Essential medicines selection

Members of the 21st Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines


Committee members:


Zeba AZIZ (Pakistan)
Zeba Aziz is a Medical Oncologist with a busy clinical practice based in Hameed Latif Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan. She previously served as the Head of Department of Oncology and Professor at Jinnah Hospital Lahore. Currently she is Dean of Medical Oncology for the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan and is also the Program Director for the Medical Oncology Fellowship at Hameed Latif Hospital. Her international efforts include being on the steering committee for the Australian & Asia Pacific Oncology Research Development (ACORD) Workshop and being an invited panel list and speaker for multiple conferences around the world. She has made contributions to research through her 79 peer-reviewed publications on Oncology. Her specific fields of interest are malignant hematology and breast cancer.

Lisa BERO (USA)
Lisa Bero is a pharmacologist with a focus on research integrity and the translation of clinical sciences into practice and health policy. She is Chair of Medicines Use and Health Outcomes at the University of Sydney in Australia and Co-Chair of the Cochrane Collaboration Governing Board. She has published over 180 peer reviewed publications, has served on numerous international committees and has been recognized for her mentoring of students with numerous awards.

Franco CAVALLI (Switzerland)
Franco Cavalli is the Scientific Director of the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, which he founded. As an international expert on treatment and research related to malignant lymphoma and new drugs, he has published extensively and has received numerous awards. He is currently Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the European School of Oncology and the World Oncology Forum.

Graham COOKE (United Kingdom)
Graham Cooke is a clinical academic trained in infectious diseases with a research interest in HIV, TB and hepatitis. Prior to taking up a position at Imperial College he was based in KwaZulu-Natal researching the impact of HIV treatment scale-up. He leads the clinical work stream of the UK STOP-HCV consortium and his current interests include developing the evidence to inform scaling up the global response to viral hepatitis.

Facundo GARCIA BOURNISSEN (Argentina)
Facundo Garcia Bournissen is a pediatrician, clinical pharmacologist and independent researcher for Argentina's National Council for Science and Technological Research (CONICET), based in Buenos Aires Children's Hospital. He received his medical and pediatric specialty degrees from the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and his PhD and clinical pharmacology fellowship from the University of Toronto (Canada). His current focus of research is in the pharmacology of pediatric neglected diseases.

Mohammed HASSAR (Morocco)
Mohammed Hassar is an internist and a clinical pharmacologist and a Professor at the Rabat School of Medicine and Pharmacy in Rabat, Morocco. For the past thirty five years, he has been active in the field of global public health with an emphasis on rational therapy, pharmaco- economics and the safety of drugs. He has served on several WHO committees and panels. He represented WHO on the governing board of the WHO Uppsala Monitoring Centre for drug safety and was a member of the WHO ATC/DDD working group in Oslo.

Greg KEARNS (United States of America)
Greg Kearns is a pharmacist and a paediatric clinical pharmacologist and is currently President of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute and Senior Vice President / Chief Research Officer of the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He also is a Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr Kearns’ research has focused on developmental regulation of pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, the evaluation of mechanisms underlying adverse drug reactions, the design of innovative clinical trials for new therapeutic interventions for children and the integration of pharmacogenetics into Phase II clinical trials in children. He has received continuous research support from NIH for paediatric clinical pharmacology research since 1993 and has authored over 285 peer-reviewed publications.

Robert MVUNGI (United Republic of Tanzania)
Robert Mvungi, a cardiologist, former heads the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania. He is President of the Tanzanian Cardiac Society, Chairman of the Tanzanian Cardiac Task Force and a member of numerous other cardiac societies. His research has been focused on the causes, characteristics and consequences of heart disease.

Francis OFEI (Ghana)
Francis Ofei is a physician in internal medicine and therapeutics and sub-specialized in endocrinology and diabetes medicine. He is serving his second term as Chairperson for the National Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicines selection committee in Ghana and is a Fellow of the Ghana College of Physicians and the Royal Colleges of Physicians of London and Edinburgh. He is currently Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Dean of the School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast in Ghana.

Gabriela PRUTSKY LOPEZ (United States of America)
Gabriela Prutsky Lopez is a pediatrician and Assistant in Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. She was a post-doctoral research fellow at Knowledge and Evaluation Research (KER) Unit, Mayo Clinic and one of the founders of “Unidad de Conocimiento y Evidencia” (CONEVID), Lima, Peru. She serves as a member of PAHO’s Expert Committee on the Selection and Use of Essential Medicines. She is a Cochrane author and has published several systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Celine PULCINI (Luxembourg)
Celine Pulcini is an infectious diseases specialist working in Nancy, France. She has been doing research on antimicrobial stewardship for fifteen years and is author/co-author in more than 130 international publications. She is the secretary of the ESCMID Study Group for Antibiotic Policies ESGAP.

Shalini SRI RANGANATHAN (Sri Lanka)
Shalini Sri Ranganathan is a Professor in Pharmacology and Specialist in Paediatrics at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. She has won numerous medals and awards during her professional career, notably twice winning the President’s Award for Scientific Publication in both 2013 and 2014. She serves on many national and international organizations and is a member of the editorial board of the Ceylon Medical Journal.

Fatima SULEMAN (South Africa)
Fatima Suleman Fatima Suleman is an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She is also a Professor, and the Prince Claus Chair of Development and Equity for the theme Affordable (Bio)Therapeutics for Public Health (September 2016 to September 2018) Faculty of Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Her research focus is on pharmaceutical policy, and systems. She has previously served on the Essential Medicines Technical Committees in South Africa and on several WHO panels.

Worasuda YOONGTHONG (Thailand)
Worasuda Yoongthong is Chief of National Drug Policy Division and Director, Pilot office for herbal and medicinal product assessment and registration, Food and Drug Administration of Thailand. She is a pharmacist and epidemiologist by training. She has been responsible for selection of National List of Essential Medicines of Thailand since 1988. She play an important role in establishing system for evidence-based selection of Essential Medicines as well as pricing for medicine procurement. Her research focus is on development of national medicine control system especially for registration and re-evaluation.

Temporary advisers:

Sumanth GANDRA (India)
Sumanth Gandra is an infectious disease physician and a public health researcher. He is currently a resident scholar at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, New Delhi. His research focus is on global surveillance of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use.

Stephan HARBARTH (Switzerland)
Stephan Harbarth is associate professor at the University of Geneva Hospitals in Geneva (CH), where he works as infectious diseases physician, hospital epidemiologist and clinical researcher. He has extensive experience in antibiotic stewardship and control of antimicrobial resistance. Dr Harbarth’s work has been published in leading medical journals and garnered several awards. He is active member of the WHO collaborating center on patient safety and provided advice as an external expert with WHO for 15 years.

Mike SHARLAND (United Kingdom)
Mike Sharland is one of the UK and Europe’s leading experts in antimicrobial prescribing, resistance and healthcare associated infection in children. He has an interest in policy initiative to reduce the burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and has been closely involved in the implementation of the National AMR Strategy. He has developed the Paediatric Infectious Diseases Unit at St George’s into a recognised Centre of excellence for clinical care, teaching and research and was appointed Professor of Paediatric Infectious Diseases in November 2010. Mike Sharland chairs the Department of Health’s Expert Advisory Body on antimicrobial resistance and healthcare associated infection (ARHAI).

Mei Gao ZENG (People’s Republic of China)
Mei Gao Zeng is a Professor and the Director of Department of Infectious Diseases of Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai. She is currently the Vice Chairman of Shanghai Steering Committee on Immunization and the Chairman of the Subspecialty Group of Pediatrics of Chinese Society of Infectious Diseases. Her interests include childhood infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance, vaccine-related issues and public health.