Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Who we are

Commission Co-Chairs

Carol Guarnizo-Herreno


Carol Guarnizo-Herreño is a Colombian public health dentist and researcher. Her research interests include the socioeconomic inequalities in oral health and the social determinants of health, the influence of macro-level factors (related to the economic and political context) on population oral health and patterns of inequalities, dental care services and public policies, and the relationships between dental health and certain aspects of quality of life including psychosocial wellbeing, and work and schooling performance.

Currently she works at the National University of Colombia where, in addition to teaching, she is responsible for supervising students on their dissertation projects. Previous to her academic career, Carol worked at the Colombian National Institute of Health and the Secretariat of Health Bogota. Carol holds a BSc in Dentistry and an MSc in Public Health from the National University of Colombia and a PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health from UCL (University College London).

Richard Watt


Richard Watt is a dentist who graduated from University of Edinburgh and then completed an MSc and PhD in Dental Public Health from University College London.  Richard is currently a Professor and Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health, University College London. He is the Director of the World Health Organisation, Collaborating Centre on Oral Health Inequalities and Public Health and is also Director of Research, Development and Innovation for Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust.

His main research interests focus on social and commercial determinants of oral health, inequalities in oral health and development and evaluation of community-based (oral) health improvement interventions. He provides expert advice on oral health policy to the UK Department of Health, NHS England, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England. He has also provided policy advice to EU, International Dental Federation and WHO oral health expert groups. He is the founder and lead of the International Centre for Oral Health Inequalities Research and Policy. In 2014 he was awarded the International Association of Dental Research Distinguished Scientist Award for Behavioural, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research and in 2016 he gained the NIHR Senior Investigator Award, the only dentist in the UK gaining this recognition. In 2019 he led the publication of a Lancet Series on Global Oral Health.


Supreda Adulyanon


Dr. Supreda Adulyanon is one of the leading experts in innovative health financing and health promotion movement in Thailand and in Asia. He is well known internationally for his work in supporting countries about sustainable health financing mechanism, and on addressing major health risks control for NCDs in Thailand, such as tobacco and alcohol. Currently, he is the Chief Executive Officer of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth), the forefront national agency which catalyzes, motivates, supports, and coordinates health promotion movement in Thailand to over 15,000 multi-sectoral partner organizations in Thailand and abroad. 

Dr. Adulyanon’s work on innovative and sustainable financing for health promotion has been acknowledged by different national and international health agencies and he has served as an invited keynote/session speaker or a Thailand delegate in many global health forums on health (eg. The World Health Assembly) and health promotion (eg. WHO Global Conference on Health Promotion, World Conference on Tobacco Control or Health-WCTOH, Global Alcohol Policy Conference-GAPC, IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion and Education, ISPAH International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health), as well as Chair, Vice-Chair Secretary-General, consultant  and advisor to several organizations in the health promotion arena (eg. International Network for Health Promotion Foundations, Thailand National Health Assembly, WHO-WPRO, WHO-SEARO, etc.). 

Prior to his current position, Dr. Adulyanon served as the Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry. He and Prof. Aubrey Sheiham developed a health indicator “Oral Impact on Daily Performance” (OIDP), which has been used in many research studies including national oral health surveys in the UK, Thailand, Greece, Nigeria etc.

Paul Allison


Dr. Allison gained his dental degree (BDS) from University College London (UK) in 1986. He then pursued specialist training in oral and maxillo-facial surgery and in dental public health. He then moved to McGill University in Montreal and completed his PhD in 1998 and became a professor at the Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University, in 1999.

He became Director of the Quebec-based Oral and Bone Health Research Network in 2005 and Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at McGill for the period 2008-18. He was President of the Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry during 2015-19 and is currently President of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS; http://www.cahs-acss.ca/). He is also currently a member of the Board of the Canadian Council of Academies (http://scienceadvice.ca/en.aspx) and on Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/6953.html).

Dr. Allison’s research interests include psychosocial and social determinants of oral health and oral health care, including issues of access to health care. His research has particularly focused on people with head and neck cancer, with Down syndrome, young children and other vulnerable groups. In 2014, he chaired a CAHS panel that published a report on improving access to oral health care (http://www.cahs-acss.ca/improving-access-to-oral-health-care-for-vulnera...).

Lekan Ayo Yusuf


Professor Ayo-Yusuf is the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research & Postgraduate Studies at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) in Pretoria, South Africa. He is also currently an Extraordinary Professor at the School of Health Systems and Public Health at the University of Pretoria and a visiting Scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health in the USA.

His research interests are mainly in cancer prevention, tobacco control policies and resilience studies. He is currently the Principal Investigator of an innovative intervention involving a clinical trial of a MRC-Newton funded behavioural intervention to test for the first time its effectiveness in simultaneously promoting smoking cessation, reducing risky drinking and promoting TB/HART drug adherence.

He has authored/co-authored about 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications in local and internationally accredited journals, including Lancet Oncology. He has co-authored a number of technical reports and chapters in monograph/books. He has numerous national and international collaborations from a range of institutions in Africa, Europe and USA. He also collaborates with government, including serving as expert to the South African parliamentary portfolio committee on Health.

Aluisio Barros


Professor Aluísio J D Barros trained as an MD in Brazil (1983), and then did a Masters in Statistics in the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, SP, Brazil. That was followed by a PhD in the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Maternal & Child Epi Unit, completed in 1996. In the same year, Aluísio joined the Department of Social Medicine, Universidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPel), Brazil, where he currently holds the post of Full Professor.

He has a strong interest in methods, teaching the advanced statistics courses for postgraduate students. Currently, his main line of work is health equity, with a focus in global monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals. He is also one of the PIs of the Pelotas birth cohorts, with an interest in mental health and child development. In 2009, Prof. Cesar Victora and Aluísio started the International Center for Equity in Health (ICEH) with the objective of monitoring health inequalities in low and middle-income countries. The Center works in close partnership with the Countdown to 2030, the WHO Global Health Observatory and UNICEF. 

Aluísio has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed papers, which have received over 13,000 citations as counted by Scopus (H-index=50).

Habib Benzian


Habib Benzian, DDS MScDPH PhD, is Research Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Health Promotion, College of Dentistry, New York University, and serves as Associate Director Global Health & Policy of the WHO Collaborating Center for Quality Improvement & Evidence-based Dentistry.

In various capacities during the last 20 years, Dr Benzian has been at the forefront of global advocacy to end the neglect of oral health, which was also the focus of his PhD. As expert in international (dental) public health, health policy, NCDs, as well as WASH in schools, he works at the intersection of academia, policy and practice. He is adviser to the WHO, UNICEF, governments and donor agencies and supported major policy development processes, such as the WHO/AFRO and SEARO Regional Oral Health Strategies, the Bhutan NCD Action Plan and numerous national health policies. 

Dr Benzian was co-editor-in-chief for the Oral Health Atlas, a unique publication mapping the state of oral health worldwide, providing substantial resources for policy and increased international action. Currently he is Senior Research Fellow at the Global Health Center of the Geneva Graduate Institute for Higher Policy Studies, researching the complex process of priority setting in global health governance.

Roger Keller Celeste 


Roger Keller Celeste is Associate Professor at the Department of Preventive and Social Dentistry (UFRGS) in Brazil and visiting researcher at the Ageing Research Center (Karolinska Institute) in Sweden.He has a Productivity Fellowship PQ2 from National Research Council and currently Associate Editor of Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology and BMC-Oral Health.

He graduated in Dentistry from UFRGS (1995), holds an MSc in Dental Public Health from University College London (1998) and a PhD in Epidemiology from Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro/Instituto de Medicina Social with a period at the Center for Health Equity Studies - Stockholm (2009).

He works in Social Epidemiology and has experience in biostatistics, systematic reviews of observational studies, quality of life, and evaluations of health care services.  He was awarded the Aubrey Sheiham Award for Distinguished Dental Public Sciences Research-IADR (2019).

Mirai Chatterjee


Mirai Chatterjee is the Director of the Social Security Team at Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). She is responsible for SEWA’s Health Care, Child Care and Insurance programmes. She is currently Chairperson of the National Insurance VimoSEWA Cooperative Ltd. and she is actively involved with the Lok Swasthya Health Cooperative, of which she is a founder. Both cooperatives are promoted by SEWA. In addition, she is Chairperson of the Gujarat State Women’s SEWA Cooperative Federation of 106 primary cooperatives with 3 lakh members. She joined SEWA in 1984 and was its General Secretary after its Founder, Ela Bhatt.

Ms Chatterjee serves on the Boards of several organizations, including the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Save the Children and PRADAN. She was advisor to the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector and is in the Advisory Group on Community Action of the National Rural Health Mission. She was also a Commissioner in the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. She was a member of the National Advisory Council (NAC), appointed by the Prime Minister of India in 2010. She was conferred the Global Achievement award by the School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University.

Ms. Chatterjee has a B.A. from Harvard University in History and Science and a Masters from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Public Health, USA.

Usuf Chikte


Usuf Chikte is an Emeritus Professor in Health Systems and Public Health, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

His academic work focuses on Public and Global Health and his qualifications include a BChD (UWC), MDent (Community Dentistry) (WITS), MSc in Dental Public Health and PhD (SU). He served as a Head of the Department of Community Dentistry, Head of the School of Oral Health Sciences, Associate Dean, and Executive Head of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences and Global Health.  

His stewardship includes serving as President, South African Dental Association, and President of the College of Dentistry. He was also Editor of the South African Dental Journal and chaired the National Fluoridation Committee. In the Health Professions Council of South Africa he led the Education and Training Committee, Quality Assurance Committee and the Education and Registration Committee of the Medical and Dental Professions Board. Usuf also chaired the Institutional Audit Committee of the Council on Higher Education of South Africa. He currently serves on the Ministerial Task Team on Human Resources for Health and serves on the Office for Health Standards and Compliance.  

His research focuses on oral epidemiology, oral health care systems and human resources for health framed within inequity and social justice.

Katie Dain


Katie Dain is Chief Executive Officer of the NCD Alliance, a global network of civil society organisations dedicated to transforming the fight against non-communicable diseases. Katie has worked with the NCD Alliance since its founding in 2009.

Katie is widely recognised as a leading advocate and expert on NCDs. She is currently a member of the WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs, co-chair of the WHO Civil Society Working Group on the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs, and a member of The Lancet Commission on NCDIs of the Poorest Billion.

Her experience covers a range of sustainable development issues, including global health, gender equality and women’s empowerment, violence against women, and women’s health. Before joining the NCD Alliance, she held a series of policy and advocacy posts in international NGOs and government, including the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in Brussels, leading their global policy and advocacy programme; the UK Government as a gender policy adviser; Womankind Worldwide, a women’s rights organisation; and the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), a HIV and sexual health charity.

She has a BA in History from Sheffield University, and a Master’s degree in Violence, Conflict and International Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London.

Blanaid Daly


Professor Blánaid Daly qualified from Trinity College Dublin in 1983 and subsequently worked in the Irish Community and Hospital Dental Services from 1984 to 1990. She moved to the UK in late 1990, and joined the dental School at King’s College London (KCL) in 1990 as a research assistant and then Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Dental Public Health (DPH). She was course director for the MSc in DPH and later the MSc in Community Dental Practice developing face to face and e-learning formats for internal and distance learning postgraduate students.

She completed her PhD on the needs of homeless and was accepted on to the GDC specialist list in Dental Public Health and in Special Care Dentistry. In 2010 Blánaid Daly became academic lead in Special Care Dentistry at KCL. She developed research in SCD and contributed to national guidance on training of undergraduates in SCD and on international guidance for training undergraduates and postgraduates in SCD on behalf of the iADH (international association for disability and oral health). Professor Blánaid Daly returned to Ireland in 2016 as Professor of Special Care Dentistry at the Dublin Dental University Hospital Trinity College Dublin. Her overarching research interest theme is the reduction of oral health inequalities for people living with disability and vulnerable groups.

Sharon Friel


Sharon Friel is Professor of Health Equity and Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Governance at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), Australian National University. She was Director of RegNet from 2014-2019.

She was the Head of the Scientific Secretariat (University College London) of the World Health Organisation Commission on Social Determinants of Health between 2005 and 2008. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia and co-Director of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity. In 2014, her international peers voted her one of the world’s most influential female leaders in global health. 

Her interests are in the political economy of health; governance, policy and regulatory processes related to the social determinants of health inequities, including trade and investment, food systems, urbanisation, climate change. Her recent book “Climate Change and the People’s Health” was published by OUP in Jan 2019.

Cristin Kearns

Cristin Kearns is an Assistant Professor in Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences and the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

She first saw the devastating effects of sugar as Dental Director of Inner City Health Center, a low-income clinic in Colorado. She is one of the first academics to rigorously study the influence of the sugar industry on health and policy. Her research has been published in high-impact journals including PLOS Medicine, PLOS Biology, JAMA Internal Medicine, Science, and The Lancet. Dr. Kearns’ document collection efforts culminated in the launch of the UCSF Food Industry Documents Archive (FIDA), which now contains 400,000 pages of sugar industry-related documents that are digitized and searchable (https://www.industrydocuments.ucsf.edu/food/). The FIDA is modeled after the UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library, which revolutionized the field of tobacco control by making internal documents accessible to scientists, policymakers, advocates, and the public.

Dr. Kearns was named one of the 32 Most Influential Dentists in the US by Incisal Edge Magazine in 2019. She received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of North Carolina, and Master in Business Administration degree from the University of Colorado, Denver. 

Stefan Listl


Stefan Listl is an economist and dentist. He is full professor in Quality and Safety of Oral Health Care (Radboud University) and director of Translational Health Economics (Heidelberg University). Previously, he worked in various positions for University of Mannheim, McMaster University, New York University, and Harvard University.

Stefan is a member of the WHO Global Oral Health Report steering group and the FDI World Dental Federation Vision 2030 working group as well as a contributor to the 2020 Surgeon General's Report on Oral Health in America. He also holds affiliations with the Max Planck Society and the International Centre for Oral Health Inequalities Research and Policy (ICOHIRP). Stefan previously served as a consultant for Harvard University's Malaysia Health Systems Reform project, was a member of the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) oral health working group, and contributed as a speaker to oral health side events in relation to United Nations High-level Meetings on Universal Health Coverage and NCDs. He also spoke during oral health related events at the European Parliament and the Dutch House of Representatives. 

Stefan‘s research activities have been supported by institutions such as the European Commission and NIH (USA).

Judith Mackay

Judith Mackay is a British medical doctor, living in Hong Kong since 1967, initially working as a hospital physician, then since 1984 concentrating on public health, especially tobacco control. She is the Director, Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control, Special Advisor, Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control and Senior Policy Advisor, WHO.

She has published 260 papers and addressed 600 conferences on tobacco control. Her particular interests are tobacco and women, tobacco control in low and middle-income countries, new tobacco products, and in challenging the tobacco industry. 

She is author or co-author of a dozen Myriad atlases – portraying health statistics in a colourful, graphic format - on health, sex, tobacco, cardiovascular disease, cancer, oral health, and Global Adult Tobacco Surveys. 

She is an Honorary Professor in the School of Public Health, HKU. She has received honorary degrees from the University of Edinburgh and Shue Yan University in Hong Kong. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong College of Cardiology, and the Hong Kong College of Community Medicine.  In addition to many international and national awards ranging from the WHO Commemorative Medal and the TIME 100 World’s Most Influential People Award to the BMJ Group’s first Lifetime Achievement Award, she has been identified by the tobacco industry as one of the three most dangerous people in the world.

Lorna Macpherson


Lorna Macpherson undertook dental training at the University of Glasgow and following graduation, worked in dental hospital posts in both Glasgow and London.  Thereafter she pursued postgraduate studies, obtaining her PhD from the University of Glasgow in 1989. She then spent four years at the University of Manitoba, Canada, initially as a post-doctoral fellow and then as a faculty member. She returned to Glasgow and undertook training in dental public health, obtaining an MPH and completing NHS specialty training in 1996.

She is currently Professor of Dental Public Health at the University of Glasgow and Honorary Consultant in Dental Public Health for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Her work focusses on approaches to improve population oral health and reduce dental health inequalities. She is involved in the development and evaluation of complex public health interventions, with a particular focus on child oral health.  Her research includes clinical trials, cohort studies and natural experiments and utilises data linkage. 

She is Co-Director of the Scottish Government’s child oral health improvement programme (Childsmile) and advises overseas agencies and governments on the development and evaluation of similar initiatives. 

Leenu Maimanuku


Dr Leenu Maimanuku graduated with a Bachelors in Dental Surgery in 1997, she went on to study orthodontics at the Fiji School of Medicine in 2005 and 2006. She has been a lecturer at the Dental School in Fiji for the past 22 years. During this time she has developed a number of courses and programmes and contributed to academic leadership as programme coordinator, chair of Learning and Teaching, member of the Fiji National University Senate and was the Head of the dental school in Fiji from June 2010 to August 2017.

Dr Maimanuku serves on a number of local, regional and international professional bodies. She is an elected member of the Fiji Dental Council, Chairperson for the Fiji Dental Councils Dental Professional Standards Committee, Vice President of the Fiji Dental Association, Secretary and founding member of the Oral Health Pacific Islands Alliance, Oceania section Councilor for the International Association for Dental Research ANZ Division. She is a fellow of the International College of Dentists. She is also Fiji’s liaison officer for the World Dental Federation and representative to the Asia Pacific Society of Periodontology. 

Dr Maimanuku works in a group practice and provides patient care in Suva, Fiji. Her practice focuses on orthodontics and periodontics.

Manu Mathur


Manu is a Dental Surgeon with a PhD in Epidemiology and Population Health from University College London and a Masters in Public Health with specialization in Epidemiology from the University of Glasgow (UK). He is currently working as Head: Health Policy and Associate Professor at Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), New Delhi. He also holds a Senior Lecturer position at University of Liverpool.

He has been a recipient of the prestigious Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholarship for the year 2010-11, a Wellcome Trust scholarship for his doctoral studies and another Wellcome Trust Mid-Career Fellowship to undertake work on psychosocial determinants of oral health inequalities in India. He has many publications in leading international journals to his name and is the author on various book chapters. 

His areas of expertise lies in advanced Epidemiologic Methods, Operations and Health Systems Research and Health Promotion. He has been the principal investigator on many projects funded by Government of India, WHO, BMGF, USAID and NIH in the past and is currently leading large scale projects from MRC UK, Global Bridges Consortium, Government of India and Rockefeller Foundation. He is also teaching various courses on Health Promotion, Principles of Public Health, Epidemiology, Health Systems and Tobacco Control.

Mary Jane McCallum


Dr. Mary Jane McCallum is a citizen of the Barren Lands First Nation in Brochet, Manitoba.  She attended the Guy Hill Residential School in The Pas for 11 years.  She started her work as a dental assistant in 1973, attained her Dental Nursing Diploma in 1977, her Dental Therapy Diploma in 1979, and her Doctor of Dental Medicine in 1990.  She worked as an Assistant Professor supervising 4th year dental students as well as providing dental treatment in Churchill in the first year after graduating.  She moved on to provide dental care in all the northern nursing stations that have a clinical set-up as well as some of the southern health centres for the majority of the past 30 years.  She worked as the Regional Dental Officer from 1996 - 2000 for the province of Manitoba.

Dr. McCallum has spoken on many occasions to different groups throughout the country about the residential school experience.  She was appointed to the Senate of Canada on Dec. 2, 2017, where she has continued to advocate for the rights of Indigenous Peoples. In addition to her work in the Senate Chamber, she has played an active role as a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples and the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment, and Natural Resources. She continues to work with Manitoba communities on issues including the advancement of oral and holistic health, child and family welfare, and environmental concerns.

Miriam Wamotho Muriithi


Dr Miriam Wamotho Muriithi was born in Murang’a, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor of Dental Surgery Degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya and a Master Degree in Public Health and Disaster Management from Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya. She also holds certificates on Senior Management, Health Systems Strengthening and Strategic Leadership Development Programme from the Kenya School of Government.

Dr Muriithi has been working with the Ministry of Health Kenya where she has held different positions ranging from a Dental Officer to a Dental Specialist. She has also led Oral Health Services in different Government institutions before moving to the Ministry of Health headquarters in 2015 as the Head, Oral Health Services.

She has contributed in coordinating the only National Oral Health Survey in Kenya that was launched in the year 2015 and is currently spearheading the development of the National Oral Health Policy, the National plan to phasedown use of Dental Amalgam and a proposal to train Nurses at the MCH clinics on basic oral health.

Marco Peres


Marco is a dentist with a PhD in Epidemiology. After almost 20 years at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil, in 2012 he was appointed as a Professor in Population Oral Health and Director of the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health (ARCPOH), University of Adelaide. In August 2018 he took a position as a Professor of Dental and Oral Health Research, School of Dentistry and Oral Health, Griffith University. Currently, Marco works as a Professor of the National Dental Research Institute Singapore, National Dental Centre Singapore and Oral Health ACP, Health Services and Systems Research Programme, Duke-NUS Medical School

His research areas of interest include inequalities in oral health, life course epidemiology, health services research, and the relationship between oral health and general health.

Marco has been cited in a paper published in 2016 in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology (doi: 10.1111/cdoe.12249) as the seventh most productive researcher in Public Health Dentistry in the world in the last half-century. Marco was the recipient of the 2017 International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Distinguished Scientist Award for Global Oral Health Research. Currently, Marco is the Vice-president of the IADR Global Oral Health Inequalities Research Network. 

Marco has supervised 37 postgraduate students, authored three books, fifteen book chapters and more than 250 peer-reviewed papers. His work has received more than 12,000 citations, an H index of 66.

Manabu Sumi


Manabu Sumi has worked in Japan's public health and global health arena over several decades. Currently, he serves as Director, Global Health Policy Division, International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the position he has held since July 2017.

Prior to joining MOFA, he was engaged in public health affairs in the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and Ministry of Environment of Japan, which involved the revision of the medical payment system, food safety, mental health, environmental health, and international health. He has also served as Director of Cancer Control Office, Health Service Bureau (2011), Director of Office of International food, Department of Food Safety (2012), and Counselor of the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations (2014). 

He received both medical and doctoral degrees from Nagoya University, and a master’s degree from Harvard School of Public Health.

Viroj Tangcharoensathien


Viroj Tangcharoensathien, MD. PhD, is the Senior Adviser to International Health Policy Program (IHPP), Ministry of Public Health. Trained in medicine at Mahidol University, he served for almost 10 years in small rural hospitals in north-eastern Thailand. He received the Thai Medical Association’s Best Rural Doctor Award in 1986. He completed a PhD on community health financing at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, supported by Rockefeller Foundation Scholarship, where his thesis won the Woodruff Medal in 1991 for the most outstanding PhD thesis of that year in the School.

In 2001 he co-found International Health Policy Programme (IHPP), Ministry of Public Health, Thailand as first Deputy Director, then Director, then Senior Advisor and now Secretary General. 

He received Edwin Chadwick Medal in 2011 for his contributions to improve health systems in the interests of the poor; and the Sam Adjei Distinguished Public Service Award in 2018 by the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research and Health Systems Global for his engagement in health systems development and research.  He received WHO Director-General’s Health Leaders 2019 Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership in Global Health. He published 240 articles in international peer review journals since 1989.

Benoit Varenne


Benoit Varenne is leading WHO’s work on the global agenda on oral health as Dental Officer in the Non-communicable Diseases Department, World Health Organization (WHO), HQ, Geneva.

Before joining WHO HQ, Benoit was the Regional Advisor for Oral Health in the WHO African region. In prior years, Benoit worked in consulting firms as a public health consultant for several years, as a consultant for WHO in the Eastern Mediterranean region and worked closely with numerous NGOs and other international health organizations. He has assisted ministries of health and health care planners in several parts of the world with a special focus on the African continent. 

Benoit Varenne graduated in medical dentistry in 1993 at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France and holds a PhD in Public Health and Epidemiology from University of Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris VI). In addition to France, Benoit Varenne has studied community health at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Gina Watson


Dr. Gina Watson currently works as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Representative in Ecuador. She holds a Medical Degree and an MSc degree in Public Health from the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua and an MSc degree in Mental Health, Human and Social Sciences from the University of León, Spain.

Dr. Gina Watson began her professional career in 1981, as a doctor in community services in Nicaragua. From 1985 to 1995 she was National Director of the Mother and Child programmes; Primary Health Care; Comprehensive Health Care, Health Policies and Hospitals; and Provisional Care for Insured Individuals and their Beneficiaries. In 1991, she started working with PAHO/WHO, when she was hired as a short-term consultant for various missions to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 1996, she was appointed as a Consultant for the Development of Health Services in Panama and reassigned to Trinidad and Tobago in 1999, where she worked as a Health Promotion Advisor. She has now assumed the direction of the PAHO/WHO Offices in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

Robert Weyant


Robert Weyant, DMD, DrPH, is Associate Dean for Public Health and professor and chair of the Department of Dental Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. He is professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health and on faculty of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.

Dr. Weyant has been a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health since 1987. Dr. Weyant is a past president of the American Association for Public Health Dentistry and is the current editor-in-chief of the Journal of Public Health Dentistry.

Dr. Weyant’s research involves general and social epidemiological research related to oral health disparities and oral disease etiology. His research is currently funded through several NIH-funded studies and he is the project director of a HRSA funded training grant for pediatric and public health dentists. Dr. Weyant teaches evidence-based practices and research methods courses to healthcare professionals at all levels.

Dr. Weyant has served on numerous local, state, and national committees aimed at reducing oral health disparities and increasing access to dental care. He received his MPH and his dental degree from the University of Pittsburgh and his doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Michigan.

UCL Support Staff

Marisza Hijryana 


Marisza Hijryana is a Research Assistant at the Dental Public Health Group, Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, University College London (UCL). She is working for the Lancet Commission on Oral Health project. She is currently supporting the work of the National Institute for Health and Research (NIHR) Global Oral Health group and ongoing activities linked to the UCL-World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre of Oral Health Inequalities and Public Health. She is actively involved in teaching and supporting postgraduate students at UCL. She is also an Honorary Fellow at Edinburgh Dental Institute, University of Edinburgh. 

Marisza obtained her PhD from the University of Edinburgh (UK) where she received Principal's Career Development and Edinburgh Global Research Scholarships. She completed a master’s in Public Health Methodology from Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) and a Doctor of Dental Surgery from Padjadjaran University (Indonesia).  

Michelle Stennett


Michelle Stennett is a Clinical Research Fellow working with the NIHR Global Oral Health group at University College London. She is currently supporting the work of the Lancet Commission on Oral Health and is also actively involved in teaching, supporting, and supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students at UCL. She is also a Senior Special Care Dentist and Research Lead for Hertfordshire Special Care Dental Service. 
Michelle graduated as a dentist from the University of Bristol. She has worked within several Community Dental Services across England and has extensive experience of providing clinical treatment for adult and paediatric patients with special care needs.  Michelle completed her Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgeons examinations at the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, holds an MSc in Dental Public Health from UCL and a Postgraduate Diploma in Global Health and Development from UCL.  She is also an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.