Following RSTMH’s Annual General Meeting, which took place today in Liverpool, we are delighted to announce Professor Janet Hemingway as our new President.
As well as delivering her Presidential Address on the topic “Will the COVID experience help transform infection R&D?”, she stated:
In today’s world tropical medicine might be considered a misnomer, but the recent COVID pandemic has highlighted the need for an organisation like RSTMH that focuses on health needs in the tropics and encourages and supports people of all nationalities to engage with this agenda at all career stages.
Professor Hemingway is Emeritus Professor at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine of which she was a former Director between 2001 and 2019. She has a wealth of experience working on the biochemistry and molecular biology of specific enzyme systems associated with xenobiotic resistance.
She has also been principal investigator on projects in excess of £200 million, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded Innovative Vector Control Consortium, the UKRI funded iiCON Consortium and the ERDF funded Formulations programme and the BMGF funded Visceral Leishmaniasis elimination programme.
Professor Hemingway is founding Director of the Infection Innovation Consortium (iiCON), a collaborative £173.5 million programme that has established a world-leading centre of infectious disease R&D in the North West of England.
Changes to our officers
Thank you to Professor Gail Davey, who steps down after her one-year term and becomes Past President. Simon Bush now becomes our President-elect and Professor David Mabey starts his terms as Vice President.
Also, a few of our Trustees have finished their terms of office and are stepping down – we thank all of them for their huge contributions to the Society.
Those leaving the RSTMH Board are:
- Professor Wendy Harrison
- Professor Sharon Cox
- Professor Malcolm Molyneux
- Professor Chris Parry
Professor Jimmy Whitworth and Sarah Rafferty have had their terms extended by two and three years, as elected and appointed Trustees, respectively.
Left to right: George Varghese, Quudus Yusuff, Oulefemi Adewole, Buddha Basnyat, Pramod Samantaray, Said Jongo
Welcome to our new Trustees – appointed and elected
We welcome six new Trustees to our Board, two appointed and four elected.
Olufemi Adewole is a professor of medicine, a physician and pulmonologist, a social innovator and a global health enthusiast from Nigeria. As he starts his new Trustee role, he steps down as one of our two Country Ambassadors for Nigeria.
RSTMH is a flagship society in global health providing and implementing creative solutions to access universal health coverage. Working on the Board is a privilege and an opportunity to work with others to increase the frontiers of the Society and to gain new grounds while still sustaining previous successes.
Professor Olufemi Adewole
Buddha Basnyat is doctor practising medicine in Kathmandu whose research interests are infectious disease and high-altitude medicine.
I feel deeply honoured to be on the Board of Trustees of such an esteemed society, and I wish to use this golden opportunity to help out (especially by sensitising young doctors) in the control of diseases like typhoid and tuberculosis that are sadly rampant in poor countries.
Dr Buddha Basnyat
Our four new elected Trustees, announced at our AGM, are:
- Dr Said Jongo, Senior Clinical research scientist and consultant physician at the Ifakara Health Institute, Bagamoyo Clinical Trials Unit, Tanzania
- Dr Pramod Samantaray, Co-Principal Investigator, Clinical Epidemiological Unit, Department of Community Medicine, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
- Dr George Varghese, Professor and Head, Department of Infectious Diseases, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India. In taking up this role as Trustee, George steps down as one of our two Country Ambassadors for India
- Dr Quudus Yusuff, Public Health Physician and Epidemiologist at Ogun State Nigeria
Having been elected as fellow of the RSTMH in 1976, I have had several opportunities to serve the Society at home and abroad. The news of my election as a Trustee came as a pleasant surprise and I hope my future efforts to strengthen various initiatives of the Society would always be a matter of immense pleasure to me.
Professor Pramod Samantaray
If service to humanity is considered the best work of life, what can be more inspiring for me than the opportunity to contribute to the global world of tropical medicine and hygiene by joining the Board of Trustee of RSTMH.
Dr Quudus Yusuff
Being part of RSTMH is a perfect opportunity for me to engage with the global community through a multinational platform in tackling issues related to access and equity in healthcare.
Dr Said Jongo
We see illness and suffering differently to make a positive impact in people’s lives. That’s why we are able to alleviate suffering and build a happier world.
Professor George Varghese
From left to right: Maria Eugenia Grillet, Charles Wondji, Peter Macharia, Liz Corbett
Medals and Awards announced – Hemingway Award
We were also delighted to award several Medals and Awards at our AGM.
Dr Maria Eugenia Grillet received the Hemingway Award – a joint award between RSTMH and LSTM to recognise Professor Hemingway’s achievements in delivering and encouraging translational science during her leadership of LSTM.
Dr Grillet is a professor and principal investigator at the Instituto de Zoología y Ecología Tropical at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, where her research mainly focuses on the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases.
It is an honour be the recipient of the 2021 Hemingway Award. I am grateful to the two sponsoring institutions, RSTMH and LSTM, institutions that I greatly admire, and the academic home of some of my research colleagues.
My research has always moved across disciplines and methodologies and looked to inform effective public health policies to control and eliminate of vector-borne infectious diseases such as malaria and onchocerciasis.
Dr Maria Eugenia Grillet
Emerging Leader Award
Peter Macharia received the 2021 Emerging Leader Award, which recognises significant contributions in leadership, mentoring and capacity building in those who are early in their careers.
Peter is a spatial epidemiologist and a postdoc interested in disease mapping, healthcare access and mapping population vulnerabilities at KEMRI Wellcome.
It is an honour to receive the award, which I dedicate to all who are fighting to reduce health inequities at all spatial scales in low-resource settings.
Charles Wondji was awarded the Chalmers Medal – for those in the mid stage of their career – in recognition of his work mentoring and developing junior investigators.
Charles is a professor of vector biology and genetics at LSTM and the Executive Director of the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases (CRID) in Cameroon.
Because all humans have the ability to perform to the highest level if given the right support and mentorship, capacity building of young scientists, notably from disease endemic countries, is vital to improve global health.
Professor Charles Wondji
Sir Rickard Christophers Medal
Finally, Professor Liz Corbett was awarded the Sir Rickard Christophers Medal for senior experts.
Professor Corbett is a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow and a Clinical Epidemiologist with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, based full time in Blantyre, Malawi.
I am delighted and deeply honoured to have been awarded the Sir Rickard Christophers Medal following 25 years of living and working in Southern Africa funded by Wellcome Fellowships. My early research defined some key epidemiological features of TB, including a huge burden of undiagnosed TB and HIV in African cities and workforces, leading to my subsequent focus on diagnostic interventions.
It has been my real pleasure to work with fantastic colleagues and students in vibrant research institutes, as well as with Ministries of Health and WHO, while seeing our collective efforts impact global policy and practice.
Professor Liz Corbett