonadal impairment and chronic inflammation. He was a leading member of the seminal and pivotal ACTG 5257 trial that contributed to the 2015 revision of the U.S. HIV treatment guidelines to prioritize a drug class that is better tolerated by women, a class now recommended globally for first-line treatment by the World Health Organization.
Dr. Ofotokun has contributed substantially to the expanded representation of women and minorities in biomedical research, leveraging his expertise to promote research education and training at Emory University and across the globe (Nigeria, Ethiopia, Georgia and Vietnam). As an advocate for equitable representation in the biomedical workforce, he has briefed congressional staff and advised NIH leadership, Africa CDC and African governments on multiple occasions. Drawing on his HIV experience, he leads the Atlanta hub of the NIH initiative, Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery, aimed at understanding the long-term post-acute sequelae of COVID-19.
At Emory, Dr. Ofotokun serves as the administrative principal investigator of the MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study, the director of Emory Specialized Center of Research Excellence in Sex Differences, the co-director of the Georgia CTSA KL2 Program, the co-director of Emory Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health and the co-director of Emory Stimulating Access to Research in Residency. He has served on the membership and/or leadership of several high-profile national and international committees, including the FDA Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee, the IDSA Governing Board of Directors and the HIVMA Governing Board of Directors; as chair on NIH Study Section; as inaugural chair of the HIVMA Leadership Development Committee; and as a member of the Taskforce for COVID-19 Vaccine, Nigeria Governors Forum and IDSA Leadership Institute Working Group.
He is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed original articles, editorial/review articles, books and chapters and a frequently invited speaker on topics ranging from HIV disease management and the pathogenesis of HIV-related end-organ damage to biomedical workforce development and team science. He has been a visiting professor to several prominent programs, including the University of Michigan; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Washington University, St. Louis; Johns Hopkins University; Rush University, Chicago; the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, Lagos, Nigeria; the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Nigeria; and the Ethiopia-Emory D43 Research Training Program, Black Lion Teaching Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
Dr. Ofotokun’s contributions have been recognized by multiple institutional and national awards, including the Emory Infectious Diseases Mentoring Award in 2010, the HIVMA National Research Award in 2013, the Emory Department of Medicine Silver Pear Mentorship Award in 2014, the Emory Department of Medicine Nanette K. Wenger Distinguished Service Faculty Award in 2017, the 2017 Emory Infectious Diseases Division Paul Beeson’s (life achievement) Award and the 2020 Emory Department of Medicine Alexander Wayne Research Excellence Award (the highest research award in the department). In 2022, he was elected to the Emory University Woodruff Leadership Academic.
Sara Cosgrove, MD, MS, FIDSA, FSHEA, is a professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and has a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She serves as the director of the Department of Antimicrobial Stewardship and the associate hospital epidemiologist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Cosgrove’s research interests include the epidemiology and outcomes of antimicrobial resistance, the development of tools and programs to promote the rational use of antimicrobials, the prevention of hospital-acquired infections and the epidemiology and management of S. aureus bacteremia. She is a voting member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. She is a past president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America’s Board of Directors. Dr. Cosgrove received her undergraduate degree from Columbia College in New York, her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and her master of science degree in epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. She completed her postgraduate training in internal medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and underwent subsequent training in ID at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Penny Heaton, MD, is the global therapeutic area head, infectious diseases and vaccines, at Janssen Research & Development. In this role, she leads a global team focused on developing transformational prevention methods, vaccines and treatments for some of the world’s most threatening infectious diseases.
Dr. Heaton holds two decades of infectious diseases and vaccine research and development experience. Prior to this role, she served as chief executive officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute, where she led the development of investigational products from preclinical through late‐stage development against multiple diseases, including TB, malaria and enteric diseases, and also served as director of vaccine development at the Gates Foundation, working to address additional infectious diseases including HIV, pneumonia and polio. She has also led vaccine clinical research and development for companies including Novartis, Merck and Novavax. Notably, during her time at Merck, Dr. Heaton co‐developed a rotavirus vaccine that has been licensed in more than 100 countries and universally recommended by the World Health Organization for infants worldwide.
Dr. Heaton began her career at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducting diarrheal disease surveillance and investigating outbreaks of foodborne and diarrheal diseases, influencing her life‐long passion for infectious diseases and vaccine development.
A graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky, Dr. Heaton is board‐certified in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases. She is a member of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Louise Ivers, MD, MPH, FIDSA, FASTMH, is director of the Harvard University Global Health Institute, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health and the David Bangsberg Endowed Chair in Global Health Equity at Mass General Hospital. She is a professor of global health and social medicine, and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ivers works on the implementation of health programs with the goal of advancing health equity and access to care and social services for impoverished communities. She is a practicing infectious diseases physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Mass General Hospital.
Dr. Ivers completed medical school at University College Dublin, Ireland, residency in internal medicine at Mass General Hospital and a fellowship in infectious diseases at Mass General/Brigham. Dr. Ivers holds a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, a master of public health from the Harvard School of Public Health and a research doctorate in medicine from the National University of Ireland. She is a fellow of both the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Dr. Ivers is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Bailey K. Ashford Medal from ASTMH for distinguished work in tropical medicine, Leadership in the Practice of Public Health Award from the Harvard School of Public Health and Distinguished Graduate of the UCD School of Medicine. She has published more than 100 articles, chapters and perspectives on wide-ranging topics related to infectious diseases and global health equity. She is editor of a textbook on food insecurity and public health and has been a contributor to WBUR, NPR and The New York Times.
Dr. Ivers has spent her career providing care to the rural and urban poor, as well as engaged in patient-oriented investigations that offer solutions to barriers to health care. She lived in Haiti for more than a decade, serving as clinical director and then chief of mission for Partners in Health, Haiti, from 2003 until 2012 while a faculty member at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She designed and implemented primary care and HIV/TB programs, and led responses to a major earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and to a subsequent cholera epidemic. From 2015 to 2017, Dr. Ivers was a member of the executive leadership team at Partners in Health, responsible for global strategic implementation. She has worked on health care delivery in India, Southeast Asia and Africa.
Dr. Ivers has contributed to published research on HIV/AIDS, food insecurity, cholera treatment and prevention and disparities in COVID-19 response. She has been continuously NIH-funded for more than two decades, focusing her research on barriers to the delivery of health care, the impact of food insecurity on public health and comprehensive ways to eliminate cholera. She has served as an advisor to the World Health Organization and the Haitian Ministry of Health, and has collaborated with U.S. government, EU, and multilateral and nongovernmental organizations. She mentors dozens of physicians and students in global health implementation and research. She loves taking care of patients.
The Honorable Mark Dybul, MD, is a professor in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center where he serves as chief strategy officer of the Center for Global Health Practice and Impact, executive chair of Platform Life Sciences and CEO of Renovaro BioSciences.
Dr. Dybul has worked on HIV and public health for more than 25 years as a clinician, scientist, teacher and administrator. He helped create and led the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and was, most recently, the executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
After graduating from Georgetown Medical School in Washington, D.C., Dr. Dybul joined the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as a research fellow under director Dr. Anthony Fauci, where he conducted basic and clinical studies on HIV virology, immunology and treatment optimization, including the first randomized, controlled trial with combination antiretroviral therapy in Africa.
Dr. Dybul was one of the founding architects in the formation of PEPFAR. After serving as chief medical officer and as assistant, deputy and acting director, he was appointed as its leader in 2006, becoming the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, with the rank of ambassador at the level of an assistant secretary of state. He served until early 2009. He also served as executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria from 2013 to 2017.
Dr. Dybul has written extensively in scientific and policy literature, has received several honorary degrees and awards, and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Angeli Achrekar, DrPH, MPH, is the deputy executive director of programs at the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS and an assistant secretary-general of the United Nations.
Prior to joining UNAIDS in January 2023, Dr. Achrekar served as the Principal Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Over the past 20 years with the U.S. government and PEPFAR, at the State Department and CDC, she has held prominent positions helping to lead the largest global health effort of the U.S. government to ensure lifesaving HIV prevention and treatment services to millions of people around the globe and strengthen health and community systems across 50 countries.
She is a passionate public servant, dedicated to advancing global health and development, across sectors, especially for women and girls. Over the years, she has helped evolve the program for more person-centered care, protecting and increasing HIV/AIDS gains while also capacitating countries for broader health care delivery. Her deep program, policy and partnership development experience at the global and country levels has cultivated strong multisectoral partnerships for large-scale and transformational impact, fundamental to ending the AIDS pandemic. She holds a Doctorate of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Public Health from Yale University.
Matthew M. Kavanagh, PhD, directs Georgetown University’s Global Health Policy & Politics Initiative at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and is an assistant professor of global health and visiting professor of law. A political scientist by training, with a long history of work in global health policy and politics, he recently served at the United Nations as deputy executive director ad interim and special advisor at UNAIDS. His research and writing focus on the political economy of health policy in low- and middle-income countries and the political impact of human and constitutional rights on population health. He has done research and policy work in in South Africa, Malawi, Haiti, Lesotho, India and Thailand and was a visiting researcher at the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law in Johannesburg. Grants for this work have come from the National Science Foundation, USAID, U.S. State Department, World Health Organization, amfAR: foundation for AIDS research and others. He has served on various scientific and technical advisory bodies for UNAIDS and the World Health Organization and on the council of the American Political Science Association Health Politics and Policy Section.
Prior to his academic positions, Dr. Kavanagh led transnational policy efforts at NGOs in the U.S. and Southern Africa focused on HIV and tuberculosis treatment, international trade and water rights. He has presented his research and analysis before the U.N. Special Rapporteur for the Right to Health, members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee and the U.S. Trade Representative.
His work has appeared in The Lancet, Foreign Policy, JAMA, Journal of International Affairs, Studies in Comparative International Development, Health & Human Rights and other leading journals, and he has been interviewed in outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC and Science on the politics of global health.
Dr. Kavanagh holds a PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, a certificate in health law from Penn Law and masters in communities and policy from Harvard University.
Dorothy Mbori-Ngacha, MBChB, MMed, MPH, is medical doctor with specialist training in pediatrics, infectious diseases and public health. She has extensive experience as a public health professional working in academia, the public sector, the NGO community and international organizations. Most recently she was the senior HIV specialist on elimination of mother-to-child transmission and pediatric HIV for UNICEF’s global HIV/AIDS programs, working with teams to improve outcomes for children and their families.
A national of Kenya, Dr. Mbori-Ngacha holds a degree in medicine and a master’s in pediatrics from the University of Nairobi School of Medicine in addition to a master’s in public health (epidemiology) from the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Mbori-Ngacha’s research area is in the field of prevention of mother-to-child transmission and pediatric HIV. She has served on several data and safety monitoring boards of groundbreaking studies and sits on several national and international advisory committees related to her expertise.
Jean Nachega, MD, PhD, MPH, FRCP, DTM&H, is a tenured associate professor of epidemiology, infectious diseases and microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh; adjunct associate professor of epidemiology and international health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and professor extraordinary at Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in Cape Town, South Africa. He received his training in Belgium (University of Louvain), the U.K. (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) and the U.S. (Johns Hopkins University & Harvard University). He has more than 25 years of experience in patient care, teaching, and designing and implementing HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis studies or programs funded by NIH/NIAID, PEPFAR, EDCTP and the Wellcome Trust. He authored more than 230 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Nachega conducted a seminal study that showed that the relationship between adherence to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based HIV therapy and virologic outcomes has a linear dose-response pattern and is linked to various virologic outcomes. He was the first to quantify the savings in health care costs per month associated with excellent antiretroviral therapy adherence in a large South African HIV cohort. For these contributions and others, he was the recipient of the 2022 International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care award for outstanding contribution to HIV treatment adherence research, with evidence of scientific impact as well as mentorship of younger investigators in the U.S. and Africa. In addition, he is an ad hoc expert consultant for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization, as well as a member-elect of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa and the African Academy of Sciences.