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Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation - Call 1 Funding Committee


Published: 02 August 2019

Version: 1.0 - August 2019

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NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) convenes independent committees to assess applications for funding.


Professor Tom Solomon is the Chair of RIGHT Funding Committee Call 1.

Deputy Chair





Dr Marie - Paule Kieny

Director of Research 

INSERM, France

Dr Kieny is Director of Research at Inserm in France and the Chair of the Board of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi, Switzerland) and of the Medicines Patent Pool Foundation. She spent the majority of her career with WHO. She served as WHO Assistant Director-General from 2010 to 2017, with a portfolio focusing on Health Systems and Innovation. Key successes under her leadership roles at WHO include the development and licensing of new vaccines against bacterial meningitis, addressing global supply of pandemic influenza vaccine especially in developing countries through technology transfer and manufacturing, and vaccines against poverty-related diseases.

Funding Committee





Professor Pamela Abbott

Director of the Centre for Global Development

University of Aberdeen, UK

Professor Abbott has experience in development studies, community health, mixed methods research, gender, wellbeing and quality of life. Her research interests are in gender, quality of life and social, economic and political transformations. 

Dr Mary Amuyunzu-Nyamongo 

Founder Director and Technical Adviser

African Institute for Health and Development, Kenya

Dr Amuyunzu-Nyamongo holds a PhD in Social Anthropology and is currently the Executive Director and co-founder of the AIHD in Kenya that conducts research, training and advocacy on health and development issues. Her areas of work include HIV/AIDS, gender, youth, mothers and children under five, rural and urban poverty, and health promotion in general.

Professor Ben Anderson

Professor of Surgery and Global Health Medicine; Chair and Director, Breast Health Global Initiative

University of Washington, USA

Dr. Anderson is an internationally recognized leader in global cancer control. He created in 2002 and chairs the Breast Health Global Initiative, a unique program to develop “resource-stratified” guidelines for breast cancer early detection, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care in low- and middle-income countries. He co-chairs the Breast Cancer Initiative 2.5, a global campaign to reduce disparities in breast cancer outcomes for 2.5 million women in the next decade. His areas of expertise include international breast health care, implementation science focusing on low- and middle-income countries, multidisciplinary and oncoplastic surgical techniques for breast conservation therapy, lobular carcinoma in situ, Paget's disease of the breast, phyllodes tumors of the breast, management of the high-risk breast cancer patients, and neoadjuvant therapy for breast cancer.

Professor Marcello Barcinski

Emeritus Professor 

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Professor Barcinski is an MD and PhD with post-medical and post-doctoral training at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, NY, and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, US.  His areas of expertise include Immunology, Research Administration and Parasitology.

Dr Warren Boling

Professor and Department Chairman, Neurosurgery

Loma Linda University Health, USA

Dr Boling has served in a number of key clinical, academic, research and leadership roles. He developed the first comprehensive epilepsy program in West Virginia and the first surgery for epilepsy program in East Africa.  He has a particular interest in improving the lives of people with epilepsy and in elevating the medical and surgical treatment of neurological diseases in underserved regions of the world.

Professor Kalipso Chalkidou

Professor of Practice in Global Health; Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development

Imperial College London, UK

Professor Chalkidou has been involved in the Chinese rural health reforms and in national health reform projects in Colombia, Turkey and the Middle East, working with the World Bank, PAHO, DFID and the Inter-American Development Bank as well as national governments. Her work concentrates on helping governments build technical and institutional capacity for using evidence to inform health policy as they move towards Universal Healthcare Coverage.

Professor Janaka de Silva

Professor of Medicine

University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Professor de Silva is an academic physician at the University of Kelaniya, Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine at the University of Colombo and Chairman of the National Research Council of Sri Lanka.  His area of specialism is in epidemiology, gastroenterology, and general medicine.

Professor Lara Fairall 

Head of Knowledge Translation Unit and Associate Professor

University of Cape Town, South Africa

Professor Fairall is a clinician scientist and founding head of the KTU. She is an expert in the design and conduct of pragmatic trials in less developed country primary care settings and led 9 trials involving 82,745 patients from 225 clinics across 13 districts in South Africa and Brazil, to investigate how to improve the quality of primary care for priority conditions including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, NCDs and mental health. She has led the development of educational interventions to improve the quality of primary care in South Africa.

Professor Herman  Feldmeier

(Stage 1 assessment only)

Professor of Tropical Medicine

Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany

Professor Feldmeier leads the Epidemiology, Morbidity and Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases Group at the University. His research interests are on skin diseases, in particular Tungiasis and scabies.

Professor Elizabeth (Liz) Grant

Director of the Global Health Academy; Assistant Principal Global Health

University of Edinburgh, UK

Professor Grant, as  Director of the Global Health Academy, is responsible for overseeing the numerous global health initiatives across the University. Her research interests include palliative care, health systems strengthening, healthcare workforce capacity development in low income countries and HIV care and rehabilitation. She is on the Editorial Council of the Journal for Global Health. She worked for the Scottish Government as the Senior Health Advisor for the International Development Team and as a specialist in International Global Public Health for NHS Lothian Public Health Directorate. 

Dr Satish Gopal

Associate Professor

University of North Carolina, Malawi

Dr Gopal is a medical oncologist and infectious diseases physician. He is broadly interested in developing innovative and resource-appropriate approaches to prevent, diagnose, treat, and palliate cancer in the most resource-limited settings in the world. He leads a multidisciplinary research group in Malawi, comprised of senior and junior US and Malawian collaborators, who work toward this overarching goal with many regional and international partners. 

Professor Li Yang Hsu

Associate Professor 

HealthNational University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore

Professor Yang is the Head of Infectious Diseases Programme at NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health and Adjunct Associate Professor at NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. He is a Senior Consultant and Head, Department of Infectious Diseases, Tan Tock Seng Hospital. His main research areas include methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: Genomics and Epidemiology, and Bacterial antibiotic resistance: Epidemiology, Mechanisms, and Intervention.

Professor Dianne McMahon-Pratt

Professor Emeritus of Public Health

Yale University, USA

Professor McMahon-Pratt’s research focus is on Leishmania, which cause a spectrum of diseases known as leishmaniasis (epidemiology, field studies, mouse models). Her laboratory has worked on both Old World and New World species of Leishmania; however, the main emphasis has been New World leishmaniasis. Her contributions to the field of leishmaniasis have been to develop tools for diagnosis and model systems to further our understanding of the disease. 

Professor Moffat Nyirenda

Professor of Medicine  (Global Non-Communicable Diseases) 

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Professor Nyirenda is a Diabetologist/ Endocrinologist. He leads the NCD Phenotype Programme at the MRC/UVRI and LSHTM Uganda Research Unit. His research interests lie in mechanistic understanding of the aetiology of chronic non-communicable diseases. He has particular interest in research capacity building in Africa, and was Director of the Southern Africa Consortium for Research Excellence, funded through the Wellcome Trust’s African Institutions Initiative.

Professor Pierre-Marie Preux

(Stage 1 assessment only)

Vice-President, Research; President of the restricted academic council

Université de Limoges, France 

Professor Preux is a neurologist, epidemiologist, and tropical medicine specialist. His research interests include neurodegenerative diseases and the epidemiology of epilepsy, in particular the evaluation of new intervention strategies for better patient management, particularly in Cambodia and Laos. He is also interested in the global epidemiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Dr Paul Saunderson

(Stage 1 assessment only)

Medical Director 

American Leprosy Missions, Norway

Dr Saunderson is a clinician. He has been involved in leprosy work since 1981. Hel serves on several WHO advisory and technical committees and is a member of the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations Technical Commission. His areas of expertise include program management, training and clinical aspects of leprosy and Buruli ulcer, including the prevention of disability.

Professor Wendy van de Sande

Associate Professor

Erasmus University Medical Centre, Netherlands

Professor van de Sande’s expertise is on fungal infections, particularly mycetoma. She is a convener of the mycetoma working group of ISHAM (International Society for Human and Animal Mycology) and is on the steering committee of the global mycetoma working group. She is developing novel diagnostic assays for the most common causative agents which are currently also used in endemic region.

Professor Jo Wilmshurst

Head of Department  Paediatric Neurology

University of Cape Town, South Africa

Professor Wilmshurst attained specialisation in paediatrics and sub-specialisation in paediatric neurology in the UK and South Africa. She is a member of the executive board of Paediatric Neurology and Development Association of Southern Africa (PANDA-SA) and the African Child Neurology Association (ACNA). She is also the President of the International Child Neurology Association and Director of the African Paediatric Fellowship Program, a training program under the auspices of the University of Cape Town which aims at developing skills in paediatric disciplines of doctors from across Africa.

Reviewers members of the public

  • Mr David Chandler

  • Mrs Una Rennard.