Peter Gerner Smidt (Chief, PulseNet USA, Steering Committee Chair)
MD, DMSc. with a specialty in clinical microbiology. He received his MD from University of Aarhus, Denmark and his DMSc. from University of Copenhagen, Denmark, his research topic being the taxonomy and epidemiology of Acinetobacter, a nosocomial pathogen. He held the position of Head of the Danish Reference Centre for Enteric Pathogens and Listeria at Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen from 1995- 2004 where he represented the institute at the national level in the Danish Zoonosis Centre, and at the international level, in EnterNet, the European network for surveillance of Salmonella, STEC and Campylobacter. He was the first coordinator of PulseNet Europe, the European network for molecular surveillance of foodborne infections. In 2004, he moved to the United States to become chief of the Epidemiological Investigations and PulseNet Unit at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA (USA); today he is the acting chief of the Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch (proposed) at CDC, Atlanta, chief of PulseNet USA and chairman of the PulseNet international Steering Committee. Dr. Gerner-Smidt’s research interests are molecular epidemiology, including subtyping and identification of foodborne, zoonotic and enteric bacterial pathogens.
Jeniffer Concepción-Acevedo (PulseNet International Coordinator)
The PulseNet International coordinator at CDC, Atlanta, GA, USA. She completed a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst were she studied potential drug targets against African sleeping sickness. During her postdoctoral training at Emory University, she investigated the impact of bacterial antibiotic resistance on antimicrobial pharmacodynamics and treatment outcomes. At CDC, she will also contribute to subtyping initiatives and managing BioNumerics databases to detect foodborne outbreaks. Dr. Concepción-Acevedo is interested in supporting national and international initiatives to build capacity in subtyping and sequencing analysis for the identification of foodborne and waterborne pathogens.
Celine Nadon (PulseNet Canada Coordinator)
Section Head, PulseNet Canada. Emerging Bacterial Pathogens Division, Bacteriology and Enteric Diseases Program, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada (Winnipeg, Canada).Dr Nadon received her Ph.D. from Cornell University (2003; New York, USA) and her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the University of Manitoba (1996, 1998; Winnipeg, Canada). Prior to joining the Public Health Agency of Canada’s PulseNet team in 2006, Celine served as a post-doctoral associate at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service in Washington, D.C. (USA). As the Section Head for PulseNet Canada, she oversees all operations, network coordination, database administration, and research. She also holds the position of an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Medical Microbiology within the Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Manitoba.
Eva Nielsen (Europe FWD-NET Co-Coordinator)
Master of Science (food technology; 1987) and PhD (microbiology; 1991). She is senior researcher and leader of the unit for Typing and Surveillance of Gastrointestinal Infections at Statens Serum Institut, Denmark. At present, she is head of the steering committee of PulseNet Europe in the transient period with no funding and no coordinator (from MedVetNet funding to the take-over by ECDC). Main research area in the last twelve years: Studies of the epidemiology of zoonotic bacterial infections in food production animals and humans, including molecular characterization ofCampylobacter, Salmonella, pathogenicE. coli, andListeria. Research and development related to improved surveillance of zoonotic infections. Methods include development of molecular typing methods, establishment of serotyping system forCampylobacter, detection of virulence factors inE. coli.
(Europe FWD-NET Co-Coordinator)
PulseNet Middle East
Dr. Amina Al-Jardani (PulseNet Middle-East Coordinator)
She is an Omani MD, medical microbiology and Infectious disease consultant. She is the Director of Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL), leading the work of the national reference laboratories. She received her MD degree from Sultan Qaboos University in Oman and joined the American Board of Internal Medicine in 2003 after completing an internal medicine residency program from McGill University in Canada. She received fellowships in internal medicine and in infectious diseases at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. She worked as a consultant and head of medical microbiology and infection control at the Royal Hospital. She also served as chairperson for the National Antimicrobial committee, the National Antimicrobial Resistance focal point and the medical microbiology residency program. She is a member of several national committees including the national laboratory medicine committee, the vaccine committee, national polio and measles expert committee and the national infection prevention and control sub-committee. Dr. Al-Jardani research interests are in the field of antimicrobial resistance, especially among Gram negative organisms such as carbapenem resistance enterobacteriaceae andAcinetobacter. She is also interested in the epidemiology of invasive pneumococcal disease and molecular epidemiology of enteric and zoonotic infections prevalent in Oman.
Dr. Rajesh Kumar (PulseNet Middle East Co-Coordinator)
He is a microbiologist with a specialty in molecular bacteriology. He received his PhD degree (Microbiology) in 2009 from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. He held a Senior Scientist position at the National reference laboratory of Dr. Lal Path lab, before moving to Muscat, Oman in 2011. He is currently working at the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) and at the Ministry of Health as Senior Specialist Microbiologist. He leads the molecular bacteriology unit and food poisoning investigation laboratory. He has been the PulseNet Middle East co-coordinator since 2011 and has represented Oman at various national and international forums related to PulseNet. His research interests include molecular epidemiology of invasive pneumococcal disease, molecular typing/ genotyping of nosocomial diseases, Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae and foodborne pathogens.
PulseNet Latin America
Dr Enrique Perez Gutierrez (PulseNet Latin America Co-Coordinator)
The Senior Advisor Foodborne Diseases and Zoonosis, Health Emergency Department (PHE) , Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization (WHO) Washington DC, USA. Dr Perez received his DVM from the National University of Costa Rica, a Master in Preventive Medicine from the Federal University of Minas Gerais of Brazil, a Master in Veterinary Preventive Medicine from the University of California in Davis and his PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. In 2001, Dr Perez joined the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) responsible for providing technical cooperation in the development of risk-based, sustainable integrated food safety systems; promoting international coordination between health and agriculture sectors; and promoting and carrying out research in food safety and foodborne diseases. He is Unit Chief of the Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessment Unit at PHE and is actively engaged in strengthening country capacity in surveillance of infectious diseases, burden of diseases studies, risk assessment along the Americas.
Isabel Chinen (PulseNet Latin America)
A Biochemist graduated at the Buenos Aires University in Argentina, and obtained her Master in Molecular Microbiology, from the University of San Martín – ANLIS “Dr. Carlos G. Malbrán”. She works at the National Reference Laboratory for the surveillance of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome and Shiga ToxinE. coliinfections (Servicio Fisiopatogenia), in the National Infectious Diseases Institute – ANLIS “Dr. Carlos G. Malbrán” and has been actively involved in the organization of the National Surveillance System for diarrhea and foodborne pathogens through the network of laboratories. She participates in the coordination of national and international post-graduate courses mainly focus on diagnosis and molecular epidemiology in the surveillance of foodborne diseases. Since 2004, she is in the surveillance of the foodborne pathogens as part of PulseNet Latin America and the Caribbean (PNAL&C). Since 2014, as part of INEI-ANLIS she is focusing on WGS implementation at national and regional level in collaboration with different institutions (WHO/PAHO, FDA, PNAL&C, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, INDEAR, UNSAM, BIA Platform, INTA). She is an active member of the Argentine Society for Microbiology and contributes as part of the Food, Drugs and Cosmetic Division in the organization of scientific events. Since 2014, she is participating as member of the academic committee of the UNSAM /Malbrán Master in Molecular Microbiology.
PulseNet Asia Pacific
Dr. Kai-Man KAM (PulseNet Asia Pacific Coordinator)
He is presently a clinical associate professor at the Stanley Ho Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases and a faculty of medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He joined the Stanley Ho Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases in 2015. He is certified by the American Board of Medical Microbiology, was a fellow at the Royal College of Pathologists and has worked extensively in different medical and public health laboratories. He is on the editorial boards for the Journal of Clinical Microbiology and the Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS). Professor Kai-Man teaches clinical and public health microbiology to undergraduate and postgraduate students. He has served as external consultant to national and international organizations for laboratory capacity building and quality improvement.
Dr. Brent Gilpin (PulseNet Asia Pacific)
He is a Science Leader at the Institute of Environmental Science & Research, a Crown Research Institute of the New Zealand Government. He is also holds two Adjunct Senior Fellow positions at the University of Canterbury, one in the Department of Biological Sciences, and the second in the Biomolecular Interaction Centre. He has a particular interest in Campylobacter, and Molecular Epidemiology.
Anthony Smith (PulseNet Africa)
I am currently employed as a senior medical scientist with the Centre for Enteric Diseases (CED) of the National institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have a 26-year employment history with this institution. In May 1996, I obtained my PhD in molecular microbiology from the University of the Witwatersrand; I currently hold a joint appointment (senior research officer) with this University through the School of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences. The CED is a reference centre in South Africa for human isolates of Salmonella species, Shigella species, Campylobacter species, Vibrio cholerae, Listeria monocytogenes and diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli. My current activities include diagnosis, surveillance and epidemiology of enteric bacterial pathogens in South Africa. I lecture and teach on the application of molecular techniques in the microbiology laboratory, including techniques related to laboratory identification and characterization of bacterial enteric pathogens. These techniques include PCR (conventional PCR and real-time PCR), molecular subtyping of bacteria (pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeats analysis and multi-locus sequence typing) and DNA sequencing (including whole genome sequencing). I am also involved with supervision of post-graduate students and training of intern medical scientists. My supervision of post-graduate students includes 5 PhD students and 13 MSc students. My publication record includes70 peer-reviewed journal publications(external link)(external link). I serve on the editorial board (associate editor) of the ‘Journal of Infection in Developing Countries’ and act as reviewer for papers submitted to several medical journals. This biographical sketch was prepared on 12 August 2016.