Plenary speakers


Anthony Staines

Chair of the 14th EPH Conference 2021 and Professor of Health Systems

Anthony Staines is Professor of Health Systems at the Centre for Integrated Care and School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. He is an epidemiologist and a  public health consultant whose research focusses on the uses of (digital) information in health care. He has a particular interest in child health and disability. Working closely with the Health Intelligence Unit in the Health Services Executive in Ireland, he has led a number of projects to deliver innovative health information approaches in Ireland and Europe.
He teaches on programmes in public health and health systems within DCU, and on digital health in an innovative national programme led by the Health Services Executive.
He was formerly the chair of the Irish Blood Transfusion service, and now leads St. Michael’s House, one of the larger providers of services for people with Intellectual Disability in Ireland.

Regien Biesma-Blanco

Chair of the International Scientific Committee 2021

Ass. Prof Global Maternal and Child Health (BSN, MSc, MSc, PhD)

Dr Regien Biesma is an epidemiologist / public health specialist with a research focus on estimating and reducing the disparity gap in maternal, neonatal and child health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). She has a particular interest is global nutrition. Her work explores factors during (pre)pregnancy, birth outcomes, early child growth and health and disease later in life.
Regien Biesma works at the Global Health Unit, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), Groningen, the Netherlands, where she coordinates the advanced research master programme on Health Systems and Prevention, supervises PhD candidates and coordinates the ‘Safe Motherhood’ PhD Network. Before joining UMCG in 2018, she spent 11 years at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland where she lectured in Global Public Health and Epidemiology and worked on health systems and policy research in Africa and Asia. She was an invited expert for the World Health Organization expert consultation on maximizing positive synergies between health systems and Global Health Initiatives.
Regien Bosma is a research fellow at the Aletta School of Public Health, the Netherlands and a member of the Netherlands Working Group on international Nutrition and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Lifecourse Nutrition Center, Agder University, Norway.

José Alcami Pertejo

National Centre for Microbiology, Institute of Health Carlos III, Madrid, Spain

Jose Alcami Pertejo directs the AIDS Immunopathology Unit at the National Centre for Microbiology within the Institute of Health Carlos III, Madrid, Spain. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, he is also the coordinator of the Scientific Analysis Group on Coronavirus, in charge of writing scientific and technical reports on prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of the virus and the disease. Dr Alcamí works very actively in dissemination in science through social networks YouTube: El maletín del Dr Pepe and Twitter: @pepealcami.

Andrea Ammon

Director European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

Dr Andrea Ammon, MD, MPH, was appointed Director of ECDC in June 2017. From April 2011 to April 2015, Andrea Ammon was Deputy to the Director and Head of Unit for Resource Management and Coordination. From May 2015, she was ECDC’s Acting Director.
Andrea joined ECDC as the Head of the Surveillance Unit in 2005. The unit was responsible for developing The European Surveillance System (TESSy), implementing a long-term surveillance strategy for the European Union (EU), evaluating the Dedicated Surveillance Networks (DSN) and producing an Annual Epidemiological Report on infectious diseases in the EU.
Prior to joining the ECDC, Dr Ammon served in several roles at the Robert Koch-Institute, Germany, most recently as Head of Department for Infectious Disease Epidemiology. In this capacity, she maintained and further developed the German national surveillance system; coordinated the national outbreak response team for current and emerging infections; coordinated emergency planning for influenza; coordinated epidemiological research programmes in infectious diseases and provided scientific advice for government Ministries, Members of Parliament, and the public.

Natasha Azzopardi Muscat

Director Country Health Systems and Policies, WHO Regional Office for Europe

Natasha Azzopardi Muscat is the Director for Country Health Systems and Policies at the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. She is a medical doctor and specialist in public health medicine. She obtained her PhD from Maastricht University. Between 2001 and 2013 she occupied senior positions in the Ministry of Health in Malta including that of Chief Medical Officer. She is the Past President of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) as well as the President of the EUPHA section on Public Health Practice and Policy. 


Ran Balicer

Chief Innovation Officer, Clalit Health Services, Israel

Bio coming.


Petronille Bogaert

President EUPHA Public health monitoring and reporting section

Petronille Bogaert is project researcher and head of unit EU health information systems at Sciensano, Belgium. Her work primarily focusses on European research projects in the area of population health information.  She is coordinating the Population Health Information Research Infrastructure for COVID-19 which aims to strengthen the exchange of COVID-19 health information with 41 partners in 30 countries. Other European projects she is involved in include the Joint Action Towards the European Health Data Space and HealthyCloud. She is a graduate from a double European Master of Public Health. She also holds a Bsc and Msc in Biomedical Sciences and is PhD candidate at Tilburg University, The Netherlands. She is president of the EUPHA section on Public Health Monitoring and Reporting and she sits in the ESCAIDE Scientific Committee.

Hans Bruyninckx

Executive Director European Environment Agency

Bio coming.


Reinhard Busse

Professor and Head of the Department of Health Care Management at the Berlin University of Technology, Germany.

He is one the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies’ co-directors and Head of the Berlin hub. He is also a member of several scientific advisory boards and a regular consultant for the European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, WHO, other international organizations within Europe and beyond, and national health and research institutions.
His research focuses on methods and contents of comparative health system analysis and assessment as well as health services (with an emphasis on hospitals, human resources, cross-border care, health reforms in Germany, the role of the EU, financing and payment mechanisms, and disease management), health economics and health technology assessment.
Since 2011, he has been Editor in Chief of the international peer-reviewed journal Health Policy. Since 2012, he has been Director of the Berlin Centre of Health Economics Research. Since 2015, he has also been Speaker of the Board of the newly founded interuniversity Berlin School of Public Health. In 2016/2017, he was President of the German Health Economics Association.

Caroline Costongs

Director EuroHealthNet

Caroline Costongs is Director of EuroHealthNet, a European Partnership for improving health, equity and wellbeing, based in Brussels ( Caroline has an MSc in Public Health from the University of Maastricht (The Netherlands) and her main work focuses on policy, advocacy, research and capacity building in the field of health inequalities, health promotion across the life course, sustainable development and “Health in all Policies”. She is a Board member of APHEA (Public Health Accreditation Agency) and member of the International Council for the European Public Health Conference. Caroline has also worked at the Netherlands Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation (NOC*NSF) on physical activity promotion for young people.  Before that, she was active at the Health Institute of the Liverpool John Moores University where she did research on healthy public policies in cities and at the National Capacity Building Institute (INICE) of the Honduras Ministry of Education.

Stephen Donnelly

Minister of Health, Ireland

Bio coming.


Michael Edelstein

President EUPHA Infectious diseases control section

Michael Edelstein is a medical doctor specialized in infectious disease epidemiology. He is currently the president of the Infectious Diseases Control section of the European Public Health Association and leads on immunization data at Public Health England, England’s national public health agency. He is also a member of the World Health Organization’s  working group on immunization data quality, a research fellow at the Centre on Global Health Security, Chatham House, an honorary associate professor at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In recent years he has also responded to large scale public health emergencies in Asia and Africa, including the West African Ebola outbreak.

Josep Figueras

Director European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

Josep Figueras is the Director of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and head of the WHO European Centre on Health Policy in Brussels. In addition to WHO, he has served other major multilateral organisations such as the European Commission and the World Bank. He is a member of several advisory and editorial boards and has served as advisor in more than forty countries within the European region and beyond. He is honorary fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health, has twice been awarded the EHMA prize, and in 2006 received the Andrija Stampar Medal. He was head of the MSc in health services management at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and he is currently visiting professor at Imperial College, London. His research focuses on comparative health system and policy analysis.

Sandra Gallina

Director-General Health and Food Safety, European Commission

Bio coming.


Cecily Kelleher

Chair of Public Health Medicine and Epidemiology, University College Dublin, Ireland

Cecily Kelleher (MD DMed MPH FFPHMI FRCPI MRIA) is Chair of Public Health Medicine and Epidemiology at University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland. She has been the Principal of the College of Health and Agricultural Sciences in UCD since 2015. She previously served as Dean and head of the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science.

Professor Kelleher is the former Chair on the statutory Women’s Health Council and served as Chair for the report to the Minister for Health in the Republic of Ireland of the COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel on Examination of Measures to 2021.

Her main areas of research are on lifecourse epidemiology and cardiovascular disease, childhood obesity, traveller health, and the public health impacts of tobacco smoke.

Stella Kyriakides

Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, European Commission

Stella Kyriakides has been serving as European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety since 2019. As Commissioner, she has been responsible for launching Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan to help improve cancer prevention and care and exploring ways to ensure Europe has enough affordable medicines to meet its needs. She is also leading the new ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy for sustainable food. Before becoming Commissioner, she served as the first Cypriot national and third woman President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. From 2006 to 2019 she was a member of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus. In addition to her parliamentary activities, she was appointed president of the First Breast Cancer Movement in Cyprus in 1999. From 2004 until 2006, she served as president of the European Breast Cancer Coalition Europa Donna. In 2016, she was appointed President of the National Committee on Cancer Strategy of the Council of Europe. Stella Kyriakides received a degree in psychology at the University of Reading and a master's degree in child maladjustmentat the University of Manchester.

Naomi Lee

Senior Executive Editor The Lancet

Naomi Lee is a Senior Executive Editor at The Lancet. She heads the research section of the journal, and handles peer review and commissioning across a broad range of subjects including her specialist areas of surgery, oncology, digital medicine/AI, and medical technology.  She is also a vice chair for the ITU/WHO Focus Group on Artificial Intelligence for Health. Naomi joined The Lancet in 2014. Previously she studied medicine at Cambridge University and King’s College London, before training in surgery, specialising in urology and working for almost 10 years in the United Kingdom. She has completed fellowships in Argentina and Mexico. She has also studied data science at University College London.

Isabel de la Mata

European Commision

Isabel de la Mata is currently the Principal Adviser for Health and Crisis Management in the European Commission. Previously, she worked as Counsellor for Health and Consumers at the Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU, as Deputy Director General for Health Planning at the Spanish Ministry of Health, as Adviser to the Vice-minister of Health and several other posts at the Ministry of Health of Spain and the Regional Departments in the Basque Country and in Madrid. In addition, she has been a member of the EURO-WHO Standing Committee of the Regional Committee, and has worked with the Pan American Health Organisation, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation. Isabel de la Mata graduated in Medicine and Surgery by the University of Basque Country in 1983 and holds post-graduate degrees from the University of Leuven and Paris VI in Public Health, Hospital Administration and Statistics. She is a specialist in Preventive Medicine and Public Health.

Clara Mayer

Climate activist from Berlin, Germany 

Bio coming


Susan Michie

University College London, United Kingdom

Susan Michie, FMedSci, FAcSS, FBA is Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London (

Professor Michie’s research focuses on human behaviour change in relation to health and the environment: how to understand it theoretically and apply theory and evidence to intervention and policy development, evaluation and implementation. Her research, collaborating with disciplines such as information science, environmental science, computer science and medicine, covers population, organisational and individual level interventions. Examples include the Human Behaviour-Change Project ( and Complex Systems for Sustainability and Health She is an investigator on >15 research projects, including three addressing behaviour and the Covid-19 pandemic. She has published >500 journal articles and several books, including the Behaviour Change Wheel: A Guide to Designing Interventions.

She serves as an expert advisor on the UK’s Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behavioural Science (Covid-19), the Lancet’s Covid-19 Commission and a member of the UK’s Independent SAGE. She serves on WHO’s Behavioural Insights and Sciences Technical Advisory Group, is Chair of the UK Food Standard Agency’s Advisory Committee for Social Sciences, is part of NIHR’s Behavioural Science Policy Research Unit, led UCL’s membership of NIHR’s School of Public Health Research and chaired the Academy of Social Science’s ‘Health of People’ project.  

Iveta Nagyova

President European Public Health Association (EUPHA)

Iveta Nagyova is the Head of the Department of Social and Behavioural Medicine at Pavol Jozef Safarik University (UPJS) in Kosice, Slovakia. She is also the President of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA), a member of the European Advisory Committee on Health Research (EACHR) at WHO/Europe, and a founding member and Executive director of the Slovak Public Health Association (SAVEZ).
She graduated in Clinical Psychology at UPJS, obtained her PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and received a postgraduate training at the University of Oxford within the Oxford International Primary Care Research Leadership Programme. Her research interests are in biobehavioural and psychosocial innovations in chronic disease prevention and management, non-pharmacological interventions, and behavioural insights in public health. She is involved in academic publishing, supervision of PhD students, and knowledge translation. She has won several national and international awards for her work, and  is frequently invited to act at conferences and expert committees.

Maria Neira

Director Public Health, Environment and Social Determinants of Health Department, World Health Organization

Maria P. Neira has been directing the Department of Environment, Climate Change and  Health at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland since 2005. Throughout her tenure and up until now she has led and advised on policy and management in key areas of environmental health. Prior to that she served as Under-Secretary of Health and President of the Spanish Food Safety Agency. From 1993-1998 she was Coordinator of the Global Task Force on Cholera Control.
Maria Neira Is a medical doctor by training and specialized in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases; and Public Health. She began her career as a medical coordinator working with refugees in El Salvador and Honduras for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). She then spent several years working in different African countries during armed conflicts. 
Among many distinctions, she received an “Extraordinary Woman” award by HM Queen Letizia of Spain. In early 2019, she was nominated among the top 100 policy influencers in health and climate change.

Anna Odone

President EUPHA Digital health section

Anna Odone is Associate Professor of Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine, University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy. Responsible for the Unit of Clinical Epidemiology and Health Technology Assessment (HTA) at San Raffaele Scientific Institute, she is the President of the Digital Health Section of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA). Passionate about the value of public health, she is mentor to public health researchers, residents and PhD students; her research is in the field of infectious diseases control, with a focus on vaccines and immunisation programmes and policies, digital public health and HTA.
Anna Odone qualified in Medicine and specialized in Hygiene and Public Health at the University of Parma, Italy. She received an M.Sc. in Epidemiology  from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (London, UK) and an MPH in Health Policy and Management as a Fulbright Scholar from the Harvard School of Public Health (Boston, US). She holds a PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Parma.

Michael O'Flaherty

Director European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)

Bio coming.


Tina Purnat

World Health Organization

Tina Purnat is Team Lead for Infodemic Management in the Unit for High Impact Events Preparedness, Department of Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness at WHO.

Tina has worked for over 20 years at the WHO, European Union and academia, Her expertise amalgamates health research, analysis and policy-making with an emphasis on promoting the use of health information and evidence in decision-making and for policy-making. As part of the WHO COVID-19 response, she worked in developing and formulating WHO infodemic response and infodemic management interventions, for which she received the WHO Pathfinder and Innovation Award 2021.


Monica Scatasta

Director, Technical Assessment and Monitoring, Council of Europe Development Bank 

Bio coming.


Robin Swann

Minister of Health, Northern Ireland

Health Minister Robin Swann was appointed Minister of Health in the Northern Ireland Assembly on 11 January 2020. A father of two young children, he was first elected as an MLA for North Antrim in 2011.
Before his appointment as Minister he held a number of posts including Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Chairman of the Employment and Learning Committee, Assembly Commissioner, as well as Party Leader and Chief Whip of the Ulster Unionist Party.
He is an active member of Kells & Connor Community Association and has served as a Board member of the Volunteer Development Agency in Northern Ireland.

Laura de la Torre Perez

Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Spain

Laura de la Torre works as a Medical Research Fellow in the TB unit of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, ISGlobal, Spain. Laura is a medical Public Health specialist and holds a master's degree in Public Health from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, in Barcelona. She worked in hospital surveillance and contact tracing during the first wave of COVID-19  in Spain, was part of the Catalan Regional Health Ministry Advisory group of the COVID-19 crisis, and collaborated with the evaluation of the contact tracing structure in the Regional Health Ministry in Cantabria, Spain. During her specialization, Laura worked in qualitative, quantitative, and economic evaluations; in patient safety and participatory research projects. She was president of the European Network of Medical Residents in Public Health, and she has been part of EUPHA since the beginning of her residency. She now works in various TB epidemiological studies in Sub-Saharan Africa as part of the TB research team in ISGlobal.

Dineke Zeegers Paget

Executive Director European Public Health Association (EUPHA)

Dineke Zeegers Paget is the Executive Director of EUPHA - the European Public Health Association – a network of national public health associations aimed at voicing knowledge and capacity building. Dineke has a law degree, followed by a PhD on comparing AIDS legislation in the world (1996).  Before starting to work at EUPHA in 1997, she worked at the World Health Organization HQ and the University of Groningen where she worked on legal issues and human rights related to AIDS. Between 1992 and 1997, she worked at the Swiss Federal Ministry of Public Health, as a coordinator of AIDS projects in specific target groups and health promotion in prisons.