Who's Running for ASTMH Board

Posted 14 September 2020

President-Elect Candidates

  • Daniel Bausch, MD, MPH&TM, FASTMH
  • David H. Hamer, MD, FASTMH

Board Member Candidates

  • Lyric C. Bartholomay, PhD
  • Andres G. (Willy) Lescano, PhD
  • Myaing Myaing Nyunt, MD, PhD, MPH
  • Jonathan K. Stiles, PhD

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

  • B. Joanne Power, PhD
  • Amanda Elyssa Ruiz, PhD (Candidate)

President-Elect Candidates

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

David H. Hamer, MD, FASTMH
Boston University School of Public Health, U.S.
View candidate's video here

In my current position, I work at Boston University as a Professor of Global Health and Medicine at the Schools of Public Health and Medicine, a faculty member in the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, and an attending physician in infectious diseases at Boston Medical Center. I am trained as an infectious disease specialist and medical epidemiologist, and I have particular interests in child health, emerging diseases, parasitology, travel medicine, infection control, and antimicrobial resistance.  

During the last twenty years, I have been engaged in field research, mainly implementation science, on the epidemiology of and interventions to reduce morbidity and mortality in pregnant women, newborns, and young children in LMICs. During this period of time, I have supervised and provided technical support to numerous studies in developing countries that evaluated interventions for improving neonatal survival and the treatment and prevention of malaria, HIV/AIDS, micronutrient deficiencies, diarrheal disease, and pneumonia in children. I have had the good fortune to collaborate closely with scientists in many countries in South and Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and South America in addition to scientists from Western Europe, Canada and Australia. While resident in Lusaka, Zambia from 2011 to 2014, I was involved in a number of technical working groups (malaria case management, child health, neonatal health, focused antenatal care and emergency obstetrical and newborn care) for the government of Zambia that helped develop policies, guidelines, and practices for this country. At the international level, I have had the pleasure of helping to provide input to the WHO Global Malaria Program on malaria in pregnancy intermittent preventive treatment strategies.
 
Since 2014 I have served as the principal investigator (and since September 2019 as co-PI with Dr. Michael Libman (McGill, Montreal), for GeoSentinel, a global surveillance network of 68 sites in 28 countries that uses returning travelers, immigrants, and refugees as sentinels of disease emergence and transmission patterns throughout the world. While working with the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network, I have collaborated with highly experienced tropical medicine colleagues in 30 countries. Much of this work has involved identifying outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases in diverse locations and alerting public health authorities in order to facilitate the timely delivery of appropriate interventions. 

I believe that my ongoing activities in research and surveillance can be used to attract new members to ASTMH, enhance collegial networks, and further build the already-excellent global reputation of our Society. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been deeply involved in state, city and hospital level response to the outbreak including the provision of input to the Massachusetts State House, educating the public through the lay press (print, radio, and TV), and serving on COVID-19 response teams (in particular, testing, treatment, and public health response) for Boston Medical Center. More recently, I have been a member of the Medical Advisory Group that has been advising the BU President and his leadership team on strategies for re-opening the university campus.

Board Member Candidates

Lyric C. Bartholomay, PhD
University of Wisconsin-Madison, U.S.
View candidate's video here

#IAmTropMed and I am a Medical and Public Health Entomologist.  My work spans the many contexts of vectors - from physiology and genomics to surveillance, landscape epidemiology and efficacy of control measures, and has facilitated work with ticks, mosquitoes and sand flies, protozoan parasites, filarial worms, and arboviruses. I have been a member of the ASTMH since graduating from Colorado State University in 1998 with a B.S. in Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management (Entomology). My membership was a (very prescient) graduation gift from Dr. Charles Calisher. I went on to study mosquito innate immunity and host-parasite interactions with Dr. Bruce Christensen at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and earned my PhD in 2004. After a brief postdoctoral experience, I was hired as faculty at Iowa State University in the Department of Entomology. There, I continued to conduct basic research on mosquitoes and mosquito-borne pathogens, and ran statewide surveillance programs for mosquitoes and ticks, and associated vector-borne pathogens. My lab showed that mosquito-borne viruses replicate in mosquito blood cells.  We participated in efforts to sequence and describe genomes and transcriptomes of major mosquito vector species.  We developed pioneering approaches to data sharing for vector surveillance efforts, and we revealed landscape determinants of West Nile virus activity.  In 2014, I was hired at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the School of Veterinary Medicine. In 2016, Dr. Susan Paskewitz and I created the Upper Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease - one of five CDC Centers of Excellence on this front. Our Center covers a 5 state area, and brings together vector-borne disease experts in public health, vector control and academia to train next generation public health entomologists, respond to emerging public health threats from vectors, and innovate in the interest of vector-borne disease control. Part of my research program also involves innovation in science education toward teaching and learning with mosquitoes, working with children and families in underserved communities in Iowa and Ecuador. ASTMH is a common thread in all of this work - as a place that has sparked new ideas, and one where I have reconnected with collaborators, forged new collaborations, and had a venue to present the work from my lab. 

Andres G. (Willy) Lescano, PhD
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru
View candidate's video here

I am a Peruvian PhD epidemiologist trained at the Johns Hopkins University and an Associate Professor at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) with adjunct appointments at Johns Hopkins, Tulane, Texas Medical Branch and Wake Forest universities. I have devoted my career to conducting infectious disease research and training future generations of Peruvian and international scientists. I have studied the epidemiology of emerging and parasitic infections including surveillance and outbreak investigations for nearly 30 years, combining my expertise in quantitative methods and biostatistics with immunology, molecular biology and behavioral sciences. This work led to >130 publications in prestigious journals, most in partnership with leading international research groups.

My experience spans from NGOs to the public sector, academia and the US military. I worked 13 years at the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 6 in Lima, Peru, and was Head of the Parasitology Department for my last five years. We took a multidisciplinary approach to study malaria, leishmaniasis and other parasitic diseases that included drug efficacy and resistance research of great clinical and public health impact using advanced molecular epidemiology and immunology methods. I have also served as the Director General of the Peruvian CDC, the National Center for Epidemiology, Disease Control and Prevention, and as a member of the Directive Council of the Peruvian National college licensing board. I am currently serving on Prospectiva, Peru’s COVID-19 advisory group for projections, trends and response. In 2015, I created and currently lead Emerge, the Emerging Diseases and Climate Change Research Unit and in 2019 I formed Clima, the Latin American Center of Excellence for Climate Change and Health, both at UPCH.

Also, I started and direct the Epidemiology Master’s and Doctorate, International Field Epidemiology Institute, and Outbreak Investigation and Response short course, reaching >3000 epidemiologists across the Americas since 2002 through all these efforts. Throughout my career I have been the PI and co-PI of multiple NIH, DoD, Peruvian Science Council, USAID, NSF, UNICEF and WHO/PAHO research and training grants, including a Fogarty Center D43 training grant that began in 2005 and is funded until 2025. My long-term goal is to become a senior, independent investigator and build on international partnerships established over these years to lead long-term emerging diseases research and capacity building efforts in the Americas.

Myaing Myaing Nyunt, MD, PhD, MPH
U.S.
View candidate's video here

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.
View candidate's video here

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

B. Joanne Power, PhD
Pennsylvania State University, U.S.
View candidate's video here

My name is Joanne Power and I am currently a Postdoctoral Scholar at Pennsylvania State University in the USA. I joined the lab of Dr Scott Lindner in August 2019 as part of a NIH-funded (R01) project to study the molecular mechanisms of Plasmodium transmission. I am originally from Ireland and have a BSc (Hons) degree from University College Dublin in Biomedical, Health and Life Sciences (graduating in 2013). From Dublin, I then moved to the United Kingdom where I began a 4-Year Wellcome Trust PhD Programme at the University of Glasgow, graduating with a Research Masters (MRes) in 2014 and a PhD in Infection and Immunology in 2019.

My PhD research was undertaken in the laboratory of Prof Andy Waters at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Parasitology (WCIP). My PhD thesis is entitled “Epigenomics and gametocytogenesis in the rodent malaria model, Plasmodium berghei.” During my PhD, I used a rodent malaria model to study epigenetic changes that contribute to sexual commitment and development in the Plasmodium parasite. This is a potential bottleneck in the parasite life cycle that is a target for transmission-blocking drugs and vaccines. At Penn State, my focus has remained on identifying Plasmodium transmission-blocking targets. I now work with a second rodent malaria model, Plasmodium yoelii, and I have expanded from focusing solely on gametocytogenesis to a study of the entire transmission cycle through the Anopheles mosquito host, including transmission of the parasite from mosquito back into mammalian host. Beginning in August 2020, I have also become a voluntary research assistant at Penn State, processing human blood samples as part of the “Centre County COVID-19 Data 4 Action Project”, a Penn State-driven longitudinal study of COVID-19 impact and immunity in Centre Country, Pennsylvania. 

During my PhD, in addition to experimental work, I became heavily involved in public engagement and science communication. In the UK, I was part of a nationwide “STEM ambassador” programme, visiting schools and summer camps to teach children about infectious diseases and science. I was also the General Secretary for ScienceGrrl Glasgow, a local branch of the UK-wide ScienceGrrl movement to promote women and girls in science. For three years, I maintained this position, set up monthly meetings and organized events at local festivals and the Glasgow Science Centre. For two years, I was also the social media manager and a conference assistant for Biotexcel, a consulting company that organizes genomics conferences across the UK and Europe. Most recently, I became an Early Career Panelist of the Infectious Diseases Hub, a branch of the Future Science Group publishers, headquartered in London, UK. For this group in 2019, I authored the parasitology information for the “Glossary for Antimicrobial Resistance” in association with Future Microbiology. At present, I continue in a science communication role by maintaining the “Women in Malaria Research” website and I work on this initiative with Dr Elena Gómez-Díaz, a fellow malaria researcher working at the Instituto de Parasitología y Biomedicina "López - Neyra" (IPBLN) in Granada, Spain.      

Amanda Elyssa Ruiz, PhD (Candidate)
Brown University, U.S.
View candidate's video here

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.