A World Without Antibiotics: The speakers

Speakers, June 2nd

Gabriel Wikström is the Minister for Health Care, Public Health and Sport within the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.

Mr Wikström studied political science and economics at Uppsala University, and has pursued the French and Spanish languages in their respective countries. He also has a long and varied background within the Swedish Social Democratic Party, which, following the 2014 general election, now governs Sweden together with the Green Party.


Otto Cars is a clinical infectious disease specialist and researcher at Uppsala University. In 2003 he was appointed Professor of Infectious Diseases and in 2014 Senior Professor. His research has focused on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of antibiotics, optimal antibiotic dosing regimens, resistance epidemiology and antibiotic policies.

Professor Cars is a founder of Strama (the Swedish strategic programme against antibiotic resistance). He has been actively involved in numerous European and international initiatives in the area of antimicrobial resistance. He is also a member of the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group (STAG) on antimicrobial resistance. Since 2004, Professor Cars has been engaged in building the international network React – Action on Antibiotic Resistance, focusing on the global aspects and consequences of antibacterial resistance.


Gilles Forte, Coordinator of Policy, Access and Use at the Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products, WHO, Geneva, has played a leading role in the development of global pharmaceutical and medicines policy over more than two decades. A trained pharmacist and public health specialist, he is responsible for developing WHO standards on medicines and medical devices policy, and for managing support to help countries strengthen their pharmaceutical systems, work that includes the EU/ACP/WHO Renewed Partnership and the WHO Good Governance for Medicines programmes.

Dr Forte also leads the secretariats of the Expert Committee on Selection and Use of Essential Medicines and the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. He is responsible for the department’s work on WHO priority programmes, including antimicrobial resistance.


Dr Suwit Wibulpolprasert is a general practitioner, health specialist and policy advocator based at the International Health Policy Program (IHPP), Ministry of Public Health, Thailand. His key interests include health policy and global health.

He has been involved in HRH, UHC, international trade and health, health information, and pharmaceutical research, and has represented Thailand at the World Health Assembly. Dr Wibulpolprasert was also Vice Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Board. He chaired the Global Fund’s Policy and Strategy Committee and was Vice Chair of the WHO Executive Board.


John F. Ryan is Acting Director of the European Commission Public Health Directorate since March 2012. He is also the current Head of Unit responsible for health threats (communicable diseases, health security and bioterrorism) within the European Commission department for public health and consumer protection. This includes responsibility for issues such as surveillance of communicable diseases, strategies for prevention, vaccination, avian, pandemic and seasonal flu, preparedness exercises, EU and international cooperation on health security (EU Health Security Committee, Global Health Security Initiative).

He was previously responsible for department’s health information, cancer, pollution-related disease, drugs prevention, health monitoring, health promotion, rare diseases and injury prevention programmes.


Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt is the Director of Pharmaceutical Services and the Chief Pharmacist of Ghana. She is a product of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, Leeds University, United Kingdom, and GIMPA’s School of Governance and Leadership. Mrs Gyansa-Lutterodt serves on several national and international boards, including the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) International UK, and is an expert member of the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Medicines Policies and Management, WHO, Geneva. In addition, she has served on several WHO, World Trade Organisation and West African Health Organisation consultations on Trade Related International Property Rights as well as medicines policies.

Her publications cover topics such as TRIPS, DOHA and Access to medicines, policy options for Ghana, Antibiotic Resistance in Ghana for Lancet Infectious Diseases, among others.


Dr. Hetty van Beers is Agency Manager at the Netherlands Veterinary Medicines Authority in Utrecht. A veterinarian by education, she finished her PhD in 1996 and then worked as a swine vet at Utrecht University and the Animal Health Service before joining the Medicines Authority in 2012. From 2008-2012, she served as the secretary of the Working Group on Antimicrobial Resistance in Swine.

The Netherlands Veterinary Medicines Authority (SDa) is an independent authority established in 2010 to promote responsible drug use in Dutch farm animals in general, especially the use of antibiotics. The SDa, which analyses antimicrobial usage at farm level, is partly financed by the Government and partly by the cattle, swine, broilers and veal calves livestock sectors.


Workshops, June 2nd

John-Arne Røttingen is the Director of the Division of Infectious Disease Control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health; Professor of Health Policy at the Department of Health Management and Health Economics, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo; and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health.

He is also Associate Fellow at the Centre on Global Health Security, Chatham House; Chair of the Board of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research; member of the Scientific Oversight Group of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle; and member of the International Advisory Committee for the Global Burden of Disease study. Professor Røttingen received his MD and PhD from the University of Oslo. He also holds an MSc from Oxford University and an MPA from Harvard University.


Kevin Outterson, J.D., LL.M., is Professor and N. Neal Pike Scholar in Health and Disability Law at Boston University, where he teaches health law and corporate law while also co-directing the Health Law Program.

His research focuses on the organization and finance of the health sector. Areas of specialization include global pharmaceutical markets, particularly antibiotics and other antimicrobials that can degrade in usefulness over time through resistance. He leads an interdisciplinary project on the legal ecology of antimicrobial resistance. He is an Associate Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and a founding member of the Antimicrobial Resistance Working Group at the CDC. He was a senior consultant on the Eastern Research Group study on antibiotic markets for the FDA/HHS.


Anja Leetz is Executive Director of Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe, a leading advocate of environmental health and justice that works to make the health sector ecologically sustainable across the globe.

Before joining HCWH, Mrs Leetz worked for more than ten years with organisations such as Friends of the Earth and the European Environmental Bureau in the United Kingdom and Belgium. She holds a teaching qualification, a BA in Photography and has recently obtained the qualification of Foundation Manager at the European Business School in Germany.

Mrs Leetz focuses on growing HCWH’s European network to better implement sustainable healthcare systems across Europe. As an avid networker and communicator, she works with the WHO, UNDP and partners at local, national, European and global levels on procurement, green healthcare, mercury elimination and other relevant issues.


Joakim Larsson is a Professor in Environmental Pharmacology at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He received his PhD in animal physiology in 2000 in Gothenburg, and after two years of guest research at marine labs in Canada and USA, he decided to combine his interest for the environment with medicine. He became associate professor in human physiology in 2007. He currently leads a research group of about 15 people at the Department of Infectious Diseases at the University of Gothenburg.  The research focus of his group mainly relates to aspects on antibiotic resistance and pharmaceuticals in the environment, often including  genomic or metagenomic approaches.

His most cited papers include the identification of ethinylestradiol as an important contributor to the feminization of wild fish, and a series of studies showing that manufacturing discharges is the cause for the most severe cases of pharmaceutical pollution observed in the environment. Current projects include research on metals and antibacterial biocides in the promotion of antibiotic resistance, exploration of the environmental resistome for novel carbapenemases, evaluation of advanced effluent treatment technologies etc. In 2012, Professor Larsson received the Erik K Fernström´s prize for young researchers. More info about Joakim Larsson.


Prof.dr. Ana Maria de Roda Husman is a virologist at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Risk Assessment of Pathogens in Water and Food, and Head of the Environment Department at the Laboratory for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Centre for Infectious Disease Control, Bilthoven, the Netherlands.

She has over 20 years of experience as a principal investigator in molecular virology and water microbiology and currently advises policy makers at the Dutch government, the European committee and, among others, the WHO, ECDC and EFSA on the possible public health risks of environmentally transmitted infectious diseases caused by exposure to human pathogens in water, soil and air, as well as on possible intervention measures.


Speakers, June 3d

Brendan Barnes joined the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) in 2002 to work on the alignment of national laws in new member states during the enlargement of 2004. Subsequently, he has been involved in EFPIA’s work on multilateral trade and intellectual property issues, including the EU’s legislation on product diversion and compulsory licensing, as well as on issues relating to access to medicines. More recently, he has worked on the development of new business models in the areas of neglected disease and infection. He previously worked in the pharmaceutical industry for eleven years in a range of roles including Finance, Strategic Planning and Public Affairs.


Dr Manica Balasegaram is a medical doctor trained at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. He received further post-graduate training in internal and emergency medicine in the UK and Australia. He joined Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in 2001, working as a doctor in the field in several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia.

After gaining significant operational research experience, Dr Balasegaram became Head of the Manson Unit – a London-based medical research and implementation arm of MSF – in 2005. He then joined the MSF partner organisation Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in 2008, where he worked for four and a half years, finishing as DNDi’s Head of the Leishmaniasis Clinical Development Team before joining the Access Campaign.


Ramanan Laxminarayan is Director and Senior Fellow at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, Senior Research Scholar and lecturer at Princeton University, and Vice-President, Research and Policy at the Public Health Foundation of India. His work on the Extending the Cure Project in the United States and the Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership has helped improve the understanding of drug resistance as a problem of managing a shared global resource.

He is also a series editor of Disease Control Priorities for Developing Countries (3rd edition) and has worked with the World Health Organization and the World Bank on evaluating malaria treatment policy, vaccination strategies, the economic burden of tuberculosis, and control of non-communicable diseases.


Workshops, June 3d

Dr Sarala Balachandran is currently working with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) as Chief scientist and Project Director, Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD). OSDD is involved in the area of drug discovery and development of neglected diseases to provide ‘Affordable healthcare to all’. Spearheading the PA-824 regimen into Phase IIb clinical trials for MDR TB in India.

She has extensive, in-depth and comprehensive expertise obtained on all aspects of the drug discovery in academic settings and pharmaceutical industry.


James Anderson, Head of Corporate Government Affairs at GSK since January 2015, leads engagement with the UK Government to deliver the group’s strategic corporate agenda, which spans pharmaceuticals, vaccines, consumer, R&D and manufacturing businesses.

Previously, as Partnerships Director, Mr Anderson developed and led multiple partnerships with stakeholders to improve the way GSK develops and commercialises its products. Working collaboratively, he addressed significant health policy issues, often by conducting pilots to drive and demonstrate progress. For example, he led GSK’s engagement with EU payers, politicians and HTA agencies, which delivered the first multi-country parallel scientific advice process and helped shape the evolving European market access system.


Dr. Peter Beyer, a trained lawyer, is a Senior Advisor with the World Health Organization (WHO) where he is responsible for all issues related to public health, trade and intellectual property. He provides legal and policy advice to senior management, other WHO departments and offices, as well as WHO Member States. Dr Beyer was instrumental in setting up a sustainable cooperation on health and intellectual property-related issues among the WHO and the World Intellectual Property and World Trade Organizations.

Previously, Dr Beyer worked with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property. He negotiated bilateral free trade, headed negotiations at the WHO and WIPO, and was responsible for the bilateral dialogue between Switzerland and China on intellectual property.


Francis Moussy joined the World Health Organization in 2009. He is currently leading projects to facilitate the development, access and use of medical devices with a focus on diagnostics that are suitable for Low-and-Middle Income Countries (LMICs). He is also currently the focal point for new Ebola diagnostics.

Prior to joining the WHO, Dr Moussy worked as Professor and Deputy Director at the Brunel Institute for Bioengineering at Brunel University (West London), UK, where he worked on biosensors.

From 2002 to 2007, he held a position as a tenured Associate Professor of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering at the University of South Florida in Tampa. His work experience also includes four years in Canada after completing his Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering at the Université de Technologie de Compiègne, France.


Dr Catharina Boehme leads FIND, an international non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, that enables the development and delivery of much-needed diagnostic tests for diseases of poverty, including tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis C, HIV, sleeping sickness and other neglected tropical diseases.

She holds a Doctor of Medicine degree in Internal Medicine from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, as well as diplomas in Public Health and Management and Leadership. Prior to joining FIND in 2005, where she focused on clinical trials and strengthening laboratory practices, Dr Boehme worked as programme coordinator for the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases in Munich. She has also established a TB research unit at the Mbeya Medical Research Program in Tanzania.


Henning Steinfeld is a leading agricultural economist and sustainability expert with specialized expertise in livestock policies, climate change and agricultural development.

Henning obtained an M.Sc and PhD in agricultural economics from the Technical University of Berlin. He was a visiting scholar at Stanford University in 2005 and 2010 (Center for Environmental Science and Policy, Institute for Foreign Studies) and was awarded an Honorary doctorate in veterinary medicine from Uppsala Agricultural University in 2012.


Dick JJ Heederik, who holds a PhD in Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology, is currently Head of the Division of Environmental Epidemiology at the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, where he was appointed Professor of Occupational Health Risk Analysis in 2003.

Professor Heederik’s research has largely been focused on respiratory health effects in relation to exposure to bioaerosols, including allergens, endotoxins and glucans, as well as chemical agents (isocyanates, platinum salts, persistent chemicals). The development of antimicrobial resistance is a recent and important area of research.