Keynote Speakers

  • Prof. Runjan Chetty
    Chief Medical Officer, Deciphex LTD

Prof. Runjan Chetty is an Anatomical Pathologist/Histopathologist with speciality interests in GI and pancreatic pathology, who has held chairs of Pathology in South Africa and Glasgow. He was most recently the Program Medical Director and Pathologist in Chief at University Health Network and University of Toronto. He also was Head of Translational Pathology at the University of Oxford and Head of Histopathology at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust. He is currently the Chief Medical Officer of Deciphex Ltd, an artificial intelligence and software development company.

  • Prof. Lynn Morris
    Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Innovation, University of The Witwatersrand

Prof. Lynn Morris is Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has a DPhil from the University of Oxford and is Research Professor and Director of the Antibody Immunity Research Unit based at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS). Over the last 28 years she has made significant contributions to understanding the antibody response to HIV and is responsible for performing validated antibody assays for HIV clinical trials. Lynn is an NRF A-rated scientist, has published over 270 papers holding an H-Index of 63 and has featured in the Web of Science list of highly cited researchers. She is a member of Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), the Royal Society of South Africa (FRSSA) and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).

  • Ms. Ela Romanowska
    Director: Innovation Support, University of The Witwatersrand

Ms. Ela Romanowska is the Director of Innovation Support, at Wits Commercial Enterprise (Pty) Ltd, a wholly owned company of the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She is a Registered Technology Transfer Professional with a Master’s degree in Engineering, with 25 years’ experience in deep technology research and development, fundraising, start-ups, early stage investment, as well as intellectual property transacting and management. She has supported innovation across a range of disciplines, from aircraft wing design to off grid power solutions, chemical processing to diagnostic control standards. In her career she has mentored entrepreneurs and supported the experiential learning journeys of more than a dozen individuals in fund management and technology transfer disciplines. Her contribution back into the technology innovation sector includes serving as President of the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) which brings together research and technology managers from across SADC, representing SARIMA on the Association of Technology Transfer Professionals which provides accreditation of professionals in technology transfer, presenting at courses, workshops and conferences, as well serving on boards of incubators and start-up companies. She is passionate about promoting innovation as a driver of economic growth and improving people’s lives, and has been a member of the national panel reviewing the IPR Act and the National Intellectual Property Office as well as National Advisory Council on Innovation task teams, to inform national policy and capacity development in this sector. Ela loves cliffs, mountain trails, sea and sail; supporting young professionals from a range of backgrounds to achieve their potential; and is thrilled to be mum to Refiloe, her teacher in life.

  • Dr. Yenew Kebede Tebeje
    Lead for Laboratory Systems Africa CDC, Ethiopia

Dr. Yenew Kebede Tebeje is a medical microbiologist and public health expert with 20 years of clinical, teaching, laboratory science, research, capacity building, and programme design and management experience. His achievements include building laboratory systems in low-income countries, human resource capacity development, and development of policy frameworks and guidelines that impact laboratory programmes in Africa. Dr. Kebede currently serves as Head of Division of Laboratory Systems at Africa CDC where he leads programmes to strengthen public health laboratory systems and networks in Africa. In this capacity, he coordinates the establishment and strengthening of regional integrated surveillance and laboratory networks, creation of frameworks for cross-border specimen transportation, application of pathogen genomics for public health surveillance, geo-mapping of laboratory functions, implementation of biosafety and biosecurity standards, use of point of care technologies and connected diagnostics to strengthen surveillance at community level, and implementation of laboratory quality management systems. He also leads initiatives by Africa CDC and partners to advance the use of laboratory diagnostics for universal health coverage and implementation of health security in Africa. Before joining Africa CDC, Dr. Kebede worked for more than 12 years as Technical Officer and later as Branch Chief for Laboratory at the US CDC in Ethiopia, where he provided strategic leadership for one of the most successful laboratory systems development programmes of the US CDC. Dr. Kebede worked as assistant lecturer, lecturer and later as assistant professor at Gondar College of Medical Science, University of Gondar. He was recognized several times for his outstanding contributions, including the Mission Honor Award, Meritorious Honor Award and US CDC Center for Global Health Director’s Award. He has written lecture notes on microbiology, immunology and parasitology and authored and co-authored more than 35 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Dr.Kebede holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from Gondar College of Medical Sciences, a master’s degree in medical microbiology from Addis Ababa University, and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Gondar.

  • Prof. Keymanthri Moodley
    Director: Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, Stellenbosch University

Prof. Keymanthri Moodley is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University. In 2017, she was appointed as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Social Medicine, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, USA. Keymanthri is a specialist family physician, bioethicist and has served as a Principal Investigator on clinical trials. She is an NRF rated researcher and has served on the SAMRC Board and the NHREC and in international organisations: WHO, International AIDS Society (IAS), NIH DSMBs and the WHO SAGE Ebola Working Group. The Centre was re-designated as a Collaborating Centre in Bioethics in 2019 by the WHO, one of twelve in the world and the first on the African continent. Keymanthri is a member of ASSAf and completed an Executive MBA in 2015. To date, she has been awarded research and capacity development grants to the approximate value of R40 million. The Centre has trained 40 mid-career professionals from 10 African countries in bioethics and is currently co-presenting an NIH funded Leadership program in Bioethics with 7 PhD trainees. Keymanthri serves on the Scientific Advisory Committee of EDCTP, Netherlands and has served on the Science and Research Working Group of the International Paralympic Committee, Bonn, Germany.

  • Dr. Lindiwe Makubalo
    Director: Assistant Regional Director cluster, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, Congo, Brazzaville

Dr. Makubalo is the Director of the Assistant Regional Director cluster, at the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo. She leads technical teams designed to perform cross cutting technical functions by working closely with countries and programme areas. This cluster focuses on essential functions that prepare WHO and Member States to make evidence-informed, data-driven decisions and harness the cutting-edge research and innovations for the acceleration of health improvements in the African Region. The cluster also coordinates work across the organization related to key strategic priorities: integrated service delivery, diagnostic and laboratory services, and antimicrobial resistance.

Dr. Makubalo is a public health expert who served in the South African public service for over 20 years and led initiatives to advance equitable health access for all. She has occupied senior positions in programme development and implementation as well as policy and legislative reforms. She has rich experience in disease surveillance and data management systems as well as research and innovation management related to tropical diseases and HIV. She previously served at WHO HQ, as Director of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, as well as a sabbatical position in the Special Programme for Research and Development in Tropical Diseases.

Dr Makubalo has served on numerous scientific and advisory boards, bodies and groups such as the South African Medicines Control Council, national ethics councils, several data systems boards, expert group on Oncocerciasis Control, Strategic advisory group on malaria eradication, and as African representative on the UNITAID Board. Most recently she held a diplomatic role as Minister, Health Expert for the South African Government to the United Nations in Geneva where she participated and led development of important policy and resolutions such as the NCD indicators monitoring and Ebola resolutions as chair along with other important activities to strengthen global policy for SDGs and health emergencies.