Leading scientists Dr Michael Osterholm and Dr Maria Van Kerkhove to participate in COVID-19 plenary

Conference News 13 Oct 2020

A key plenary session on COVID-19 featuring epidemiologist Dr Michael T Osterholm of the University of Minnesota and Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, Head of the WHO’s Emerging Diseases Unit, will headline the conference programme of the 51st Union World Conference on Lung Health taking place virtually October 20-24.

Osterholm and Kerkhove will be joined at the conference by Her Imperial Highness Crown Princess Akishino of Japan, President Bill Clinton, World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Shannon Hader, NIAID Director Dr Anthony Fauci, UK Film and TV Actress and The Union’s TB Ambassador Claire Forlani, and Katherine Maher, CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation.   

“In these challenging times it is fitting that so many esteemed scientific and global health leaders are gathering together under the one virtual roof at the world´s leading lung health conference in the world,” said José Luis Castro, Executive Director of The Union. “It is a timely opportunity to affirm that scientific evidence-based policy must be paramount in our response to all infectious diseases, whether that be TB or COVID-19.”

Complete conference scientific programme unveiled

The 51st Union World Conference on Lung Health features an extensive offering of symposia, abstract-based sessions, as well as the TBScience programme.

The complete conference programme is now available as a fully searchable online agenda: SEE THE ONLINE PROGRAMME

COVID-19 highlights

Special Session: SARS-CoV2: The hope for a vaccine

Wednesday, October 21, 09:00-10:20 EST/15:00-16:20 CEST

  • Precious Matsoso, South Africa (moderator)
  • Anthony Fauci, Director, NIAID & member of the White House COVID-19 Taskforce, U.S.
  • Suerie Moon, Co-Director at the Global Health Centre, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Jeffrey Lazarus, Head of the Health Systems Research Group, Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Spain

Plenary Session 2: COVID-19, Major disrupter, new opportunities

Thursday October 22, 08:00-09:00 EST/14:00-15:00 CEST

  • Andrew Jack, Financial Times, UK (Moderator)
  • Michael T Osterholm, Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota, U.S.
  • Maria Van Kerkhove, Head of the WHO’s Emerging Diseases Unit, Switzerland
  • Allan Maleche, Executive Director, Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS (KELIN)

Special Session 2: COVID-19: Different strokes

Thursday October 22, 09:00-10:20 EST/15:00-16:20 CEST

  • Linda-Gail Bekker, Director of the Desmund Tutu HIV Centre, (Moderator)
  • Abdoulaye Bousso, Director, Health Emergency Operation Centre, Senegal
  • Glenda Gray, President, South African Medical Research Council, South Africa
  • Jodie McVernon, Professor & Director of Epidemiology, University of Melbourne at The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity & Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia

Symposia: COVID-19 in Pregnant Women

Saturday, October 24, 06:30-07:50 EST/12:30-13:50 CEST

  • Kristina Adams Waldorf, Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Washington, U.S.
  • Malavika Prabhu, Maternal Fetal Medicine Physician, New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine, U.S.
  • Moupali Das, Executive Director, HIV and Emerging Viruses, Gilead Sciences, U.S.
  • Anna Thorson, Research Manager, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research Department, WHO, Switzerland

Lung Health Plenary Sessions

Plenary Session 1: Prevention supports cure

Wednesday October 21, 08:00-09:00 EST/ 14:00-15:00 CEST

  • J Chakaya Muhwa, Past President of the Union, Kenya, (Moderator)
  • Helen McShane, Professor of Vaccinology, Nuffield Depart of Medicine, UK
  • Rovina Ruslami, Professor in clinical pharmacology, Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia
  • Arne von Delft, Co-Founder, TB Proof, South Africa

Plenary Session 3: Striving for Universal Health Coverage

Friday, October 23, 08:00-09:00 EST/ 14:00-15:00 CEST

  • Rosemary Mburu, Director WACI Health (Moderator)
  • Elizabeth Iro, Chief Nursing Officer, WHO
  • Erika Mohr-Holland, Epidemiologist, MSF, South Africa
  • Prachi Kathuria, Secretariat, Healthy India Alliance, India

Plenary Session 4: Greed, smoke and lung health

Saturday, 24 October 2020, 08:00-09:00 EST/ 14:00-15:00 CEST

  • Asma El Sony, Head of scientific Activities, Epidemiological Laboratory Epi-Lab Khartoum Sudan /International Public Health Expert, Sudan (Moderator)
  • Jorgen Vestbo, Professor of Respiratory Medicine, Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, UK
  • Fay Johnstone, Associate Professor, Public Health and Primary Care Theme, Menzies Institute for Medical Research University of Tasmania University of Tasmania, Australia
  • Elvis Ndikum Achiri, Civic Leader & President Association for the Promotion of Youth Leadership, Advocacy and Volunteerism (APYLAV), Cameroon


Follow Us

RT @UnionConference: 'Not #deaf or dead - Evidence based advocacy towards a 3rd choice for all people with DR-TB'. https://t.co/04EkIibfP6

RT @UnionConference: 'Not #deaf or dead - Evidence based advocacy towards a 3rd choice for all people with DR-TB'. https://t.co/04EkIibfP6

Back to top

Thank you for joining us. See you in 2021.