Who We Are

Scientific Advisory Committee



Our Global Health Program advisory committee is comprised of a group of esteemed experts from outside of the foundation who offer a wide range of experiences and perspectives. This group plays an important role in strengthening our work by offering independent assessments of our strategies and helping us evaluate results.

Professor Sir John Bell, F.R.S., FMedSci (Chair of Committee)

John Bell is Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, a position founded by King Henry VIII in 1546. He is chairman of the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research, a newly formed body that coordinates the research agendas of the UK’s National Health Service and the Medical Research Council and thus serves as a key component of the UK’s plan to combine medical research funding under a single organization. He is also currently president of the Academy of Medical Sciences. 

In 1991 Bell founded Oxford University’s Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and has since been a board member of Isis Innovation, Oxford University’s technology transfer company. He is the founding director or founder of a number of spinoff companies, such as Powderject (1993), Oxagen (1997), and Avidex (1999), and is a non-executive member of the board of Roche AG. 

His scientific work focuses on the immune response and the genetics of autoimmune disease. He has contributed work that defined several of the genes involved in diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility. 

Alan Bernstein, O.C., Ph.D,. FRSC

Dr. Alan Bernstein is the President of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), one of Canada’s major global research assets. From 2008-2011, Dr. Bernstein was the executive director of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise, an international alliance of researchers and funders charged with accelerating the search for an HIV vaccine. 

Previously, he served as the founding president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2000-2007), Canada’s federal agency for the support of health research. In that capacity, he led the transformation of health research in Canada. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and following postdoctoral work in London, Dr. Bernstein joined the Ontario Cancer Institute (1974-1985). In 1985, he joined the new Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto, was named Associate Director in 1988 and then Director of Research (1994-2000). 

Author of over 225 scientific publications, Dr. Bernstein has made extensive contributions to the study of stem cells, hematopoiesis and cancer. He chairs or is a member of advisory and review boards in Canada, the US, UK, Italy and Australia. Dr. Bernstein has received numerous awards and honourary degrees for his contributions to science, including the 2008 Gairdner Wightman Award. He is a Senior Research Fellow of Massey College and was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2002.

M.K. Bhan, M.B.B.S., M.D. Pediatrics, D.Sc. (Honorary)

Dr. Bhan is an internationally reputed and leading researcher in child health, who has worked tirelessly to find and apply science based solutions to major cases of childhood deaths in developing countries. His scientific contribution has led to several interventions, which have received WHO endorsement and have been actually introduced into the national and developing country diarrheal disease control programs. 

He was among the global leaders who contributed to an understanding of the critical role of zinc deficiency as the basis of immunodeficiency in malnourished children. Dr. Bhan leads a team of researchers for vaccine development. Rotavirus is the most important cause of diarrheal deaths and development of vaccine is a priority. Recently they developed a Vi conjugate vaccine, using outer membrane protein as a carrier, which is awaiting trials. 

Dr. Bhan is recipient of many national and international awards like Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award, National Ranbaxy Award, ST Achar Gold Medal of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, S.S. Mishra Award of the National Academy of Medical Sciences, Biotech Product and Process Development and Commercialization Award and Pollins Foundation Research Award for US $ 100,000 (Year 2003). 

Dr. M.K. Bhan is M.B.B.S., M.D .Pediatrics, D.Sc. (Honorary), Fellow, Indian National Science Academy (FNA), Fellow, Academy of Sciences (F.ASc) and Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences (F.A.M.S.).

Zulfiqar A. Butta, M.B.B.S. (Pesh), D.C.H. (Lond), F.R.C.P. (Edin), F.R.C.P.C.H. (UK), F.C.P.S. (Pak), F.A.A.P., Ph.D. (Karolinska)

Prof. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta is Husein Laljee Dewraj Professor and Head of the newly created Division of Maternal and Child Health at Aga Khan University Medical Center in Karachi, Pakistan. He also holds adjunct professorships in International Health & Family and Community Medicine at the departments of International Health at the Boston University and Tufts University (Boston), respectively. He was designated a Distinguished National Professor of the Government of Pakistan in 2007.

Professor Bhutta has been associated with the Aga Khan University since 1986 and heads a large research team working on issues of maternal, newborn and child survival and nutrition globally and regionally. Prof. Bhutta has served as a member of the Global Advisory Committee for Health Research for the World Health Organization and the Board of Child & Health and Nutrition Initiative of Global Forum for Health Research. He is an executive committee member of the International Paediatric Association and on the Board of the Global Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH). Dr.  Bhutta is currently the Chair of the Health
Sciences Group of the Biotechnology Commission of Pakistan, a member of the WHO Strategic Advisory Committee for Vaccines, the Advisory Committee for Health Research of WHO EMRO, and its apex Regional Consultative Committee. He is also the Chairman of the National Research Ethics Committee of the Government of Pakistan.

Prof. Bhutta is on several international editorial advisory boards including the Lancet, BMJ, PLoS Medicine and PLoS ONE and has published three books, 45 book chapters, and over 300 indexed publications to date. He has won several awards, including the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence) by the President of Pakistan for contributions towards education and research (2000), as well as the inaugural award (2009) of the Program for Global Pediatric Research for outstanding contributions to Global Child Health and Research.

Tumani Corrah, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P., P.P.W.A.C.P.

Professor Tumani Corrah is the Unit Director of the Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia. 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. 

For over two decades, Professor Corrah has retained active research interests in Tropical and Infectious Diseases, including tuberculosis, HIV and malaria. His PhD was ground breaking as he undertook one of the first trials of immunotherapy as an adjunct to the treatment of Tuberculosis in Africa. He is a Joint Gold Medal Winner from the International Medical Informatics Association.  He has served on the committees of many international organisations, including the African Aids Research Network (Vice President); WHO TB Task Force in Africa (Member); Royal College of Physicians of London (International Adviser); Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (International Adviser); Visiting Committee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Member); and Partnership Board of The EDCTP (Member).  

Professor Corrah served as President of the West African College of Physicians and is currently the Director of the WACP’s International Office.  An expert on research governance, he is 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 organisations 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.

Susan Desmond-Hellmann, M.D., M.P.H.

Susan Desmond-Hellmann is chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco. She will join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as CEO in May 2014. She previously served as president of product development at Genentech. In this role, Desmond-Hellmann was responsible for Genentech’s pre-clinical and clinical development, process research and development, business development and product portfolio management. She also served as a member of Genentech’s executive committee, beginning in 1996. She joined Genentech in 1995 as a clinical scientist, and she was named chief medical officer in 1996. In 1999, she was named executive vice president of development and product operations. During her time at Genentech, several of the company’s patient therapeutics (Lucentis, Avastin, Herceptin, Tarceva, Rituxan and Xolair) were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the company became the nation’s No. 1 producer of anti-cancer drug treatments. 

In November 2009, Forbes magazine named Desmond-Hellmann as one of the world’s seven most “powerful innovators,” calling her “a hero to legions of cancer patients.” The seven were lauded for their curiosity, empathy and leadership. 

She completed her clinical training at UCSF and is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. She holds a bachelor of science degree in pre-medicine and a medical degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley.

Yvonne Greenstreet, M.D., M.B.A.

Dr. Yvonne Greenstreet has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry where she has a proven track record in developing and commercializing medicines.  She is known for her vision and ability to identify emerging opportunities, her expertise in drug development and her success in building highly functioning teams.  She has a breadth of experience spanning Research and Development, including strategy, clinical development, medical affairs, health economics/outcomes research, regulatory affairs and project/portfolio management.  Dr. Greenstreet has led product development and commercialization teams in a wide range of therapy areas and over the course of her career has delivered 10 NDA/MAA’s.

She is currently SVP and Head of Medicines Development at Pfizer where she has accountability for medicine development and medical affairs for the Specialty Business, which includes the immuno-inflammation, vaccine and rare disease portfolios.  Dr. Greenstreet led the approval of the JAK inhibitor Xeljanz, bringing to market the first of a new class of medicines for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.  She has also been instrumental in growing Pfizer's pipeline in rare diseases.

Dr.  Greenstreet was at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for 18 years where she was SVP and Chief of Strategy for Research and Development, serving on the portfolio investment committee and responsible for enabling strategy development and execution to achieve GSK’s goal of delivering 5-7 new medicines per year with an increase in return on investment from 11% to 14% by 2015.  She has held leadership positions in the US and UK, including serving as the Chief Medical Officer for Europe and leading the creation of a new Medicine Development Center which included responsibility for GSK's musculoskeletal, endocrine, gastrointestinal, ophthalmology and urological disease areas.  She spearheaded GSK's entry into immuno-inflammation and biotherapeutics with the in-licensing of Benlysta for patients with lupus and Arzerra for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. 

Dr. Greenstreet trained as a physician and earned her medical degree from Leeds University in the UK and her MBA from INSEAD, France.

Salim S. Abdool Karim, M.B.Ch.B, Dip.Data (Computer Science), M.S., M.Med, F.F.P.H.M., Ph.D.

Salim S. Abdool Karim is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Director of CAPRISA - Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa. He is also Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at Columbia University, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Cornell University and Associate Member of The Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. 

He was co-Principal Investigator of the CAPRISA 004 trial of tenofovir gel which provided proof of concept that antiretroviral drugs can prevent sexually transmitted HIV infection and herpes simplex virus type 2 in women. He is involved in the development, as patent co-inventor, of clade C HIV vaccines and led the first HIV vaccine trial in South Africa. His clinical research on TB-HIV treatment has impacted on and continues to shape the international guidelines on the clinical management of co-infected patients. 

He is the recipient of “TWAS Prize in Medical Sciences” from The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, the Drug Information Association’s “President's Award for Outstanding Achievement in World Health”, the South African National Science & Technology Forum Award, Columbia University’s “Allan Rosenfield Alumni Award for Excellence”, the “Gold Fellowship in Art & Science of Medicine” award from the South African Medical Association, the Gold Medal Award from the Academy of Science in South Africa and the Outstanding Senior African Scientist Award in 2011. He is a Member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV, Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPfAR), and Member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise.

Shabir A. Madhi, M.B.B.C.H. (Wits), FCPaeds(SA), Ph.D. 

Shabir A. Madhi is the Executive Director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (South Africa) since 2011, He also holds the positions of Professor of Vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) and is a South African DST/NRF Research Chair in Vaccine Preventable Diseases. He is the current (2010-2014) President of the World Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases (WSPID). He completed his training in Pediatrics in South Africa and is an Infectious Diseases sub-specialist. 

He is recognised internationally for his work on vaccine-preventable disease and has led epidemiological and clinical studies on new childhood vaccines, including the first African studies on the currently licensed rotavirus and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. These studies have been pivotal to informing WHO and SAGE policy on the use of such vaccines in developing countries. He is also involved in studies on maternal immunization as vehicle for reducing neonatal morbidity and mortality in low-income countries and is also internationally recognized in the field of pediatric HIV and epidemiology and prevention of opportunistic infections. 

He has published over 165 peer-reviewed articles, including in leading international journals. He has been recipient to European Society for Infectious Diseases Young Investigators Award (2006) and a number of National Awards including the 2009. National Science and Technology Forum: TW Kambule Award (2009) and National Research Foundations President’s Award: Transformation of the Science Cohort (2010). He has served as a temporary–consultant/technical advisor to World Health Organization, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and GAVI PneumoADIP in the field of pneumonia and vaccines.

Timothy Wright, M.D.

Timothy M. Wright, MD is Global Head of Development, Novartis Pharma. since November 2011. Prior to this appointment, Tim was Senior Vice President and Global Head of Translational Sciences (TS) at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) where his responsibilities included Translational Medicine, Biomarker Development, Preclinical Safety (toxicology), and Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics. 
In April 2004, he joined Novartis in Cambridge, MA as Deputy Head of Exploratory Clinical Development for Translational Research before becoming the head of TS in NIBR. Prior to his position at Novartis, Timothy worked for Pfizer Global Research and Development as the Exploratory Therapy Area Leader for Inflammation, responsible for transitioning to the clinic a broad portfolio of compounds for indications ranging from psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis to acute/chronic pain. 

Timothy received a BA in Biology from the University of Delaware and MD degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1980. After completing a residency in Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia and a Fellowship in Rheumatology at Johns Hopkins in 1986, Timothy trained as a research fellow in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Hopkins. He then joined the faculty in the Division of Molecular and Clinical Rheumatology at Johns Hopkins where his research focus was the biochemistry and molecular biology of signal transduction. 

Timothy moved to the University of Pittsburgh in 1991, and established a laboratory group investigating the humoral, cellular, and molecular aspects of immune responses in autoimmune diseases. He was an active member of the graduate faculty with secondary appointments in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry and the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. He became Chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology in 1996, received tenure in 1997, and was awarded an endowed Professorship in 1998. 
Timothy is currently a member or numerous professional and honorary societies including the American College of Rheumatology, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Harold Varmus, M.D.

Harold Varmus, M.D., co-recipient of a Nobel Prize for studies of the genetic basis of cancer, was nominated by President Obama as Director of the National Cancer Institute on May 17, 2010. He began his tenure as NCI Director on July 12, 2010. He previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and as Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Much of Varmus' scientific work was conducted during 23 years as a faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School, where he and Dr. J. Michael Bishop and their co-workers demonstrated the cellular origins of the oncogene of a chicken retrovirus. This discovery led to the isolation of many cellular genes that normally control growth and development and are frequently mutated in human cancer. For this work, Bishop and Varmus received many awards, including the 1989 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Varmus is also widely recognized for his studies of the replication cycles of retroviruses and hepatitis B viruses, the functions of genes implicated in cancer, and the development of mouse models of human cancer (the focus of much of the work in his laboratory at MSKCC). 

In 1993, Varmus was named by President Clinton to serve as the Director of NIH, a position he held until the end of 1999. During his tenure at NIH, he initiated many changes in the conduct of intramural and extramural research programs; recruited new leaders for most of the important positions at NIH; planned three major buildings on the NIH campus, including the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center ; and helped to initiate the five-year doubling of the NIH budget.

Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.

Dr. Zerhouni is the President, Global Research and Development for Sanofi-aventis. He has spent much of his career providing clinical, scientific, and administrative leadership to a wide range of agencies all over the world. 

Dr. Zerhouni was the 15th Director of the United States’ National Institutes of Health, and successfully led a series of reforms at the NIH that led to the passage of the NIH reform Act of 2006 by the US Congress. Prior to joining the NIH, Dr. Zerhouni served as Executive Vice-Dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and chair of the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, and Martin Donner Professor of Radiology, and Professor of Biomedical Engineering. Prior to that, he served as vice dean for research at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Zerhouni’s imaging research led to major advances in Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT scanning) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). 

He is the author of 212 publications and holds eight patents. Dr. Zerhouni has been appointed to the boards of the Lasker Foundation, Research America, the Mayo Clinic, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and to the chairmanship of the Maryland Economic Development Commission. Dr Zerhouni has also recently been appointed as Senior Adviser for Johns Hopkins Medicine at Johns Hopkins University and Chief Scientific Advisor of Science-Translational Medicine a sister publication of Science Magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He also advises the global pharmaceutical and vaccines company, Sanofi-Aventis, on global science and technology issues. 

Dr. Zerhouni earned membership into the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2000. He received the Legion of Honor medal from the French National Order in 2008.

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