Joannie Marlene Bewa is a physician, and an international expert in public health from Benin Republic. She is currently enrolled as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of South Florida College of Public Health, specializing in public maternal and child health.
Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD joined the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine part time as Senior Associate Dean for Research in Global Affairs, Associate Vice President for International Partnerships and Innovation, and Professor in the Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Internal Medicine. He is also executive director of the Tampa-based Romark Laboratories Institute for Medical Research. Since 2017, Dr. Brechot has served as President of the Global Virus Network, a network of 48 research centers worldwide, headquartered in Baltimore.
Before serving as president of the Pasteur Institute from 2013 to 2017, Dr. Bréchot was vice president of medical and scientific affairs at Institut-Merieux, a company that develops new approaches to fight infectious diseases and cancers. He also served as the general director of Inserm, the French national agency for biomedical research from 2002 to 2007. As professor of hepatology and cell biology at Necker School of Medicine, Paris Descartes University, he led the clinical department of liver diseases at Necker-Enfants Maldes Hospital from 1997 to 2001.
Authoring more than 400 articles in medical and scientific journals, Dr. Bréchot was ranked by the Institute for Scientific Information as the 4th most cited author on the topic of hepatitis C. He has been recognized as an inventor on 18 patents, and helped create three biotechnology companies: Rarecells, ALFACT Innovation, and The Healthy Aging Company.
Dr. Bréchot’s research activities have focused on viral hepatitis: hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), particularly with regard to their role in liver cancer (Hepatocellular carcinoma: HCC) and to the molecular mechanisms that drive liver regeneration and cancer (in particular, cell cycle deregulation and the impact of oxidative stress). He has been the member of numerous scientific committees and societies and has received prestigious awards.
Dr. Saskia Estupiñán-Day is a public health dentist with worldwide experience including all of the countries of the Americas as well as many countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. She has provided leadership in scientific and academic communities and is a leading worldwide authority in the development of oral health strategies, implementation of national programs, international technical cooperation, and management of research programs. She has conceived and implemented major innovations in public health dentistry research and programs including fluoridation, atraumatic restorative treatment, and the application of cost-effectiveness analysis and policy support to national programs.
A salient characteristic of her combined approach to research, management and cost-effectiveness, as an emphasis on evidence-based research and programming. Over decades of involvement with the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO), she led the development of highly strategic program innovations developed under Dr. Estupiñán-Day’s leadership at PAHO, major outcome improvements that resulted in: significant caries reduction in almost every country of the Americas; improved cost-effectiveness; expanded coverage; capacity development; transfer of technology; and improved sustainability. During a post hoc evaluation of her landmark public health dentistry work in salt fluoridation, her program was credited with having prevented as many as 300 million caries and saving families the associated costs. The program continues to produce multiples of the stream of benefits (and earned her the moniker among her colleagues as the “Johnny Appleseed of salt fluoridation”).
During her career Dr. Estupiñán-Day has advised over 50 ministries of health as well as international agencies, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, foundations, research entities and private sector partners. She has authored and co-authored nearly 50 publications; served as Associate Editor of professional journals; and participated in or led major scientific and technical sessions in most regions of the world. She is a committed educator, having served as visiting professor and adjunct professor in major universities (Temple University, NYU College of Dentistry, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Medical School and others) and has served as a preceptor and mentor to over 40 students.
On the personal side, Dr. Estupiñán-Day is a sports enthusiast. Her primary sports interest is in track in field, as she became a national champion in her native Ecuador at the age of 15, as an avid runner, and eventually returning to her love of hurdling as a member of the USA Track and Field Team, Masters, winning the USA national gold medals in 80 meter hurdles and 300 meter hurdles and competing the World Masters Athletic Championship in Italy. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, FL.
Linda M. Whiteford holds a Doctorate degree in Anthropology as well as a Masters degree in Public Health, and another Masters degree in Anthropology. She is an Emerita Professor and a Founding Co-Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Non-Communicable Disease at USF, and is also co- creator of the Social Marketing for Social Change Certification Program. Dr. Whiteford has consulted for WHO, PAHO, USAID, the World Bank, and the Canadian Agency for International Development, among other international development agencies. She has received National Science Foundation (NSF) research awards, School for Advanced Research Seminar Awards, The Sol Tax Award for Distinguished Service to Anthropology, and selected as Scholar of the Year by various universities. Dr. Whiteford’s research and consulting has occurred in Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Argentina, Ghana, Cameroon, and Malaysia, as well as in other countries. Previously she was Vice Provost for Program Development and Review, Associate Vice President for Global Strategies and International Affairs, and Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at the University of South Florida, and is a highly sought-after speaker, the author of numerous articles, and eight books. Currently she is actively engaged in the University College London project, RReal, applying qualitative methods to global health care, and with the Global Rapid Response Team working with highly infective diseases.
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