Andres G. Lescano has a PhD in Global Epidemiology and Disease Control and Master’s degrees in Biostatistics and Health Policy from Johns Hopkins University. He is an Associate Professor at Cayetano University in Peru, and has adjunct appointments at the Tulane, Johns Hopkins, Wake Forest and Texas Medical Branch universities. He leads Clima, the Latin American Center of Excellence for Climate Change and Health, Emerge, the Emerging Infections and Climate Change Unit and a Masters’ and Doctoral programs in Epidemiological Research. Dr. Lescano research studies emerging diseases epidemiology and climate change, and has trained hundreds of epidemiologists under major capacity building efforts.
Fernando O. Mardones is Assistant Professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the Pontifical Catholic University (PUC) in Santiago, Chile. He received his MPVM and Ph.D. in Epidemiology at the University of California, Davis. His teaching and research include the application of quantitative methods derived from epidemiology and ecology to study the dynamics of infectious diseases associated with farming practices from local to large scale spatial extents. From 2014 through August 2015, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Universidad Austral de Chile and researcher at the PUC. Previously, he has worked for almost seven years at the UC Davis Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance (CADMS) since 2007.
In Chile, Fernando leads research in several areas including the epidemiology of infectious diseases in farmed salmon in southern Chile. The salmon industry in Chile is the second largest in the world, however, it faces numerous problems related to infectious diseases, the use of antimicrobials and environmental impacts. Fernando is devoted to promoting sustainable aquaculture not only in farmed salmon settings but also shrimp and tilapia around the world. Aquaculture is a key sector that provides a high-quality source of protein to feed humans but must be sustainable. Fernando also works with small livestock holders in central Chile, which is an important part of the population of the country, many of whom suffer the consequences of climate change.
Dr. Mardones is very active in building collaborative teams among other areas including medicine, agronomy, and social sciences. Right now, a number of research topics are effective collaborations including Hantavirus and the emergence of COVID-19, and also dog and cat management control in the country.
Purnima Menon is a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, and is based in New Delhi, India. She is the theme leader for South Asia Nutrition Programs in IFPRI’s Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division. In her work in India, Dr. Menon directs POSHAN (Partnerships and Opportunities to Strengthen and Harmonize Actions for Nutrition in India), an initiative to support more use of evidence for nutrition in India. She conducts implementation research on scaling up maternal and child nutrition interventions, including on evaluating large-scale behavior change communications programs in nutrition and health. Dr. Menon has research experience in India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, Vietnam and Nepal, has published extensively, and invests deeply in research translation in her engagements with policy communities.
In addition to her research, Dr. Menon co-convenes a global nutrition policy course with the Institute for Development Studies in the United Kingdom, and has designed and taught many adaptations of this course in India as well. She serves on several national and global advisory groups, including the State of the World's Children, the Global Nutrition Report, and the Countdown to 2030.
Dr. Menon has a PhD in International Nutrition from Cornell University and an MSc in Nutrition from the University of Delhi. She speaks many languages, and has lived both in India and the United States of America. She lives in India with her husband, Jitendra Balakrishnan, and their daughter.
Dr. Menon’s publications are available on Google Scholar and she engages on social media via her Twitter handle @PMenonIFPRI
Sarah Ssali is an Associate Professor and Dean, School of Women and Gender Studies, and the Director Centre of Excellence in Notions of Identity. She holds a PhD in International Health Studies from Queen Margaret University. She is an experienced researcher in gender and health using qualitative and quantitative research methods. She has researched and published in the area of health systems, health financing, HIV and AIDS, post conflict settings, identities and institutionalized cultural practices. Her current research projects are funded by UKRI, MRC, WHO and Makerere University. She is also a member of several local and international advisory boards.
Harsha Thirumurthy is Associate Professor in the Division of Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and Associate Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), where he leads global health initiatives. He is also a Research Associate at Penn’s Population Studies Center and Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI).
Dr. Thirumurthy’s research interests lie at the intersection of behavioral economics and public health. His research examines the decision making of individuals, households, and health care providers in low- and middle-income countries. He has nearly 20 years of research experience in east Africa, southern Africa, and South Asia, having led numerous randomized trials of behavioral interventions to promote improved health and economic outcomes. Dr. Thirumurthy has published in leading journals in economics, public health, and medicine. His projects have routinely included inter-disciplinary teams of scientists and practitioners, while being supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and several other funding agencies. Dr. Thirumurthy completed a Ph.D. in economics at Yale University. Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania, he was on the faculty at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.