Our Board’s biographies



Professor Charles Mgone (Chair)

Charles Mgone is Vice Chancellor of Hubert Kairuki Memorial University based in Tanzania. Prior to his new role, he  served as Executive Director of European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) from January 2007 to December 2015. His role was to lead in the coordination of European Member States’ national programmers on poverty-related and neglected disease and work in partnerships with Africa and other parties to accelerate research and development of medical interventions against these diseases. Before joining EDCTP, Charles was the Network Director of the African Malaria Network Trust with responsibility for coordinating the African response to the malaria burden through accelerating the development of malaria vaccines and other interventions. Charles is a strong advocate for African national ownership and local investment in health research.


Professor Ibrahim Abubakar

Ibrahim Abubakar is Director of the UCL Institute for Global Health. He led the UCL Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology, UCL-TB and was a senior investigator at the MRC Clinical Trials Unit. He was head of TB at Public Health England. Prior to his appointment at UCL, he was Professor in Health Protection at the Norwich Medical School. He qualified in medicine in 1992 and initially trained in general medicine before specialising in public health medicine. His academic public health training was undertaken at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Cambridge and the University of East Anglia.  He serves on/chairs several expert/advisory groups for the WHO and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.


Professor Daniel Altmann

Danny Altmann is an active research scientist.  He has run a lab at the Hammersmith Hospital Campus of Imperial College since moving to the site for the opening of the Medical Research Council’s Clinical Sciences Centre in 1994.

His main research interests are the study of adaptive immunity in human disease including severe bacterial infection and autoimmune disease, such as multiple sclerosis.  Danny took two and a half years out of bench research from 2011 to work with the Wellcome Trust on strategy for biomedical research funding initiatives in infection, immunity and population health. He is Editor-in-Chief of ‘Immunology’ and Associate Editor of ‘Vaccine’ journals.

He is a trustee of the Medical Research Foundation.


 Dr Ralph Clemens

Ralf Clemens is Principal and Founder of GRID EUROPE Consulting, a consulting firm specialized in the field of infectious diseases. Mr. Clemens has been working in the vaccine industry since 1988 and has held various senior scientific and business positions such as VP Global Vaccines Development (1991-2000) and VP Vaccines and Pharmaceutical Business (2001-2006) at GSK. Thereafter, he served as VP and Head Global Vaccine Development at Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics (2006-2011), and as SVP and Head for Takeda’s global vaccine division (2012-2015). Mr. Clemens has also been a Senior Advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since 2012. Mr. Clemens has been a member of the CureVac

Supervisory Board since March 2016. Prior to his appointment to the Board, he also served on AREF’s Advisory Panel.


 Dr Wendy Ewart

Wendy Ewart served as Deputy Chief Executive and Chief of Strategy at the Medical Research Council from 2012 until 2014 where she was responsible for the development and communication of its research strategy and impact while directing international policy, including global health, and leading the overall approach to planning and evaluation across the MRC. In this capacity, she was a Director of UK Biobank and the Francis Crick Institute. Prior to this, Wendy was Director of Strategy for the MRC from 2008 with responsibility for the development of the MRC’s Strategic Plan ‘Research Changes Lives’. Before joining the MRC she worked at the Wellcome Trust (1991-2003) managing funding programmes, including those for the developing world and was Head of Research Strategy at the Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College from 2003 to 2008.


Professor Rose Leke

Emeritus Professor Rose Gana Fomban Leke is Professor of Immunology and Parasitology, a Fellow of the Cameroon Academy of Sciences.  Until March 2013 she was Head of Department at the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde 1, and Director of the Biotechnology Centre. She serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Medical Research Institute, IMPM, and serves as Vice President of the Scientific Committee of Cameroon First Lady’s Research Centre (CIRCB). She was invited as the 2014 Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lecturer at the University of Ghana, and was awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa (DSc).

In 2011, she was one of six women who received the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Award for Women, and received the 2012 award for Excellence in Science from The Cameroon Professional Society. She was elected International Honorary Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene ASTMH in 2015. She is a member of the Gairdner Foundation Global Health Award Advisory Committee. She is Executive Director of the Cameroon Coalition against malaria, and  Chair of the Multilateral Initiative in Malaria (MIM) Secretariat.

She was President of the Federation of African Immunological Societies, a Council member of the International Union of Immunological Societies for two terms.

She has served and still serves as a consultant on many committees for the World Health Organization (WHO): the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC), Chair of the African Regional Commission for the Certification of the Eradication of Poliomyelitis (ARCC), a member of the Global Certification Commission (GCC). She has been a member and Chair of the African Advisory Committee for Health Research (AACHR), a member of the Global ACHR, a Board member of the Global Forum for Health Research, and since 2013 serves on the WHO Emergency Committee for Polio eradication.

She has served as Vice-Chair of the Technical Evaluation Reference group (TERG) of the Global Fund, Chair of the Data Management Committee  for a trial on Azithromycin-chloroquine, is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) for Ebola vaccine trials in Guinea. Her research interest is in the immunology of parasitic infections, particularly Malaria. She has a keen interest in Global Health issues, and is very particular about Health Systems Strengthening.


 Mrs Susan Wilkinson

Sue is a Commissioner at Historic England, Deputy Chair of the Churches Conservation Trust and a trustee of the Canal & River Trust. She is also a Board Director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions and was previously a trustee of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.  Sue was a member of the National Trust’s executive board until the end of 2016 and her responsibilities included membership, fundraising, volunteering & participation.  Previously she served on the Visit England board and as a trustee of the Institute of Fundraising.

She is a trustee of the Medical Research Foundation.


Professor Richard A. Adegbola

Professor Richard A. Adegbola, MSc PhD, FIMLS, FRCPath, FRCP (Hon), FAS
Independent Consultant at RAMBICON, Lagos, Nigeria

Professor Richard Adegbola has made an outstanding contribution to global health for more than two decades. He trained as a Microbiologist in Nigeria and in the UK. He has worked in diagnostic microbiology, academia, philanthropy and pharmaceutical industry, across three continents gaining unique and varied experiences. As a scientist he has ensured that his work is of the highest international standard and of great relevance to the needs of developing countries, particularly Africa. The impact of his work from the MRC Unit in The Gambia on Hib and pneumococcal diseases and vaccines is a matter of public record and is well recognized within the field. Hib disease has virtually disappeared from countries in which Hib conjugate vaccines have been introduced, including The Gambia and other countries in Africa, saving many lives and long-lasting disability. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines being introduced into the routine immunisation programmes in Africa are saving even more lives. Richard Adegbola is a fervent advocate of capacity development. In The Gambia, he taught and developed many young scientists from Africa, Europe and elsewhere. He has retained strong links with Nigeria, supporting colleagues in several Nigerian Universities. He has achieved many recognitions of his contributions including an honorary Professorship at the University of Leicester, election to Fellowships of the UK’s Royal College of Pathologists and Royal College of Physicians, and the Nigerian Academy of Science. Richard Adegbola was a member of the World Health Organization’s Meningitis Vaccine Project Advisory Group and was Vice Chair of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership Board. He was a member of Inter-Agency Committee for Immunization, and member of the National Polio Expert Committee for The Gambia. He serves as a member or Chair of several international scientific advisory boards. He is a Trustee of the Expanded Civil Society Initiative on Immunization in Nigeria.


Mr Alpha Amadou Barry FCCA, MSc

Mr Alpha Amadou Barry was the Country Managing Partner of the Gambia practice of Deloitte, which was part of Deloitte’s West & Central Africa Cluster from 2003 until 2009 and then the Leader of Deloitte’s Financial Advisory practice in West & Central Africa, which provides Corporate Finance, Transaction and Valuation Services and other services across Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia and Cameroon. He was based in the Lagos office of Deloitte which serves as the headquarters of the Cluster where he was involved in building up the Corporate Finance Business Unit until December 2013. Mr Barry then set up his boutique advisory practice mainly executing opportunities in Nigeria.

Mr Barry is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants and also possesses a Master’s degree in Maritime Studies.  He completed the London Business School Corporate Finance Modular Programme in London, England in 2010. He has been involved in all kinds of professional services delivery to clients and as a result has acquired extensive financial advisory and practice management expertise, and in the process developed an incredible network of contacts across West Africa.

Mr Barry is married and blessed with five children.

Mr Barry is currently the Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank – The Gambia; Chairman of Gambia Ports Authority and Chairman of Horizons Clinic – The Gambia.


Professor Nyovani Madise

Nyovani is the Director of Research and Development Policy and Head of the Malawi office of the African Institute for Development Policy. Her research focuses on global health issues particularly untangling the influence of social and economic factors on health in low-income countries.

Her most previous employment was as Professor of Demography and Social Statistics at the University of Southampton where she also served as the University’s lead for Equality,  Diversity, and Inclusivity, Associate Dean (Research), and Director of the Centre for Global Health, Population, Poverty, and Policy.  Nyovani has previously worked as a Lecturer at the University of Malawi and as a Senior Research Scientist at the African Population and Health Research Center in Kenya. Nyovani has over 100 peer-reviewed publications focusing on the social determinants of health in the specific areas of maternal and child health, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, food and nutritional security. A new research area for her is evidence-informed policymaking, focusing on three questions: why, how, and what for.

Nyovani has also designed and implemented interventions to inform policy and practitioners. She has published in international journals on child survival, family planning, reproductive and maternal health, HIV/AIDS, child nutritional status, and infant feeding practices.

Nyovani’s research has had wide impacts. The World Health Organization cites her work on frequency and timing of antenatal care in Kenya in their review and recommendations of practices that promote child survival; she is currently advising WHO AFRO Region and the Government of Mauritius on the social and economic determinants of health with a focus on non-communicable diseases; she has advised the UK, Swedish, Kenya, Malawi and Botswana governments on the social determinants of HIV/AIDS and reproductive health in general.

In April 2007, she addressed the 40th Session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development in New York, where she highlighted why it is important to invest in the health and education of young people in Africa.

Between 2006-2009, she chaired a prestigious scientific panel of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Populations (IUSSP) on population growth and its implications for human welfare in Africa.

In the last 2 years, Nyovani has advised the Packard and Hewlett Foundations and also advised Melinda French Gates regarding family planning in Africa as she prepared for her TEDx speech in Berlin and London Family Planning Summit in 2012.

(Source: https://www.afidep.org/staff/nyovani-madise-ph-d/)

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