TEAM

Coordinator

Prof. Máire Connolly (NUIG)

Maire_ConnollyMáire’s areas of expertise include global health security, emerging infectious diseases, malaria, TB, pandemic management and humanitarian response. She has experience in the full cycle of risk management including risk identification, assessment and reduction with significant field experience in event response, mitigation and recovery. She graduated in medicine from National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), holds a Masters in Public Health from University College Dublin and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Prof Connolly worked with WHO from 1995 to 2012 were she was advisor to WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security at HQ and lead focal point for pandemic preparedness from 2007 to 2012. Prior to that she was WHO’s Coordinator for Disease Control in Emergencies from 2000 to 2007. She has worked on WHO response teams in over 20 countries including Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, Iran, Gaza, East Timor, Uganda and most recently Jordan as part of WHO’s Syrian crisis response. Prof Connolly has peer-reviewed publications in journals such as The Lancet and Emerging Infectious Diseases and has published a number of books on communicable diseases in emergencies.

 

Team Members

Dr. Caroline Brown (WHO Regional Office for Europe)

Dr Brown is the Programme Manager of the Influenza & Other Respiratory Pathogens programme (IRP) at the Regional Office. Dr. Brown joined the Regional Office in 2005. She has been trained by the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) and has participated in, and led, H5N1 outbreak response missions in Turkey and Azerbaijan. She was one of the principle coordinators of the Regional Office’ response to the 2009 pandemic, providing a wide range of support to Member States. A major achievement was the establishment of the EuroFlu influenza surveillance platform for all 53 Member States in early 2009, whereby the number of countries reporting influenza surveillance data to WHO doubled. Dr. Brown led the Regional Office evaluation of the 2009 pandemic in 6 countries. She participated in intergovernmental negotiations lasting 4 years which dealt with equity in public health related to the sharing of information and biological materials for public health purposes and access to the ensuing benefits and which resulted in the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework for the sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits, adopted at the WHA64 in 2011. Dr. Brown has organized numerous meetings and trainings, made presentations at international meetings, developed WHO guidance and has about 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals and books.

She has a BSc in biochemistry (Imperial College of Science and Technology, London University), an MSc in Human Genetics (University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff ) and a PhD in virology (Leiden University Medical Centre).

 

Dr. Lisa Brouwers (FoHM)

Lisa_Brouwers

Dr. Brouwers currently leads the Unit for Epidemiology and Health Economy at the Public Health Agency of Sweden. She received a PhD from Stockholm University, Sweden, in 2005, with a thesis in computer science on the topic simulation and modeling for policy support. Her research has focused around simulation and modeling in public health policy support, with a special focus on individual-based epidemic models for evaluation of infectious disease interventions. She has previously worked as special advisor at the Ministry for health and Social Affairs (2009 – 2011), as well as in academy where she held a position as assistant professor at the Royal Institute of Technology (2008 – 2012).

Dr. Göran Bucht (FOI)

Goran_BuchtDr. Bucht graduated (PhD) at the University of Umeå in Molecular Biology in year 2000, and became a principal investigator in Virology and Deputy Research Director at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) Umeå. Between 2002/03 he was a visiting scientist at the Institut Pasteur of Paris, Unité de Génétique Moléculaire des Bunyaviridés where he initiated research on haemorrhagic fever viruses (Hantavirus and Rift Valley Fever virus). Since then an associated professor in Molecular Virology and supervisor of five PhD students who have graduated on hantavirus research and Rift Valley Fever. After a period in Singapore (2007-2010) as a visiting scientist and the head of the section Molecular Microbiology at the Environmental Health Institute (EHI) at the National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore, he returned back to his former employer (FOI) in 2010 to continue my work in virology. Present research activity in emerging mosquito-borne infectious diseases e.g. Sindbis virus and vector competence.

 

Prof. Richard Coker (LSHTM)

Richard_Coker

Professor Coker trained in medicine at St. Mary's Hospital, London and, in 1994, became consultant physician to the hospital and senior lecturer at Imperial College School of Medicine. His interests include communicable diseases, in particular emerging infectious diseases, HIV, and tuberculosis, and health systems responses to disasters. In 1997, as a Harkness Fellow, he spent a year at Columbia School of Public Health in New York, USA, researching the causes and responses to the epidemic of tuberculosis that city witnessed in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His book, From Chaos to Coercion: detention and the control of tuberculosis, was one of the results from this work. He subsequently worked as a Wellcome Research Associate researching public health legislative responses to infectious disease threats. In recent years he has worked in predominantly in SE Asia on public health responses to support control of infectious diseases. He joined the School in 1999 as a Research Fellow before becoming Senior Lecturer in 2001, Reader in 2005, and Professor of Public Health in 2009.

He currently heads the Communicable Diseases Policy Research Group (CDPRG; www.cdprg.org), based in Bangkok, Thailand, since 1997, which provides a focus of expertise on the diverse public health problems associated with communicable disease control in SE Asia. Notable areas of research which have received considerable attention have included health systems analysis, planning for emerging infectious diseases, analyses of strategic planning, policy analyses, the development and ranking of indicators to assess performance, and the development of models to support health system functioning (see for example: www.asiaflucap.org). He spends 75% of his time as Visiting Professor based in Singapore at the new Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH) where he is helping to develop a new Infectious Diseases Programmme and facilitate links in teaching and research between LSHTM and the SSHSPH.

Prof. Máire Connolly (NUIG)

Maire_ConnollyProfessor Connolly’s areas of expertise include global health security, emerging infectious diseases, malaria, TB, pandemic management and humanitarian response. She has experience in the full cycle of risk management including risk identification, assessment and reduction with significant field experience in event response, mitigation and recovery. She graduated in medicine from National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), holds a Masters in Public Health from University College Dublin and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Prof Connolly worked with WHO from 1995 to 2012 were she was advisor to WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security at HQ and lead focal point for pandemic preparedness from 2007 to 2012. Prior to that she was WHO’s Coordinator for Disease Control in Emergencies from 2000 to 2007. She has worked on WHO response teams in over 20 countries including Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, Iran, Gaza, East Timor, Uganda and most recently Jordan as part of WHO’s Syrian crisis response. Prof Connolly has peer-reviewed publications in journals such as The Lancet and Emerging Infectious Diseases and has published a number of books on communicable diseases in emergencies.

 

Dr. Jim Duggan (NUIG)
App launch and IT Portraits   Photograph by Aengus McMahon

App launch and IT Portraits
Photograph by Aengus McMahon

Dr. Duggan is Head of Information Technology in NUI Galway, a Senior Lecturer in Information Technology, , and the Vice-Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. He is Project Leader for Ireland’s first participatory surveillance system for influenza monitoring, which is part of the EU-wide initiative – influenzanet - to track in real time the spread of seasonal flu. His main research interests are in the application of data science, mathematical modelling and simulation to public health policy challenges. He has worked as a consultant in business process analysis with multinational organisations in order to apply modern systems engineering principles to improve process efficiency and effectiveness. He has published over 90 peer-reviewed papers, and is on the editorial board for the System Dynamics Review. Dr Duggan was a recipient of the AcademyHealth System Science Scholarship in 2015. This award aims to foster collaboration between the systems science scholars and those in health systems research who are investigating systems-level challenges related to public health.

 

Prof. Jean-Luc Gala (UCL)

Professor  Gala isJean-Luc Gala MD, PhD, Full Professor in Biomedical Sciences at Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) and Chief resident/ Specialist registrar (Chef de Clinique) at the Cliniques Universitaires St Luc (CUSL/UCL). He is the head of the integrated military-academic platform CTMA/DLD-Bio which integrates the military Biothreats unit (DLD-Bio) attached to the Defense Laboratories Department of the BE-Armed Forces (DLD).  He acts as scientific and medical counselor for Ministry of Health and Ministry of Defense in matters dealing with public and military health (CBRN, Bioterrorism, natural outbreaks). He is author or coauthor of more than 150 publications on applied sciences and diagnostic methodologies in international “peer-review” journals. JL Gala has actively been involved in FP7 security projects and pursues his research activities in the H2020 security programme. His work has led to the creation of several spin off activities among which EONIX, involved in traceability of biological and clinical data. He is BE-qualified expert to carry out investigations of allegations regarding a possible use of biological chemical or toxins weapons on request of the United Nations. During the last Ebola outbreak affecting West Africa, project, he has led the B-FAST support team and has deployed the light fieldable laboratory “B-LiFE” in N’zereKore, forest part of Guinea, as a Belgian contribution to the international fight against EBOLA. During this mission, the laboratory actively contributed to the new non-comparative, proof of concept, phase IIb clinical trial of the anti-Ebola virus drug Favipiravir and investigated new methods for patients monitoring and rapid diagnosis of Ebola Virus Disease. 

Dr. Conor Hayes (NUIG)

Dr. Hayes is a Lecturer in the IT Discipline at NUI Galway and leader of the Information Mining and Retrieval Unit (UIMR) at Insight Galway. He has been a Principle Investigator on a number of recent nationally and internationally funded projects such as Clique, ROBUST, ADVANSSE, SociaLens. He is a funded investigator in the INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics and currently conducts research projects with  industrial partners such as Bell Labs Ireland, Elsevier Publishers, The Irish National Broadcaster RTE and  the  Irish Times Newspaper.

Dr Hayes’s research is in the fields of WebMining, Data Mining, Social Media Analytics, Recommender and Personalisation Systems and LinkedData Analytics. He has published over 75 peer reviewed publications in these fields and is a member of the programme committee of several of the leading conferences in these areas.  In 2011, he chaired the Web Science Trust Summer Doctoral School and in 2012 he acted as local chair for the International Conference on WebLogs and Social Media, ICWSM12, the premier conference on social media analysis.

 

Ms. Anna-Lena How (FoHM)

Anna-Lena HowMs. How is an analyst at the Public Health Agency of Sweden. 

Ms. Emily Loud (IGS)

Emily_LoudSince 2013 Emily has worked as a communications consultant for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, specialising in content and strategy across social and digital media. After an undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge, she completed her MSc in Global Health and Development at University College London in 2015, focussing on interventions for demand generation for vaccination in Pakistan.

Within the PANDEM consortium, Emily works on work package three as part of IGS Consulting, researching and reviewing communications for pandemic preparedness, and also assists with the dissemination work stream.  In normal life, you can find her tweeting about the importance of communications across a variety of health and development topics. 

 

 

Dr. Darina O'Flanagan (WHO)

 

DOFRecently retired from the Health Service Executive in Ireland, Dr. O'Flanagan set up the national Health Protection Surveillance Centre in 1998 and worked as Director there until May 2016. She has been a member of the Advisory Forum of the European Centre for Disease Control and prevention since its inception in 2005  up to 2016 and before that worked on the Network Committee of the European Commission.

Dr. O'Flanagan has served on the National Public Health Emergency Team advising the Department of Health and Health Service Executive on many emerging infectious disease threats such as SARS, Pandemic influenza, MERS coronavirus and more recently Ebola Virus Disease and Zika Disease. 

Dr. Anne-Sophie Piette (UCL)

DSC_0798Dr Piette graduated in bioengineering at the Université catholique de Louvain (2006) before obtaining a doctorate in bioengineering at the same University (2010), where she developed skills in molecular biology, microbiology and biochemistry.

As a researcher, she is attached to the Bio-Department of Defense Laboratories (CTMA/DLD-Bio) since June 2011 and is in charge of a research project on the development of a multiplexing assay for identifying biological pathogens under operational conditions.

 

Dr. Martina Prendergast (NUIG)

ESAI Conference hosted by Ryan Institute at NUI Galway Photograph by Aengus McMahon

Dr Prendergast is the Strategic Development Manager of the Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy research at NUI Galway with responsibilities for the academic and technical development of the Institute. Since 2010, her duties include strategic planning and policy, securing research funding, research management, input to teaching and learning programmes, and outreach and communication.  Prior to her role in the Ryan Institute, she held the position of Development Manager of the Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway (2002-2010). Before that, she worked as a Health Research Board Post-doctoral Fellow and as a lecturer in the Department of Microbiology, NUI Galway. Her research interests include the spread of infectious disease in contaminated food and water and vaccine development. She has authored over 20 international peer-reviewed articles, several book chapters, hundreds of academic reports, and contributed to Irish government-commissioned reports on the development of Environment-related policy.

 

Mr. Iain Simpson (IGS)

Iain_Simpson

Mr. Simpson is a strategic consultant with 15 years of experience working in the fields of global health and international development, following an earlier career as a foreign correspondent for the BBC and Financial Times. Iain provides training and coaching as well as strategic advice to executives working to develop their organizations. Iain has recently worked with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, providing counsel to the executive leadership, advocacy and communications teams. Other recent clients include the UN Secretary-General’s Office, several public-private partnerships working in global health, as well as multilateral and private sector agencies.

Following a career as a foreign correspondent for the BBC and Financial Times, Iain spent six years working on media and communications for the Director-General of the World Health Organization. He then joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he was Deputy Director for Global Health Communications. Since moving back to London in 2009, Iain has built a successful consultancy working with global clients to strengthen their strategic direction, communications, advocacy and branding.

Ms. Elizabeth Speakman (LSHTM)

Elizabeth_Speakman

Ms Speakman’s background combines law, public health and ethics.  She is a UK qualified lawyer (solicitor) and before moving into public health, she worked for many years in legal practice in London, specialising in medical litigation. She holds MA Medical Ethics & Law and MSc Public Health and has also worked as a consultant at WHO, Geneva.

Elizabeth is currently a Research Fellow at LSHTM and a member of the Communicable Diseases Policy Research Group: www.cdprg.org headed by Professor Richard Coker.  She teaches on the MSc module “Issues in Global Health Policy” and is developing a new MSc module in Global Health Law.

 

Dr. Anders Tegnell (FoHM)

Anders_Tegnell

Dr. Tegnell is the state epidemiologist in Sweden and the head of the department of Monitoring and Evaluation at the Public Health Agency. The responsibility includes AMR issues, vaccination programs and preparedness for health threats. The department is responsible for the general surveillance and control of communicable diseases as well as the public health issues at national level. The agency is the main contact point for EU collaboration within its area and the contact point in Sweden for IHR and other WHO issues. Dr Tegnell is a member of the Advisory forum of the ECDC and the Health Security Committee at the EU.

Before the position he was responsible for a department of the National Board of Health and Welfare dealing with knowledge management, developing guidelines and recommendations in all of the Boards areas of responsibility. The National Board of Health and Welfare is a government agency under the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, with a very wide range of activities and many different duties within the fields of social services, health and medical services, environmental health, communicable disease prevention and epidemiology.

In the past he has been responsible for the development of the Swedish preparedness plan for a flu pandemic, for the Swedish national vaccination-programme and the work with AMR and HAI with focus on regulatory issues and supervision.

He has published around 60 articles in scientific journals.

Dr. Mirko Thorenstenson (FOI)

Mirko_Thorstensson

Dr. Thorenstenson is a senior scientist at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) working at the Division for Command and Control Systems. He has a Licenciate Degree in Computer Science and a M.Sc in Computerized Automation from Linköping University. He has also served as an active duty officer in the Swedish Armed Forces where he served at the Swedish Army Ranger Battalion for six years. He started working at FOI in 1997 focusing on research and development of command and control systems, training systems and training methodology. Since 1998 he has been project manager for several projects concerning C2 systems and training of emergency response organizations as well as different military units and organisations. Since 2004 he has been more involved in training methodology and training for handling of CBRNE incidents and emergencies for civil and military first responders, medical services, law enforcement services and rescue services. Mirko has been part of several EU Projects: CIE Toolkit (2009-2013) – focusing scenario and training package development for Health Care Managers; PRACTICE (2012-2014) – regarding scenario development, exercise management and execution, evaluation of systems and exercise performance; SUBCOP (2013-2016) – training package development, concept demonstration and validation; DRIVER (2015) – focusing lessons learned, exercise management and evaluation; DARWIN (2015) – handling practitioner knowledge elicitation on crisis management and organizations resilience. Modelling and simulation (MoS) has always been a part of his work and visualisation of information and analyses is a specific area of interest, in its own and as integrated parts of decision support systems (DSS).

Dr. Olga Vybornova (UCL)

Olga_VybornovaDr. Vybornova is a Senior Researcher in the Center for Applied Molecular Technologies at Université catholique de Louvain (UCL-CTMA), Belgium. With the PhD degree in computational semantics obtained in 2002, and the background in artificial intelligence and knowledge engineering her main research interests are in the field of ICT for crisis management and security applications, development of domain models (ontologies), definition and representation of data flows and semantic interoperability between system components, multi-source multi-format data integration and decision making support. 

She is the principal investigator, researcher and manager of several European FP7, Horizon 2020 and European Space Agency projects in the field of crisis management, innovation management practices supporting security end users.

She is a member of several professional organizations, including:

  • IMG-S – Integrated Mission Group for Security (http://img-s.eu/)
  • ISCRAM – Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (http://www.iscram.org/)
  • DLR – The Disaster Resilience Lab (http://www.disasterresiliencelab.org/)
Dr. Judith Würmel (NUIG)

Judith_WurmelDr. Würmel is a Scientific Research Associate with the PANDEM project. Her background is in Combustion Chemistry where she specializes on the calculation of chemical reaction rates, chemical kinetics, and fluid dynamics of combustion processes endured by molecules derived from biofuels.  Dr Würmel holds an MSc and a PhD in Combustion Chemistry from NUI Galway and PG Certificates in Technical Communication (UL) as well as in Teaching and Learning (NUIG). She has extensive experience in scientific research and project management. Dr Würmel loves teaching and was shortlisted for the NUIG president’s award for teaching and learning in 2014.

Dr. Nina Tuite (NUIG)

Dr. Tuite is a Scientific Research Associate based at NUIG and is working closely with PANDEM's project co-ordinator Professor Connolly. 

Dr. Musfira Jilani (NUIG)

Dr. Jilani is a Postdoctoral Researcher based at NUIG's Insight Centre for Data Analytics and works alongside Dr Conor Hayes.