top of page

Keynote Speakers


What COVID-19 Taught Us About Pandemic Preparedness

Nahid Bhadelia, MD, MALD 
Founding Director, Boston University Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy and Research

Dr. Bhadelia is the founding director of BU Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy and Research. She is a board-certified infectious diseases physician and an Associate Professor at the BU School of Medicine. She served the Senior Policy Advisor for Global COVID-19 Response for the White House COVID-19 Response Team in 2022-2023.

Between 2011-2021, Dr. Bhadelia helped develop and then served as the medical director of the Special Pathogens Unit (SPU) at Boston Medical Center, a medical unit designed to care for patients with highly communicable diseases, and a state designated Ebola Treatment Center. She is a faculty member with and was also previously an associate director for BU’s maximum containment research program, the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories. She has provided direct patient care, and been part of outbreak response and medical countermeasures research during multiple Ebola virus disease outbreaks in West and East Africa between 2014-2019. She was the clinical lead and a senior advisor for a DoD-funded viral hemorrhagic fever clinical research unit in Uganda, entitled Joint Mobile Emerging Disease Intervention Clinical Capability (JMEDICC) program between 2017 and 2022. In 2022, she also served as the testing coordinator for the White House MPOX Response Team. Currently, she is a co-director of Fogarty funded, BU-University of Liberia Emerging and Epidemic Viruses Research training program. She is part of the World Health Organization(WHO)’s Technical Advisory Group on Universal Health and Preparedness Review (UHPR) and a member of the steering committee for Massachusetts Consortium for Pathogen Readiness. 

Dr. Bhadelia’s research focuses on global health security and pandemic preparedness, including medical countermeasure evaluation and clinical care for emerging infections, diagnostics evaluation and positioning, infection control policy development, and healthcare worker training. She has health system response experience with pathogens such as H1N1, Zika, Lassa fever, Marburg virus disease, and COVID-19 at the state, national, and global levels. 

Dr. Bhadelia has served on state, national, and interagency groups focused on biodefense priority setting, development of clinical care guidelines, and medical countermeasures research. She has served as a subject matter expert to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense (DoD), White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and World Bank. She is an adjunct professor at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University since 2016, where she teaches on global health security and emerging pathogens. 

She has publications in Nature, Science, New England Journal of Medicine and other prestigious journals, as well as in press including Washington Post, and The Atlantic and Time magazines. Her work has been featured in documentaries by National Geographic as well as NOVA. She was an NBC/MSNBC Medical contributor 2020-2022.


The Landscape of Clinical Trials of Vaccines to Prevent Gonococcal Infection

Jodie A. Dionne, MD, MSPH, FIDSA
Associate Professor in Infectious Diseases
Chief of Women’s Health, 1917 HIV Clinic
Associate Director of Global Health
Center for Women’s Reproductive Health
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. Jodie Dionne is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Chief of Women’s Health at the 1917 HIV clinic, and a clinician investigator in Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Her research is focused on designing clinical trials to identify new options to treat and prevent syphilis, gonorrhea, and other infections in women and pregnancy. Active studies in Cameroon and Zambia focus on preventing bacterial STI acquisition in pregnant women with HIV (PREMISE RCT), defining the maternal and infant immune response to syphilis (SIPS Cohort Study), and preventing vertical transmission of hepatitis B (REVERT-B RCT) with support from NICHD and NIAID. Dr. Dionne is also site PI at UAB for the Phase II RCT testing the efficacy of Meningococcal Group B Vaccine rMenB+OMV NZ (Bexsero) in preventing gonorrhea and a multicenter Phase III RCT testing the efficacy of oral zoliflodacin treatment in adults with uncomplicated gonococcal infection.


25th Year of the MLST

Martin C.J. Maiden, PhD, FRCPath, FMedSci
Professor of Molecular Epidemiology, Fellow of Hertford College
Head of Section, Microbiology and Infectious Disease
Department of Biology, University of Oxford

After an initial training in microbiology at the University of Reading, Martin’s graduate studies at the University of Cambridge pioneered the investigation of sugar transport proteins in Escherichia coli with sequence-based approaches, work which established the close relationship of bacterial and eukaryotic transport proteins.  After a two-year MRC Training Fellowship in Cambridge, he began his independent research career at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, where he remained for nine years as a group leader focussing on the application of molecular and population biology to vaccines against Neisseria meningitidis.  In 1997, after a year’s sabbatical in Berlin as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, he moved to the University of Oxford, as a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow, further expanding the population and evolutionary aspects of his work and establishing the MLST paradigm in 1998.  In 2004 he was appointed Professor of Molecular Epidemiology at Oxford and a Fellow of Hertford College.  He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology, the Royal College of Pathologists, and the Royal Society of Biology.  He was the Microbiology Society Marjory Stephenson Prize Lecturer for 2020 and Senior Proctor of the University of Oxford 2019-2020.

Martin has, for 40 years, investigated the phenotypic consequences of bacterial diversity.  His group continues to develop population genomics approaches, studying the relationships of genetic traits with defined bacterial phenotypes.  He has published more than 350 articles in peer-reviewed international journals and around 60 book chapters and other publications, spanning a range of microbial pathogens, but especially the pathogenic members of the genera Neisseria and Campylobacter.  He is an active teacher, communicator and academic administrator.


On the Cusp of a World Without Epidemic Meningitis

Marie-Pierre Preziosi, MD, PhD
Lead Meningitis, Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals
Co-Lead R&D Blueprint for action to prevent epidemics
Universal Health Coverage Life Course Division, World Health Organization

After a medical degree from the University of Lyon and a doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Bordeaux (France), Marie-Pierre trained in tropical medicine at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (Belgium) and in field epidemiology at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta (USA). Her interest in vaccines began with Hib vaccine studies at Pasteur Mérieux before joining the Research Institute for Development and spending several years in rural Senegal conducting pertussis vaccine trials. She then pursued pertussis vaccination research as a visiting assistant professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta (USA). In 2003, she joined the Meningitis Vaccine Project at the World Health Organization. The project, a partnership between WHO and PATH, aimed to eliminate epidemic meningitis as a public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa through the development, testing, introduction, and widespread use of meningococcal conjugate vaccines. She first served as the Director of Clinical Development and was then appointed Project Director (2012-2014). She currently provides overall leadership and support to the WHO Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030, endorsed by the 73rd World Health Assembly (November 2020), while also leading and promoting specific areas on meningitis vaccination. She also provides technical co-leadership of the Research and Development Blueprint for action to prevent epidemics, a comprehensive strategy that aims to accelerate global research and the availability of effective diagnostics, drugs and vaccines to prevent and respond to epidemics worldwide.

bottom of page