Committee and Staff Biographies
James W. Curran, MD, MPH (Cochair), an internationally recognized authority on AIDS prevention, was named Dean of the Rollins School of Public Health effective November 1, 1995. Dr. Curran served as the Assistant Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Service and Director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the time of his appointment as Dean. He came to the CDC in 1971 after graduating from the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Curran directed the CDC Task Force that conducted the initial investigations of AIDS and held various AIDS leadership positions at CDC until joining Emory University. He received his Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University School of Public Health, where he was a resident in general preventive medicine and a fellow at the Harvard Center for Community Health and Medical Care. In 1993, Dr. Curran was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Science, one of the numerous awards he has received in medicine and public health. He serves as Chair of the IOM Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, in addition to serving as cochair of the IOM Committee on Antiretroviral Drug Use in Resource-Constrained Settings. Dr. Curran was recently selected as the 2003 winner of the John Snow Award from the Epidemiology Section of the American Public Health Association. He is the author of more than 250 scientific publications. He also serves on numerous boards and committees in research and education including chair-elect of the Associations of Schools of Public Health (ASPH). Dr. Curran’s expertise in HIV/AIDS directly strengthens HIV-related projects. In addition,
he currently serves as the director and principal investigator for Emory’s Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).
Haile Tesfaye Debas, MD (Cochair), is Executive Director of UCSF Global Health Sciences and Chancellor- and Dean-emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and currently serves on Committee for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy of the National Academy of Sciences. He currently serves on the UN Commission for HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa. He served with distinction as Chair of the UCSF Department of Surgery before he was appointed Dean of the Medical School in 1993. Under his decade of leadership, the School of Medicine saw unprecedented growth in its academic programs with the creation of several multidisciplinary centers and institutes and the implementation of a new curriculum for medical education that has been nationally recognized for its innovations. He is internationally recognized for his scientific contributions in gastrointestinal physiology and numerous other contributions to medicine. Dr. Debas was born in Eritrea and received his MD degree from McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal, Canada.
Solomon Benatar, MB, ChB, FFA, FRCP, FACP (Hon), served as Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Chief Physician at Groote Schuur Hospital from 1980 to 1999. During the past decade, Dr. Benatar has led the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Bioethics, as its founding director. His academic interests have ranged from respiratory medicine, academic freedom, medical ethics, and the humanities in medicine, to human rights, health care systems, health economics and global health—on which topics he has published over 250 journal articles and book chapters. During the 1994 to 1995 academic year he was a Fellow in the program in Ethics and the Professions at Harvard University and Visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School. He has been an invited teacher at many medical schools world-wide. He is an elected Foreign Member of the IOM (1989), and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1994). He is a corresponding member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Human Rights and has been a consultant to the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, Médecins sans Frontières and the HIV Prevention Trials Network. Since 1999 he has been Visiting Professor in Medicine and Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. He is the Program Director of a Fogarty International Center funded capacity building program in International Research Ethics in Southern Africa (2003–2006), Chairman of the South African Interim National Health Research Ethics Committee, and immediate past president of the International Association of Bioethics.
Sally Blower, PhD, is Professor of Biomathematics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Previously she has held faculty positions at the University of California, San Francisco, and at the University of California at Berkeley (School of Public Health). She is a mathematical and evolutionary biologist whose research focuses on developing mathematical models of infectious diseases. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh, and her PhD from Stanford University in 1987. The primary focus of her research is to use models as health policy tools. She uses mathematical models: (1) to design epidemic control strategies, (2) to understand and to predict the emergence of antibiotic and antiviral drug resistance, and (3) to develop vaccination strategies. The overall objective of her research is to develop the study of infectious diseases into a predictive science. She has published over 80 research articles mainly focused on HIV, tuberculosis, and genital herpes. She was the first to publish mathematical models for predicting the potential epidemic-level impact of HIV vaccines, the impact of drug-resistant tuberculosis, and the expected impact of drug-resistant HIV in both developing and developed countries. She introduced uncertainty analysis to the field of infectious disease modeling. These innovative methodologies have transformed infectious disease modeling from description to prediction. She has served as a consultant to the CDC, WHO, RAND, EPA, Burroughs Wellcome, GlaxoSmithKline, Aventis Pasteur, the Frankel Group, and the Global HIV Prevention Group.
J. Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA, is Professor and Chairman of Pathology at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Dr. Jackson is Director of the clinical HIV Laboratory at Johns Hopkins Hospital and has been involved in numerous clinical HIV therapeutic and prevention trials in the United States, Uganda, and China. He is a funded investigator in the NIAID-sponsored adult and pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Groups and the HIVNET and HIV Prevention Trials Network. Dr. Jackson is the Protocol Chair of several adult and perinatal HIV prevention trials in the United States and Uganda including the HIVNET 012 perinatal nevirapine trial.
Gilbert Kombe, MBBS, MPH, serves as HIV/AIDS senior technical advisor at Partnership for Health Reformplus Project at Abt Associates Inc. In this capacity, he directs technical assistance and provides leadership to regional and country teams in determining achievable and sustainable strategies to strengthen health systems’ capacity to provide effective HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care interventions. For many years, Dr. Kombe worked on a number of HIV/AIDS issues including costing and financing of ARVs, designing of service delivery models, and developing national antiretroviral policies in low-resource settings. Recently, he has worked on ARV costing and policy issues in Zambia, Nigeria, and Uganda. Dr. Kombe has worked
with numerous donor-funded projects and has been routinely recruited as a consultant to many international organizations including the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa, WHO, The World Bank, and other institutions.
Peter Mugyenyi, MB, ChB, FRCPI, ScD (Hon), is the Executive Director of the Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC), a center of excellence that has provided leadership in AIDS care, treatment, research, and prevention in Uganda. The JCRC is a pioneer of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Africa and currently treats one of the largest numbers of AIDS patients with higly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on the continent. He is also the Chair of Africa Dialogue on AIDS (ADAC), and AIDS Care Research in Africa (ACRiA), which are African led initiatives to coordinate HIV/AIDS activities and define best practices for prevention, care, treatment, and research. Dr. Mugyenyi holds other important responsibilities in academic institutions, and national and international organizations involved in planning, review and execution of policies and projects on AIDS treatment and research, HIV vaccines trials, access to drugs, poverty alleviation, and policy formulation and communication. He has provided technical and management expertise to a number of developing countries including his own Uganda Ministry of Health where he is the AIDS Task Force Chairman, responsible for planning and execution of the for national scaling up of ART program.
Nicky Padayachee, MD, has served as the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Cape Town since January 1999. He previously held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Council. He is a registered Specialist in Community Health. He obtained his medical degree at the University of Cape Town, and his specialist degree in community health at the University of the Witwatersrand. Dr. Padayachee is the past President of the International Council for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI), past President of the Epidemiological Society of South Africa. He is the current Chairperson of the Medical Schemes Council of South Africa, a member of the Medicines Control Council of South Africa (MCC); the National Health Laboratory Services of South Africa (NHLS); the Health Professions Council of South African (HPCSA), and Chair of the Committee of Medical Deans of South Africa.
Nancy Padian, PhD, is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in the epidemiology and prevention of sextually transmitted diseases including HIV. Her work bridges the gap between traditional infectious disease epidemiology and the broader context of women’s reproductive health. Dr.
Padian served as a principal investigator on numerous federally and privately funded research projects in high-risk populations. Her domestic research currently addresses adolescent reproductive health among teens in immigrant and minority communities. The major objective of her international research program is to reduce the risk of HIV among young women primarily through use of female-controlled methods of prevention such as microbicides or barrier contraceptives, and through development of programs that foster economic independence and thus reduce reliance on male sexual partners. Nine years ago, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Zimbabwe, she founded the UZ-UCSF Collaborative Research Program in Women’s Health, located in Zimbabwe where she currently has several research projects. She is developing similar programs in India and in Mexico. Dr. Padian is a Professor in the Departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, and in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF. She is also an adjunct Professor in the Epidemiology Program at the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Padian served as vicechair of the University of California task force on AIDS and currently directs international research for the UCSF AIDS Research Institute and is codirector of the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy. Dr. Padian is a frequent participant in annual NIH Office of AIDS Research planning workshops and chaired the committee on international priorities for the last two years. She serves on the NIH AIDS epidemiology study section and is an elected member to the American Epidemiology Society.
Priscilla Reddy, PhD, MPH, is Director of the Health Promotion Research and Development Group at the Medical Research Council of South Africa. She is one of the leading experts in South Africa on behavioral science of HIV, AIDS, and STD. She has been principal investigator on several NIH RO1 grants. She is also Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science and Health Promotion at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and has been nominated for a full professorship at the University of Cape Town.
Douglas Richman, MD, is staff physician at the VA San Diego Healthcare System and is Professor of Pathology and Medicine at the University of California San Diego. He is Director of the Center for AIDS Research and holds the Florence Seeley Riford Chair in AIDS Research. He trained in infectious diseases and medical virology with research on influenza virus, herpes viruses, and hemorrhagic fever viruses before focusing on HIV in the 1980s. HIV drug resistance was originally recognized in his laboratory in 1988. In addition to his continuing interest in HIV treatment and drug
resistance, his research interests have focused on HIV pathogenesis including the issues of viral latency and evolution. Dr. Richman is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association of Physicians, and the Infectious Disease Society of America. He is a member of the National Institutes of Health AIDS Vaccine Research Working Group.
Bruce D. Walker, MD, is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of AIDS at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Partners AIDS Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Dr. Walker is a clinician with a specialty in infectious diseases, focusing on the treatment of persons with HIV/AIDS. His basic science research focuses on cellular immune responses to chronic viral infections, particularly HIV and hepatitis C virus. His laboratory has been instrumental in defining the evolution of immune responses in the critical early stages of infection and has shown that immediate treatment of acute HIV infection with potent combination antiviral therapy can enhance functional immune responses to the virus and allow for transient immune control of HIV. He is also involved in vaccine preparedness work through a number of grants and contracts from the NIH. He has also been involved in collaborative research in Africa for over 10 years, and with the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa, for the last 4 years, where he is has been engaged in a collaborative project resulting in the completion of an AIDS Research Center that serves sub-Saharan Africa. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine at the University of Natal.
Patrick W. Kelley, MD, DrPH, joined the Institute of Medicine in July 2003 as the Director of the Board on Global Health. Previously he served in the U.S. Army for more than 23 years as a physician, residency director, epidemiologist, and program manager. In his last DoD position, Dr. Kelley founded and directed the presidentially mandated DoD Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (DoD-GEIS). This responsibility entailed managing approximately $42 million dollars of emerging infections surveillance, response, training, and capacity-building activities undertaken in partnership with numerous elements of the federal government and with health ministries in over 45 developing countries. He also designed and established the DoD Accessions Medical Standards Analysis and Research Activity, the first systematic DoD effort to apply epidemiology to the evidence-based development and evaluation of physical and psychological accession standards. Dr. Kelley is an experienced communicator having lectured in over 20 countries and authored of over 50 scholarly papers and
book chapters. He also designed and served as the specialty editor for the two volume textbook entitled: Military Preventive Medicine: Mobilization and Deployment. Dr. Kelley obtained his MD from the University of Virginia and his DrPH from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.
Stacey Knobler, is the director of the Forum on Microbial Threats at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and a senior program officer for the Board on Global Health (BGH). She has served as the director of the BGH study, Neurological, Psychiatric, and Developmental Disorders in Developing Countries and as a research associate for the Board's earlier studies on The Assessment of Future Scientific Needs for Live Variola (Smallpox) Virus and Cardiovascular Disease in Developing Countries. Previously, Ms. Knobler worked at the Brookings Institution, Foreign Policy Studies Program and as an Arms Control and Democratization Consultant for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna and Bosnia-Herzegovina. She has also worked as a research and negotiations analyst in Israel and Palestine. She has conducted research and published on issues that include, biological and nuclear weapons control, foreign aid, health in developing countries, poverty and public assistance, and the Arab-Israeli peace process.
Monisha Arya, MD, MPH, is a Christine Mirzyan Science and Technology Policy Intern at the National Academies. She has played a leading role in the research and development for the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Global Health report, Scaling Up Treatment for the Global AIDS Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities in Resource-Constrained Settings. Dr. Arya was awarded her MD and Masters in Public Health with a health policy concentration at the George Washington University in Washington, DC in May 2000. During medical school, she was a Health Policy Fellow with the American Medical Student Association and had the opportunity to work in the U.S. Congress and meet with physicians serving as health policy
advisors to U.S. Senators. Dr. Arya recently completed her residency training in internal medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center. She earned her BS in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Following the National Academies internship, she will begin a 3-year infectious diseases fellowship program at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
Marjan Najafi, MPH, is a research associate for the Forum on Emerging Infections in the Board on Global Health. She has also worked with the IOM committee that produced Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2000. She received her undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering and applied mathematics from the University of Rhode Island. Ms. Najafi served as a public health engineer with the Maryland Department of Environment and, later, the Research Triangle Institute. After obtaining a master’s degree in public health from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, she managed a lead poisoning prevention program in Micronesia with a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to joining IOM, she worked on a study researching the effects of cellular phone radiation on human health.
Allison L. Berger is a Program Assistant for the Board on Global Health. She previously served as a Program Assistant for the IOM Board on Neuro-science and Behavioral Health where she worked on two other IOM studies: Health Literacy and Introducing Behavioral and Social Science into Medical School Curricula. Before joining the IOM staff, she enjoyed a 5-year tenure as an Administrative Assistant for the American Psychological Association, where she assisted the APA Committee on Psychological Test and Assessment, Committee on Scientific Awards, and the Committee on Animal Research and Ethics. She also worked on several funding and grant programs sponsored by the APA Science Directorate.
Leslie A. Pray, PhD, is a science writer and independent consultant for the Institute of Medicine (IOM). She has written extensively on a wide range of genetic, evolutionary biology, emerging infectious disease, public health policy, and graduate education issues for the IOM, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, and elsewhere. Dr. Pray was coeditor on Biological Threats and Terrorism: Assessing the Science and Response Capabilities and Considerations for Viral Disease Eradication: Lessons Learned and Future Strategies. She received her PhD from the University of Vermont in 1997 and was awarded a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biosciences Related to the Environment and an American Society of Naturalists Young Investigator Award for her research in population genetics.