Management Committee

Direction and policy decision-making

The Management Committee oversees the research project life cycle through the joint development, coordination and alignment of the portfolio of research awards made under the umbrella of the GACD. This includes oversight responsibility for the scientific direction of the GACD Research Network.

  • Dr Karim Berkouk
    Chair, Management Committee

    Dr Karim Berkouk

    Research & Innovation DG, European Commission (EC)

    Karim Berkouk 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 Johan Louw
    Deputy Chair, Management Committee

    Dr Johan Louw

    South African Medical Research Council (SA MRC)

    Dr Johan Louw is the Director of the Biomedical Research and Innovation Platform at the South African Medical Research Council.

    Dr Louw has been involved in diabetes research for 27 years and specialises on disease prevention, the development of new therapeutics from plants, as well as foetal programming. Most recent projects involved identifying sub cellular markers for early detection of diabetes, and the isolation of novel compounds with the potential of protecting pancreatic beta cells. He heads a multidisciplinary team, and actively collaborates with many local and international research organisations.

    Dr Louw’s research focus areas are diabetes (prevention, diagnosis and treatment), beta cell protection, obesity, therapeutics derived from plants, 3D cell culture, commercialisation, partnerships and collaboration with industry.

  • Daniel E. Gomez received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Oncology and Cancer Biology from the University of Buenos Aires, and is currently the superior investigator of CONICET (The National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina). Furthermore, he is a titular professor in the Department of Science and Technology, and the General Director of the Lab of Molecular Oncology for Quilmes National University in Argentina. Previously, Dr Gomez served as the Director of the National Cancer Institute of Argentina, Chancellor of Quilmes National University, and Inspector for the National Administration of Laboratories and Institutes of Health. He has published more than 120 scientific publications in peer-reviewed international journals, written two books, and has been the director of 12 thesis works. Dr. Gomez is also the author of seven international patents and is the recipient of many prestigious national and international awards, including a fellowship at the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

  • Monica Silenzi holds an International Relations and Political Sciences Grade at Catholic University of Buenos Aires and postgraduate studies on Science, Technology and Innovation. General Coordinator at the National Directorate of International Relations of MINCyT (Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation – Argentina), she is in charge of the Liaison Office for ST&I between Argentina-EU (ABEST), ALCUE NET Project (EU CELAC Platform on R&I) and multilateral affairs. She currently acts as National Deputy Contact Point for H2020 (European Commission), develops and active role as Senior International Cooperation Adviser on bilateral and bi-regional (CELAC EU) issues as SOM (Senior Official Meetings) representative from Argentina, and presents 20 years experience in Latin America and Caribbean regional cooperation on ST&I regarding MERCOSUR, UNASUR, CYTED, OAS, IDB, UNESCO, CEPAL and OCDE policy initiatives, programs and projects.

  • Dr Tony Willis
    Management Committee Member

    Dr Tony Willis

    National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

    Dr Tony Willis is Executive Director, Research Programs Branch at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). He completed a PhD at the Australian National University in 1994, before moving to Imperial College, London. On returning to Australia he worked as a research scientist, before moving into the public sector. He has held appointments in the Departments of Health, Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He joined NHMRC in March 2010.

  • Dr Fernando Cendes
    Management Committee Member

    Dr Fernando Cendes

    São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

    Fernando Cendes is Full Professor of Neurology at the Department of Neurology, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil, and serves as the Coordinator of the Epilepsy Surgery Program, Department of Neurology. He is board certified in Neurology, in Clinical Neurophysiology and in Diagnostic Neuroradiology. Dr. Cendes is a former EEG (1989) and Epilepsy Fellow (1991-1997) at the Montreal Neurological Institute, and received his PhD degree in Neuroscience at McGill University in 1996. He is past Chair of Diagnostic Methods Commission of the ILAE and a member of the Editorial board of several journals including Neurology, Epilepsia, Epilepsy Research and Epilepsy and Behavior. His research and publications are focused in Epilepsy and Neuroimaging.

  • Dr Steven Hoffman
    Management Committee Member

    Dr Steven Hoffman

    Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

    Steven J. Hoffman is the Director of the Global Strategy Lab, an Associate Professor of Law, Medicine and Public & International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, and the Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s Institute of Population & Public Health. He holds courtesy appointments as an Associate Professor of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics (Part-Time) at McMaster University, Adjunct Faculty with the McMaster Health Forum, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Global Health & Population at Harvard University. He is an international lawyer licensed in both Ontario and New York who specialises in global health law, global governance and institutional design.

    His research integrates analytical, empirical and big data approaches to craft global regulatory strategies that better address transnational health threats, social inequalities and human rights challenges. Past studies have focused on access to medicines, antimicrobial resistance, development assistance, health misinformation, health systems, maternal health, pandemics, technological innovation and tobacco.

  • Prof Lixin Jiang
    Management Committee Member

    Prof Lixin Jiang

    Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS)

    Prof Jiang obtained her medical doctoral degree from CAMS & PUMC. Her main research interests include large randomized clinical trials, healthcare quality measurement study, large-scale population and pharmacogenomics study, primary healthcare studies. Her research has focused on providing evidence for policymakers, health professionals, and the public to improve health care. The Lancet commented that “she is at the heart of China’s evidence base”.

    Prof Jiang has successfully run a dozen of international large clinical trials including TREAT, FOURIER, ISCHEMIA, HPS3/TIMI55:REVEAL, HPS2-THRIVE, COMMIT/CCS-2, SHARP, etc. She also leads seven national key research projects funded by Chinese government including China PEACE and China PEACE Millions Persons Project(MPP), etc.

    Prof Jiang also holds several positions both in international and Chinese national committees including Co-Chair of WHO GCM/NCD Working Group; Advisory Expert of Committee of Experts on Rational Drug Use and Medical Ethics, National Health and Family Planning Commission of China; etc.

  • Dr Rupinder Dhaliwal
    Management Committee Member

    Dr Rupinder Dhaliwal

    Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

    Currently heading the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases at ICMR. Activities include Research , Administration, coordination and Management including reviewing, monitoring and conducting research activities in all areas Noncommunicable diseases. Have been actively involved in the area of environmental and occupational health for the last 20 years.

  • Dr Reiko Akizuki
    Management Committee Member

    Dr Reiko Akizuki

    Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)

    Reiko Akizuki is Director, Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) London Office. She studied health policy and management and earned her Master of Science from the Harvard School of Public Heath in 2010. She worked for the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan for more than 10 years, including cancer control, health insurance, industrial health. She joined the AMED in 2016 and moved to London to establish its London Office in August 2016.

  • Dr Carlos A. Aguilar Salinas
    Management Committee Member

    Dr Carlos A. Aguilar Salinas

    National Institute of Medical Science and Nutrition Salvador Zubiran (INCMNSZ)

    Carlos Aguilar Salinas is the Coordinator of the Research Committee of the Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Medicas y Nutricion (INCMNSZ), Mexico City. Specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology by the INCMNSZ. Postgraduate training at Washington University, School of Medicine, St. Louis MO, USA). Dr Aguilar Salinas research interest includes the epidemiology, pathophysiology and treatment of the dyslipidemias, diabetes and components of the metabolic syndrome.

    He has published 253 articles in indexed journals (Nature, JAMA, Nature genetics, among others). Dr Aguilar-Salinas team has participated in three genome wide association studies that identified the main susceptibility genes for type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemias in Mexican mestizos. He is the author of eight books, editor of the “Revista de la Asociación Latinomericana de Diabetes” and member of the editorial boards of several prestigious journals. He is a member of the Mexican Academy of Medicine.

    Dr Aguilar Salinas was President of the Mexican Society of Nutrition and Endocrinology. He is the coordinator of the position paper of the Mexican Academy of Medicine for reducing diabetes burden in Mexico.

  • Margarita Irene Calleja Y Quevedo
    Management Committee Member

    Margarita Irene Calleja Y Quevedo

    National Institute of Medical Science and Nutrition Salvador Zubiran (INCMNSZ)

    Margarita Irene Calleja y Quevedo is a mathematician, she studied at the Superior School of Physics and Mathematics of the National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico, earning her Masters in Science from the Center of Research and Advanced Studies. Margarita Calleja worked in the academia for 25 years, including the National Polytechnic Institute and the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM). In 1995 she took the role of Director of Regional Development at Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología), the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology. She has participated in several congresses as speaker.

    Since 2012 she holds the post of Technical Secretary in CONACYT with the responsibility of managing a diverse programme of funds in the areas of aerospace, environment, water, health, social development, educational infrastructure, women and dwelling.

  • Jill Jones
    Management Committee Member

    Jill Jones

    Medical Research Council, UK (MRC)

    Jill Jones is Programme Manager for Global Health Strategy at the Medical Research Council, UK. Jill Jones joined the Medical Research Council’s Research Management Group in 2004 where she had responsibility for grants management for the Physiological Systems and Clinical Sciences Board. In 2006 Jill was appointed as the MRC’s International Policy Manager and since 2009 Jill has been managing international programmes for the MRC, most recently leading on global health strategic partnerships.

    Partnerships that Jill leads on for the MRC include work with the UK’s Department for International Development and the Wellcome Trust on late phase global health trials and on a programme for Health Systems Strengthening, also with DFID and the Wellcome Trust, plus the Economic and Social Research Council. Jill has a BA in History from the University College London.

  • Dr Joshua Rosenthal
    Management Committee Member

    Dr Joshua Rosenthal

    National Institutes of Health (NIH)

    Joshua Rosenthal is Senior Scientist in the Division of Epidemiology and Population Studies of the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health. He is an ecologist by training with a long history of program leadership in international health and environment research and research capacity building.

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