Therese Kearns has over 15 years’ experience working in rural and remote Aboriginal communities in Australia as a nurse/midwife and epidemiologist. Her research projects have predominantly been in population and public health areas for neglected tropical diseases (scabies and strongyloidiasis), streptococcal infections, intestinal parasites, child health, disease surveillance and mass drug administrations. TK has built strong collaborations in many remote Australian communities and is actively engaged in community consultations for the development and design of new projects and research translation of project results.
Dr Edmond Puca has completed his PhD at the age of 40 years from Albanian University. Currently, he is working as infectologue in University Hospital Center “Mother Teresa”. He has published more than 25 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as an editorial board member of repute. He has serve as a member of Organizing Committee for several events. Research interests are tropical infection diseases especially hemorrhagic fever, leptospirosis and sepsis.
Tropical infection diseases
Dr. Verma is a formally trained virologist and immunologist with expertise in the studies of RNA virus/host interactions and innate immunity. Her long-term research goal is to understand inflammatory pathways contributing to the neuropathogenesis related to flaviviruses to ultimately develop effective therapies to ameliorate the associated pathology. Her research uses both, in vitro and in vivo mouse models to delineate various innate immune signaling pathways that contribute to inflammation and neuronal death in flavivirus infections. The focus of the ongoing study in her lab is to analyze mechanisms associated with disruption of the blood-brain barrier and its consequence with respect to the entry of West Nile virus (WNV) in the mice brain. In addition, her lab also investigates the efficacy of anti-inflammatory drugs such as inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases and cyclooxygenase-2 signaling pathway as a potential therapeutic target to manage WNV encephalitis. Another area of her research is to understand the role of pathogen recognition receptor NLRC5 and its adapter molecule ASC in modulating innate and adaptive immune response to WNV. One of her recent projects involves characterizing the role of epigenetic modulation in innate immune responses to flaviviruses.
Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology
Afolayan O Gabriel has Bachelor of Science (B.sc) degree in Physiology from University of Nigeria and PgCert in Cognitive Neurosciece and Neuroimaging (Sheffield University,2013). He has over five years working experience in the control and elimination of NTDs in Nigeria. He was part of the team that put Nigeria on a global map of a country free of guinea worm disease in year 2013. He is the Research Secretary for the Nigerian NTD steering committee and a member of a national coordinating team for planning and implementation of coverage evaluation survey in Nigeria.