Online Event- World Chagas Day: Necessity for early diagnosis and lifelong follow-up

Thursday 11 April 2024, 1-2:30pm BST
Online Event

On Thursday 11 April 2024, 1-2:30pm BST, RSTMH will be hosting a webinar in honour of World Chagas Day.  The focus would be around the theme: necessity for early diagnosis and lifelong follow-up of people affected by the disease. This webinar will feature a panel discussion from leading experts in the field of Chagas, Chaired by Dr. María Jesús Pinazo, physician, senior specialist in Internal Medicine and Head of Chagas in DNDi. Panellists announced so far include:

  • Dr Pedro Albajar Viñas, Head of the World Health Organization Programme on Control of Chagas Disease

  • Dr Laura C. Bohorquez,  Scientific Officer, Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme. FIND | Bogota, Colombia

  • Dr Jaime Altcheh, Head of the Parasitology Department at the Children's Hospital of Buenos Aires and Vice Director of the Multidisciplinary Institute for Pediatric Research (IMIPP) CONICET-GCBA.

  • Dr Silvia Gold, President of the Mundo Sano Foundation. 

  • Dr Monica Quijano, Global Business Director Chagas and Leish, Global Health, Novartis

  • Professor David Moore, Representative of the The UK Chagas Hub, Professor of Infectious Diseases & tropical medicine, LSHTM

Dr. Jaime Altcheh

Dr. Jaime Altcheh is a pediatrician trained at the Children's Hospital R. Gutierrez in Buenos Aires, a tertiary reference center within the healthcare system of the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He holds a doctorate from the University of Buenos Aires. Currently, he serves as the Head of the Parasitology Department at the Children's Hospital of Buenos Aires and is the Vice Director of the Multidisciplinary Institute for Pediatric Research (IMIPP) CONICET-GCBA. Dr. Altcheh is a clinical researcher for CONICET (National research council) and the Buenos Aires city government. Furthermore, he is a member of the Regional Validation Committee (PAHO for the validation of the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B, and Chagas disease. He is also part of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO) at the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and a member of Translational Health Research Network (RITS) CONICET, Argentina. During his postgraduate training, he was an invited researcher at the Department of Immunology of the Karolinska Institute (Sweden). Upon returning to the Buenos Aires Children's Hospital, he developed a research program focused on pediatric parasitic diseases, with a particular emphasis on Chagas disease. This research program, spanning over 25 years, covers all aspects of the disease, from basic research to clinical care and patient management, with a special focus on translational research.

Dr Silvia Gold

Silvia Gold is the President of the Mundo Sano Foundation, an organization that promotes access to health for people exposed to neglected diseases. The Foundation, with 30 years of experience, develops replicable, scalable and transferable management models through public-private alliances, with multidisciplinary scientific research and programs that expand throughout Latin America, Europe and Africa. Together with her husband, Dr. Hugo Sigman, they founded the pharmaceutical group Insud Pharma in Spain, with more than 45 years of experience and presence in more than 55 countries; currently a leader in the pharmaceutical sector and whose main objective is to improve health throughout the world by providing accessible, effective, safe and quality drug treatments; as well as Grupo Insud, in Argentina, which integrates companies from the life sciences, agroforestry, the cultural industry and environmental preservation and design. Dr. Gold holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Universidad de Buenos Aires and is a member of the National Academy of Pharmacy and Biochemistry of Argentina. 

Dr. María Jesús Pinazo

Dr. María Jesús Pinazo is physician, senior specialist in Internal Medicine and Head of Chagas in DNDi since January 2022. She has been working at the International Health Service of the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona since 2007, being Director of Chagas Iniciative at ISGlobal to 2021, Associate Research Professor at ISGlobal and Associate Lecturer at Barcelona University to date. She obtained her PhD in Internal Medicine at the University of Barcelona in 2016 with international mention. Her main line of research in International Health is on Chagas Disease, from basic to Public Health research. Since 2007, she has been working as a healthcare doctor between Barcelona and Bolivia. Her main line of work and research are tropical and imported diseases, and among them, Chagas disease. From 2007 to 2021 has been a professor of Master in International Health at the University of Barcelona and the Graduate Diploma in Immigration, Interculturality and Health of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. In 2010, she co-coordinated the protocol for the detection and diagnosis of Chagas in pregnant women in Latin America and their babies (Department of Health, Generalitat de Catalunya). Since November 2010 to 2021 she has been technical coordinator of the Platform of comprehensive care for patients with Chagas disease in Bolivia, and since 2019 in Paraguay. In December 2010, she also started working as an internal monitor for clinical trial E1224 (in Bolivia), and since June 2017, is the principal investigator of the Fexi 12 clinical trial (in Barcelona), both promoted by DNDi, whose objective in both cases is the search for new medicines to treat Chagas disease.

Dr Laura C. Bohorquez

Since January 2023, Laura is Scientific Officer, lead for Chagas disease (CD) at the NTD programme, based in Colombia. Laura devises and manages FIND´s CD projects, partners and funders; and keeps a continued engagement with the CD community to raise awareness/profile around FIND’s CD Diagnostics work. Previously, Laura worked as Clinical Research Associate at FIND for over 2 years. She has significant experience in project management, developing and leading strategic plans of R&D and market access projects in Latin America. Prior to joining FIND as Scientific Officer, Laura has founded her consulting company, and with her team helped various international developers of innovative technologies, such as point-of-care diagnostics for infectious tropical diseases, platforms for non-invasive pre-natal testing and incision-less surgery, in implementing strategies for accessing Latin American markets, R&D and regulatory strategies, partnerships, clinical trials, product testing, and funding. Laura earned a BSc in Biology (Colombia), a MSc in Molecular Bioengineering (Germany), and a PhD in Cell Biology (The Netherlands). Throughout her professional career, she has consolidated a solid background in life sciences, clinical research, project management and market access; she has strengthened her networks and collaboration with health authorities and providers in the Latin American region, as well as with researchers and industry partners globally. She continues working to ensure that diagnostic innovation improves testing of neglected tropical diseases, and becomes an integral part of health systems in Latin America, to satisfy the needs of vulnerable populations in the region.

Dr Mónica Quijano

With a degree in Medicine from Universidad de La Sabana (Colombia),  a Masters in Health Economics and Public Health from the Erasmus Universiteit (Netherlands) and the Global Health Delivery Intensive Course (GHDI) from the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, Mónica has more than 15 years of experience in Pharma, in particular in Medical, Value & Access and Global Health, at local, regional and global scale.

Since 2020, she is Global Business Director at Novartis Global Health, leading the Chagas Program which aims to eliminate Chagas disease as a public health challenge by discovering, delivering and securing access to innovative treatments to change the course of Chagas disease .

She is co-author of the RAISE study (The Burden of Chagas disease in the contemporaneous world) and an active member of the Global Chagas community.

Professor Dave Moore

Dave Moore is an Infectious Diseases physician and Consultant at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London. He is also Professor of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and previously spent 7 years living in Peru (working on TB research). He co-founded the UK Chagas Hub in 2017 with three core objectives (1) to raise Chagas disease awareness among the Latin American community and among healthcare professionals, (2) to improve access to clinical diagnostic and treatment services through enhanced pathways, and (3) to leverage the unique profile of Latinx migrants to the UK to conduct relevant clinical and epidemiological research. He leads a dedicated Chagas clinic (the only one in the UK at present) at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases.