Board members

Overseeing the direction of the GACD

The Board oversees the strategic direction, implementation and governance of the GACD, through oversight of its different committees and the Secretariat. These committees include the Executive Committee, the Finance and Audit Committee, the Membership and Nominations Committee, and the Management Committee.

  • Prof Glenda Gray
    Chair of GACD Board

    Prof Glenda Gray

    South African Medical Research Council (SA MRC)

    A qualified paediatrician, an NRF A-rated scientist and first female President of the SA Medical Research Council. Co-founder of the Perinatal HIV Research Unit in Soweto, South Africa. Expert in PMTCT, HIV vaccines and microbicides. Co-PI of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and Director of the HVTN International Programs. Prof Gray serves on several important national and global bodies including the Institute of Medicine, National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine and serves on their Global Health Board. Prof Gray also serves as a member for the Academy of Science in South Africa and chairs its standing committee on health.

  • Professor Anne Kelso AO has been the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NHMRC since 2015. After completing her PhD at the University of Melbourne, Professor Kelso undertook research in immunology at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research and in Australia at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR). From 2000 until 2006 while at QIMR, she was also Director/CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Vaccine Technology. From 2007 until taking up her current role, she was Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne.

    Professor Kelso has previously served as President of the Australasian Society for Immunology, as Secretary-General of the International Union of Immunological Societies and as a member of several governing boards and advisory groups, including committees advising the WHO and the Australian Government on influenza. She was appointed Officer in the Order of Australia in 2007 for service to science.

  • Prof Xuetao Cao
    Past Chair

    Prof Xuetao Cao

    Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS)

    Prof Xuetao Cao (PhD) is the President of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS), Beijing, China. He has been Professor and Director of National Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology, China since 2006 and was elected as member of Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2005. He is also the Vice-President of FIMSA and member of 54th IUIS committee.

    His major interests are immunobiology of APCs (dendritic cells, macrophages), TLR signaling and immune regulation, cancer immunotherapy and gene therapy. His group identified a new regulatory dendritic cell (DC) subset and found that splenic stroma could drive mature DC to differentiate into regulatory DC. His group proposed several new approaches for DC-based immunotherapy and gene therapy of cancer, and completed the Phase II clinical trail of DC vaccine approved by China FDA for the treatment of advanced colon cancer patients. Recently he has been investigating the mechanisms for immune recognition and TLR signaling.

    As corresponding author, he published 196 original papers in peer-reviewed, SCI-cited journals including Nat Immunol, Cancer Cell, Immunity, J Exp Med, Blood, J Biol Chem, J Immunol, Cancer Res, etc.

  • Mariano Jordan holds a degree in International Relations, and a Master in International Management and Diplomacy. He is a Career diplomat who graduated from the National Institute of Foreign Service of the Nation. Currently, he is the National Director of Institutional Cooperation and Integration of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, as well as the Embassy Counsellor and Consul General in the Foreign Service of Argentina. Previously he has served in the Directorate General of International Drug Affairs; in the Directorate for International Security, Nuclear and Space Affairs and the Directorate General of MERCOSUR. Abroad, he served in the Argentine Embassy in Brazil and Austria and the Permanent Mission to international organizations in Vienna, among other positions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship. Furthermore, he has several publications on foreign policy, defence, science and technology.

  • Prof Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz
    Board Member

    Prof Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz

    São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

    Prof Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz is the scientific director of the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) in Brazil, and also a professor at the Gleb Wataghin Physics Institute at the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP). He sits on the Council for Technology and Competitiveness at the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP), and on the Committee for International Scientific Affairs of the American Physics Society (APS). Prof. Brito Cruz is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the AAAS, received the Ordre des Palmes Academiques de France, the Order of the Scientific Merit from the Fed. Rep. of Brazil, and the Order of the British Empire, Hon. (OBE).

  • Michel Perron
    Board Member

    Michel Perron

    Canadian Institutes of Health Research

    Michel Perron is Executive Vice-President, External Affairs and Business Development (EABD) of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). In this role, Mr. Perron is leading the EABD’s integration into CIHR’s mandate of supporting excellence in health research for the improved health of all Canadians. A passionate advocate of collaboration and breaking down silos, Mr. Perron is focussing on creating strategic and complementary partnerships with the private, public, and charitable sectors; strengthening communications with both internal and external audiences and supporting CIHR through the implementation of improved governance and decision making structures.
    From 1999-2014, Mr. Perron served as Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), the lead organization responsible for advancing solutions to address alcohol and other drug-related harm in Canada. During his 15-year tenure with CCSA, Mr. Perron spearheaded many initiatives that were the first of their kind in Canada and internationally, including an overarching action plan on substance abuse and the Beyond 2008 initiative which was the first comprehensive global NGO consensus on drug policy.
    Prior to his appointment with CCSA, Mr. Perron held several senior positions with the federal public service, including with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Health Canada, and the Department of the Solicitor General of Canada. Mr. Perron is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg and the Harvard Business School.

  • Dr Line Matthiessen
    Board Member

    Dr Line Matthiessen

    Research & Innovation DG, European Commission (EC)

    Line Matthiessen was trained as an MD at the University of Odense, Denmark and received her PhD in Neurosciences from the University of Paris VI, France in 1993. She is acting Director of the Directorate for Health, in the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission. In this role, her responsibilities include providing overall strategic orientation and management of the Health Research Directorate; initiating or providing support for legislative, regulatory and policy issues in the area of health research and innovation, including intellectual property; in consultation with a large number of stakeholders, establishing research priorities for the Health Research programme of the EC; and representing the EC in European and international meetings including in negotiations with governments, non-governmental organisations, patient organisations, etc.

    Dr Matthiessen is also the Head of Unit responsible for Fighting Infectious Diseases and Advancing Public Health in the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. The unit promotes and supports EU research and innovation activities in the area of global health with emphasis on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, emerging epidemics, neglected infectious diseases and antimicrobial drug resistance, health promotion, health systems and services.

  • Dr Karim Berkouk

    Dr Karim Berkouk

    Karim Berkouk was born in 1970 close to Toulouse in France. He studied Fluid Mechanics at the University of Paul Sabatier (Toulouse, FR) before completing his PhD at the University of Warwick (UK) in bio-fluid mechanics (1999), where he worked on syringomyelia, a rare disease of the spinal cord. He then held various research positions in Exeter (UK), the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM, Caen, FR) and the University of Cambridge (UK), where he worked on prosthesis specific to patients, improvement of nuclear brain images and brain connectivity through functional MRI data analysis, respectively.

    In 2004, he joined the European Commission to work for the Marie Curie programme first as a project officer and then as a Head of Sector. In November 2011, he joined the Medical Research unit in the Health Directorate as the deputy head of unit to develop and implement research policies on cancer, brain, cardiovascular, chronic diseases, ageing, diabetes and obesity.

  • Dr Soumya Swaminathan
    Board Member

    Dr Soumya Swaminathan

    Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

    Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, MD, who has taken over as Director General, ICMR & Secretary, Department of Health Research (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare) on 17th August, 2015, brings with her vast experience in health research and research administration. Prior to this assignment, Dr. Swaminathan was Director, National Institute of Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) in Chennai, India since 2012.

    After completing her MBBS from AFMC, Pune and MD in Pediatrics from AIIMS, New Delhi, further training included a Fellowship in Neonatology and Pediatric Pulmonology at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angles, University of Southern California, USA and a Research Fellowship in the Department of Pediatric Respiratory Diseases, University of Leicester, UK. She joined the Tuberculosis Research Centre, Chennai in 1992 and has spent the past 23 years in health research. Her research interests include paediatric and adult tuberculosis, epidemiology and pathogenesis, the role of nutrition and HIV- associated TB. She also served for 2 years as Coordinator, Neglected Tropical Diseases at TDR, Geneva. She serves on several international advisory panels including the UNAIDS Expert Panel and the Scientific & Technical Advisory Committee of WHO’s Global TB Department. She is a member of three of India’s Science Academies.

  • Makoto Suematsu,MD, PhD is the Founding President of the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) from April 2015. He graduated from Keio University School of Medicine in 1983. After serving research assistant in Department of Internal Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine, he went to Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of California San Diego as a bioengineer from 1991. He became Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry, Keio University School of Medicine in 2001, and served as Dean of Keio University School of Medicine from October 2007 to March 2015. He was the leader of Japan Agency for Science & Technology (JST) Exploring Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO), Suematstu GasBiology from 2010 to 2015. His research speciality is biochemistry and metabolomics.

  • Dr Guillermo M. Ruiz-Palacios, MD (National University of Mexico; Residency in Internal Medicine, National Institute of Nutrition, Mexico City; Fellowship in Infectious Disease, University of Texas Medical School–Houston) is Professor of Internal Medicine and Chair of the Department of Infectious Diseases of the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition in Mexico City. His department has more than 100 faculty, staff, and trainees. Dr. Ruiz-Palacios serves on the Scientific Advisory Committee of Glycosyn LLC

    He is recognized internationally for his research on infectious diarrhea and strategies for prevention and treatment and as such has been a member of a number of steering committees and working groups of the World Health Organization. He has more than 100 publications on infectious disease, has served as the President of the Infectious Disease Society of Mexico. Dr. Ruiz-Palacios is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and member of the American Society of Microbiology, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Campylobacter Society. His research is funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the government of Mexico, and private industry.

  • Prof Kathryn McPherson
    Board Member

    Prof Kathryn McPherson

    Health Research Council, New Zealand (HRC)

    Professor Kathryn McPherson became the Chief Executive at the HRC in 2015. Kath has worked in the research field for over 20 years focusing on research that identifies new approaches to improving outcome, and quality of healthcare for people with long-term disabling health conditions.

    Kath is author or co-author of more than 180 peer-reviewed journal articles and holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. Her clinical background is in nursing, midwifery and community health, with an academic background in psychology and rehabilitation.

    Kath’s most recent academic appointments have been at AUT University (NZ), University of Southampton (UK) and the University of Otago (NZ). Kath maintains an active involvement in research and publication although at a reduced level in view of her current appointment.

  • Dr Peerapol Sutiwisesak
    Board Member

    Dr Peerapol Sutiwisesak

    Health Systems Research Institute, Thailand

    Dr Peerapol Sutiwisesak, is the Executive Director of the Health Systems Research Institute (HSRI), the state organization established under the Health Systems Research Institute Act B.E. 2535 (A.D.1992) with the mission to support the development of health policies and health systems research.

    Dr Sutiwisesak served as a Deputy Secretary General of the National Health Security Office (NHSO), a state-owned enterprise taking care of universal health coverage which covers a population of 48 million people, or 75% of the total population of Thailand. Dr Sutiwisesak graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University. While he has been working in rural hospitals in the northeast of Thailand, he received a Fulbright scholarship for training in hospital management at the University of Minnesota, USA during the year 2532-2533. When he came back to Thailand he was appointed acting physician about preventive medicine, at the Provincial Health Office, and subsequently awarded as a specialist in preventive medicine and family medicine physicians from the Association of Thailand in the year 2535 and 2544 respectively. When Thailand implemented a comprehensive wellness program Universal Coverage (UC) in the year 2546, he was appointed as the Director of the National Health Security Office (NHSO) Bangkok branch, responsible for providing services for a population of 10 million people in the universal health coverage in Bangkok. In the year 2550, he was promoted to holding a position of Assistant Secretary General of the National Health Security Office (NHSO), and in 2551 was appointed a Deputy Secretary General of the National Health Security Office (NHSO).

  • Dr Mark Palmer
    Board Member

    Dr Mark Palmer

    Medical Research Council, UK (MRC)

    Dr Mark Palmer (MA, DPhil, FRCPE) is Director of International Strategy at the Medical Research Council (MRC). Dr Palmer graduated in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford where he also completed his doctorate on the murine immune response to influenza.

    Dr Palmer has responsibility for MRC’s international policy and coordination of global health strategy. He is Chairman of the Governing Council of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Chairman of the General Assembly of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of the Human Frontiers Science Programme (HFSP) and Vice-President of the Korea-UK London Health Forum. He sits on the Governing Council of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) the European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC) and the Board of ELIXIR. Dr Palmer is the UK lead for Societal Challenge 1 (Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing) of the European Commission’s Framework Programme Horizon 2020.

  • Dr Roger Glass
    Board Member

    Dr Roger Glass

    National Institutes of Health (NIH)

    Roger Glass is the Director of the Fogarty International Center and Associate Director for International Research at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Glass graduated from Harvard’s College, Medical School and School of Public Health, and received a doctorate from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Dr. Glass’s research interests are in the prevention of gastroenteritis from rotaviruses through the use of vaccines. He has maintained field studies in India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Russia, Vietnam, China and elsewhere.

    He established the Viral Gastroenteritis Unit at CDC and trained a generation of epidemiologists and laboratory researchers to address the global problems of gastroenteritis. He is fluent and often lectures in five languages. Dr. Glass is the recipient of the Charles C. Shepard Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award of the CDC, and the Dr. Charles Merieux Award from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. He is a member of the US National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Glass has authored/co-authored more than 500 research papers and chapters and has been an advisor to the WHO, the Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and many other international organisations.

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