DEBI BOERAS, PHD – Founder & CEO
The Global Health Impact Group started by Debi Boeras in 2014 was formed in response to the need for stronger partnerships to meet global HIV targets. Debi brings with her over 10 years of HIV experience as a molecular virologist at Emory University Yerkes Primate Research Center and then as the Lead for Molecular Diagnostics at the International Laboratory Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Debi’s experience, the most efficient and effective approach to ensure successful programs in HIV diagnosis and monitoring is through strong collaborations. Debi continues to work closely with the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), CDC and PEPFAR, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), UNAIDS, UNITAID and the World Health Organization (WHO), providing laboratory and programmatic technical expertise to ensure sustainable country-owned health care programs and health systems.
LAURA BROYLES, MD – Chief of Programs
Laura Broyles, MD is a board-certified infectious diseases physician with over 15 years experience in global HIV programs and clinical HIV care. Her work has included HIV viral load monitoring, early infant diagnosis, HIV drug resistance surveillance and research, elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, differentiated service delivery for PLHIV, and ensuring quality HIV services at the facility level. Prior to joining GHIG, Laura spent eight years in the Division of Global HIV and TB (DGHT) at CDC headquarters in Atlanta, where she served most recently as Chief of the Maternal and Child Health Branch. Dr. Broyles served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention from 2001-2003 after completing residency in internal medicine. She has been on the faculty of the Emory University Division of Infectious Diseases since 2006 and continues to do clinical work at the Grady Infectious Diseases Program.
ROBERT LUO, MD, MPH – Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Robert Luo, MD, MPH is a board-certified pathologist who has worked on diagnostics over the last 15 years across academia, public health, and industry. Dr. Luo received his BA from Harvard University and his MD and MPH from Johns Hopkins University, before completing his residency training in anatomic and clinical pathology at Stanford University. After residency, he worked at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Stanford University Medical Center, and most recently at Roche Molecular Diagnostics, where he served as a medical director for over 10 new diagnostic assays. His work on diagnostics and infectious diseases has been published in JAMA, Lancet, and numerous other scientific journals. He has lived and worked in a variety of settings, including the US, South Africa, China, Kenya, India, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, and North Korea.
ROSANNA PEELING, PHD – Chief Technical Advisor
Rosanna Peeling is currently Professor/Chair of Diagnostics Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Director of the International Diagnostic Centre (IDC). Trained as a medical microbiologist, she was Research Coordinator and Head of Diagnostics Research at the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO/TDR) in Geneva and Chief of the National Laboratory for Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Canada before assuming her current position. Her research focuses on defining unmet diagnostic needs and facilitating test development, evaluation and implementation in developing countries. She established the IDC to advocate the value of diagnostics, foster innovation, and accelerate access to quality-assured diagnostics to improve global health and to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR). She is a member of the Prize Advisory Panel for the UK Longitude Prize, the European Commission Horizon 2020 AMR Prize and the Global AMR Innovation Fund.
She contributed to WHO Testing Guidelines for HIV, Hepatitis, Dengue and sexually transmitted infections and served as a member of the WHO/TDR Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee and the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on In Vitro Diagnostics (SAGE IVD). She is a member of the Global Validation Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV and Syphilis, the Social Innovation in Health Initiative and the WHO COVID-19 Advisory panel for developing Target Product Profiles for diagnostics. She is a member of the Africa CDC Laboratory Working Group for the COVID-19 Pandemic Response and has worked with the Africa CDC to set up a Biobanking Network for the evaluation of diagnostic tests for diseases of epidemic potential.
Concerned about the lack of capacity in critical decision making in diagnostics in developing countries, Professor Peeling collaborated with Fondation Merieux to organise an Advanced Course on Diagnostics, which, over the last 10 years, has trained over 350 policy makers in 80 countries.
Professor Peeling is the recipient of a YM-YWCA Women of Distinction Award, a 5NR Award for Canadian Leaders of Sustainable Development, and is the first woman scientist to be awarded the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine’s George MacDonald Medal in 2014. Her research was featured in a Discovery Channel documentary on Chlamydia Infection and Infertility, and in Fighting Syphilis, a documentary in the highly acclaimed BBC Kill or Cure series.
DAVID HEYMANN, BA, MD, DTM&H – Technical Advisor
Dr. David Heymann is a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He currently serves as a special advisor and Chair of the World Health Organization Scientific and Technical Advisory Group for the global COVID-19 pandemic response. He was the Executive Director of the WHO Communicable Diseases Programme, where he led the global response to many outbreaks of infectious diseases including SARS and Ebola. He was also the representative of the Director-General for the Global Polio Eradication programme. Earlier experiences at WHO include chief of research activities in the WHO global programme on AIDS.
Before joining WHO he worked for 13 years as a medical epidemiologist in sub-Saharan Africa, on assignment from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he participated in the first and second outbreaks of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, and supported ministries of health in research aimed at better control of malaria, measles, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. Prior to joining CDC he worked in India for two years as a medical epidemiologist in the WHO smallpox eradication programme.
NOAH FONGWEN, MD, MPH – Technical Advisor
Dr. Noah Fongwen is currently a clinical research fellow and a Doctor of Public Health (Dr.PH) candidate at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). He also provides support to Africa CDC through the LSHTM/Africa CDC collaboration. He is a global health expert skilled in advanced research methods, implementation science, economic evaluation of complex public health interventions and point of care technologies. He has expertise in areas such as diagnostics research, maternal and child health, HIV/TB control, NTDs and other chronic diseases, antimicrobial resistance control and outbreak response.
He previously worked in Cameroon as a clinician and public health specialist where he supported the government in implementing its public health strategies including outbreak response. He also works with WHO TDR and SIHI in promoting research within social innovation across Africa. His current Dr.PH research work is on transforming health systems by two-way communications tool through Health Centre by Phone innovation that can provide alerts of infectious outbreaks and other health information such as vaccine coverage.