WIPO Re:Search Bios


Jorge Bermudez

Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)

Dr. Jorge Bermudez graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the Rio de Janeiro Federal University (UFRJ) in 1971 and earned his master’s degree in infectious and parasitic diseases from the same university in 1976. He received a doctorate of science from the National School of Public Health (ENSP) that collaborates with Fiocruz, where he holds the position of researcher. Prior to returning to Fiocruz he served as Unitaid Director from 2007 to 2011.

Between 2004 and 2007, Dr. Bermudez was head of the Medicines, Vaccines and Health Technologies Unit of PAHO/WHO for the region of the Americas, after having served as director for ENSP/Fiocruz (2001 and 2004) and research coordinator (1997 to 1998).

Dr. Bermudez was president of the Institute Vital Brazil on two occasions (1999 to 2001 and 1987 to 1991), as well as president of the Association of Official Pharmaceutical Laboratories of Brazil (ALFOB). Additionally, he served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Health in 1993 and director of Farmanguinhos (Fiocruz) between 1985 and 1987. He has published articles, books and chapters on issues such as public health, pharmaceutical policies, access to medicines and intellectual property, while he also supervises students who undertake masters and doctoral degrees in these areas.


David Brennan

Chief Executive Officer

David Brennan was appointed Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca effective 1 January 2006 and is now based at the global headquarters in London. From 2001 until his appointment to CEO, David was President and Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca LP, the Company’s North American subsidiary for the U.S. and Canada. He was appointed Executive Board Director of AstraZeneca in 2005.

David began his career in 1975 at Merck, where he started as a sales representative in the U.S. Division and later worked in sales and marketing management in the US and International divisions. He joined AstraMerck in 1992 and helped to build the joint venture into a multi-billion dollar business in the U.S. which was then merged to form AstraZeneca in 1999.

In addition to his role as Executive Director of AstraZeneca PLC he is also President of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA); Past Chairman of the Board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA); Member of the Executive Board of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA); Member of the European Roundtable of Industrialists; Member of the National Institute of Health Roundtable on Evidence Based Medicine; Commissioner of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills; Past Chairman of the Board of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Heart Association; Honorary Board member of the US CEO Roundtable on Cancer; Member of the Board of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

An alumnus of Gettysburg College, where he studied Business Administration, David is married with four children and six grandchildren. He enjoys scuba diving, cycling and is an amateur photographer.


Margaret Chan

Director General
World Health Organization

Dr. Margaret Chan, from the People's Republic of China, obtained her medical degree from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She joined the Hong Kong Department of Health in 1978, where her career in public health began.

In 1994, Dr. Chan was appointed Director of Health of Hong Kong. In her nine-year tenure as director, she launched new services to prevent the spread of disease and promote better health. She also introduced new initiatives to improve communicable disease surveillance and response, enhance training for public health professionals, and establish better local and international collaboration. She effectively managed outbreaks of avian influenza and of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

In 2003, Dr. Chan joined WHO as Director of the Department for Protection of the Human Environment. In June 2005, she was appointed Director, Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Response as well as Representative of the Director-General for Pandemic Influenza. In September 2005, she was named Assistant Director-General for Communicable Diseases. Dr. Chan was appointed to the post of Director-General on 9 November 2006. Her term will run through June 2012.


Muhammad Ali Dhansay

Acting President
South African Medical Research Council

The South African Medical Research Council (MRC) appointed Dr. Muhammad Ali Dhansay as the MRC Acting President from 1 January 2010 to 30 June 2010. As Acting Executive Director for Research at the MRC since August 2005, he has been a co-opted member of the MRC Executive Management Committee; and has been involved in the current strategic planning cycle, and in the restructuring of the MRC. He is an ex officio member of the MRC Ethics Committee; chairs the MRC Grants Committee; and has oversight of the 45 MRC Research Units, and MRC research in general.

Dr. Dhansay is also the MRC Vice-President of Research. He served as the director of the Nutritional Intervention Research Unit of the MRC from 2004 till the present; but for the past two years he has in addition served as Acting Executive Director for Research at the MRC.

Dr. Dhansay earned his medical degree at the University of Cape Town and was trained as a specialist in pediatrics and child health. He took a permanent position at the MRC as specialist scientist (medical), which brought a medical and health perspective to the nutrition work of the National Research Institute for Nutritional Diseases. He reached the level of Chief Specialist Scientist and was appointed Director of the MRC's Nutritional Intervention Research Unit in 2004.

Dr. Dhansay has served on advisory committees for the South African provincial and national departments of health and on the Council of the Nutrition Society of SA. He is a member of the SA Paediatric Association and the SA HIV Clinicians Society. He formerly served on the Editorial Board of the SA Journal of Clinical Nutrition; and is currently chair of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences SA National Board; a member of the Advisory Board of SA Cochrane Centre; and a Trustee for the International Life Sciences Institute in SA; and a member of the Academy of Science of south Africa Consensus Panel on Nutrition, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.


Francis Gurry

Director General
World Intellectual Property Organization

Mr. Francis Gurry was appointed Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Secretary-General of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) on October 30, 2008.

Francis Gurry began his WIPO career in 1985, initially in the Development Cooperation and External Relations Bureau for Asia and the Pacific. He was instrumental in establishing the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center in 1994 and subsequently in developing the highly successful Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. He served on the WIPO top management team from 1997, initially as Assistant Director General, then from 2003 as Deputy Director General with responsibility for patents and the PCT system, the Arbitration and Mediation Center, traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions and genetic resources. Before joining WIPO, Francis Gurry practiced as an attorney in Australia, and taught law at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He holds law degrees from the University of Melbourne and a Ph.D from the University of Cambridge, UK. He is the author of numerous publications and articles on intellectual property issues in international journals.

An Australian national, Francis Gurry speaks fluent English and French.


Lisa Harbin

Head of Group Intellectual Property
Novartis International AG

Alisa Harbin is Head of Group Intellectual Property at Novartis International AG. She is a member of the Legal Leadership Team and reports to the Group General Counsel.

Group IP is responsible for providing strategic guidance on IP matters, advising on the overall approach to utilization and purpose of IP at Novartis, advising on the balance of claim scope with policy concerns, overseeing the general business advice on the intellectual property matters and participating in developing and implementing overall IP strategy for the Divisions of Novartis: Pharma, Sandoz, NIBR, Vaccines & Diagnostics, Animal Health, OTC and Alcon Eye Care. Alisa assumed the position of Head of Group Intellectual Property in July 2007. Prior to her current role, Alisa was Head of Global IP at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Division, as of April 2006, upon the acquisition of Chiron Corporation by Novartis.

She was previously Vice President and Chief Patent Counsel (Jan. 2005) of Chiron Corporation, where she was responsible for providing and overseeing the general business advice on intellectual property matters and participated in developing and implementing overall IP strategy for the three business units of Chiron Corporation: Biopharmaceuticals, Vaccines and Blood Testing, including the Chiron-Ortho Joint Business for blood screening.

Before her tenure at Chiron Corporation, she served at Alza Corporation as a Patent Attorney (1994-95) and at Dickstein, Shapiro and Morin as an associate (1992-94). She received a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Washington D.C. in 1992, and holds a Bachelor in Chemistry, with a specialization in Biochemistry, from the University of Virginia. Alisa isa member of the New York Bar, licensed to practice before the US PTO and a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA).


David Jefferys

Senior Vice President - Global Regulatory, Government Relations, Public Affairs and European Product Safety
Eisai Europe Ltd

Dr. Jefferys is the Senior Vice President for Global Regulatory, Government Relations and European Product Safety, Eisai Europe and Chairman of the Eisai Global Regulatory Council. He also sits as a member of the European Trade Group of the UK Ministerial Industry Strategy Group and UK Innovation Board. He is Chairman of the ABPI Regulatory Affairs Group, Chairman of the EFPIA Regulatory Committee and a member of the SRMPC.

Dr. Jeffrys joined Eisai in January 2005 on retirement from an extensive career in the UK Civil Service. In February 2000 he was appointed Chief Executive Director of the Medical Devices Agency for the Department of Health. During this time he served on the Medical Device Expert Group of the European Union and on the Global Harmonisation Task Force. He was a member of the Healthcare Industry Task Force and chaired the Regulatory and Patient Safety Group of the Task Force. On the creation of the MHRA he acted as joint chief executive until April 2004, when he transferred to become special advisor in advanced healthcare technology to the Department of Health and worked on secondment with the EMEA on benefit/risk evaluation.


Donald R. Joseph

Chief Operating Officer
BIO Ventures for Global Health

Mr. Joseph was named Chief Operating Officer for BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) in April 2010. Mr. Joseph brings to the organization a wealth of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Before joining BVGH, he served in senior executive positions in both legal and business roles at private and publicly held biopharmaceutical companies including Renovis and Abgenix, where he played a key role in its acquisition by Amgen. He has consulted for a number of biopharmaceutical companies and previously served as COO of the Institute for OneWorld Health, a non-profit pharmaceutical company devoted to developing new and affordable medicines for neglected diseases.

Mr. Joseph has extensive business and legal experience, with more than 15 years in the biopharmaceutical industry. His industry projects have included a wide array of commercial, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, collaboration, and financing transactions, while providing business guidance for R&D, product launches, and sales and marketing. His therapeutic areas of experience include neurology, oncology, and antibody technology, as well as malaria and infectious diseases. His operations experience includes involvement with many marketed products in addition to research, preclinical, and clinical development of a number of products and technologies.

Prior to entering the biopharmaceutical industry, Mr. Joseph was an international partner in the San Francisco/Palo Alto office of Baker & McKenzie. He received his JD from the University of Texas Law School.


Duncan Learmouth

Senior Vice President, Developing Countries & Market Access

Duncan leads GSK’s Developing Countries and Market Access operating unit which was formed in August 2010. The group has a dedicated focus on delivering the strategic approaches needed to expand access to medicines for patients in Least Developed Countries.

Duncan is also a Board member of ViiV Healthcare, a global specialist HIV company established by GSK and Pfizer to deliver advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV.

Duncan was previously Senior Vice President, Global Communications, for GSK from 2006, and prior to this was Vice President, Global Investor Relations and Competitive Excellence. Duncan joined GSK in 1991.


Matern Lumbanga

Tanzanian Ambassador, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative to the United Nations

In 2006, Dr. Lumbanga was appointed to his position as Ambassador, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations. He served as coordinator of the Least Developed Countries Group for the World Trade Organization in 2009. Dr. Lumbanga has served Tanzania in many other capacities. From 1986 he was appointed Permanent Secretary in various ministries before assuming the highest civil service post of Chief Secretary (Heath of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet) in the Tanzanian government from 1995 to 2006. In this position he was responsible for many economic, social and political reforms.

Dr. Lumbanga graduated from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania with a degree in Economics, and he holds master’s and doctoral degrees in international relations.


Tom Okeyo

Kenyan Ambassador, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Dr. Mboya Okeyo is a public health specialist serving as Kenya’s Ambassador, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative to United Nations and to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Okeyo also serves as the Coordinator of the African Group to the World Trade Organization providing leadership in the ongoing Doha Development Agenda multilateral trade negotiations.

Prior to this appointment, was Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva with primary responsibility for managing Kenya’s relationship with the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, UNITAID, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, The GAVI Alliance, and other international health organizations in the period. Dr. Okeyo has held various management positions in the Kenyan Ministry of Health as Head of Department and in the Office of the President as Director on matters related to HIV/AIDS.


Geralyn S. Ritter

Vice President, Global Public Policy & Corporate Responsibility
Merck & Co.

Ms. Ritter is responsible for worldwide public policy, government affairs and corporate responsibility matters, as well as leading Merck's philanthropic initiatives. Ms. Ritter also serves as President of The Merck Company Foundation.

Prior to joining Merck in 2008, Ms. Ritter was Senior Vice President for International Affairs at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in Washington, DC. Before then, Ms. Ritter served as Trade Counsel at the Washington law firm of Covington & Burling, where she represented clients on international trade and intellectual property matters, as well as in international litigation and arbitration. While in Washington, Ms. Ritter also served for three years as Associate General Counsel for intellectual property matters at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in the Executive Office of the President.

Ms. Ritter received a master’s degree in International Studies from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. She received her law degree from the Stanford University School of Law in Palo Alto, California, and her undergraduate degree in economics and political science from Duke University.


Robert Sebbag

Vice President
Access to Medicines Sanofi

Dr. Robert Sebbag is currently Vice President Access to Medicines at Sanofi. In his role, he participates in the company’s access to medicines strategy development for the Southern Hemisphere. Prior to joining Sanofi, Robert Sebbag worked in Brussels for the European pharmaceutical industry association (EFPIA) on creating a communication platform for the pharmaceutical companies operating in Europe. In his prior role, he was Senior Vice President of Communications for the vaccine company, Aventis Pasteur (today known as Sanofi Pasteur).

In addition to his activities within the pharmaceutical industry, Robert Sebbag also teaches public health courses within the Paris hospital system, focusing on tropical parasitic diseases. He is active within the French Red Cross and has participated in numerous health missions in the Southern Hemisphere. Robert Sebbag is a Doctor in Medicine with specialty in tropical parasitic diseases and training in psychiatry.


Roy F. Waldron

Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel & Chief Intellectual Property Counsel
Pfizer Inc.

Roy F. Waldron is Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel at Pfizer Inc. He leads the team of Pfizer attorneys and professionals worldwide who procure patents, work closely with R&D, Business Development and the Pfizer Business Units, and ensure enforcement of trademarks.

Roy represents Pfizer on the committees of various industry organizations, including IFPMA, PhRMA, where he is chair of the IP Task Force, IPO, where he represents Pfizer on the Board of Directors, and INTERPAT. Roy joined Pfizer in 1999 from White & Case’s IP practice group, and was also previously an associate at Fish & Neave.

Roy has a JD from New York University School of Law, a PhD from Yale University (physical-organic chemistry) and a BA from Dartmouth College (chemistry). He was a DAAD Scholar at the Albrecht-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg Germany and a JSPS Post-Doctoral Fellow at Kyoto University in Japan.