Selected and recommended by the working group
|COVID-19 therapeutics: Current status, access & research needs||COVID-19 therapeutics in resource-constrained settings: Where are we and what do we need?|
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Working Group members
Professor Saye Khoo, MD, PhD, is Honorary Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, and Professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Liverpool.
His research focuses on the pharmacology of HIV treatment failure and how therapy may be improved through individualised care through understanding of why drug exposure varies markedly between individuals (and the role of individual characteristics such as weight, gender, host genetics and drug interactions), and identify vulnerable groups who are at particular risk of failure, or toxicity. These studies span bench science, through translational research and into the clinic, and onwards to population based modelling approaches.
He leads the AGILE Coronavirus Drug Testing Initiative, which seeks to investigate new molecules as potential treatment for COVID-19. His lab also works to measure drug concentrations of these new therapies, in order to optimise the dosing. They have a large drug interactions programme to prevent harm arising from multiple treatments in people with many underlying medical conditions, which may interact with experimental COVID-19 therapies.
Dr. Mahmood is an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and the Division of Computational Pathology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Imaging from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan and was a postdoctoral fellow at the department of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University. His research interests include pathology image analysis, morphological feature, and biomarker discovery using data fusion and multimodal analysis. Dr. Mahmood is a full member of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute / Harvard Cancer Center ; an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and a member of the Harvard Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics (BIG) faculty.
Dr Jeremy Nel is a medical doctor, working as a specialist physician and infectious diseases specialist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a member of South Africa’s COVID-19 clinical guidelines committee and has been the co-national principal investigator for the WHO Solidarity Trial and the Recovery Trial, among others.
Dr. Priscilla Rupali is Professor and head of Dept. of Infectious Diseases, Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, India. She was a Senior ID fellow in the Dept. of Adult Infectious Diseases, Auckland City Hospital and has a “Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene” from Universidad Cayetano Heredia, Lima. She runs an annual course in Clinical Tropical Medicine at CMC. Early 2000s, she joined in pioneering distance learning course educating people in HIV Medicine. She has formal training in “Transplant Infectious Diseases”, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, has established Transplant related services in her hospital and founded the Transplant Infectious Diseases Conference in Vellore, Chennai and Ludhiana. She has set up an antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) program in her hospital and plans to implement AMS at the primary, secondary and tertiary care levels, targeting clinical pharmacists and physicians working long term at secondary care hospitals. Her department pioneered promoting ID as a clinical specialty in India, and is the 2nd Department there to run the DM in Infectious Diseases.
Dr Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft joined Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) in 2009 and is member of the Executive Team as Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and COVID Director. She holds over 30 years of experience in R&D. As Director of NTDs since 2018, Dr Strub-Wourgaft provides strategic and technical oversight to a wide portfolio of R&D and access plans for therapeutic areas covering Sleeping Sickness, Chagas disease, Cutaneous and Visceral Leishmaniasis, Filaria, & Mycetoma. In 2018, through an international public and private partnership including a scientific platform from Africa, DNDI developed Fexinidazole, its first new chemical entity registered from its portfolio. Since March 2020, Nathalie leads DNDi’s response to COVID-19, as Coordinator of the ANTICOV study Consortium and one of the initiators of the COVID 19 clinical research coalition. She is involved in several working groups dedicated to therapeutics for COVID, with a specific focus on LMIC needs and settings. Prior to her current appointment, Dr Strub-Wourgaft created and held the Medical Director position at DNDi, where she notably developed the organisation’s quality, pharmacovigilance and regulatory activities. Prior to DNDi, Dr Strub-Wourgaft served as Clinical Development Director at Trophos, and held many related roles within Pfizer, Lundbeck and Aspreva. Dr Strub-Wourgaft graduated as Medical Doctor from Necker Hospital, Université René Descartes in Paris in 1983. She co-authored several scientific publications in peer-review journals.
Dr Joel Tarning started his scientific research career in 2007 at the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Bangkok, Thailand. Since 2013, he has been leading the MORU department – Clinical Pharmacology, comprising a large and diverse team of 30 people. The main scientific directions within the department are pharmacometric data analysis, bioanalytical method development, drug quantification of clinical study samples, omics-based research, and medicine quality. His main research is focused on dose-optimisation in neglected tropical diseases, with a particular focus on vulnerable populations at risk of treatment failure and resistance development, such as children and pregnant women. His work on population pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modelling of oral dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine in children with uncomplicated malaria, and intramuscular artesunate in children with severe malaria started the debate on new dose recommendations in young children, which resulted in revised WHO Guidelines for the treatment of malaria, 3rd edition (2015). He is a Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Oxford, UK (2016), and a visiting professor at the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Thailand (2016).
Dr Mauro Teixeira is a Professor of Immunology at the Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil. His group is interested in the role of mediators of inflammation, especially chemokines, in driving leukocyte influx and tissue dysfunction during infection. Several infections are modelled in his laboratory, including Trypanosoma cruzi, Leishmania (Protozoan), Strongyloides venezuelensis, Schistosoma mansoni (Helminth), dengue and influenza (Viruses). At AECOM, the major collaboration with Professor Herbert Tanowitz, investigating the role of fat and the interaction between chemokines and endothelin in experimental T cruzi infection and human Chagas disease.
Krisantha Weerasuriya is a distinguished Sri Lankan physician and clinical pharmacologist with a wealth of experience in the field of medicines use. He began his medical training in Sri Lanka before completing postgraduate degrees in the United Kingdom in the 1980s. Since then, he has continued to educate himself on the latest developments in the field of medicines use, both in Sri Lanka and in the countries where he has worked.
Throughout his career, Krisantha has been a tireless advocate for better medicines use, working at national, regional, and global levels to promote ethical, scientific, and regulatory principles in the use of essential medicines. Up until his retirement in 2014, he held a range of roles, including physician, professor, medicines regulator, regional advisor for the World Health Organization (WHO), and finally as a Secretary of the WHO Expert Committee on Selection and Use of Essential Medicines.
Krisantha’s professional journey has taken him to a range of organizations, including NGOs and civil society organizations, where he has worked on issues such as intellectual property, medicines pricing, health technology assessments, clinical trial monitoring, as well as health care financing mainly in middle and low income countries.
Overall, Krisantha Weerasuriya’s commitment to promoting better medicines use has been unwavering throughout his career. His dedication to ethical and scientific principles, provides for an optimistic outlook to the potential of essential medicines being realised for low and middle income countries within Universal Health Care in his lifetime.
Professor Nick White is a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow who chairs the Wellcome Trust Tropical Medicine Research Programmes in South East Asia. He has lived and worked in Thailand since 1980. His research focus is the pathophysiology and treatment of malaria. He has concentrated on characterising antimalarial pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic relationships to improve the treatment of malaria and reduce the emergence of resistance. This led to artemisinin-based combination treatment for falciparum malaria, and the change to artesunate for severe malaria. He has authored over 1000 scientific publications and 50 book chapters. He is on the Board of the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network and Infectious Diseases Data Observatory, and he co-chairs the WHO GMP technical expert group on prevention and treatment of malaria and the WHO antimalarial treatment guidelines committee. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) for services to tropical medicine and global health in the 2017 New Year’s Honours.