Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim
UNAIDS Special Ambassador and Professor in Clinical Epidemiology at Columbia University, USA and Pro-Vice Chancellor for African Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal

Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim is an NRF A-rated scientist, infectious diseases epidemiologist and Associate Scientific Director of CAPRISA. Her research for the past 28 years has focused on HIV infection in adolescent girls and young women. This includes the conduct of clinical trials from early phase, through proof of concept and implementation of new discoveries.

She has been actively involved in the NIH funded prevention networks. She was co-chair of the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) from 2006 to 2012 and continues to be involved at a leadership level. She was also the PI of the Columbia University - Southern African Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Programme (CU-SA Fogarty AITRP) that focused on establishing a strong science base and increasing the capacity to conduct clinical RCTs to highest international scientific and ethical standards.

She is Professor in Clinical Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, USA and is Pro-Vice Chancellor for African Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. 

Abdool Karim is the UNAIDS Special Ambassador for Adolescents and HIV, a member of the UNAIDS Scientific Expert Panel and Scientific Advisor to the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Scientific Advisory Board member of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), member of the MACAIDS Foundation Board; Deputy-Chair of the Board of the South African Medical Research Council where she also chairs the Research and Development Committee.

Professor Mel Ziman
Associate Dean of Research, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University

Professor Mel ZimanProfessor Ziman has been the Associate Dean of Research in the School of Medical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia since 2016, where she is also Leader of the Melanoma Research Group, and past Chair of the University Human Research Ethics Committee. 

The Melanoma Research Group have developed blood tests for the diagnosis and prognosis of melanoma in collaboration with world leading clinicians, researchers, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The tests are the subject of patent applications and have been, in some cases, adopted for routine clinical testing in Western Australia. The adoption of these tests worldwide will assist with melanoma detection and monitoring to improve patient outcomes.

Professor Ziman and her team have secured continuous funding for their melanoma research since 2010, with over AUD $8 million from state and federal national funding agencies, and international pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Professor Ziman She was an invited visiting Professor to Harvard Medical School in 2017 and visiting Professor to University of Mauritius in 2018. She is also chair and member of the scientific advisory boards of the Cancer Council of Western Australia, and a member of the Australian Parliamentary Standing Committee on Skin cancer. In 2018 she was awarded a Women in Technology WA (WiTWA) '20 in 20' Award and a Vice Chancellery Excellence Award for her Research. She has been a member of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant review panel since 2010 and frequently reviews grants for national and international agencies, as well as articles for high-impact international journals and theses for high-ranking universities in Australia. 

Dr Laurent Musango
World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative in Mauritius

Laurent Musango Dr Musango has been the WHO Country Representative in Mauritius since October 2016. A medical doctor since 1992 (MD), Dr Musango holds a Master in Public Health (MPH) and a PhD in Health Economics. From 1994 to 2003, he was a district medical officer involved in health systems reforms in Rwanda. He is a pioneer in the design and implementation of national health insurance towards Universal Health Coverage and performance-based financing in Rwanda and Sub-Saharan Africa.

From 2004 to 2007, Dr Musango was Dean of the School of Public Health at the National University of Rwanda (now University of Rwanda).

From September 2007 to August 2016, he was a regional advisor in charge of Health Financing and Social Protection respectively at the in the WHO Inter Country support team in Gabon and at the Regional Office for Africa (AFRO) in Congo.

Dr Archana Bhaw-Luximon
Associate Professor, Center for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research, University of Mauritius

Dr Archana Bhaw-LuximonDr Bhaw-Luximon was one of the first PhDs in the field of Polymer Chemistry at the University of Mauritius, where she leads the Biomaterials, Drug Delivery and Nanotechnology Unit at the Center for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research (CBBR). 

Created in 2011, the main focus of the unit is the use of biomaterials from land and marine resources to address diabetic wound healing, skeletal tissue regeneration targeting the aging population, and cancer regenerative medicine. 

Dr Bhaw-Luximon is also a Visiting Professor at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University in Hangzhou, China. This post began in 2018 and will continue until 2021.

Bilal Anwar
General Manager, The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub

Bilal AnwarBilal Anwar is an international climate change policy professional, with 18 years' experience in the United Nations (UN) inter-governmental climate change negotiations process, international climate finance policy development, and implementation of global scale multi-stakeholder climate finance and sustainability programmes.

He currently heads up The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub, which has its headquarters in Mauritius and country support programmes in a number of Commonwealth member countries.

Previously, he served as a team leader in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) team from 2000 to 2010 in Bonn, Germany, providing policy options and operational approaches in the development of the global carbon market.

From 2010 to 2015, he led the Sustainability, Environmental Management and Climate Change business division of a private sector company in London, UK, and the United States of America.

Dr Nicki Tiffin
Associate Professor, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Town (UCT)

Dr Nicki TiffinDr Nicki Tiffin started her research career with a PhD in paediatric molecular genetics, and molecular endocrinology research, before focusing on health genomics and bioinformatics approaches to investigating disease in African populations, as well as related ethical issues.

She completed a Masters in Public Health in epidemiology, and worked on secondment at the Western Cape Government Health Department to assist with developing the infrastructure and governance for the Provincial Health Data Centre. Nicki is currently part of the data integration platform with CIDRI-Africa and the division of Computational Biology at UCT.

Dr Kavi Khedo
Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Mauritius

Dr Kavi KhedoDr Kavi Kumar Khedo is an Associate Professor at the University of Mauritius and has a PhD in Computer Science.

Dr Khedo is committed to carrying out cutting-edge applied research that has real societal, environmental, and economic impact. Much of his work has focused on how ICT can be used to improve the quality of life, care, and safety of the Mauritian people.

He has published more than 50 research papers on mobile computing, ubiquitous computing, health informatics, and wireless sensor networks in renowned journals and has presented his research at several international conferences. He has also served on numerous editorial boards of distinguished international journals such as IEEE Sensors, WILEY International Journal on Communication Systems, and the International Journal of Sensor Networks.