Advisory Board

MenAfriNet operates with a 7-member Advisory Board, composed of experts in the meningitis field, not directly involved in the project, who provide oversight and strategic guidance. Advisory Board members serve a one-year term, renewable annually, for the life of the project

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Dominique Caugant, PhD, Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Dominique A. Caugant, Chief Scientist and Assisting Department Director at the Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Community Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. She has been Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Meningococci in Oslo since 1992. Her main fields of research are population genetics and molecular epidemiology of pathogenic bacteria. She has worked with various infectious disease agents, such as Neisseria meningitidis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Listeria monocytogenes, the Bacillus cereus group, streptococci and pneumococci, developing molecular tools for the study of infectious disease transmission, the development of antibiotic resistance, and the evolution of pathogens. She is involved in vaccine research, especially against meningococcal disease, including development of outer membrane vesicle vaccines, testing potential coverage of new vaccines and evaluation of impact of vaccination. She is particularly interested in aspects of global infections and involved in several international research projects, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.


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Tumani Corrah, CBE, MRG, PhD, FRCP, FACP, Africa Research Development, Medical Research Council UK, Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia

Tumani Corrah is the UK Medical Research Council’s Director – Africa Research Development. Previously, Professor Corrah was the Unit Director of the Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia from 2004 to 2013. He joined the Unit in 1982 as a junior clinician and progressed through the ranks as a research clinician and senior clinician, Director of Clinical Services and acting Unit Director. In 2004 he became the first African Director of the UK Medical Research Council Unit in The Gambia. He has also served on the committees of many international organizations, including the African Aids Research Network, WHO TB Task Force in Africa, Royal College of Physicians of London, Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership. Recent appointments include membership of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Global Health Programmes; Wellcome Trust Public Health and Tropical Medicine Interview Committee; and the Bill & Melinda Gates International Strategic Advisory Committee – Global Enterics Multicentre Study. Professor Corrah also served as President of the West African College of Physicians (WACP) and is currently the Director of the WACP’s International Office. An expert on research governance, he was a long-standing member of the Gambia Government/MRC Ethics Committee, including 4 years as Chairman. He has strong links with governmental and non-governmental organizations in Africa and throughout the world. An expert in capacity building, Professor Corrah has been successful in establishing a number of productive, mutually beneficial ‘North-South’ collaborations.


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Brian Greenwood, PhD, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

After qualification in medicine at Cambridge University, Brian Greenwood spent 15 years working in Nigeria, first at University College Hospital, Ibadan and then at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he helped to start a new medical school. In 1980, he moved to The Gambia where he spent the next 15 years as director of the UK’s Medical Research Council Laboratories. In The Gambia, his research focussed on the prevention of the major infectious diseases prevalent in West African children including malaria, pneumonia and meningitis. In 1996, he moved to the London School of Hygiene& Tropical Medicine where he has maintained his research on the prevention of malaria, meningococcal and pneumococcal infections in Africa. From 2000 - 2008 he coordinated the Gates Malaria Partnership, a programme of malaria research and capacity development in several countries in Africa. In 2008, he became the coordinator of a successor malaria capacity development initiative, the Malaria Capacity Development Consortium (MCDC) (www.mcdconsortium.or) , which supports PhD and post-graduate training in malaria in five universities in sub-Saharan Africa. He is also director of a consortium, the African Meningococcal Carriage Consortium (MenAfriCar)(www.menafricar.org) which is studying the impact of a new meningococcal vaccine on epidemic meningitis in Africa. In 2015 he helped to establish a trial of an Ebola vaccine in Sierra lLeone. He is an advisor to WHO, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, several other philanthropic organisations and pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs and vaccines for use in the developing world.


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F. Marc LaForce, M.D., Serum Institute of India

F. Marc LaForce is the Director of Technical Services at the Serum Institute of India, Ltd. From 2001 to 2012 he directed the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP), a partnership between the WHO and PATH, established in 2001 through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with the mission to eliminate epidemic meningitis as a public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa through the development, testing, introduction, and widespread use of conjugate meningococcal vaccines. Before joining PATH, Dr. LaForce held academic and senior administrative positions at the University of Colorado and the University of Rochester Schools of Medicine. From 1994 to 2001, he chaired the Steering Committee on Epidemiology and Field Research for WHO’s vaccine cluster and from 1998 to 2001, he served as President of the U.S. Armed Forces Epidemiological Board. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Infectious Diseases Society of America and holds the rank of Clinical Professor of Medicine at the New York University (Langone) School of Medicine.


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Marie-Pierre Preziosi, M.D., PhD, Meningitis Vaccine Project

Marie-Pierre Preziosi was appointed in March 2012 as the new director of the MVP, established in 2001 through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with the mission to eliminate epidemic meningitis as a public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa through the development, testing, introduction, and widespread use of conjugate meningococcal vaccines. A project member since 2003, Dr. Preziosi most recently served as the director of clinical development, as part of her role as WHO Medical Officer. In this role, she has led the strategy and implementation of the MVP clinical development work, has helped foster strong relationships between the MVP partner organizations, in particular WHO and PATH, and has contributed technical guidance to meningococcal vaccine introduction activities and research to define evidence-based policy for optimal vaccine use. Prior to joining MVP, she was a visiting assistant professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, where she conducted research on pertussis vaccination. As an epidemiologist at the Institute for Research and Development, she spent several years in Senegal conducting pertussis vaccine trials. Her interest in vaccines started with Hib vaccine studies at Pasteur Mérieux. Marie-Pierre Preziosi earned her medical degree from Claude Bernard University in Lyon and her PhD in epidemiology from Victor Segalen University in Bordeaux (France). She trained in tropical medicine at the Prince Léopold Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (Belgium) and in field epidemiology at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta (USA).


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Samba Sow, M.D., MSc., Center for Vaccine Development

Samba O. Sow is Director General of the Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) in Mali and Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. A physician and epidemiologist, he coordinates epidemiological studies and clinical trials on vaccine-preventable diseases that inform governmental policy. His research spans diverse vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Panel for Mali’s International Criminal Court, WHO’s Global Training Network, the Pneumococcal Awareness Council of Experts, and on WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization meningitis working group. Dr. Sow received the 2000 “Paul Laviron” Prize in Tropical Medicine from the University of Marseille and was Commemorative Fund Lecturer of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene in 2006.


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David S. Stephens, M.D., Emory University

David S. Stephens earned his B.S. in Biology at The Citadel, his M.D. from Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University. Dr. Stephens completed his internship, residency, and a fellowship in infectious diseases and microbial pathogenesis at Vanderbilt University. In 1982, he joined the Infectious Diseases Division of the Department of Medicine of Emory University School of Medicine and has served on the medical staffs of the Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Grady Memorial and Emory University Hospitals. He was appointed Associate Professor of Medicine in 1987 and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Professor of Medicine in 1992. In 1998, he became Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and in 2000 was named Professor of Epidemiology in the Rollins School of Public Health. Also in 2000, after serving as Interim Chair, he was appointed Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine. From 2005 through 2007, he served as the Executive Associate Dean for Research in the School of Medicine, and in 2008 was named the first Vice President for Research of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center. Recently, he was appointed Chair of the Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, and Chief of Medicine, Emory Healthcare His highly productive research program, continuously funded by competitive federal grants since 1981 (National Institutes of Health, CDC, Veterans Administration), has focused on the genetic determinants of bacterial pathogenesis, the agents of bacterial meningitis, and bacterial vaccines. He has contributed over 280 publications in infectious diseases, molecular pathogenesis, epidemiology, vaccinology and immunology including articles in the Annals of Internal Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Nature Immunology. He was chair of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s National Vaccine Advisory Committee and is a member of the Association of American Physicians and a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He has led the development of successful programs in infectious diseases and microbial pathogenesis and has been a major contributor to the creation and development of the Emory Vaccine Center, the Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and the Pediatric Center of Emory and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He is the PI of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI).