Roberto Barrera, Ph.D. Dr. Barrera obtained his Ph.D. from the Inter Departmental Ecology Program at the Pennsylvania State University and a post-doc at the Entomology Department, University of Florida. Dr. Barrera is the Lead of the Entomology and Ecology Team at the Dengue Branch, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His main research interests are vector ecology and control, and the eco-epidemiology of diseases caused by vector-borne pathogens, such as dengue and malaria. Dr. Barrera has been studying the ecology and control of mosquitoes that can transmit arboviruses such as dengue, chikungunya, Zika, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis, and West Nile viruses in tropical countries.
Dr. Marieta Braks Dr. Marieta Braks is a medical entomologist with the Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Netherlands. After studying biology at the University of Utrecht, she obtained her Ph.D. in Entomology from the Wageningen University in 1999. Subsequently, she worked seven years in the USA first as a postdoc at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory and at the Entomology Laboratory of the University of California at Riverside and later as an employee of the Department of Vector - borne diseases of the California State Department of Public Health in Sacramento. With extensive experience in the surveillance and control of vectors and diseases, she returned to the Netherlands to work at the Centre for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology of the RIVM in 2007. In addition to national activities, she takes predominantly part in international networks and projects related to vector-borne diseases. She is project leader of Mobocon, a capacity building project for strengthening mosquito borne disease control in Caribbean Dutch Municipalities, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Public Health (2017-2021). Since 2009 Marieta Braks has been involved as consortium member of projects concerning the mapping of vectors, VecMap (2009-2012), VBORNET (2009-2013) and VectorNet (2014-2017) and in 2019 became the project coordinator of the second iteration of VectorNet (2019 -2023).
Dr José Melissa Davy Dr. Jose Melissa Davy was born in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. She achieved her Degree in Medicine from the Carlos J Findlay Institute Cuba and Masters in Infectology and Tropical Medicine at Pedro Kouri Institute. She is also a Graduate of the UWI Caribbean Leadership Institute and participated in the US Department of State Visitor Leadership Program on Women’s Health Issues and graduated in Health Leadership – Taiwan. She also has a Diploma in Aviation Medicine- Kings College London and a Past President of Lions Club St. Vincent South. She is a clinical care Coordinator for HIV at Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, Infection Control Officer at Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and owner of Better Health Centre Radio show- 360 Wellness on Praise Fm Fashionista. Dr. Davy is an Ice-cream lover Soon to be happy wife and mother of genius children.
Anubis Vega Rúa, PhD Anubis Vega Rúa is a medical entomologist and the head of the Vector Control Research Laboratory at the Institute Pasteur of Guadeloupe (French West Indies) since 2015. She holds two M.S degrees: biological sciences (2008) and genetics-biodiversity management (2011), respectively obtained at the University of Havana (Cuba) and at the Pierre & Marie Curie University (Paris, France). In 2015, she finished her PhD on Medical Entomology and Virology at the Institute Pasteur in Paris about the "Chikungunya virus emergence in the Americas and Europe". She received the “Pasteur International Young Talent award” in 2017 and in 2019, she obtained her accreditation to supervise research at the University of West Indies, where she is also involved in teaching activities. Back to the Caribbean, Anubis enhances the collaborations in the region (she was actively involved in CariVecNet genesis) and within the Institut Pasteur International Network through the development of research projects aiming to improve the knowledge, the surveillance and the control of mosquito vectors, especially Aedes aegypti, with innovative approaches. Her research has led to more than 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals and is notably focused in the natural variability of mosquito breeding-sites microbiome and their impact on arboviruses transmission, the use of pheromones to manipulate mosquito behaviour as an alternative to insecticides, and the patterns of vector-borne transmission of pathogens in ecosystems.
Dr. Dawn Byng Dawn has worked with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the Americas and Asia Pacific regions in M&E, development and public health programming since 2009. Prior to this she was involved in health sector reform systems focused on the reduction of primary and tertiary care waiting times and on the development of universal health care systems in the Caribbean region. She holds a Master of Political Science and is currently pursuing Master of International Disaster Management. She is also a registered nurse who responded to the call for volunteers in response to the first wave of the Corona virus pandemic in the UK and currently volunteers with Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Health Covid-19 vaccine roll out program.
Florence FOUQUE My professional experience and personal involvement are on the broad knowledge on insects vector of diseases, vector-borne diseases (VBDs) and on the development and implementation of new approaches and strategies for the control of the diseases and theirs vectors, in particular against the vectors of malaria, arboviral diseases and leishmaniasis. My first position was as an assistant at the Polytechnic School of Zurich to work on the biological control of insects vectors and pests. Then, I joined the Pasteur Institute and its International Network for more than 20 years to work in/for different countries affected by Tropical Diseases and Poverty. I had the opportunity to participate and lead several research projects on different vectors and vector-borne diseases acquiring experience and knowledge on both the vector biology and the project management in different ecological, socio-economics and political environments. The research programs I was involved in were not only providing new findings but also contributing actively to regional and country efforts to develop sustainable local research capacity and successful partnerships and collaborations. During my different positions within the Pasteur network I also contributed to strengthening capacity building at different levels (from technical to post-doc) in those fields. Since 2014, I joined WHO Special Programme for research and training on Tropical Diseases (TDR), first as the Team Lead for the Vector Environment and Society Unit and then as a Scientist within the Implementation Research Unit. Our activities are looking at the broader issues that affect the transmission of pathogens through vectors. An interdisciplinary approach is used, including water, agriculture, meteorology, and sociology and the work with community members to develop new approaches and strong capacity building to improve the health of the most vulnerable. Among the research projects supported at TDR which I had the opportunity to manage, a strong emphasis was on residual malaria, multisectoral approaches for prevention and control of VBDs, insecticide resistance of vectors of arboviral diseases and innovative vector tools. These activities include also the support to the development of Networks (both regional and worldwide) to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and build up capacity and the first meetings to develop the CariVecNet were supported by TDR grants between 2016 and 2019.
Dr Frederik Seelig - Partnerships Manager, the Global Vector Hub, LSHTM Dr Frederik Seelig is the Partnerships Manager for the Global Vector Hub at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). His main responsibilities include building and managing relationships with stakeholders across the vector control community, resource users, data providers and industry supporters. Before joining LSHTM in 2018, Frederik worked in the Population Health team at the Wellcome Trust. Frederik studied biology at the University of Bonn/Germany and the University of New South Wales/Australia; he then joined Klaus Kurtenbach’s group at the University of Bath/UK for a PhD project on the molecular ecology of Ixodes ticks. After obtaining his PhD in 2012, Frederik worked as a post-doctoral researcher the Entomology group at Wageningen University and Research/The Netherlands. Here, he focused on the vector competence of biting midges for the recently discovered Schmallenberg virus. This position was followed by work in scientific publishing in Cambridge/UK, and a subsequent move to London to work for Wellcome in 2016. Frederik has a broad background in various aspects of medical entomology, and his main interests include vector biology and ecology, global health, science writing and Open Access. He is also a member of the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ISNTD)’s Dengue Advisory Group (DAG).
Satesh Bidaisee Satesh Bidaisee is a Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine and Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies at St. George’s University. Prof. Bidaisee is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, Faculty of Medical Sciences, St. Augustine, Trinidad, St. George’s University, School of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies and the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.
As a research investigator, Prof. Bidaisee supports community based participatory research and service activities along his interests which include Emerging Infectious Diseases, Zoonoses and Vector Borne Disease and the pursuit of the One Health One Medicine concept. Prof. Bidaisee is board certified by the United States National Board of Public Health Examiners and holds Fellowships to the Royal Society of Public Health (FRSPH), Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (FRSTMH), International Society on Infectious Diseases and the Society of Biology.
Dr. Haroldo Bezerra Dr. Haroldo Bezerra is the Regional Advisor in Public Health Entomology of the Neglected, Tropical and Vector Borne Diseases unit (VT) Unit at the Pan American Health Organization’s Department of Communicable Diseases and Environmental Determinants of Health. He is the regional focal point responsible for coordinating technical support and assistance in IVM, insecticide resistance, use of new technologies, capacity building and training among other activities to all the countries in the Region of the Americas. In his present assignment he also supports the organization and implementation of PAHO Technical Advisory Group on Public Health Entomology and Vector Control (2016) and External Evaluation Group on New Technologies for Controlling Aedes (2017). He joined PAHO in 2008 and has worked in Brazil and PAHO HQ. His field of expertise includes vector surveillance and control.
Dr. Marquita Gittens-St.Hilaire Dr. Marquita Gittens-St.Hilaire is a lecturer in microbiology at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill and former Director of the now defunct Leptospira Laboratory. Specializes in molecular diagnostics of infectious diseases, particularly arboviruses, leptospirosis and has an avid interest in the investigation/epidemiology of multidrug resistant pathogens genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. Member of CaribVet Net Technical Working Group, American Society of Microbiology, Caribbean Association of Clinical Microbiologists and Chair of the CariVecNet Technical Working Group
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