May 29, 2017

Keynote Speakers

Bart Knols

Bart Knols (PhD, MBA) is a Medical/Public Health entomologist, science manager, University lecturer and science writer/journalist with broad interest and experience in development issues, the environment, global and public health and infectious diseases management in the (sub)tropics, and with special interest in research and training on the biology, behavioural ecology and integrated (genetic) control of vectors of mosquito-borne diseases, especially malaria and dengue/CHIKV/Zika. He has lived and worked in east- and southern Africa for 11 years, has worked for the United Nations (IAEA), and has published more than 140 scientific articles, 4 books and 19 book chapters in his field of work. Bart received an IgNobel Prize in 2006 and the Eijkman medal (the highest award in the Netherlands in the field of tropical medicine and international health in 2007).  He is also a founder of MalariaWorld, the world’s social and scientific network for malaria professionals with more than 9400 members in 140 countries.

John Penders

John Penders (PhD) is Associate Professor in Epidemiology and Medical Microbiology at Maastricht University. His primary research interests are microbial ecology in health and disease, metagenomics and molecular epidemiology.

His research focuses on the gut microbiota composition in health and disease, host-microbial interactions as well as the role of indigenous microbiota as an antimicrobial resistance reservoir. John is involved in several large observational and intervention studies, related to the gastrointestinal microbiota and antimicrobial resistance.

One of his current projects is the COMBAT-study, initiated in 2012, which focusses on the acquisition of multidrug resistant bacteria among long-distance travelers. Furthermore, he received a grant in 2015, together with researchers from McMaster University (Canada) and Charite University (Germany), to study the impact of early life nutrition in the establishment of the infant microbiome.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen

Till Bärnighausen is Alexander von Humboldt University Professor and Director of the Institute of Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Germany. He is also Adjunct Professor of Global Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Senior Faculty at the Wellcome Trust’s Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa. He previously worked as physician in Germany, China, and South Africa; as management consultant for McKinsey & Company; and as professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Till’s research focuses on establishing the causal impact of global health interventions on population health, social and economic outcomes. In particular, he works on large-scale population health interventions for HIV, diabetes, hypertension, and vaccine-preventable diseases. His research has been funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Wellome Trust, NIH (including 5 R01 grants), the European Union, ANRS, 3ie, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Rush Foundation, USAID, UNAIDS, World Bank, and GAVI. In 2016, Till received the Alexander von Humobldt Professor Award, Germany’s most highly endowed international science price.

He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles, which have been cited more than 8,000. Till’s h-index is 48.

Till is a medical specialist in Family Medicine and holds doctoral degrees in International and Population Health (Harvard) and History of Medicine (University of Heidelberg), as well as master degrees in Health Systems Management (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) and Financial Economics (SOAS, University of London).

Dr. Gijs van Well

Gijs van Well works as a Pediatrician and Consultant of Immunology
and Infectious Diseases at Maastricht UMC+ since 2007.
He obtained his MD at the University of Amsterdam in 1999 and has been trained in Pediatrics at UMC Utrecht/Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital (Board Certification 2004).
In the following years he combined his training in pediatric infectious diseases and immunology with PhD research at VU University in Amsterdam. In 2006 he was registered as consultant and in 2012 he concluded his PhD-thesis on innate immunity in (myco-) bacterial meningitis. Part of the research was performed in Cape Town, South Africa.
In Maastricht UMC+ he treats children with immunological disorders and severe infections and he acts as a regional consultant for the south-east region of The Netherlands.
His current research interest aims at the developing immune system, genetically predisposed immune deregulation and the interpretation of molecular diagnostics in infectious diseases in children, especially diarrheal diseases in children, still responsible for a large burden of disease and mortality worldwide.
He actively participates in the education of medical students in the bachelor and master phase at the Maastricht University, as well as in the national education program of Immunology and Infectious Diseases for pediatric residents and pediatricians.
Besides his clinical and academic role, he acts as Director of the Pediatric Residency Training Program and vice-Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Maastricht UMC+.