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ISC and its partners organised the 9th edition of the Science Summit around the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) on 12-29 September 2023.
The role and contribution of science to attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be the central theme of the Summit. The objective is to develop and launch science collaborations to demonstrate global science mechanisms and activities to support the attainment of the UN SDGs, Agenda 2030 and Local2030. The meeting will also prepare input for the United Nations Summit of the Future, which will take place during UNGA79 beginning on 12 September 2024.
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Friday, September 15 • 8:45am - 4:00pm
[VIRTUAL] Agenda setting for the Genomics Centres of Excellence in Africa including Research Cooperation and Capacity Building (150804)

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345 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010, USA
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Genomics Centres of Excellence in Africa
Genomics has the potential to significantly improve health outcomes in Africa.
Genomic research can help identify genetic variations that are associated with increased susceptibility to certain diseases prevalent in Africa, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, as well as sickle cell disease and other non-communicable diseases. By understanding the genetic factors underlying these conditions, healthcare providers can develop targeted interventions, early detection methods, and personalized treatment plans to improve outcomes.
Genomic data can enable precision medicine, an approach that tailors medical treatments to individual patients or populations based on their genetic makeup. By analyzing an individual's genetic profile, healthcare professionals can predict their response to specific medications, reducing adverse drug reactions and optimizing treatment efficacy. This approach can be especially beneficial in Africa, where genetic diversity is high, and certain populations may exhibit different responses to drugs commonly used in Western medicine.
Genomic sequencing can aid in tracking and monitoring infectious diseases in real time. By analyzing the genetic code of pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, scientists can identify outbreaks, trace the source of infections, and assess the effectiveness of treatment and prevention strategies. This information is crucial for developing targeted interventions and controlling the spread of diseases like Ebola, Lassa fever, and COVID-19.
Genomics research can contribute to capacity-building efforts in Africa by fostering collaborations between local scientists, international institutions, and researchers. This collaboration can help build local expertise, establish genomic research centres, and enhance scientific infrastructure. Moreover, increased research in genomics can lead to a better understanding of Africa's unique genetic diversity and the development of locally relevant solutions to health challenges.
The network of Genomics Centres of Excellence aims to facilitate the implementation of genomics to address several key SDGs, enabling African scientists to develop solutions to African challenges.

Agenda setting for the Genomics Centres of Excellence in Africa, including Research Cooperation and Capacity Building.
Friday, 15 Sept 2023

Declan Kirrane Chair, Science Summit at UNGA78; Co-Convenor
Nicola Mulder Head of Computational Biology, University of Cape Town, PI H3ABioNet and eLwazi Open Data Science Platform Co-Convenor 
Seema Kumar Cure

Opening Plenary: Delivering African capacity in genomics technologies to address the disease burden and improve health across African nations and the world.
Charles Rotimi Chair
Agnes Binagwaho Former Vice Chancellor of The University of Global Health Equity, Rwanda
Francis Collins Senior Advisor, NIH; Former NIH Director; Former Acting Science Advisor to President Biden -introduce GenCoE

Genomics and Health Security in Africa

Yenew Kebede Tebeje Chair
Yenew KebedeHead, Division of Laboratory Systems & Networks, Africa CDC
Charles RotimiScientific Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute
Ambroise WonkamDirector, McKusick-Nathans Institute and Department of Genetic Medicine
Nicola Mulder Head of Computational Biology, University of Cape Town, PI H3ABioNet and eLwazi Open Data Science Platform
Christian Happi Professor of Molecular Biology and Genomics, Department of Biological Sciences, Director of the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases

Panel I Addressing Inequities in Genomics for Health in Africa

Christian Happi Chair
Elmar Nimmesgern Interim Executive Director of the Global Health EDCTP3 Joint Undertaking and Policy Officer, Research and Innovation European Commission
Funmi Olopade Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health, The University of Chicago, USA
Raheel Qamar Head of S&T Sector ICESCO

Plenary Extraordinary Opportunities: Realizing the Potential of Genomics Research and its Applications in Africa
Chair: Ambroise Wonkam
Harold Varmus Chair of WHO Science Council
Sabin Nsanzimana Health Minister, Rwanda
Christian Happi Director of the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases

Lunch: Fostering Transformative Change: Strategic Investment in Health Research Across Africa (by invitation)

Panel II Potential Impact of Investment in Genomics, a Funder Perspective

Francis Collins Chair
Padmashree Sampath African Development Bank
Christine Hertz-Fowler Wellcome Trust
David Blazes Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Nidhi Bouri USAID (virtual)

14h15 Plenary Exploring Essential Partnerships in Advancing Genomic Initiatives
Chair: Thomas Kariuki
Rizwana Mia SAMRC, EU Africa PerMed
Mark McCarthy, Roche Genetech, PAGRA
Victoria Gray Sickle Cell Disease Patient advocate-

14h45 Plenary Data Governance, Regulation and Ethics in African Genomics
Chair: Nicola Mulder
Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana Member of the European Parliament 
Paulina Tindana, University of Ghana School of Public Health Geoff Ginsburg, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of the All of Us Research Program
Geoff Ginsburg, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of the All of Us Research Program (virtual)

GenCoE Implementation & Recommendations for the UN and the UN Summit of the Future, September 2024

Chair: Magdalena Skipper
Sabin Nsanzimana Health Minister, Rwanda
Ambroise Wonkam, Director, McKusick-Nathans Institute, and Department of Genetic Medicine
Christian Happi Professor of Molecular Biology and Genomics, Department of Biological Sciences, Director of the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases
Final comments from the panel.


avatar for Harold Varmus

Harold Varmus

Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine
avatar for Rizwana Mia

Rizwana Mia

Senior Program Manager -Precision Medicine, Medical Research Council South Africa
Rizwana Mia joined the SAMRC in February 2015. She is responsible for developing the South African Precision Medicine program and incorporating the South African Precision Medicine Think Tank. She has spearheaded strategic partnerships in creating programmatic research as well as... Read More →
avatar for Padmashree Gehl Sampath

Padmashree Gehl Sampath

Director, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and Harvard University
Professor Padmashree Gehl Sampath is the i.Chief Executive Officer of the African Pharmaceutical Technology Foundation, a new pan African institution dealing with technology issues, in Kigali, Rwanda. Until recently, she was with the Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University, where... Read More →
avatar for Yenew Kebede Tebeje

Yenew Kebede Tebeje

Head of the Division of Laboratory Systems, Africa CDC
Dr Yenew Kebede Tebeje is a medical microbiologist and public health expert with 20 years of clinical, teaching, laboratory science, research, capacity building, and programme design and management experience. His achievements include building laboratory systems in low-income countries... Read More →
avatar for Agnes Binagwaho

Agnes Binagwaho

Senior Lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard University
Professor Agnes Binagwaho is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, an initiative of Partners In Health focused on changing how health care is delivered worldwide by training the next generation of global health professionals to provide more equitable, quality... Read More →
avatar for Christiane Hertz-Fowler

Christiane Hertz-Fowler

Head of Directed Activity in Discovery Research at Wellcome Trust, Wellcome Trust
avatar for Geoffrey Ginsburg

Geoffrey Ginsburg

Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, National Institutes of Health
 Geoffrey Ginsburg, M.D., Ph.D., is the chief medical and scientific officer of the All of Us Research Program at the National Institutes of Health. He leads the Division of Medical and Scientific Research and is responsible for helping to set the scientific vision and strategy... Read More →
avatar for Paulina Tindana

Paulina Tindana

Associate Professor, University of Ghana
Paulina Tindana is an Associate Professor and Bioethicist at the Department of Health Policy, Planning and Management, School of Public Health, University of Ghana.  She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ghana in 1999, a certificate in Bioethics at the Johns... Read More →
avatar for Olufunmilayo Olopade

Olufunmilayo Olopade

Co-Chair of SickleInAfrica Consortium and Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health, The University of Chicago, USA
Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD, FACP, is an expert in cancer risk assessment and individualized treatment for the most aggressive forms of breast cancer, having developed novel management strategies based on an understanding of the altered genes in individual patients. She stresses comprehensive... Read More →
avatar for David Blazes

David Blazes

Deputy Director, Genomics, Epidemiology & Modelling, Global Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
David joined the Surveillance and Epidemiology program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in May 2016 after serving as a physician epidemiologist in the Navy. Currently he leads the Genomics, Epidemiology & Modelling initiative on the Enterics, Diagnostics, Epidemiology... Read More →
avatar for Christian Happi

Christian Happi

Director, African Center of Excellence for Genomics of infectious Diseases (ACEGID)
 Christian Happi, is a Professor of Molecular Biology and Genomics and Director of the World Bank-funded African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) in Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, Nigeria.Professor Christian Happi, did his postdoctoral... Read More →
avatar for Ambroise Wonkam

Ambroise Wonkam

SADaCC Principal Investigator, Sickle Africa Data Coordinating Center (SADaCC) UCT
Prof. Wonkam is a Professor of medical genetics, Director of GeneMAP (Genetic Medicine of African Populations) at the Faculty of Health Sciences University of Cape Town, South Africa.After MD training from the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé I (Cameroon... Read More →
avatar for Nicola Mulder

Nicola Mulder

Professor, Head of Computational Biology, University of Cape Town, H3ABioNet
I head the Computational Biology Division at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and am a full member of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine.I lead H3ABioNet, a Pan African Bioinformatics Network of 28 institutions in 17 countries, which is developing bioinformatics... Read More →
avatar for Francis Collins

Francis Collins

Science Advisor, White House
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., is the former director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As the longest serving director of NIH — spanning 12 years and three presidencies — he oversaw the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, from basic... Read More →
avatar for Dr Mark McCarthy

Dr Mark McCarthy

Executive Director, Genentech
avatar for Dr Charles Rotimi

Dr Charles Rotimi

Dr Rotimi received his undergraduate education in biochemistry from the University of Benin in Nigeria before immigrating to the United States for further studies. He started his education in the United States at the University of Mississippi, obtaining a master's degree in health... Read More →
avatar for Raheel Qamar

Raheel Qamar

Head of S&T Sector ICESCO
Prof Dr. Raheel Qamar, was a Tenured Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Former Rector at the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS University Islamabad), an international organization aiming to reduce the growing gap... Read More →

avatar for declan kirrane

declan kirrane

Chairman, Science Summit UNGA78
Declan Kirrane is the Founder and Managing Director of ISC Intelligence in Science, the chairman and managing director of the science Summit at the United Nations General assembly, and co-founder of Medicines for Future (MAF). He has over 25 years of experience as a global senior... Read More →

Friday September 15, 2023 8:45am - 4:00pm EDT