Macfarlane Burnet Speaker
David O. Freedman, MD, FIDSA, is Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he has been on faculty since 1989. A Canadian, he received his undergraduate degree in Physiology from McGill and his MD from the University of Toronto. After residency and fellowship in Internal Medicine and Infectious diseases at McGill University, he completed post-doctoral training with the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, NIH in Washington, DC.
For the past 17 years he has been Director of the global GeoSentinel Surveillance Network which he co-founded and which currently maintains the largest database of ill travelers available. GeoSentinel is network of 55 travel/tropical medicine units on six continents including Australia that is funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He also directs the Gorgas Courses in Clinical Tropical Medicine that are given n Peru; many Australians are among the over 700 physicians from 65 countries that have received training at Gorgas. He is a co-author of the IDSA Clinical Practice Guidelines on Travel Medicine and has served on the IDSA Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee. He is on the Board of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM). He is co-Editor of the textbook, Travel Medicine, now in its 3rd Edition and a monograph on the immunoparasitology of helminthes.
His research focuses on clinical tropical medicine, emerging pathogens, and immunoparasitology, including the development of surveillance networks to characterize infectious disease morbidity in travelers and migrants. He has been a Member of the VA Merit Review Infectious Diseases Study Section, Chair of the Advisory Panel on Parasitic Diseases of the US Pharmacopeia, and a Councillor of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Funded research projects have been completed in India, Guatemala, Ghana, Brazil, and Peru in addition to the 24 countries where GeoSentinel operates.
International Keynote Speakers
Professor Henrik C. Wegener, Provost Technical University of Denmark; Adjunct Professor of Zoonoses Epidemiology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Henrik C. Wegener has a Master of Food Science and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He has been involved in food safety research since 1987. Initially Professor Wegener worked for eight years as a molecular epidemiologist in the laboratory, then for ten years he headed surveillance and epidemiological research activities on foodborne zoonoses at the Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research. He established the interagency unit at the Danish Zoonosis Centre which he managed from 1994 to 1999. From 1999 to 2000 he was stationed in WHO in Geneva, where he worked on the development of the WHO global strategy for the prudent use of antimicrobials in food animals and the establishment of the WHO Global Salmonella Surveillance Program. From 2000 to 2004 Professor Wegener was Professor of Zoonoses Epidemiology at the Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research and from 2004 to 2006 Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Risk Assessment in the same institute. In March 2006, he became Director of the National Food Institute in Denmark, and in 2011 Provost and Vice Executive President of the Technical University of Denmark. Professor Wegener is Adjunct Professor of Zoonoses Epidemiology at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark. He has received the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics – International Leadership Award to Preserve the Power of Antibiotics and a Dutch award for international leadership in promoting integrated antimicrobial resistance surveillance. He is an Associate Editor of the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal, and has published more than 100 scientific papers and book chapters and more than 150 other publications. Professor Wegener has participated on numerous national and international boards and committees.
Dr Abdul Ghafur, Consultant in Infectious Diseases, Apollo Hospital Chennai, India
Dr Gina Samaan is an Australian epidemiologist working in Indonesia for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Her area of expertise is emerging infectious diseases, especially avian and seasonal influenza. Prior to joining the CDC, Gina worked for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Indonesia during which she investigated over 100 cases of avian influenza infection, strengthened the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) and undertook research in the control of avian influenza in traditional live bird markets. The latter became the topic of her PhD, which she completed through the Australian National University and for which she was awarded the Australian Prime Minister’s Australia-Asia Endeavour Award. In Australia, Gina worked for the Department of Health and Ageing, and was involved in the national response to SARS. She has also consulted for a number of international agencies, including AusAID, WHO, USAID and RTI, on pandemic preparedness, neglected tropical diseases and outbreak detection and response.
Dr Ghafur is a Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, India. Dr Ghafur has presented at more than 200 invited lectures in India and at many international meetings. Dr Ghafur currently holds the position of Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee Chairperson – Clinical Infectious Disease Society (India). As part of this position, Dr Ghafur coordinated the meeting “A road map to tackle the challenge of antimicrobial resistance” (August 2012, Chennai). This was the first joint meeting of medical societies in India on tackling antibiotic resistance with the aim of mobilising political and academic resolve to address antimicrobial resistance. Dr Ghafur received the Apollo Hospitals award for Excellence in Antibiotic Stewardship Activity. This was awarded for the best clinical activity among all 52 Apollo Hospitals in Asia. Dr Ghafur is also an editorial committee member of the following international journals: Journal of Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, and Journal of Microbiology & Infectious Disease. His editorial in Journal of the Association of Physicians of India “An obituary on the death of antibiotics”, has been extensively internationally cited in journals and media. In addition he has many publications, poster presentations and contributed text book chapters.
Joint with CDC
Professor Karl Ekdahl, Head of Public Health Capacity and Communication Unit, ECDC
Professor Karl Ekdahl is a medical doctor and a specialist in infectious diseases. He has a PhD in Infectious Diseases from the Lund University, Sweden, a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from Prince Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, and a Master's Degree in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 1999 he became Associate Professor and in 2007 Adjunct Professor in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. In his academic career, he has authored some 100 scientific articles and one book, and has tutored 10 PhD students. Between 2007 and 2011 he was the Editor-in-Chief of the ECDC-published scientific journal Eurosurveillance.
After some years as an infectious disease specialist, Karl Ekdahl entered the area of communicable disease prevention and control in 1995. Since then, he has worked at regional, national and international levels, and between 2001 and 2005 held the position of Deputy State Epidemiologist for Sweden. He has participated in many international networks: an HIV surveillance project in China and had been responsible for Swedish cooperation with Russia and the Baltic Republics on communicable disease control in 1998 to 2000.
In March 2005, Karl Ekdahl was the first expert to join the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Within ECDC, he has been Strategic Adviser to the Director (2005-2007), and Head of the Health Communication Unit (2007-2010). From February to April 2010, Professor Karl Ekdahl was the Centre’s Acting Director. From June 2010, he was the Head of the Communication and Country Cooperation Unit, and from April 2011 he is the Head of the Public Health Capacity and Communication Unit.
Dr Gina Samaan, Epidemiologist, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Indonesia