Héctor Hugo Garcia, M.D., Ph.D., President, Co-founder, Board Member. Professor, Department of Microbiology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Perú; Director, Center for Global Health, Tumbes, Perú; Head, Cysticercosis Unit, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Neurológicas, Lima, Perú
Dr. Garcia is one of the foremost researchers world-wide in the study of neurocysticercosis, a preventable parasitic infection of the central nervous system caused by the pork tapeworm Taenia solium. His team has performed several of the most important studies examining the clinical benefits of the cysticidal drugs albendazole and praziquantel, improving treatment and preventing the need for retreatment of patients with neurocysticercosis. Dr. Garcia has a long history in global health research and training, including the successful direction of a 10 year cysticercosis elimination program in northern coastal Peru funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He leads the Cysticercosis Working Group in Peru, a multi-institutional group working in varied aspects of cysticercosis research supported by NIH, The Wellcome Trust, and other agencies. This network also offers hands-on training in global health research to local scientists and health professionals, supported by the NIH Fogarty International Center. His lab has over 250 peer-reviewed publications in cysticercosis and other research in diverse subjects of public health importance in Peru.
He earned his Ph.D. in 2002 from The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and his M.D. in 1989 from The Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru. He has been a senior international research fellow of The Wellcome Trust, UK, and was awarded the Christophe and Rodolphe Merieux Prix from the Merieux Foundation and the lnstitut de France in 2011. He is on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Experimental Parasitology, and World Journal of Gastroenterology; an associate editor for PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases; and an editorial consultant for the Lancet.
Richard John Horton, MB BChir, MRCGP, FFPM, Secretary, Co-founder, Board Member. Principal, Tropical Projects, Hitchin, UK
John Horton is a physician with extensive experience in neglected tropical diseases. For the past 35 years, he has been involved in research into tropical diseases, specifically into chemotherapy, initially working at GlaxoSmithKline (and its predecessors) and for the past 10 years as an independent consultant, providing his expertise to drug and clinical development programs under the auspices of the WHO and more recently the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Much of his work has been focused on the development of public health initiatives for neglected diseases, including those caused by helminths. He was largely responsible for driving the development of albendazole for the treatment of cysticercosis, as well as developing the scientific rationale for global eradication programs for soil transmitted nematodes and filariasis. As the global expert on albendazole, and with a unique insight into development of interventions for tropical diseases including cysticercosis, Dr. Horton is well qualified to analyze the toxicity of interventions, to design clinical studies and to evaluate how these fit within the regulatory framework. In addition he has a good working knowledge of the drugs currently used within the field of neglected diseases and understands issues relating to drug/drug interactions, especially when considering drug development and clinical interventions.
Ellen E. Codd, M.S., Treasurer, Co-founder, Board Member. Principal, Codd Consulting, LLC, Blue Bell, PA
Ms. Codd brings over 25 years experience in the pharmaceutical sector (Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline) to bear on health issues disproportionately affecting those in resource poor countries. Current projects focus on the preparation of INDs, NDAs, Orphan Drug Applications and related activities aimed at bringing forward new medicines to treat Neglected Tropical/Orphan Diseases. In collaboration with global health professionals in academia, biotech and/or pharmaceutical companies, Ms. Codd represents projects in discussions with the FDA, serves as an interface for work conducted via the NIH or in contract labs, and uses the scientific literature to progress projects to clinical study. Recognized for her ability to bring together diverse groups to successful project outcomes, she draws on strong organizational and strategic skills, which have resulted in the advancement and approval of new medicines.
Ellen Codd has an M.S. in biochemistry and has studied at the Summer Institute of Tropical Medicine at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. A member of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the Society for Neuroscience and the American Pain Society, she has over 75 peer-reviewed publications, numerous abstracts and 15 issued patents.
Robert H. Gilman, M.D., DTM&H, Co-founder, Board Member. Professor, Johns Hopkins University, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD; Investigative Professor, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Associate AB PRISMA, Lima, Peru
Dr. Gilman has worked in Peru for the last 30 years in collaboration with the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) and the NGO AB PRISMA. There is a JHU-directed laboratory at the UPCH, as well as multiple population based sites including one at Iquitos in the Amazon jungle. The group in which he works has conducted studies under the auspices of NIH, USAID, IDRC, FDA, Welcome Trust, Gates Foundation and other international agencies and has been highly productive with more than 400 papers published in peer‑reviewed journals in the last 20 years. In addition to being a tenured professor at JHSPH, Dr. Gilman holds the position of Research Professor in the Department of Microbiology at UPCH. He resided in Peru for 18 years and now spends at least four months per year in Peru. His expertise in tropical diseases especially related to diarrhea and parasitic disease derives from an extensive history of work in diverse locations including Malaysia, Bangladesh and Peru. Importantly, he has worked on oxfendazole with the present group over several decades.
Armando Emiliano Gonzalez, D.V.M., M.Sc., Ph.D., Co-founder, Board Member. Professor, Veterinary School, San Marcos University, Lima, Perú; Head, Laboratory Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics; Associate Researcher, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Perú
As a veterinary epidemiologist, Dr. Gonzalez has studied porcine cysticercosis in Peru and proposed control methods for the parasite. He designed and conducted a series of studies on the efficacy of oxfendazole against T. solium in pigs. These time course, dose effect, and comparative studies against established antiparasitic drugs have demonstrated the effectiveness of oxfendazole. Importantly, drug treatment of T. solium infected pigs resulted in meat that is suitable for human consumption. The established treatment regimen was used to control T. solium cysticercosis in different endemic locations in Peru, including Tumbes, where the parasite was eliminated in 2003.
These extensive oxfendazole preclinical pharmacology studies form an important base for our work investigating oxfendazole as a potential treatment for several human parasitic infections.