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RhEACH Advisory Board

Professor Anthony So was recently named as the incoming director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Liveable Future (CLF) and will be the inaugural Robert S. Lawrence Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. So will assume full-time leadership of the CLF on Jan. 1, 2016. 

Dr. So is currently a professor at Duke University, where he directs the Program on Global Health and Technology Access at the Sanford School of Public Policy. His work addresses issues of globalization and health equity, from innovation and access to health technologies to tobacco control in low- and middle-income countries. He also leads the strategic policy program of ReAct, a global network dedicated to meeting the challenge of antibiotic resistance, and has served on The Lancet Infectious Diseases’ Commission on Antibiotic Resistance and the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Accelerating Rare Disease Research and Orphan Product Development. He has chaired a World Health Organization (WHO) expert working group on fostering innovation to combat antimicrobial resistance and was part of the Antibiotic Resistance Working Group of the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors in Science and Technology. He also studies antibiotic innovation as a current recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. Prior to joining Duke, Dr. So was associate director of Health Equity at the Rockefeller Foundation, where his strategic approach to grant-making improved access to HIV/AIDS medicines in low- and middle-income countries and where he also worked to establish regional tobacco control in Southeast Asia.  

Professor Karen Sliwa, MD, PhD, FESC, FACC, DTM & H is the Director of the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Born in Germany and undergoing training as a physician and cardiologist in a number of countries, she has lived in South Africa since 1992.
Cardiovascular disease in pregnancy and postpartum is one of her main areas of clinical and pathophysiological research. Recent progress in understanding underlying pathophysiology of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy, enabled by novel experimental approaches interlinked with unique international efforts has led to great progress in awareness and management of the disease. In order to coordinate efforts even better, a Study Group, ‘Peripartum Cardiomyopathy’, of the Heart Failure Association of the European Cardiac Society, chaired by her and others was formed in 2009. That has led to a large international registry under the EURObservational Programme on Peripartum Cardiomyopathy.

She established a population study in Africa called the ‘Heart of Soweto Study’ to investigate the prevalence, presentation and management of cardiac disease in an urban African population. This study, on more than 8000 patients, highlighted the high prevalence of hypertension, obesity and cardiac disease in women of childbearing age. She has recently expanded her population studies under the umbrella of the ‘Heart of Africa studies’ to other African countries, including Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya and Sudan. Karen has designed a number of innovative research programs and leveraged funding for several major research projects, not only in South Africa and the rest of Africa, but also internationally. She has published more than 180 articles which includes 11 in The Lancet (IF 39.9) and her work is highly cited.

Dr Mariana Mirabel is a cardiologist and researcher at the Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM), Paris Cardiovascular Research Centre – PARCC) and at the Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité.

Dr Mirabel currently leads the echocardiography laboratory at the Cardiology Department, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Européen-Georges-Pompidou.

Heart valve disease, and in particular rheumatic heart disease, is one of Dr Mirabel's major clinical and research interests alongside infective endocarditis and cardiomyopathies. Dr Mirabel's research interests in the field of rheumatic heart disease includes access to surgery and outcomes in resource limited settings, echocardiographic diagnosis and approaches to echocardiography screening.
Previously Dr Mirabel has held appointments as a Senior Fellow in Cardiovascular Imaging at The Heart Hospital, University College London. Previous clinical appointments include clinician roles at the Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou and as a Cardiologist-Intensivist at the Pitié Salpêtrière University Hospital, Paris, France. 

Dr Mirabel holds a Doctor of Medicine (M.D), Cardiology from the Université Paris Sud, Paris, and a PhD., Doctor in Epidemiology, Université Paris Descartes, Paris.

A/Prof Rachel Nugent is a development economist and Principal Investigator of the Disease Control Priorities Network at the University of Washington, Department of Global Health. From February 2016, Dr. Nugent will be vice president of the Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases Global Initiative at RTI International.  She will lead the new RTI International regional office in Seattle. 
She is currently a member of the International Expert Group for the Global Nutrition Report, the Lancet Commission on Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries of the Poorest Billion, and the Institute of Medicine Committee on Economic Evaluation, and works with the World Health Organization Global Coordination Mechanism Working Group on Noncommunicable Disease Financing. Nugent also is on the External Advisory Committee of the Global NCD Alliance, Childrens Heartlink, and other global and regional health advocacy organizations. She was formerly deputy director of Global Health at the Center for Global Development, director of Health and Economics at the Population Reference Bureau, program director of Health and Economics Programs at the Fogarty International Center of NIH, and senior economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. She earned masters and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the George Washington University.

A/Prof Nugent has also worked on reproductive health and family planning, drug resistance, and agriculture, nutrition, and health linkages.

Professor Stephen Birch is a Professor in The Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis at McMaster University in Canada and visiting Chair in Health Economics at the University of Manchester.  He also holds visiting appointments at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia and the University of Cape Town, South Africa.  He is senior scientist at the WHO Collaborating Centre on Health Workforce Planning at Dalhousie University, Canada and a former member of the UK Department of Health’s Centre for Workforce Intelligence. He has served as a consultant with WHO and the World Bank as well as many national and provincial health departments on health workforce planning.

Dr. Fred Bukachi holds a Ph.D., Doctor of Philosophy in Cardiology from Umeå University, Sweden and is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Medical Physiology, College of Health Sciences and University of Nairobi. His current interests include ventricular and Atrial Function in Normal Ageing and in Chronic Heart Disease; Cardiac Electrophysiology; Cardiac Ultrasound and Imaging Techniques; and Exercise Physiology. Dr. Bukachi is also the Africa Field Liaison Officer for the Millennium Villages Project (MVP), the Earth Institute at Columbia University, New York, USA, an innovative model for helping rural African communities lift themselves out of extreme poverty.

Professor Ganesan Karthikeyan is Professor of Cardiology at the Cardiothoracic Sciences Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi India.

Professor Ganesan Karthikeyan received his Doctor of Medicine (DM) in Cardiology form the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. He also holds a Masters in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University, Canada. He is currently an International Fellow of the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University, Canada. Dr Karthikeyan is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Heart Asia, a collaboration of the British Cardiovascular Society and BMJ. He is a member of the Rheumatic Heart Disease Expert Panel of the Global Burden of Disease Study Group. In addition to this he is an honorary consultant to the Human Health Division of the International Atomic Energy Agency, advising the Agency in identifying, designing and implementing research protocols in resource-poor settings.