SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), a nonprofit global health organization, announced today that Dr. Stefan Kaufmann, Founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology; and Dr. Groesbeck Parham, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Honorary Professor at the University of Zambia, global health experts, have joined its Board of Directors.
“I am very pleased to welcome Groesbeck and Stefan to the BVGH Board of Directors,” said BVGH Board Chair and President & CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) Jim Greenwood. “Together they bring a tremendous breadth of experience across global health disciplines and a passion to improve the lives of patients in low-and-middle income countries (LMIC). The expansion of BVGH’s Board aligns with our mission to impact patients not only in the neglected infectious disease arena, but across non-communicable diseases with a focus on improving access to cancer therapeutics in Africa,” Greenwood added.
“Developing regions and particularly African countries are now facing a double burden of both infectious and non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases,” said Jennifer Dent, BVGH President. “BVGH has led key programs focused on addressing infectious diseases – such as the United Nations’ WIPO Re:Search program – and is now expanding its attention toward engaging the biopharmaceutical industry in programs and partnerships to ensure patients in low income countries have access to proper diagnosis, treatment, and healthcare for non-communicable diseases with an initial focus on cancer,” Dent concluded. “Together, Stefan and Groesbeck bring a nonprofit, academic and on-the-ground African perspective to our work.”
Recently, the alarm has been raised in many countries, including Kenya, over the high incidences of cancer, which are compounded by the public health system’s poor capacity to manage what Kenyan media have labelled “the cancer crisis.”
The United Nations sustainable development goals saw 193 countries commit to 17 ambitious goals to alleviate poverty and bring about development even in the poorest of countries, with goal 3.4 specifically pledging to “reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases.” BVGH’s aim is to contribute to this important SDG as well as goal number 17, to foster partnerships and collaboration across industry and other sectors.
Dr. Stefan Kaufmann is a world-renowned immunologist and microbiologist, and Founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology. In addition, he is Professor for immunology and microbiology at the Charité University Clinics, both in Berlin, Germany. He has spent the past three decades studying immunity to bacterial pathogens – most notably tuberculosis – and the translation of these findings into the rational design of vaccines and biomarkers. Dr. Kaufmann advises the German government, European Commission and many infectious disease institutions on their strategies and efforts to address the burden of infectious diseases in populations living in poverty. “I am excited to help BVGH bring the benefits of modern biopharmaceutical solutions to the significant health challenges that have plagued developing nations for decades,” said Dr. Kaufmann.
Dr. Groesbeck Parham is a Professor of Obstetrics-Gynecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition, he is an Honorary Professor at the University of Zambia. Dr. Parham is a leader in cervical cancer prevention in resource-limited settings and led the first broad-scale cervical cancer screening and treatment program for HIV-infected women in sub-Saharan Africa. “Having worked in the field of cervical cancer in Africa for most of my career, I am looking forward to supporting BVGH to speed its efforts to help address the growing problem of cancer in Africa,” Dr. Parham said.
BVGH recently released highlights of its 2016 programs and events here.
BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) is a results-oriented nonprofit organization based in Seattle, Washington, USA whose mission is to engage private industry in global health initiatives. BVGH engages global health stakeholders in partnerships to accelerate the development of new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics that address the unmet medical needs of the developing world. Working at the crossroads of the biopharmaceutical industry and global health, BVGH creates customized programs that fit the needs and capacity of partners and impact health in measurable ways.
About Max Planck Society and Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
The Max Planck Society is Germany's most successful research organization. The 83 Max Planck Institutes and facilities conduct basic research in the service of the general public in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Max Planck Institutes focus on research fields that are particularly innovative, or that are especially demanding in terms of funding or time requirements. The Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology was founded in 1993. Its research priorities are to set a standard of excellence in infection biology research by bringing together scientists to cover interdisciplinary research subjects including immunology, cellular biology and molecular genetics and to establish dynamic collaborations with hospital clinics and with research departments at the universities. Therefore, the institute is located on the campus of the University Hospital Charité, situated right in the center of Berlin. The Department of Immunology, headed by Prof. Stefan H.E. Kaufmann, focuses on the immune response to bacterial pathogens with an emphasis on tuberculosis.
About University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.