Scientific Committee


David Lewis, Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre, Western Sydney Local Health District, Parramatta, Australia; Westmead Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; Division of Medical Virology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

David Lewis is Director of the Western Sydney Sexual Health Centre and Professor at the University of Sydney. He is also the Discipline Leader for STI/HIV within the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity. David’s research interests include antimicrobial resistance and surveillance of STI pathogens, bacterial causes of urethral discharge andgenital ulcer syndromes as well as STI care in resource-poor settings. He is the Immediate Past President of the International Union against STIs. David is a Joint Editor of Sexual Health and, for over a decade, served as Deputy Editor for Sexually Transmitted Infections. David frequently assists the World Health Organization in matters related to STI treatment guidelines and strategic initiatives, point-of-care diagnostics and the Gonococcal Antimicrobial Susceptibility Programme (GASP). He also provides technical support to the Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP) with the strategic objective of bringing new antimicrobial agents for gonorrhoea into clinical practice.

James Blanchard, Professor, Departments of Community Health Sciences and Medical Microbiology, Director, Centre for Global Public Health, Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology and Global Public Health, Faculty of Medicine University of Manitoba

Dr. Blanchard is an epidemiologist and public health specialist focusing on global health. He received an MD from the University of Manitoba and an MPH and PhD in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins University. He is a Professor and the Director of the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Global Public Health and holds a Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology and Global Public Health. His research focuses on how the characteristics of individuals, communities and large populations contribute to the local and global distribution of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Over the past twenty-five years he has also provided leadership to the design and implementation of large public health programs related to sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS and maternal, neonatal and child health in Canada, India, other Asian countries and Africa. He is actively engaged with policy makers and public health leaders to translate scientific knowledge and approaches to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public health programs, with an emphasis on improving the health of disadvantaged populations.

Track Chairpersons

Sheila Lukehart, Chairperson, Basic & Translational Science Track

Sheila Lukehart is Professor of Medicine and Global Health, and Adjunct Professor of Microbiology, at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is a recognized expert on syphilis and Treponema pallidum, and has focused her research on molecular pathogenesis of syphilis, host immune responses to Treponema pallidum, neurosyphilis, syphilis-HIV interactions, and antibiotic resistance in T. pallidum. Sheila has been actively involved in the training of young STD scientists and directs the University of Washington STD & AIDS Research Training Program. Sheila has previously served as an elected Board member of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases’ Research.

Jacky Jennings, Chairperson, Behavioural & Social Sciences Track

Jacky Jennings is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is the Associate Director of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and the Director of the Center for Child and Community Health Research. The most significant impact of Jacky’s research contributions is in the area of STI and HIV transmission dynamics. Her specific interest is in determining the mechanisms through which networks and place play a role in local transmission dynamics causing endemic rates of STIs and HIV and extreme racial disparities. She has a longstanding relationship with the Baltimore City Health Department working collaboratively on implementation science, translating evidence to practice and policy. Jacky has previously served as an elected Board member of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases’ Research.

Matthew Golden, Chairperson, Clinical Science Track

Matthew Golden is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine, and the Director of the Public Health – Seattle & King County HIV/STD Program and the UW Public Health Capacity Building Center.   Matthew’s work integrates public health practice, capacity building and operational research, and includes projects conducted in the United States and in sub-Saharan Africa.  Much of his research has focused on evaluating HIV/STD partner services and efforts to use field outreach services to improve the HIV care continuum. Matthew has previously served as an elected Board member of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases’ Research.

Gwenda Hughes, Chairperson, Epidemiology & Monitoring Track

Gwenda Hughes is a Consultant Scientist in Epidemiology and Public Health with 20 years of experience in HIV and STI surveillance. She heads the STI Surveillance Section at the National Infection Service at Public Health England and also leads the Gonococcal Resistance to Antimicrobials Surveillance Programme (GRASP) in England and Wales. Her research has focused on understanding the determinants and distribution of STIs including antimicrobial resistant gonorrhoea and sexually transmitted enteric pathogens. She co-leads the risk reduction theme in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Blood Borne and Sexually Transmitted Infections. She is an Honorary Professor at University College London, Deputy Editor of the BMJ journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, and a Fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health.

Helen Ward, Chairperson, Policy & Community Engagement

Helen Ward trained in clinical medicine at Sheffield University in the UK and is now Professor of Public Health at Imperial College London. She has 3 decades of experience in research, education and applied public health, with an international reputation in the field of the epidemiology and control of sexually transmitted infections and HIV. Helen promotes participatory approaches in research, heading the multidisciplinary Imperial Patient Experience Research Centre which leads on public involvement and engagement. Helen is also Director of Education for the Imperial School of Public Health, and is leading a new, fully online Master of Public Health Degree. As a member of the International Supervisory Board of EIT Health, a knowledge and innovation community of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology, she promotes innovation and entrepreneurship in health across Europe. She is a past Editor of the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections and is currently a Board member of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases’ Research.

Sevgi Aral, Chairperson, Program & Implementation Science Track

Sevgi Aral has been the Associate Director for Science in the Division of STD Prevention, US Centers for Disease Control, since 1993. She holds Professorial appointments at the University of Washington in Seattle, at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and at Emory University in Atlanta.  Sevgi has served on many national and international work groups, boards and committees. In addition, she has consulted for the World Health Organization, the European Union and the World Bank.  Sevgi has also received the ASTDA Achievement Award and the Thomas Parran Award. Sevgi’s research interests include social and behavioral aspects of sexually transmitted disease, epidemiology and prevention (including gender, age and race effects), mixing patterns, the effects of sexual and social networks, contextual factors, social determinants and most recently, program science.

Track Team Members

Basic & Translational Science Track

  • Sheila Lukehart, USA [Track Chairperson]
  • Jo-Anne Dillon , Canada
  • Will Geisler, USA
  • Laura Sycuro, Canada
  • Nick Thomson, UK
  • Magnus Unemo, Sweden
  • Anna Wald, USA
  • David Whiley, Australia


Behavioural & Social Sciences Track

  • Jacky Jennings, USA [Track Chairperson]
  • Valeria Stuardo Avila, Chile
  • Sarah Bernays, Australia
  • Kit Fairley, Australia
  • Robert Lorway, Canada
  • Joe Tucker, USA


Clinical Science Track

  • Matthew Golden, USA [Track Chairperson]
  • Catriona Bradshaw, Australia
  • Craig Cohen, USA
  • Julie Dombrowski, USA
  • Gina Ogilvie, Canada
  • Daniel Richardson, Australia
  • Janet Wilson, UK
  • Ping Yu Zhou, China


Epidemiology & Monitoring Track

  • Gwenda Hughes, UK [Track Chairperson]
  • Michel Alary, Canada
  • Kyle Bernstein, USA
  • Viviane Bremer, Germany
  • Xiang-Sheng Chen, China
  • Sinead Delaney-Moretlwe, South Africa
  • Maria Amelia de Sousa Mascena Veras, Brazil
  • Jane Hocking, Australia


Policy & Community Engagement Track

  • Helen Ward, UK [Track Chairperson]
  • Patricia Garcia, Peru
  • Francis Ndowa, Zimbabwe
  • Maryam Shahmanesh, UK
  • Kate Shannon, Canada
  • Morten Skovdal, Denmark


Program & Implementation Science Track

  • Sevgi Aral, USA [Track Chairperson]
  • Marissa Becker, Canada
  • Parinita Bhattacharjee, Canada
  • Harrell Chesson, USA
  • James Hargreaves, UK
  • Sharmistha Mishra, India
  • Ian Spicknall, USA
  • Anneli Uuskula, Estonia

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