Keynote Speakers

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Professor David L. Heymann

Head and Senior Fellow, Centre on Global Health Security, Chatham House
Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Professor David Heymann is currently Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; head of the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House, London. Previously he was the World Health Organization's assistant director-general for Health Security and Environment, and representative of the director-general for polio eradication. 

From 1998 to 2003, he was Executive Director of the WHO Communicable Diseases Cluster, during which he headed the global response to SARS, and prior to that, he was director for the WHO programme on Emerging and other Communicable Diseases.

Earlier experiences at WHO include chief of research activities in the WHO global programme on AIDS. Before joining WHO he worked for 13 years as a medical epidemiologist in sub-Saharan Africa, on assignment from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he participated in the first and second outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, and supported ministries of health in research aimed at better control of malaria, measles, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. Prior to joining CDC he worked in India for two years as a medical epidemiologist in the WHO smallpox eradication programme.

He is an elected fellow of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (US) and the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK), and has been awarded several public health awards that have provided funding for the establishment of an ongoing mentorship programme at the International Association of Public Health Institutes (IANPHI).


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Professor Debra L. Sudan

Chief, Division of Abdominal Transplant Surgery,Duke University School of Medicine

Professor Debra Sudan chose medicine as her career because it was the perfect way to combine her love of learning and being challenged with her desire to make a positive difference in people's lives. During her general surgery residence in medical school, she gravitated toward transplantation precisely because of the immediate and profound impact it can have on someone’s health and quality of life. After completing a transplant fellowship at the University of Nebraska, she practiced surgery in Omaha, Nebraska for 14 years before coming to Duke to be a leader in its nationally renowned transplant program.

As an abdominal transplant surgeon, she performs surgery on people needing organ transplantation in the abdominal region of the body, with a particular expertise in the areas of liver and small bowel transplants. She sees transplant patients of all ages, but she finds it especially rewarding to take care of paediatric patients.

Transplant patients, in general, tend to be very sick, have a poor quality of life and, without transplant, have little hope of getting better. Having the opportunity to use her skill and expertise to help these children and their families is incredibly gratifying.


Plenary Speakers

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Professor Michael Haglund

Distinguished Professor Neurosurgery, Neurobiology and Global Health, Duke University School of Medicine
Co-Director, Ugandan Neurosurgery Training Programme

Despite being a busy neurosurgeon, Professor Haglund regularly leads teams of medical professionals to countries including Ecuador, Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya to perform complex neurosurgical procedures and establish surgical facilities in-country.

After his first trip to Uganda in 2006, Professor Haglund founded the Duke Global Health PLUS (Placement of Life-Saving Useable Surplus) program. Thus far, the program has provided more than 92 tons of medical equipment and supplies worth $13 million to Uganda and more than $1 million of equipment to Rwanda. He started and co-directs Uganda’s first Neurosurgery Training Program—one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s only neurosurgery residency programs—at Mulago National Referral and Teaching Hospital which has doubled the number of neurosurgeons in Uganda from five to ten, with a goal of 50 by 2030.

In addition, Professor Haglund created a course to train Uganda’s general surgeons in basic lifesaving neurosurgery procedures and has organized surgical camps led by Duke Health professionals to perform surgeries and train Ugandan neurosurgeons, anaesthesiologists, and nursing staff on how to use the surplus equipment, increase their clinical efficiency, and perform more complex surgeries. He has secured grants to conduct research to build surgical and care capacity and, ultimately, a countrywide neurosurgery network.

Professor Haglund has received numerous accolades for his humanitarian work and efforts in global health education, including the Leonard Palumbo Duke University Teaching and Mentoring Award, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Humanitarian Award, and the University of Washington Alumni Humanitarian Award.


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Associate Professor Audrey Chia

Associate Professor of Management & Organization, NUS Business School
Programme Director, NIHA (NUS Initiative to Improve Health in Asia)

In addition to Associate Professor Chia’s appointment with NUS Business School, she holds a joint appointment at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore. Using leadership and change as theoretical foundations, she studies how social and health problems can be addressed by social entrepreneurship and innovative philanthropy. She is interested in multi-sector collaborations that address social and health challenges. She co-directs the NIHA (NUS Initiative to Improve Health in Asia) Healthcare Leadership Programme for senior leaders in the public, private and NGO sectors from 15 countries across Asia. Her health-related research includes studies on improving health at work and evaluation of public-private collaboration for integrated care.

Associate Professor Chia's research on social entrepreneurship and philanthropy has been published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) and by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).  Associate Professor Chia has also presented her work on social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, innovative financing and inclusive growth at meetings of the ADB, OECD, United Nations and the European Union. Her work has also been presented at conferences of the Academy of Management, the Integrated Care Foundation and the World Health Summit.

Associate Professor Chia has consulted for, given talks and conducted executive training on Leadership, Change, Managing in Asia and Diversity & Inclusiveness to international organisations. Associate Professor Chia also directs NUS Business School’s Leadership Development Programme, which attracts participants from five continents. She has received three university awards, two faculty awards and numerous commendations for excellence in teaching.

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Professor Ian Curran

Vice-Dean, Education, Duke-NUS Medical School
Co-Director, Academic Medicine Education Institute (AM.EI)

Professor Curran has a distinguished track record in medical education leadership, policy and professional regulation and is recognised as an expert in the field of medical education and transformational leadership.

Over the last 20 years, he has championed human factors in healthcare, promoted patient safety education and driven clinical service reform. He has been extensively involved in health professions, undergraduate medical education, postgraduate medical education and training, as well as continuing professional development and executive leadership development. He has been a professional regulator, education commissioner, national policy adviser and international consultant in education and leadership development. He has been a clinical adviser to the UK Departments of Health, NHS England and NHS Health Education England.

He was the Distinguished Academician for the Academy of Medicine Singapore when he gave the Inaugural AM.EI Tan Yew Hock Distinguished Lecture at the SingHealth Academia in November 2016. He is a Harvard Macy Scholar (2010) and was appointed as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in Boston, USA in 2017.

Professor Curran has received the prestigious BMJ Award for Excellence in Healthcare Education in 2011 for his work leading London’s Simulation and Technology-Enhanced Learning Initiative (STELI). He received a UK National Clinical Excellence Award in 2010 and the national HSJ Award for Patient Safety in 2009. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 2018 for his pioneering education work supporting development of the East, Central and Southern African College of Physicians. He has been awarded an honorary Fellowship of the Australian Orthopaedic Association and Fellowship of the US Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Closer to home he has also been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore, College of Clinical Educators.