EMBC 2020 is putting together an exciting list of keynote speakers and theme keynote speakers
J Mark Ansermino is a researcher and clinician in the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia. He is a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar, Principal Investigator at the Research Institute at British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital and Director of the Centre for International Child Health. He also co-leads the Digital Health Innovation Lab – a research team of engineers and clinicians who are developing and evaluating novel mobile health applications to improve the health outcomes of women and children around the world. As a team, they combine science and engineering to create cutting edge technology that uses clinical data, automation and smart physical sensors to extract important data features. Their goal is to provide frontline healthcare workers in low and middle-income countries around the world with the key tools they need to make informed medical decisions for their patients.
Professor Rémi Quirion is the inaugural Chief Scientist of Quebec and the President of the three Board of Directors of the Fonds de recherche du Québec since July 1st, 2011. A McGill Full Professor, Psychiatry and outgoing Scientific Director at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. He served as Vice-Dean, Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, as well as Senior University Advisor (Health Sciences Research) in addition to being the CIHR Executive Director, for Alzheimer’s Diseases, from 2009 to 2011. Prof. Quirion was the inaugural Scientific Director of the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA) until March 2009.
In addition to being on the Advisory Board of over 15 journals in Psychiatry, Pharmacology, and Neurosciences, he has published 5 books, more than 650 scientific papers and articles.
He received many awards and recognitions as: the Médaille de l’Assemblée nationale du Québec; Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; and was appointed Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2007 Prof. Quirion became a Member of the Order of Canada (O.C.).
Miriam Cremer, MD/MPH, is the founder and president of Basic Health International (BHI), a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of cervical cancer, and the director of global health research and an associate professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. As a board-certified gynecologist and obstetrician who completed a fellowship in family planning, Dr. Cremer has worked on secondary prevention of cervical cancer in low-income settings for over 20 years. Her interests center on cervical cancer screening with HPV DNA testing and the development of innovative methods for cervical precancer treatment, such as a gasless cyrotherapy device and thermalablation. She has been at the forefront of implementing important scientific developments in the field. With the BHI team, Dr. Cremer completed a 30,000-person implementation project using low-cost HPV tests for primary screening in El Salvador. As a result of this work, the Ministry of Health of El Salvador revised the national cervical cancer control guidelines and purchased HPV tests for a nationwide screening program. As a result of BHI’s work, El Salvador was the first country in Latin America to incorporate low- cost HPV testing into a national screening program. Dr. Cremer is the principal investigator on NIH UH3 and NIH R01 grants and several research foundation grants funding the development of low-cost treatment strategies for cervical precancer tailored specifically for use in low- resource settings. Dr. Cremer is a contributing author of the World Health Organization (WHO) Use of Cryotherapy for Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia guidelines (2011) and a member of the WHO committee on thermalablation for cervical precancer treatment. Dr. Cremer’s work has earned her recognition and awards from various organizations, including the Western Center for Law and Poverty (2005) and Women Making Global Impact (2013).
Dr. Ramanujam is an innovator, educator and entrepreneur. Her mission is to develop technology to have wide reaching impact in women’s health. She directs the center for Global Women’s Health Technologies at Duke where she empowers trainees at Duke and beyond to create impactful solutions to improve the lives of women and girls globally. Dr. Ramanujam’s research on women’s’ cancers focus on designing innovations that enable complex referral services often reserved for hospitals to be accessible at the primary care level for cancer prevention, and to develop tools that will make cancer treatment more effective and efficient.
One technology she and her team has developed to achieve health care impact is the Pocket Colposcope, which has the potential to revolutionize cervical cancer screening in low resource communities by enhancing the effectiveness and scalability of the screening process, reducing loss to follow up and guiding effective treatment decisions. The Pocket colpsocope has been deployed in 8 countries in four continents and impacted several thousand women. Her team has also designed a speculum-free self-screening colposcope called the Callascope to make cervical cancer screening more accessible by bringing this tool of discovery into the hands and homes of individuals. The powerful reflections of individuals who have used the Callascope has now led to a public awareness campaign called the Calla campaign to empower women to explore their bodies through technology, story telling and art and comprises educational workshops for women, a multi-media art exhibition, and a documentary film.
Design is at the heart of the innovation that underlies the Pocket and Callascope and one where women are designing for women. However, training in design thinking is only accessible to a privileged few. Dr. Ramanujam has created a unique model to make design thinking pervasive to women and girls in the least resourced parts of the world, and in the process has created teachers, innovators and entrepreneurs. The program, Ignite, has trained more than 50 university students to teach design thinking to more than 1000 students in low resource communities in Kenya, India, Guatemala and the U.S. The students in those communities then perpetuate the knowledge by maintaining that virtuous cycle within their own communities.
Through her programs Dr. Ramanujam has created an international community that is growing exponentially and across a number of different sectors including academia, industry, non- governmental organizations and the government. She has received recognition for her work through the TR100 Young Innovator Award from MIT, the Global Indus Technovator award from MIT, Era of Hope Scholar awards from the DOD, the Stasnell Family award from the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke and the Emerging Leader in Global Health Award from the Consortium of Universities in Global Health. She is a fellow of several optical and biomedical engineering societies including OSA, SPIE AIMBE. She has also been elected to the National Academy of Inventors. She is co-editor of the Handbook of Biomedical Optics. She has presented the global impact of her work at the United Nations.