Emerging Leaders in International Infectious Diseases

Emerging Leaders

In recognition of their past contributions to the field of international infectious diseases and in anticipation of their future impact on the discipline, these individuals are recognized as ISID Emerging Leaders in International Infectious Diseases.

Joseph Agboeze, Nigeria

Dr Joseph Agboeze is an Obstetrician /Gynaecologist and a Field epidemiologist from Nigeria. His current main scope of work is on Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and Lassa fever. He is interested in infection prevention and control, including modelling of infectious diseases.

Al Abri photo IAs London 2012

Seif Al-Abri, Oman

Dr. Seif Salem Al-Abri studied medicine at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, qualifying in 1993. He completed his training in infectious diseases at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK. He became a fellow of Royal College of Physicians in 2008.

Dr. Al-Abri is a practising consultant in infectious diseases at the Royal Hospital, Oman where he was head of infectious diseases department from 2006 until 2014. He was appointed as Director General for Disease Surveillance and Control at the Ministry of Health of Oman in September 2014.

Dr. Al-Abri has an interest in medical education and is an accredited Royal College of Physicians educator; an international advisor for the Royal College of Physicians of London; Lead Examiner for the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (UK) Examination in Oman; a member of the governing council of Oman Medical College; and chairman of the national task force for establishing consultants’ appraisal in Oman. He is also an associate editor of the  Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal; the Journal of Infection and Public Health; and Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials.


Afreenish Amir, Pakistan

Afreenish Amir, a medical microbiologist with over ten years of experience in clinical microbiology and infectious diseases, is currently working as Lab Coordinator in CDC GHSA project at NIH Pakistan. She graduated in 2005 with a Masters of Philosophy (Microbiology), and is currently pursuing a PhD in Microbiology. She is a GIBACHT fellow, a Harvard alumna and a Master trainer for Biosafety (PBSA) and Infection prevention/control.


Ruanne Barnabas, USA

Dr. Ruanne Barnabas is an assistant professor at the Department of Global Health, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, University of Washington; an infectious disease physician-scientist at the University of Washington; and affiliate at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Her research focuses on innovative approaches to community-based HIV treatment and prevention in Africa. The ultimate aim of her work is to estimate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HIV treatment and prevention interventions to inform public health policy.


Andre Bulabula, South Africa

Dr. Andre N.H. Bulabula, from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), graduated as a medical doctor at the Catholic University of Bukavu in DRC (2012) and holds a master’s degree in clinical epidemiology from Stellenbosch University in South Africa (2015). As a researcher, he is interested in infectious disease epidemiology (HIV, TB, Ebola, malaria, and cryptosporidiosis); as well as infection prevention and control, including the modelling of infectious diseases (RSA 2014, USA 2015); and antimicrobial resistance. He is also an active member of international research organisations: ICAN, ATS, and ERS.


Enrique Castro-Sanchez, United Kingdom

Dr. Enrique Castro-Sanchez is currently combining an Early Career Research Fellowship exploring increased participation of nurses in antimicrobial stewardship decision-making and a position as Lead Research Nurse at the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance at Imperial College London. He was awarded a PhD in Nursing at the University of Alicante (Spain) in 2015. He trained in nursing and management of nursing services in Spain, followed by an MSc in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2003.


Esmita Charani, United Kingdom

Esmita is the Senior Lead Research Pharmacist within the faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London at the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit for Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance. She a visiting Researcher at Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen Norway, and adjunct faculty at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kerala India, where she is involved in helping implement and investigate national antibiotic stewardship programmes. She is a Global Health Fellow with the Office of the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England and advises on the global health partnerships between the NHS and healthcare facilities in Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania. She is also an ESCMID (European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease) Fellow.

She is co-investigator on the ESRC award (2017-2021): Optimising antibiotic use along surgical pathways: addressing antimicrobial resistance and improving clinical outcomes (in England, Scotland, Rwanda, India & South Africa). Esmita gained her Masters (MPharm Hons) from Pharmacy at University College London, her MSc in Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and her PhD from Imperial College London. Her doctoral thesis investigated antimicrobial stewardship across India, Norway, France, Burkina Faso and England.


Bethany Davies, United Kingdom

Dr Bethany Davies is a Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Infection at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. She completed her dual training in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology in 2017. She has a keen interest in medical education, especially of infection-related themes.

Angel Desai Photo

Angel Desai, USA

Dr. Angel Desai is a physician who recently completed her infectious diseases clinical research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, MA. Apart from her clinical responsibilities, she has been conducting research with ProMED and HealthMAP as well as the International Society for Infectious Diseases since 2017 where she focuses on leveraging informal surveillance methodologies to discern epidemiological trends on emerging diseases and outbreaks, particularly among displaced and other vulnerable populations. Her other work includes global infection prevention and control measures in resource-limited settings with an interest in high consequence pathogens.

Angel obtained her Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 2007 and M.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2013 where she helped to found a global health pathway for medical students. She completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Washington where she was involved with research on the impacts of climate change on global disease distribution. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is an Emerging Leader in Biosecurity Initiative Fellow through the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

Veasna-Duong Photo

Veasna Duong, Cambodia

Dr. Veasna Duong, MD, PhD is a medical virologist and is working in Virology Unit at Institut Pasteur du Cambodge since 2005. His current research activities focus on arboviruses (virus and vector interaction) and emerging zoonoses (detection and characterization).


Jasmin Islam, United Kingdom

Dr Jasmin Islam qualified from The Royal Free and University College Hospital, London before training in Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology. In her current role as NIHR Clinical Lecturer, she is interested addressing the global burden of antimicrobial resistance, by understanding how data can inform antibiotic stewardship policies at the local, national and international level. She has worked with teams in Zambia, Egypt and the UK.


Ada Lin, Hong Kong

Dr. Ada Lin is a dual specialist in infectious diseases and public health medicine in Hong Kong. Her current main scope of work is on HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis. She also serves as the office bearer of the Hong Kong Society for Infectious Diseases.


David Moore, South Africa

Dr. David Moore is a Paediatric Infectious Diseases specialist currently working in Soweto, South Africa, at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. He has over 20 years of experience working in the public health sector, and has special interests in vaccine-preventable diseases, pneumonia, tuberculosis and HIV.


Christina Obiero, Kenya

Dr. Christina W. Obiero is a medical doctor (University of Nairobi, Kenya) with public health training from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She currently works as a clinical researcher at the Kenya Medical Research Institute – Wellcome Trust Research Program in Kilifi, Kenya, where she has led/co-led several research projects including investigating the safety, pharmacokinetic and immunogenicity profile of antimicrobials and vaccines. Dr. Obiero is also undertaking her PhD work at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and her research focuses on the diagnosis and management of serious childhood infections in sub-Saharan Africa and aims to improve treatment guidelines and health outcomes. She is a member of the Delta Omega Alpha Chapter (Bloomberg School of Public Health).


Theresa Ochoa, Peru

Dr. Theresa Ochoa is a pediatric infectious diseases specialist working in Peru as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Cayetano Heredia University and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. Dr. Ochoa is currently the Director of the Tropical Medicine Institute Alexander von Humboldt at Cayetano University in Lima.  Her main area of research are (1) Lactoferrin: basic research and clinical trials; (2) Enteric pathogens and diarrhea in children; (3) Neonatal infections (sepsis, herpes, Zika); (4) Pneumonia and pneumococcal infections in children; and (5) Pediatric malnutrition. Her long-term objectives are to find cost-effective interventions to decrease the burden of infectious disease, and to improve outcomes in pediatric populations in developing countries.


Tatiana Pinto, Brazil

Prof. Tatiana Pinto has a PhD in Microbiology and is currently an Assistant Professor in Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil. Her research aims to gather data on virulence and antimicrobial resistance traits among Streptococcus agalactiae and Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates circulating in Brazil, by uncovering novel aspects of the biology of these microorganisms that are important to trace the epidemiological evolution of epidemic and sporadic clones, as well as to help designing improved therapeutic and prophylactic measures against pediatric streptococcal infections. Dr Pinto is also an enthusiastic of public engagement and science communication activities, and is an active member of other international scientific societies, including the American Society for Microbiology.


Ira Praharaj, India

Dr. Ira Praharaj is an assistant professor at the Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, Christian Medical College, Vellore. As a medical professional, she is now transitioning from individual patient care and diagnosis to problems of public health importance. Dr. Praharaj currently works on factors affecting the immunogenicity of oral vaccines in developing country settings such as India. Her major focus is on evaluating the role of asymptomatic carriage of enteropathogens on oral vaccine response in settings, using molecular diagnostic tools.


Rajiv Sarkar, India

Dr. Rajiv Sarkar is an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Public Health - Shillong (IIPH-S), India. He is an epidemiologist and obtained his Ph.D. for studies on cryptosporidiosis in urban infants. Dr. Sarkar’s current research focuses on the epidemiology and control of soil transmitted helminths infection in an endemic southern Indian tribal community.


Laura Talarico, Argentina

Dr. Laura Talarico is an investigator from the National Scientific and Technical Research Council in Argentina. She obtained her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry for studies on the evaluation and characterization of natural compounds for anti-dengue virus activity. She currently works at the Department of Medicine, Ricardo Gutierrez Children’s Hospital, and her research mainly focuses on the role of B and T lymphocytes in dengue and zika virus infections. The ultimate aim of her work is to identify viral, immunological and physiological factors involved in dengue and zika infections that will likely contribute to better assessment of flavivirus infections in vulnerable populations.


Juan Pablo Torres, Chile

Dr. Juan Pablo Torres, MD, PhD, is a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at the University of Chile. His research is in the field of respiratory viral infection in immunocompromised and immunocompetent children and he has more than 40 ISI publications. Dr. Torres is Director of the Research Unit at Hospital Luis Calvo Mackenna and Academic Director of Clínica Las Condes, in Santiago, Chile.


Jason Trubiano, Australia

Dr. Jason Trubiano is an Infectious Diseases Physician and Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship and Drug and Antibiotic Allergy Services at Austin Health. He is a postdoctoral fellow at The National Centre for Infections in Cancer (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre) and NHMRC Early Career Fellow at the University of Melbourne.  His research examines Antimicrobial Stewardship health services interventions in penicillin allergy and role of novel diagnostics in severe antibiotic reactions.


Sophie Yacoub, Vietnam

Prof. Sophie Yacoub is a Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases and General Medicine and is the Dengue Research Group Head at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU), based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She is as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Singapore and holds an honorary Consultant appointment at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust in the UK.

She was awarded a PhD in 2016, through the Imperial College Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD Programme and has a Masters degree from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is a member of the Royal College of Physicians in London. She has clinical academic experience in a variety of tropical diseases, including Chagas disease, malaria and dengue, having worked in northern Australia, Kenya, Tanzania and Honduras. Her work has been supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust, NMRC Singapore, the WHO, British Heart Foundation and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine.