2020 Elected Officers

Posted 14 September 2020

President-Elect

  • Daniel Bausch, MD, MPH&TM, FASTMH

Board Members

  • Myaing Myaing Nyunt, MD, PhD, MPH
  • Jonathan K. Stiles, PhD

Board Member Representing Students, Trainees, Residents or Post-docs

  • Amanda Elyssa Ruiz, PhD (Candidate)

President-Elect 

Daniel Bausch, MD, MPH&TM, FASTMH
UK Public Health Rapid Support Team, U.K

I am a physician-researcher trained in internal medicine, infectious diseases, tropical medicine, and public health. I specialize in the research and control of emerging tropical viruses, with over 25 years’ experience in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Asia combating viruses such as Ebola, Lassa, hantavirus, SARS coronavirus and, of course, now COVID-19. 

My career has provided me the opportunity to work in diverse settings in tropical medicine and global health worldwide. These include posts training young health promoters in post-war El Salvador with a small NGO, providing clinical care and conducting prospective hypothesis-based research in academia (Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans) and conducting applied laboratory and field research, confronting outbreaks, and leading global health programs with large governmental and international organizations (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6, Lima, Peru: and the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland). I presently serve as the Director of the United Kingdom Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK-PHRST), the primary arm of the UK Government for response, research, and capacity building to confront outbreaks of infectious diseases around the world, particularly in low-income settings. The UK-PHRST is a novel government-academia collaboration, co-led by the UK National Institute for Health Protection and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. I hold appointments at both institutions, based in London and Geneva.

In addition to the full-time posts detailed above, I have been a frequent consultant for the United Nations, U.S. National Institutes of Health, and World Health Organization. I have significant teaching experience, regularly teaching courses in Tropical Virology, Emerging Pathogens, and Health and Human Rights while at Tulane University, and mentoring trainees ranging from undergraduate students to doctoral students and post-docs working on a broad range of tropical medicine and global health projects over the last 25 years. I am an internationally recognized expert in viral hemorrhagic fevers, emerging diseases, and outbreak response, and a regularly invited speaker at high-level international conferences and with the media. I place a strong emphasis on capacity building in all my projects and have a keen interest in the role of the scientist in promoting health and human rights. My international work is facilitated by my fluency in English (native language), French, and Spanish

Board Members


Myaing Myaing Nyunt, MD, PhD, MPH
U.S.

Myaing Myaing Nyunt was born and raised in Myanmar, where she completed 5 years of medical school before getting caught up in national protests and fleeing to the Myanmar-Thailand border with thousands of her fellow student activists. After two years on the border and then living as an illegal immigrant in Thailand before seeking asylum in England, she emigrated to the United States and became a citizen. Dr. Nyunt completed premedical studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and received an MD from George Washington School of Medicine and an MPH and a PhD in Clinical Investigation from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. After clinical training in General Medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, she completed a fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Nyunt was an Assistant Professor of International Health at Johns Hopkins and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

In 2017 she joined the Duke Global Health Institute at Duke University, where she was Associate Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, and Global Health, and founding director of Duke Global Inc. in Myanmar (DGI-Myanmar). A non-governmental research organization affiliated with Duke University, DGI-Myanmar is a translational research and training program focusing on malaria and other infectious diseases in Myanmar and its border regions in China and Bangladesh, supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Open Society Foundations, NIH Fogarty International Center, and the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative. Dr. Nyunt has pioneered a new approach to global health diplomacy in Myanmar, which was ruled by a brutal military dictatorship in isolation from the rest of the world for decades. In 2011, when the country began to show early signs of positive change and engagement with the outside world, she established contact with malaria researchers who had little previous contact with colleagues from the West. She started new training initiatives on ethics and professionalism, targeting public health and medical professionals, scientists and researchers within the Myanmar civilian and military public health sectors.

Dr. Nyunt’s research interests include the evaluation of malaria and co-infections in pregnant women, drug resistant malaria, development and testing of new ultrasensitive molecular, serological and genomic tools for malaria surveillance in support of malaria elimination, geospatial modeling and mapping of malaria to forecast outbreaks, and testing interventions to accelerate malaria elimination. Her research partners include the Ministry of Health and Sports, the Defence Services Medical Research Centre, and numerous NGOs and community-based organizations in Myanmar as well as with the National Institute of Parasitic Diseases in Shanghai, China, and icddr,b in Bangladesh. Her team is based in Yangon, Myanmar, with satellite sites in Myanmar’s Mandalay Region and Rakhine State, areas of Kachin and Shan States bordering China’s Yunnan Province, and the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. Dr. Nyunt has directed one of NIAID’s International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMR) programs based in Myanmar, China and Bangladesh since 2017. 

Jonathan K. Stiles, PhD
Morehouse School of Medicine, U.S.

I was born in Ghana and raised by a father who was a construction engineer and a mother who was a dressmaker. I received preparatory and high school education in Akosombo, a small picturesque town near the Volta lake in the southeastern region. In the 7th grade, I met Dr. Raybould, a renowned medical entomologist who was studying the life cycle of blackflies in his laboratory near my neighborhood. I was awestruck when he showed me his blackfly colony. I wanted to be like him someday. 

I attended the University of Ghana in 1980 where I majored in Zoology and Biochemistry and graduated with honors in 1984. After a mandatory 2year National Service in 1986, I proceeded to pursue a PhD degree in Medical Microbiology at the University of Salford, UK, under the mentorship of Professor (Emeritus) David H. Molyneux and completed the program in 1990. I then undertook 3 postdoctoral positions in microbiology, one in Kenya, another at Université Laval in Quebec, Canada, and a third at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS. While my postdoctoral experience exposed me to some unforeseen challenges of bias and racism, it also taught me resilience and determination to pursue my personal goals.  

I accepted a faculty position at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Atlanta, GA in 1999 mainly due to my admiration of MSM’s mission of serving the underserved and its notable leaders and alumni including two former US Surgeon Generals Drs. David Satcher and Regina Benjamin, and a former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Louis Sullivan, to mention a few.  

As a Professor of Microbiology, I have served in various leadership roles including; Interim Chair of the Microbiology Department, Course director, Director of the NIH/RCMI U54 Investigator Development Core, Principal Investigator of malaria research, Co-Director of the UJMT Fogarty Global Health Fellows Training Program and Co-investigator on the National Research Mentoring Network’s (NRMN) Phase II U01.  I have served on the international boards of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), various NIH study sections and more recently on the ASTMH board. In a way, I turned out to be like Dr. Raybould, deeply committed to eliminating global health disparities through diversification of the biomedical workforce and effective research training and mentoring. 

Research: Over the last 25yrs I have led project teams to develop intervention strategies against cerebral malaria mortality.  Currently, we are utilizing animal and human organoid models to understand pathogen-induced brain injury to develop interventions. My research (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=stiles+jk) has received substantial grant support from the NIH, WHO, Georgia CTSA and ASM yielding over 80 peer reviewed scientific publications, five patents and 136 invited lectures. I serve on editorial boards including PLoS ONE and Journal of Vector Borne Diseases and as adhoc reviewer for various journals including AJTMH, Journal of Neuroinflammation, and FASEB Journal. 

Awards: Include ASM Outstanding Service to the International Board of the ASM in 2012, ASM Outstanding Service Award as Online Mentor (ASM Minority Mentoring Program).  

Bringing these experiences to the ASTMH board will strengthen its overall mission.

On a personal note, I have been married for 31 years to Hannah Addo Stiles, and have 3 adult children. My main hobbies are playing chess, swimming, DIY projects and listening to African and jazz music. 


Board Member Representing Students, Trainees, Residents or Post-docs Candidates


Amanda Elyssa Ruiz, PhD (Candidate)
Brown University, U.S.

Amanda Elyssa Ruiz is a second-year PhD candidate in the laboratory of Dr. Jonathan “Jake” Kurtis at Brown University. Her work focuses on the relationship between protective immune responses to Schistosoma japonicum and naturally acquired resistance to schistosomiasis in populations living in endemic regions. Her goal is to identify putative candidates for the development of a vaccine against both human and bovine schistosomiasis. Because acquired protective immunity to Schistosoma japonicum is mediated by high anti-adult worm IgG and IgE titers, Ms. Ruiz’s work posits that S. japonicum antigens recognized by IgE and IgG immunoglobulins in the sera of resistant individuals from holoendemic regions will inform the development of effective vaccine candidates. The crux of her work is the necessity of a vaccine to accelerate the elimination of both human and buffalo schistosomiasis and, ultimately, the goal is to ameliorate health disparities and economic stagnation in areas where schistosomiasis japonica is endemic. Ms. Ruiz was recently awarded an NIH-NICHD Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research which is slated to start in September 2020.

Ms. Ruiz was also recently elected as an Associate Member of Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Honor Society. Her long-term career goal is to contribute to the understanding of the pathology and molecular mechanisms implicated in zoonotic neglected tropical diseases as a principal investigator and professor. She aspires to develop preventative and therapeutic solutions for humans and animals and to actively incorporate the One Health initiative into the fields of infectious diseases and microbial pathogenesis. Ms. Ruiz earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Barnard College of Columbia University. During her time at Columbia, she conducted research in Dr. Patricia Cortes’ clinical immunology lab at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine and developed a novel system for analyzing the effect of fusion proteins prevalent in patients with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia on the activity of RAG-1 and RAG-2 in V(D)J recombination. Her work resulted in her selection as a semi-finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search National Competition.

During her senior year of undergraduate studies, Ms. Ruiz joined Dr. Megan Sykes’ translational immunology lab at the Columbia University Medical Center where she studied the mechanisms of xenograft tolerance induction in a hybrid pig/human thymus model. As a result of her work in the Sykes lab, she was awarded the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology Thomas and Ronna Klein Summer Scholar Fellowship. Beyond her work in the lab, she is deeply committed to addressing barriers to educational equity and fostering a more diverse and inclusive environment in academia. She currently serves on multiple New York City Department of Education councils. At Brown University, Ms. Ruiz serves as the graduate student representative on the University Diversity Advisory Board, as well as the President of the Brown chapter of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). In her spare time, Ms. Ruiz enjoys playing intramural basketball and walking shelter dogs.