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Celebrating alumni awards and achievements

Over the last few months we have received fantastic news of awards and achievements from our alumni network. In case you missed any of the announcements, here is a roundup of how some of our alumni are being recognised around the world.

On 23 May 2017 the World Health Assembly elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General.

Dr Ghebreyesus, an MSc Immunology of Infectious Disease alumnus (1992), and an Honorary Fellow (2012) was selected from a shortlist that included two other tedroscandidates, Pakistan candidate Dr Sania Nishtar and UK candidate Dr David Nabarro. Dr Nabarro is also an alumnus of the School; he studied an MSc Community Health in Developing Countries in 1979 and was awarded an Honorary Fellow in 1999.

Prior to being elected as the next WHO Director-General, Dr Ghebreyesus served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia from 2012–2016 and as Minister of Health, Ethiopia from 2005–2012. He has also served as chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; as chair of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board, and as co-chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

On the announcement of his new position, Dr Ghebreyesus received an outpour of support from LSHTM staff, students, alumni and friends of the School on the Alumni Facebook page and other social media platforms. He took time to thank the LSHTM community on Twitter for recognising his achievement.

Dr Ghebreyesus will begin his five-year term as WHO Director-General on 1 July 2017, succeeding Dr Margaret Chan who has been WHO Director-General since 1 January 2007.

On 3 May the Government of Dominica nominated Dr. Carissa F. Etienne for a second term as Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, the secretariat of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The PAHO serves as the regional office for the Americas of WHO and is the specialized health agency of the inter-American system. Dr Etienne a medical doctor and an MSc Community Health in Developing Countries alumna (1982) was elected Director of PAHO in September 2012 and began her five-year term on February 1, 2013. PAHO Member States will elect the new Director during the 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference, scheduled for 25-29 September 2017 in Washington, D.C.

On 23 May we received the news that PhD in Public Health alumna (2010) Dr. Sylvia Struck was selected as one of 80 women who will be part of the Homeward Bound leadership initiative for women in STEMM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Medicine) that culminates in a trip to Antarctica.

In April 2017, alumna Dr Celina Turchi was named one of the Time 100 Most Influential People for 2017. Dr Turchi is an infectious disease specialist who studied an MSc Epidemiology at the School in 1991 has lead the Brazilian microcephaly research effort in partnership with LSHTM Professor Laura Rodrigues. Dr Turchi’s studies were part of an emergency investigation that ultimately proved that Zika does indeed cause microcephaly.

On 7 March 2017, MSc Infection & Health in the Tropics alumna (1996), Dr. Joy Pamela Rendi-Wagner was appointed Minister of Health and Women for Austria. Dr Rendi-Wagner has worked internationally as a scientist in the areas of infection epidemiology, vaccine prevention and travel medicine. Her achievements include setting up a network for nationwide epidemiological monitoring of major infectious diseases. As a result of her research, the recommended interval for tick protection vaccinations was extended from three to five years.

Feature Image 2 copyIn April 2017 Dr. Cesar Victora, PhD in Health Care Epidemiology alumnus (1983) won the prestigious 2017 Gairdner Global Health Award. On 17 March 2017 MSc Medical Microbiology alumnus (1981), Professor Barry Cookson won the Royal College of Physicians’ Excellence in Patience Care Lifetime Achievement Award 2017. On 16 February 2017 MSc in Medical Entomology (1996) and MPhil/PhD in Infectious and Tropical Diseases (2000-2006) alumnus, Dr. Pablo Manrique won the British Council Alumni Award 2017 for Social Impact. Read more about Cesar Victora, Barry Cookson and Pablo Manrique on the Alumni Blog.

Congratulations to everyone!

We love to celebrate and recognise the achievements of our alumni and we are so proud to see our mission of improving health worldwide in action through our alumni community. If you have an achievement that you would like to share on the Alumni Blog, please contact us at

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