Strategy Board members

Overseeing the direction of the GACD

The GACD Strategy Board oversees the strategic direction of GACD, and provides oversight to the GACD Programme Subcommittee.

  • Prof Anne Kelso
    Chair, GACD Strategy Board

    Prof Anne Kelso

    National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

    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.

  • Dr Mark Palmer
    Chair Elect, GACD Strategy Board

    Dr Mark Palmer

    Medical Research Council, UK Research & Innovation (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.

  • Prof Glenda Gray
    Past Chair, GACD Strategy 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.

  • Prof Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz
    Strategy 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).

  • Dr Chen Wang
    Strategy Board Member

    Dr Chen Wang

    Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS)

    Dr Chen Wang (M.D., PhD) is the President of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) in Beijing, China. Dr Wang has long been engaged in clinical practice, research and the teachings of respiratory problems such as pulmonary embolism, pulmonary hypertension, respiratory failure, pulmonary heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD, Chronic Bronchitis Emphysema), new respiratory infectious diseases and tobacco epidemiology. He has achieved many important innovations including thrombolysis therapy and sequential mechanical ventilation, which have been added to the international treatment guidelines. He is in charge of multiple national research projects and international programs.

    Dr Wang has made impressive progress in disciplinary construction and hospital management when he served as senior administrator of medical institutions including the Beijing Chao-Yang Hospital, Beijing Hospital and the China-Japan Friendship Hospital. He previously worked as the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Health Sciences, Technology and Education of China‘s National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), presiding over the department by promoting medical education and research at the national level.

  • Dr Barbara Kerstiëns
    Strategy Board Member

    Dr Barbara Kerstiëns

    Directorate General Research & Innovation, European Commission

    Dr. Barbara Kerstiëns, MD, MPH is the Head of Unit in the unit responsible for Non-communicable diseases and the challenge of healthy ageing in the Health Directorate of the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission. She has a long experience in international public health, working for Médecins Sans Frontières, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public health and DG Development and Cooperation of the European Commission prior to joining DG Research and Innovation in 2012 where she has consistently worked in medical research and funding.
    Barbara Kerstiëns received her M.D. from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, a Postgraduate Certificate in Tropical Medicine from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp and a Master of Public health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

  • Prof Balram Bhargava
    Strategy Board Member

    Prof Balram Bhargava

    Indian Council of Medical Research

    Professor Balram Bhargava, Secretary, Department of Health Research, (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare), Government of India and Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) joined on 16th April, 2018. Prof. Bhargava is Professor of Cardiology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi and also serves as the Executive Director for Stanford India Biodesign Centre, School of International Biodesign (SiB). Professor (Dr) Balram Bhargava is an outstanding cardiologist, one of the foremost leaders in biomedical innovation, public health, medical education and medical research.

    He has published several papers on the harmful cardiovascular effects of chewing tobacco and has pioneered several techniques in interventional cardiology.He has been awarded the SN Bose Centenary award by the Indian National Science Congress and National Academy of Sciences Platinum Jubilee Award, Tata Innovation Fellowship and Vasvik Award for Biomedical Technology Innovation, Ranbaxy Award and the OP Bhasin Award in the field of Health and Medical Sciences. He is the Founding, Editor in Chief of the British Medical Journal Innovations (BMJi). He has been awarded the ‘Padma Shri’ high civilian award by the Honourable President of India and the UNESCO Equatorial Guinea International Prize for research in Life Sciences at Paris.

  • Dr Makoto Suematsu
    Strategy Board Member

    Dr Makoto Suematsu

    Japan’s Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)

    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 Roger Glass
    Strategy 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.

  • Prof Joao Luiz Filgueiras de Azevedo
    Strategy Board Member

    Prof Joao Luiz Filgueiras de Azevedo

    National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Brazil (CNPq)

    Azevedo has graduated in Aeronautical Engineering at Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA) in 1981, and he holds M.S. (1983) and Ph.D. (1988) degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering from Stanford University. He is a Senior Research Engineer at Instituto de Aeronáutica e Espaço (IAE), an institute of the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA) of the Brazilian Air Force, and an Adjunct Professor at ITA. He has experience in Aerospace Engineering, with emphasis in Aerodynamics and Aeroelasticity, and his research focus encompasses computational aerodynamics, unsteady aerodynamics, computational aeroelasticity, CFD, unstructured meshes, high-order methods, and turbulence modeling. Currently, he is President of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – CNPq.

  • Dr Nopporn Cheanklin
    Strategy Board Member

    Dr Nopporn Cheanklin

    Thailand's Health Systems Research Institute

    Dr.Nopporn Cheanklin is currently the Executive Director of the Health Systems Research Institute (HSRI). He started his career as a medical doctor for the government at Phatthalung Hospital and later became the first orthopedist in Patthalung. In 1995 he was promoted as Deputy Provincial Public Health Doctor in Preventive Medicine and Later in 1997 in Patthalung and was promoted as Yala Provincial Public Health Doctor at the age of only 39. He then worked as the Provincial Public Health Doctor for serval provinces.
    In 2009 he became the Deputy Director-General at the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health where he had presented numbers of significant outstanding tasks and initiated numbers of important campaigns, such as, the Control of Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco Consumption, Work on Control of Non-Communicable Diseases and Prevention of Accident Injury including Work on Diseases derived from Career and Environment Campaigns.
    In 2015 was appointed to be the Managing Director of the Managing Director of the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) where he was challenged to manage the Government Enterprise organization. He became the Executive Director at the Health Systems Research Institute on July 9th, 2018 right after retired from the GPO.

  • Dr Michael Strong
    Strategy Board Member

    Dr Michael Strong

    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

    Dr Michael Strong is President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Prior to joining CIHR, Dr. Strong was Dean of the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and a Distinguished University Professor at Western University. From 2000 to 2010, he served as the Chief of Neurology and Co-Chair of the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at the London Health Sciences Centre and Western University. He has also served as Co-chair of the Canadian ALS Research Consortium and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the ALS Society of Canada.

    Dr Strong has published over 185 peer-reviewed articles and 29 chapters, edited four textbooks, and been invited to give over 160 lectures on ALS research, throughout Canada and around the world. He is a recipient of both the Sheila Essey Award and the Forbes Norris Award, the only Canadian to have received both awards for ALS research. He was also awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, in 2012, for his contributions to ALS research and care.

    Dr Strong earned his degree in medicine at Queen’s University, undertook neurology training at Western University, and completed postgraduate studies at the Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Prof Sunny Collings
    Strategy Board Member

    Prof Sunny Collings

    Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC)

    Professor Sunny Collings became CEO of the HRC in February 2020, following nine years as Dean and Head of Campus at the University of Otago Wellington. Sunny is currently focussed on working with colleagues at the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, and the Ministry of Health, to implement New Zealand’s first Health Research Strategy. A significant part of this is making sure that health service providers are involved in research to help enhance and transform how healthcare is delivered. As a first step, we have launched new health delivery research funding opportunities designed to broaden research participation by the health sector and help improve health outcomes for all New Zealanders.

    A University of Otago graduate, Sunny has a background as a clinician and researcher, having practiced as a Consultant Psychiatrist for over 25 years, and led a research team at the University of Otago Wellington. Her own research focuses on suicide and suicide prevention from a critical perspective. Sunny will remain clinically active and continue to be involved in research and leadership of her research team, although at a reduced level while she is in the CEO role.

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