Published On: July 28, 2023

END-VOC’s IAB is composed by five amazing scientists from different disciplines and nationalities.

Independent advisory boards (IAB) play a crucial role in European projects such as END-VOC. Their main function is to critically assess project plans, monitor progress, and evaluate outcomes objectively. By offering independent perspectives, they can identify potential challenges, propose innovative solutions, and make strategic recommendations to optimise the implementation of the project.

END-VOC is lucky to have five extraordinary experts from different backgrounds and nationalities in its advisory board. All five travelled to Barcelona for the project’s annual meeting in June and provided valuable feedback on the consortium’s progress and challenges.


An internationally renowned expert in infectious respiratory diseases 

Professor John Watson (MB, BS, MSc) chairs the IAB and is a recognised expert in infectious respiratory diseases. For many years, he led the Respiratory Diseases Department of Public Health England, overseeing the surveillance, prevention, and control of infectious respiratory diseases. He was also Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England and Senior Medical Adviser to Public Health England. He holds several prestigious positions, such as Visiting Chair at University College London, Honorary Chair at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. But his contributions go beyond the UK: he is part of the WHO Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework (PIP) Advisory Group, which focuses on preparing for potential influenza pandemics, and a member of the WHO Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO).


An epidemiologist with a multidisciplinary background

Delphine Antoine (PhD, MSc, nurse) is a highly versatile epidemiologist thanks to her multidisciplinary background in nursing, demography and sociology. She currently works as a consultant in public health training and ethics at the French Public Health Institute (Santé Publique, France). Throughout her career she has gained extensive experience in the prevention and control of infectious diseases, particularly tuberculosis. In fact, she contributed to tuberculosis surveillance in Europe through the EuroTB programme. She has also conducted psychiatry and drug abuse studies for the French Ministry of Health. Her expertise ranges from epidemiological surveillance, tuberculosis, migrant health, public health and epidemiological training, to public health ethics.


An experienced virologist

Richard Molenkamp (PhD) has a long history with viruses of all kinds: from coronaviruses and arteriviruses to yellow fever, Lassa and hepatitis C viruses. He currently heads the Molecular Diagnostics Department at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, and acts as a focal point for the WHO and the ECDC. He has helped to develop and validate diagnostic tests for clinically relevant viruses and has trained many Dutch medical molecular microbiologists. Today, his main area of interest are emerging viruses in general, and arboviruses (those transmitted by insects and other arthropods) in particular. He has contributed significantly to the field of virology through his research, diagnostic developments, and collaborations with national and international organizations.


An accomplished infectious disease physician and epidemiologist

Andre Siqueira (MD, MsC, PhD) has dedicated his career to studying and understanding infectious diseases that are prevalent in South America, particularly those that cause fever such as malaria, dengue, chikungunya, and respiratory viral infections. Based in Brazil, he has played a leading role in various research projects such as the Clinical and Applied Research Network in Chikungunya (REPLICK), and has been involved in the ABRACAMAL multicentre study, which aims to understand the causes of treatment failure in malaria across different sites in Brazil. He has also served on several national and international scientific advisory boards in his field.


A public health leader tackling poverty, inequality and health transitions

Stephen Tollman (MA, MPH, MMED, PhD) is a leading expert on the health challenges of rural areas characterised by poverty, inequality and complex health transitions. His academic journey took him from medical school in South Africa, to philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford, UK, and public health at Harvard, USA. Back in South Africa, he founded the MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit and established a world-class research platform (Agincourt HDSS) covering over 120,000 people in rural villages and supporting a wide range of studies. He is currently a Research Professor Witwatersrand University in South Africa and is affiliated with the Harvard Center for Population & Development. He has played a major role in global research networks such as INDEPTH, which promotes research from the Global South, and SAPRIN, a South African network focused on reducing health inequalities.


This is their message:

 It is a privilege to act as members of the END-VOC IAB. As a group of people who have worked in a variety of fields relevant to the project’s work and as individuals who have worked in public health at a national and international level, we hope that our experience will enable us to appreciate the challenges faced by the END-VOC team, and to see the wider global health picture to which the END-VOC international collaboration has the potential to contribute in such an important way

The END-VOC consoritum is very grateful for their guidance and commitment!