The Government of Canada and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are pleased to introduce Dr. Nina Russell as the new Co-Chair of the CHVI Advisory Board. Dr. Russell will be replacing Dr. José Esparza, who was the previous Co-Chair of the Board. Dr. Russell joined Dr. Bhagirath Singh as Co-Chair, to oversee the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI) and its Research and Development Alliance. The remaining Advisory Board Members include: Dr. James Blanchard, Dr. Lorne Babiuk, Ms. Siobhan Malone, Dr. Amy J. Weiner, and Dr. Greg Hammond.
To view biographies for CHVI Research and Development Advisory Board Members, see the links below.
Dr. Bhagirath Singh received his post-doctoral training at Liverpool University in England, and in 1973 joined the Department of Immunology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. He became Professor of Immunology in 1986. In 1992, he moved to the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, as Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology (1992-2000).
Dr. Singh was the former Scientific Director of the Institute of Infection and Immunity, Canadian Institutes of Health Research until December 2009. He has also served as Deputy Director of the John P. Robarts Research Institute (1997-2000) and co-director of the Immunology Program (1992-1997). Dr. Singh has been co-director and principal investigator in both the Medical Research Council of Canada/Canadian Institutes of Health Research (MRC/CIHR) Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation group in diabetes research, and the MRC immunoregulation group.
Dr. Singh has received scholarship and scientist awards from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. In 2004, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Dr. Singh's laboratory has established a strong record of research in molecular and cellular immunology, and in the role of microbial pathogens in the regulation of autoimmune diseases such as juvenile diabetes. He is recognized as a leader in the fields of the immunology of peptides and the regulation of autoimmune diseases.
Over the past 10 years, Dr. Blanchard has done extensive research and public health program development related to HIV/AIDS in India and other south Asian countries. Between 2001 and 2007 he was based in Bangalore, India helping to establish and lead the university's extensive program of HIV research and public health programming. In addition to his research and program leadership, Dr. Blanchard has provided technical advice for national and international organizations, including the national AIDS control programs for India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the World Bank. His research has focused on the epidemiology and control of HIV epidemics. Recently, he has provided leadership to a global “Program Science” initiative, which brings together scientists, policy makers and program implementers to promote translation of scientific knowledge into improved HIV prevention program design and implementation.
Dr. Blanchard received his M.D. from the University of Manitoba and subsequently pursued education in epidemiology and public health at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, receiving his Masters in Public Health in 1990 and his PhD in Epidemiology in 1997.
Dr. Blanchard is currently a Professor in the Departments of Community Health Sciences and Medical Microbiology and Director of the Centre for Global Public Health at the University of Manitoba. He received his Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology and Global Public Health in 2004. During his academic career he has received numerous awards, including the Banting Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association and the 2006 Rh Award for Health Sciences research at the University of Manitoba from the Winnipeg Rh Institute Foundation.
Dr. Lorne Babiuk joined the University of Alberta as Vice-President (Research) on July 1, 2007. Prior to moving to the University of Alberta, he spent 34 years as a Professor at the University of Saskatchewan. The majority of his term at the University of Saskatchewan was associated with building a very successful research institution - VIDO (Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization). Under Dr. Babiuk's leadership, VIDO became internationally recognized as a leader in novel vaccine development. In 2005, he completed a $19.4 million expansion of VIDO and just prior to his leaving VIDO, he successfully assembled the funding for the construction of a $140 million level three biocontainment facility for work on infectious diseases (InterVac).
In addition to being the Vice-President (Research) and former Director of VIDO, he served as a member on numerous industrial and governmental scientific advisory boards and committees as well as acts as a consultant to numerous companies. He has mentored over 90 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and published over 500 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 100 book chapters or reviews. Dr Babiuk is the holder of 28 issued patents and 18 patents pending. He is a fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the European Academy of Sciences as well as an Officer of the Order of Canada. In September 2007, Lorne Babiuk was named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is also the recipient of honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Colorado State University (2007) and University of Guelph (2008). In 2009 he received the McLaughlin Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, awarded for important research of sustained excellence in medical sciences.
Dr. Nina Russell, Deputy Director, HIV, leads the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's HIV Vaccine initiative. Over the last seven years at the foundation, Dr. Russell has played a critical role in the design, creation and management of the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD) and has led the clinical development arm of the foundation's HIV Vaccine strategy, including representing the foundation in the Pox-Protein Public Private Partnership (P5).
Dr. Russell's commitment to HIV prevention and treatment started in 1986 in San Francisco, where she worked on a Phase II trial for AZT, the first HIV treatment drug. After completing her medical and infectious diseases training, she worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in a cellular immunology laboratory to develop and validate immunologic assays for human HIV vaccine clinical trials. She then managed a pipeline of Phase I and II HIV vaccine clinical trials for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network, working in close collaboration with academic, biotech, and industry partners to advance novel vaccine candidates into clinical testing before joining the foundation in 2005.
Ms. Siobhan Malone is a Program Officer in the Global Health Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Since she joined the foundation in January 2005, Ms. Malone has managed a number of grants and activities of the foundation's HIV portfolio, primarily focused on the HIV vaccine sub-strategy and on strategies to better integrate the foundation's HIV and Family Health portfolios.
Ms. Malone is responsible for the alliance management activities of the 23 research consortia that make up the Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD)—a large-scale research alliance established in July 2006 with $355 million of funding. The CAVD is an international network of Vaccine Discovery Consortia and five Central Service Facilities funded to apply new technologies, concepts and approaches to the design of safe and effective preventive vaccines against HIV/AIDS. Ms. Malone also manages the Enabling Environment portfolio of the HIV vaccine sub-strategy and the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission activities under the ARV-based Prevention sub-strategy.
Prior to joining the foundation, Ms. Malone worked for seven years in HIV prevention efforts in the US and in West Africa. In 1998 she received a Fulbright grant to work in Cote d'Ivoire with the National AIDS Program and a non-governmental organization focused on AIDS prevention activities among women's groups throughout the country. In 2000, Ms. Malone joined the HIV Vaccine Trials Network where she worked on recruitment, retention, and community engagement issues for clinical trials in the US and internationally. Ms. Malone has conducted research in Dakar, Senegal and has worked as a laboratory technician in immunology labs at Georgetown University and the University of Washington.
Ms. Malone received her Bachelor of Science at Georgetown University in 1997 and her Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of Washington in 2003. English is her mother tongue and she is fluent in French and Spanish.
Dr. Amy J. Weiner joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a Senior Program Officer in Global Health, Vaccines Discovery in 2010. Amy has over 25 years of experience in the vaccines and biopharmaceutical industry. Dr. Weiner received her PhD in molecular developmental genetics at Indiana University where she discovered the first “homeobox” gene, a class of genes important for regulating body pattern formation, in the laboratory of Dr. Thom Kaufman. In 1984 Dr. Weiner joined Dr. Michael Houghton at Chiron Corporation to work on identifying the etiologic agent of non-A, non-B hepatitis, which was discovered in 1988 and named the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Over the next several years Dr. Weiner made numerous scientific contributions to understanding genetic diversity, humoral immunity, mechanisms of immune escape, viral resistance and other aspects HCV biology. Much of this work had a direct impact on the development of diagnostics and the submission of an IND for one of the first HCV vaccines to enter human clinical trials. As a director of research at Chiron/Novartis, Dr. Weiner led several early stage HCV antiviral drug discovery projects, the development of animal models for the evaluation of antiviral compounds and vaccines discovery programs on respiratory and encephalitis viruses. Dr. Weiner has numerous publications and issued patents in the fields of vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutic compounds and animal models.
Dr. Greg Hammond B.Sc., MD CM, FRCP(C), brings to the Alliance Co-ordinating Office (ACO) over 35 years of infectious disease experience in the areas of research, clinical care, public health policy and program development. He is an accomplished public health expert, having served in many senior capacities and leadership roles at provincial and national levels. Dr. Hammond received his training at the universities of McGill, Alberta, Toronto and Manitoba, as well as at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Hammond's publication record is extensive, in the fields of sexually transmitted infections, diagnostic microbiology and immunization. He is a Professor, in the Departments of Medical Microbiology and Medicine, University of Manitoba. He is a member of the Canadian Association for Immunization Research and Evaluation (CAIRE). He is a member of the PHAC/CIHR Influenza Research Network (PCIRN), which conducts clinical trials of influenza vaccines across Canada.
Dr. Hammond has broad experience in public service including: Head, Virus Detection Unit, and Director, Cadham Provincial Public Health Laboratory, Manitoba; He was a member of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), He has served as Director of Communicable Disease Control and Director of the Public Health Branch (Manitoba Health). He was a member of the WHO's Technical Logistics Advisory Committee (TLAC) on immunization. Dr. Hammond is currently a clinical consultant with the Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Health Sciences Centre and Grace General Hospital. and a public health consultant. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg West and a supporter of the Rotary International Polio Plus Program.
Dr. Hammond has been involved with HIV/AIDS, including leading the initial introduction of HIV testing in Manitoba through serving as Chair of the Manitoba AIDS Advisory Committee which developed guidelines and education for HIV testing and interpretation of results, serving as a member of an ad hoc committee on HIV Seroprevalence Surveys (Federal Centre for AIDS), and as a member of the Minister of Health (Manitoba) Advisory Committee on AIDS. Dr. Hammond was an external accreditation member of the HIV Reference Laboratory of Health Canada and Health Canada HIV Laboratory. He was the Manitoba member of the Canadian Blood Agency, and was one of three provincial government representatives selected to participate in a national working group to develop and transition to a new model of blood services delivery, which formulated the Canadian Blood Services, following the Krever Inquiry (The Commission of Enquiry of the Blood System in Canada).
Dr. Hammond's leadership roles include serving as Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control and Chair of its References Services Subcommittee. President and Treasurer of the Canadian Infectious Diseases Society (forerunner of AMMI), President and Executive Committee member of the Canadian Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, provincial Co-Chair of the National Immunization Strategy (NIS), Co-Chair of the Canadian Immunization Committee (CIC), and the Manitoba representative on the Public Health Network's Communicable Disease Control Expert Group. Dr. Hammond is a board member and Chair of the Nominations Committee of the Pan Provincial Vaccine Enterprise (PREVENT), which works with three universities (British Columbia, Dalhousie, and Saskatchewan) to accelerate early candidate vaccine development.
Throughout his career, Dr. Hammond's strengths in networking, collaboration and partnership development have been demonstrated through provincial and national public, private, and not-for-profit initiatives. His years of involvement with many committees and working groups has allowed Dr. Hammond to appreciate the value of multiple perspectives on health issues, and to work with a wide range of stakeholders, including governments, academia, health professions, industry, special interest groups and societies. Dr. Greg Hammond has clearly developed the breadth and depth of experience required to lead the ACO in meeting its mandate and in supporting the Canadian HIV Vaccine Initiative (CHVI) in accelerating the development of a safe and effective HIV vaccine by building on Canada's scientific and public health excellence.