Neglected Tropical Diseases

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Brought to you by Hopkins at Home and the Office of Alumni Relations / Lifelong Learning.

Join us for a virtual webinar examining the world of tropical disease through the lens of Malaria and Onchocerciasis (also known as Riverblindness). On the heels of a global pandemic, disease transmission finds itself in the spotlight. Some infectious diseases mitigated in developed countries continue to plague communities influenced by poverty, absence of clean water, and lack of medical care. Unaddressed, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) weaken the global economy and increase the risk of their emergence or re-emergence in developed countries.

Uncover the ways in which governments, global agencies, and the private sector came together to defeat Riverblindness through the work of Bruce Benton, SAIS '68, author and manager of the World Bank/WHO cosponsored onchocerciasis control programs for two decades. Explore how groups are working to reduce the spread of Malaria both here and abroad with Dr. Clive Shiff, Professor Emeritus, Bloomberg School of Public Health. Finally, take a systems view of tropical disease as Dr. Chandresh Harjivan, BSPH '00, Co-Founder, President and Chief Operating Officer, SaponiQx, shares his experience working with agencies to accelerate access to health care innovations to solve complex health problems. 

Riverblindness in Africa: Taming the Lion's Stare by Bruce Benton is available to purchase through the Johns Hopkins University Press. Use discount code HRIV23 for 30% off valid 1/24/23 to 2/28/23.

ABOUT Dr. Clive Shiff
Professor Emeritus, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

South African-trained Dr. Clive Shiff is one of the most experienced full-time researchers and lecturers in America’s entire health sector. Dr. Shiff completed an MSc in Zoology and Entomology in 1956 and a PhD in 1964 at Rhodes University. He is Professor Emeritus at Johns Hopkins within the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Department. As a young researcher and field officer, Dr. Shiff helped develop several life-saving innovations, including low-cost hygienic pit latrines and simple environmental interventions for village water supplies. Dr. Shiff aslso led key research in the relationship between bilharzia (now called schistosomiasis) and bladder cancer and remains an investigator at the Malaria Institute in Macha, Zambia. 

Dr. Shiff was twice President of the Rhodesia Scientific Association, a body that originated in 1896 and represented the wide range of scientists who contributed greatly to the development of local science. Due to his expertise, he holds a position within the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Integrated Vector Control, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Committee on DDT and its use against malaria.

ABOUT Mr. Bruce Benton (SAIS '68)
Author, Riverblindness in Africa: Taming the Lion's Stare and former Manager of the World Bank/WHO cosponsored Onchocerciasis Control Programs

Riverblindness in Africa is the culmination of Bruce Benton's forty-year career focused on development assistance for Africa. Much of that career involved leading a World Bank–sponsored partnership to eliminate the disease throughout Africa. His leadership on riverblindness was recognized by the World Bank president with a Special Presidential Award in 2000. Benton began his career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea in the mid-1960s. Subsequently, he earned a master's degree in African studies from Johns Hopkins University and one in development economics from the University of Michigan. He was responsible for commodity negotiations and the international development banks in the Office of the Secretary of the US Treasury throughout the 1970s, and advised the US Congress on foreign assistance prior to joining the World Bank in 1982. In retirement, Bruce taught global health at Georgetown University. Bruce and his wife, Patricia, recently moved from Bethesda, Maryland, where they raised four children, to beautiful Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest.

ABOUT Dr. Chandresh Harjivan
President, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of SaponiQx

Chandresh Harjivan is the President, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of SaponiQx, funded by AgenusBio and GingkoBioworks, and has over 15 years of experience in management consulting. Dr. Harjivan has dedicated his career to improving public health, first within the pharmaceutical and health care industries, and then in the public sector.  His career has led him to work at such companies as Boston Consulting Group and PwC and where he led global public health consulting. He has advised companies, multilaterals NGOs, and governments on crucial issues in global health and security, including understanding the epidemiology of existing and emerging diseases, the development and delivery of technologies against those diseases—whether new diagnostics, drugs, vaccines, or digital tools—as well as on advising where to make healthcare investments.

Dr. Harjivan graduated from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and received a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Business Administration from Oxford University, and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Maryland.

 Event Date
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Start Time: 2:00pm EST
End Time: 4:00pm EST


Virtual Livestream
Baltimore, MD 21218

Office of Alumni Relations
Hopkins at Home

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