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.

Tinsae Alemayehu, Ethiopia

Dr Tinsae Alemayehu is a pediatric infectious diseases specialist and adjunct associate professor working in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His area of research interest is antimicrobial stewardship with relevance to childhood infections. He is also the current vice president of the African society of pediatric infectious diseases (AfSPID)."

Amal Al-Maani, Oman

Dr. Amal Al Maani is a Senior Consultant in Pediatric Infectious Diseases and is the Director of the central Department of Infection Prevention & Control at the Ministry of Health, Sultanate of Oman. She is the winner of the SASAKAWA global health price for 2021 for her work in the field of infection control and antimicrobial resistance)

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.

Fatima Aziz, Pakistan

Fatima Aziz is an Assistant Manager (Research) at the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Infectious Disease Research Laboratory, Aga Khan University. Her research focuses on infectious diseases and malnutrition. Currently she is serving as an American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Young Ambassador to Pakistan. She is also working with Global Health Security Agenda Consortium as a Membership Coordinator. She is International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA) certified professional and a global mentor for Biorisk management. She has been awarded a PandemicTech fellowship to develop technology-driven communications tools that improve biosafety and biosecurity capacity in Pakistan.

Muge Cevik, United Kingdom

Dr Muge Cevik is a clinical lecturer in infectious diseases and medical virology. Her research interests focus on HIV, tuberculosis, other tropical infections, and emerging infections including COVID-19 since the beginning of 2020.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and working on the NHS front line of the response, Dr Cevik provided scientific advice to the Chief Medical Officer – Scotland and advisory groups on recent scientific developments on COVID-19. She has been co-opted to NERVTAG (New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group) as a member for Covid-19, advising and producing guidance documents for UK-SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies). She also advised and consulted the World Health Organisation (WHO) on risk communication during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Cevik is also coordinating the recruitment of hospitalised COVID-19 patients in South East Asia and South Africa working closely with the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) funded by the Wellcome Trust. Additionally, she is co-leading a household transmission study in Scotland as well as a prospective study to quantify the burden of COVID-19 in patients with tuberculosis in Kampala, Uganda, with support from GCRF-NIHR. She is part of the CORRE Network (Covid-19 International Rapid Evidence Reviews Group) working towards providing rapid reviews for governments and the WHO.

Alongside her academic work, Dr Cevik developed a strong interest in science communication. She is passionate about the value of integrating science communication into our efforts to disseminate research, which has the potential to enhance knowledge exchange among scientists, physicians, and the broader public.

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

Bio Coming Soon

Angel Desai Photo

Angel Desai, United States

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.

Abiodun Egwuenu, Nigeria

Abiodun Egwuenu is an epidemiologist working with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, which is mandated to coordinate the Antimicrobial Resistance response in Nigeria. At the inception of Nigeria’s AMR response journey, she co-coordinated the Antimicrobial Resistance situation analysis and National Action Plan. She has organized the national Antimicrobial Resistance Technical Working Group meetings to drive strategies to improve the national response to Antimicrobial Resistance. This group reviews data to drive public health policy aimed at limiting drug-resistant infection in the country, West Africa and in collaboration with other countries.

She works with a national network of hospitals designated as AMR sentinel surveillance sites: collecting data on AMR and AMU and submitting the same to the GLASS-WHO. She is the AMR Surveillance Fleming Fund alumnus for human health and technical lead for several grants.

Elita Jauneikaite, United Kingdom

Dr Elita Jauneikaite is a Senior Research Fellow in Bacterial Genomics and Epidemiology at Imperial College London, UK. Her research focuses on evolution of bacterial pathogens, antimicrobial resistance and how bacterial genomics can be translated into clinical and public health settings. Elita is investigating the disease-causing Group B Streptococcus (GBS), where she is using whole genome sequencing, bioinformatic analyses and molecular biology techniques to inform on evolution, mother-to-baby transmission and antimicrobial resistance patterns of this pathogen. Elita also leads genomics work investigating outbreaks and pathogenicity of other bacterial pathogens including E. coli, K. pneumoniae, methicillin-susceptible S. aureusS. argenteusS. pyogenes and S. pneumoniae. Elita is also a Research Lead for Priority Pathogens theme in the National Institute of Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance at Imperial College London, UK.

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.

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.

Vrinda Nampoothiri, India

Dr Vrinda Nampoothiri is a Doctor of Pharmacy graduate (2016) and has been working very closely with the Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) program right from its inception at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India, playing a key role in the development of the clinical pharmacist driven audit of antimicrobials and various other quality improvement initiatives in the hospital, in addition to providing AMS training to pharmacy students, pharmacists and other health care professionals. She is currently pursuing her PhD under Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, India exploring the roles played by pharmacists in AMS program in different countries and how their role in the program can be improved in Kerala. Dr Nampoothiri is also working on research projects in collaboration with universities in India, UK and South Africa.

Muhammed Niyas, India

Dr. Niyas is currently working as an Associate Consultant in Infectious Diseases at KIMSHEALTH, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. He is a physician scientist involved both in clinical infectious diseases and research in infectious diseases. His areas of interests include emerging infections, antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic stewardship. He was instrumental in the identification of the first Zika virus outbreak in the state of Kerala.

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).

Laura Oliveira, Brazil

Dr Laura Oliveira, MSc, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Microbiology Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and since the beginning of her career, she has been involved in the study of the molecular epidemiology, antimicrobial resistance, and virulence potential of gram-positive cocci, especially Streptococci, isolated from humans and animals to improve the surveillance and diagnosis of infectious diseases and to inform control strategies and vaccine design. Dr Laura has been awarded with 10 national and international awards, being the most important, the International Veterinary Vaccinology Network (IVVN) Fellowship for women postdoctoral researchers from low-and-middle income countries (LMICs) and the BactiVac Catalyst Training Award. She is a member of the first cohort of the Future Leaders Against AMR Programme and she is the current ASM Young Ambassador of Science to Brazil.

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.

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.

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.

Dalal Youssef, Lebanon

Dalal Youssef is a seasoned epidemiologist with over 10 years of experience in the field. She is a biologist who graduated in 2011 with a Master of Public health (Epidemiology and biostatistics) from the Doctoral School for sciences and technologies. She held also an international master's in road safety management from Saint Joseph University in collaboration with the Renault foundation. She is officially an International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA) certified Biorisk Management professional and she is currently finalizing her Ph.D. in Public Health at the University of Bordeaux (ISPED).  She began her professional career in 2012 in the epidemiological surveillance program as a specialist in epidemiology and then she worked at the preventive medicine service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She is currently the manager of the Lebanese clinical trials program. Her work in diverse departments (surveillance, preventive medicine, and clinical trials) has provided her with combined expertise in surveillance systems, outbreak investigation, emergency preparedness, early warning, clinical research, and rapid response to emerging and re-emerging diseases. In 2017, she has been involved in the process of converting disease surveillance reporting from a cumbersome paper-based system to a web-based electronic platform (DHIS-2) and the implementation of event-based surveillance. She is also a lecturer at the National Pedagogical Institute for Technical Education since 2017. She has been involved in much operational research in the area of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, surveillance, vaccine-preventable diseases, injury prevention, occupational health, and mental health. She has several scientific publications in her areas of expertise and has first-authored over 15 research articles published in international, peer-reviewed journals. She is serving as an editorial member and reviewer of several international journals and has directed several dissertations for traffic major students since 2017.