Global Health Perspectives with Derek Yach

Oct 17 2020 18 mins

An ongoing series of conversations with Dr. Derek Yach and experts in global health about how smoking sits at the nexus of many major health issues.

Karl Fagerström
Oct 08 2020 17 mins  
Karl Fagerström was born in Sweden in 1946. He studied at the University of Uppsala and graduated as a licensed clinical psychologist 1975. At that time, he started a smoking cessation clinic and invented the Fagerstrom Test for Cigarette Dependence. In 1981 he got his Ph.D. on a dissertation about nicotine dependence and smoking cessation. In the end of the seventies and early eighties he served as the editor-in-chief for the Scandinavian Journal for Behaviour Therapy. From 1983 through 1997 he worked for Pharmacia & Upjohn as Director of Scientific Information for Nicotine Replacement Products. He has worked with the nicotine gum Nicorette since 1975 and has been contributing to NRT developments such as patch, spray, pouch and inhaler. Ever since 1975 to 2010 he has been working clinically part-time. From 1997 to 2008 he worked with his private research clinic where he studied various drugs intended for treating nicotine dependence. Currently, he works with his own private consultancy (Fagerstrom Consulting). He is a founding member of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco and was the Deputy Editor of Nicotine & Tobacco Research from 2007-2018. He started the European SRNT affiliate in 1999 of which he has been the president up to 2003. His main research contributions have been in the fields of Behaviour Medicine, Tobacco, and Nicotine with 170 peer-reviewed publications of which he is the first author of 100. The current main interests are on understanding the positive effects of nicotine and reducing harm and exposure to tobacco toxins among all those who cannot give up smoking. He was awarded the WHO medal 1999 for outstanding work in tobacco control and 2013 he was the recipient of the Award on Clinical Science from the Society for Research on Tobacco and Nicotine.

Daniel Malan
Sep 17 2020 17 mins  
Daniel Malan is an assistant professor in business ethics at Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin. Daniel recently released a report titled, "Contradictions and Conflicts" ( where he analyzes the fundamental conflicts among 17 governments that claim a commitment to the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, while also owning major stakes in tobacco companies. This report was made possible by a grant from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. He is a former associate professor in ethics and governance and director of the Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa at the University of Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa, as well as a former visiting scholar at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. His focus areas are business ethics, corporate governance and corporate responsibility. He is the co-chair of the B20 Task Force on Integrity and Compliance (2020), a member of the Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-Corruption of the World Economic Forum, a member of the International Corporate Governance Network’s Disclosure and Transparency Committee and the regional partner for Africa at the International Center for Corporate Governance in St Gallen, Switzerland. He has consulted to the World Economic Forum, United Nations, International Finance Corporation as well as various large corporations and has worked in 41 countries. Previously he was an associate director with KPMG Forensic, where he was responsible for ethics and integrity services. His qualifications include a PhD in Business Administration, a Masters degree in Philosophy as well as a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA), all from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.

Donald Kenkel
Aug 21 2020 23 mins  
Donald Kenkel's expertise is in areas of health economics and public sector economics. Broadly speaking, most of his research is on the economics of disease prevention and health promotion. He is the author of the chapter on "Prevention" in the Handbook of Health Economics (2000). With external funding from the National Institutes of Health, he has conducted a series of studies on the economics of public health policies, including: alcohol taxes and other policies to prevent alcohol problems (Journal of Applied Econometrics 2001, American Economic Review Papers & Proceedings 2005); cigarette taxes to prevent youth smoking (Journal of Political Economy 2002, Journal of Health Economics 2008); and advertising to promote smoking cessation (Journal of Political Economy 2007). His more recent research is on the economics of cigarette sales on Indian reservations (National Tax Journal 2015), the economics of tobacco regulation (Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis 2015, Journal of Economic Literature forthcoming), and the market for e-cigarettes (Journal of Health Economics 2019, Journal of Risk & Uncertainty 2020). Another area of research and teaching interest is in cost-benefit analysis of public policies, especially policies that affect health. Kenkel is a former President of the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis. From July 2018 through April 2020 he was a Senior Economist and then Chief Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President. Donald Kenkel received a grant from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World in 2020.

Dr. Karen Nelson
Aug 19 2020 20 mins  
Karen E. Nelson, Ph.D. is the President of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), which has received a grant from the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. Prior to being appointed President, she held a number of other positions at the Institute, including Director of JCVI's Rockville Campus, and Director of Human Microbiology and Metagenomics in the Department of Human Genomic Medicine at JCVI. Dr. Nelson received her undergraduate degree from the University of the West Indies, and her Ph.D. from Cornell University. She has authored or co-authored over 200 peer reviewed publications, edited three books, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Microbial Ecology. Dr. Nelson is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences. Other honors include being named ARCS Scientist of the Year 2017; a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology; being inducted into the Indian National Academy of Sciences in 2018; and being appointed an Honorary Professor at the University of the West Indies as well as a Helmholtz International Fellow. Dr. Nelson has extensive experience in microbial ecology, microbial genomics, microbial physiology and metagenomics. Dr. Nelson has led several genomic and metagenomic efforts, and led the first human metagenomics study that was published in 2006. Additional ongoing studies in her group include metagenomic approaches to study the ecology of the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, studies on the relationship between the microbiome and various human and animal disease conditions, reference genome sequencing and analysis primarily for the human body, and other -omics studies.

Dr. Corinna Lathan
Jul 16 2020 17 mins  
Dr. Corinna Lathan is CEO and founder of AnthroTronix, Inc., a biomedical engineering research and development company creating innovative products in digital health, wearable technology, robotics, and augmented reality. Dr. Lathan is a member of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World's Board of Directors. Dr. Lathan has served as principal investigator on multiple grants from funding agencies such as DARPA, NASA, NIH, and NSF. Most recently, Dr. Lathan led the AnthroTronix team to develop DANA™, an FDA-cleared, mobile digital health software platform for the Department of Defense as a deployed diagnostic support to evaluate cognitive function during treatment for depression, brain injury, and post-traumatic stress. For this work, she was named a 2017 Woman to Watch by Disruptive Women in Health Care. Dr. Lathan is founding co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Human Enhancement and is a thought leader on technology trends that impact health and health care. Dr. Lathan has been featured in Forbes, Time, and the New Yorker magazines, and her work has led to such distinctions as Maryland’s “Top Innovator of the Year,” MIT Technology Review magazine’s “Top 100 World Innovators,” and one of Fast Company magazine’s “Most Creative People in Business.” Dr. Lathan was named a Technology Pioneer and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and served as chair of their Global Agenda Council for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. Dr. Lathan serves as a director of PTC, Inc., a global technology provider of Internet of Things (IoT) and Augmented Reality platforms, and is a member of the audit committee. She also serves as a director of the non-profit boards Engineering World Health and the KID-Museum, and she is on the advisory board of the Smithsonian Institute’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Before founding AnthroTronix, Dr. Lathan was an associate professor of biomedical engineering at The Catholic University of America and an adjunct associate professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Lathan received her BA in biopsychology and mathematics from Swarthmore College, and an MS in aeronautics and astronautics and PhD in neuroscience from MIT.

Villoo Morawala-Patell
Jul 06 2020 17 mins  
Dr. Villoo Morawala-Patell, Founder and CMD of Avesthagen Limited and The Avestagenome Project® is an innovator, involved in international biotechnology development, academic and corporate leadership with a longstanding interest in global development leading to establishment of global networks and alliances with academia and industry. She is an experienced deal maker having raised capital from PE and strategic financing with firms and foundations globally. Dr. Villoo Patell is the recipient of many awards of international and national acclaim as a scientist and as an entrepreneur including the French National Order “L’officier du Merite”, ‘Karmaveer Puraskar’ award, “Parsi Entrepreneur par Excellence Award”, “Outstanding women entrepreneur of the year” awards. Her academic research experience spans research work at highly reputed institutions globally, including ICRISAT, IBMP-CNRS, Strasbourg, University of Ghent, NCBS-TIFR. Prior to embarking on her entrepreneurial journey. She has been the recipient of grants from many prestigious institutions like the J.N. TATA, Rockefeller Foundation, IFCPAR, USAID (US Agency for International Development), DFID (Department for International Development, in the United Kingdom), World Bank and currently a grant awardee from the Foundation for Smoke Free World (FSFW). Dr. Villoo Patell’s international biotechnology experience coupled with her longstanding interest in global development from building international networks and alliances with academia and industry led to her founding Avesthagen Limited. Avesthagen Limited is built around the convergence of food, pharma, environment-adjusted agriculture, and population genomics, leading to predictive, preventive, and personalized healthcare driven by a systems biology approach to population genetics and food security. For more about Villoo’s recent work:

Dyborn Chibonga
May 26 2020 18 mins  
Dyborn Chibonga is the regional head for Malawi and Mozambique at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an alliance aimed to catalyze and sustain inclusive agriculture transformation for smallholder farmers in Africa. He has more than 25 years of experience advocating for product diversification away from tobacco into other cash and food crops, as well as policy and regulatory reforms that promote food security and rural development. Mr. Chibonga previously served as the CEO of the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) for 18 years. During this time, Mr. Chibonga grew the organization to more than 165,000 farmers, making it the largest smallholder-owned membership organization in Malawi. He transformed NASFAM from a small association into a sustainable business and a model for other countries to follow. Under Mr. Chibonga’s leadership, NASFAM established the Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa, a platform designed to encourage competitive bidding processes for smallholder farmers when selling their crops. Mr. Chibonga is from Malawi and provides strategic guidance as a member of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World's board of directors. Mr. Chibonga is also a board member of the Cooperative Insurance Company of Malawi, the Jubilee University Council and the Commercial Agriculture Support Services. He holds a BS degree from the Bunda College of Agriculture at the University of Malawi and an MSc in landscape ecology design & maintenance from the University of London, where he also holds a master’s certificate in NGO management.

Melonie Kastman
May 19 2020 16 mins  
Melonie Kastman has worked for 20+ years in film, producing television commercials for major brands and networks, partnered with dozens of the top ad agencies and production companies to film around the globe (list available upon request) Moving into the documentary world, most notably directed "Road to Change" inside the life of an African President, filming with then President of Sierra Leone H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma as he worked to rebuild his country after a violent civil war. Other clients include African Leadership Academy, The American Cancer Society, Doctors Without Borders, Ronald McDonald House Charities, UN Department of Peacekeeping, Crow Collection of Asian Arts, The Greenbelt Movement: filmed with Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wanguri Maathi, Foundation for a SmokeFreeWorld, The Carlyle Group, World Food Program, USAID, Themiis Institute, and the Conrad Foundation at NASA . Most currently Melonie followed the UN Ebola Emergency Response team in Democratic Republic of Congo as they coordinated efforts to curb the 2nd largest Ebola epidemic, located in an area of high insecurity, conflict and facing rebel attacks o health care workers ad facilities. Ongoing Projects: For the launch of The Foundation for SmokeFreeWorld, an NGO focused on ending smoking in a generation. Melonie filmed a short documentary "The True Cost of a Cigarette" which depicts the unintended consequences of decline in demand for small shareholder tobacco farmers in developing nations. We continue to film and follow their important story across the globe. First feature length documentary (currently in post production) "...until there is peace" follows a special group of Peacekeepers known as the Force Intervention Brigade as they go about their work, not only protecting civilians but also working to eliminate the rebel forces, in the largest and most dangerous UN Peacekeeping mission in the world, MONUSCO in The Democratic Republic of Congo.

Gerry Stimson
May 14 2020 20 mins  
Gerry Stimson is a British public health social scientist, emeritus professor at Imperial College London from 2004, and a former honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine from 2017. Stimson has over 220 scientific publications mainly on social and health aspects of illicit drug use, including HIV infection. He has sat on numerous editorial boards including AIDS, Addiction, and European Addiction Research, and with Tim Rhodes he was the co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Drug Policy from 2000 to 2016. He is one of the global leaders for research on and later advocacy for harm reduction. From 2010 he has focused on tobacco harm reduction. Since 2010 Stimson has focused on how harm reduction can be applied to reduce the toll of death, disease and disability caused by tobacco use. He is now co-director of the Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (GSTHR), a project supported by the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. The GSTHR maps the availability, use and regulation of safer nicotine products and the public health potential of tobacco harm reduction worldwide. The GSTHR publishes a biennial report (new edition forthcoming November 2020) and a website which offers users tools to research and compare country-level data on safer nicotine products. In early 2020, the GSTHR team published 'Tobacco harm reduction and the right to health', an introductory briefing paper to support tobacco harm reduction advocacy.

Dr. Tikki Pangestu
May 12 2020 22 mins  
Tikki joined the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy after 13 years at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland as Director of its Research Policy & Cooperation department. In this capacity, he worked with countries to strengthen their national health research systems, developed mechanisms and initiatives to improve the efficiency and transparency of global health research, and helped formulate an Organization-wide research policy. After following a traditional academic career path in Malaysia, his experience at the WHO convinced him that the generation of knowledge must be accompanied by its translation and utilization, and the bridging of the ‘know-do’ gap into effective and sustainable public policies in order to improve the health of humankind, especially in the developing world. In turn, and in order to ensure its effective implementation, effective public policies must exist in a climate of good global governance as health in a globalized world is increasingly becoming a trans-national issue which knows no borders. Tikki’s main research and academic interests are in infectious diseases, the impact of genomics on public health, global health governance, national health research systems, knowledge translation, research transparency & accountability, and the use of evidence in health policy development. In these areas he has published more than 200 scientific articles and 12 books, edited volumes and reports. This includes several major WHO reports, includingGenomics and World Health (2002), the World Report on Knowledge for Better Health (2004) and a History of Research in WHO (2010). His involvement with the LKY School of Public Policy began in 2009 through the ST Lee Project on Global Health Governance. Tikki holds a BSC (Honours) and PhD degrees from the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia in the fields of biochemistry and microbiology/immunology. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (UK), American Academy of Microbiology (USA), Institute of Biology (UK) and the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia. He was the Founding Editor of Health Research Policy & Systems and the Asia-Pacific Journal of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

Dr. Pooja Patwardhan
Apr 29 2020 15 mins  
Coming from a family of 3 generations of doctors, Pooja has always been passionate about providing holistic care to patients. Graduating with a first-class from one of India’s top medical schools, she has worked in medical research in Singapore and is now a front line doctor in an inner-city practice, working with marginalized and underprivileged communities in the UK. She is a strong believer in preventive medicine and working with people to help them make healthier life choices. Along with working as a GP, she is also a clinical director and co-founder of the Centre for Health Research and Education (CHRE), working globally on tobacco cessation with a mantra of ‘Bridging the Policy and Practice gap’. Until now she has upskilled and empowered 100s of influencers in UK as well as in India, as part of the mission of creating local champions, to support tobacco users in their quitting journey. People with mental health conditions have significantly high smoking rates and die nearly 10-20 earlier than those without mental health conditions. Pooja has been making a positive impact in the challenging area of helping people with mental health conditions quit smoking. During the COVID pandemic, Pooja has been warning Public Health to pre-empt a surge in tobacco use and work proactively to prevent another healthcare calamity hitting the world. She herself has been at the forefront of creating and disseminating “Quit During Covid” message using innovative ways, during the lockdown period.

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