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Prof. Neelika Malavige selected as a member of WHO technical advisory committee

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Researcher at the Allergy, Immunology and Cell Biology Unit of the Department of Immunology Molecular and Molecular Medicine of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Prof. Neelika Malavige has been selected as a member of WHO technical advisory committee on Covid-19.

The WHO (World Health Organization) has established a Technical Advisory Group to advise on scientific, technical and strategic matters related to the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP).

The group is composed of 10 renowned experts with a diverse range of knowledge and expertise as clinicians and researchers working on COVID-19 health products; experts in access to medicines, diagnostics, vaccines and other health products; specialists of public health-oriented intellectual property; technology transfer experts; business development experts; experts in pricing, procurement, needs estimation and/or regulation of medicines.

Other members of the committee include :

Scholar Professor of Law Florida State University College of Law Frederick Abbott

Senior Researcher and Head of the Medicines Policy Department National School of Public Health Oswaldo Cruz Foundation Jorge Bermudez

Intellectual Property and Access Leader Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative Pascale Boulet

Independent Vaccinology Researcher and Consultant Jan Hendriks

Senior Health Economist/Senior Health Policy Analyst Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Ruth Lopert

Associate Professor, Consultant Physician, Clinical Pathology Assiut School of Medicine Asmaa Osman

Professor of the Practice and Director of the Innovation + Design Enabling Access (IDEA) Initiative Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Anthony So

Senior Advisor Global Access in Action Program of the Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University Padmashree Gehl Sampath.

Neelika Malavige is a Professor and Head of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka and also a visiting academic at the University of Oxford since 2008 after completing her doctoral studies at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford.

She is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society of Infectious Diseases since 2020. She is Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London the Royal College of Pathologists in 2015. She serves as an expert member on several government COVID-19 related technical advisory groups. She leads a large research group working on dengue, and COVID-19.

Her work on dengue has focused on factors that lead to severe dengue, identification of biomarkers and mediators of vascular leak in dengue. Her work on COVID-19 is mainly related to immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines, immunopathogenesis and determining correlates of protection against COVID-19.

She has strong research collaborations with University of Oxford and her laboratory is a part of the A2CARES, which is one of the Centres for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases. She has won many awards and received many local and international grants.

WHO has established a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to advise on scientific, technical and strategic matters related to the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP).

The group is composed of 10 renowned experts with a diverse range of knowledge and expertise as clinicians and researchers working on COVID-19 health products; experts in access to medicines, diagnostics, vaccines and other health products; specialists of public health-oriented intellectual property; technology transfer experts; business development experts; experts in pricing, procurement, needs estimation and/or regulation of medicines.

The C-TAP Secretariat published the call for experts in December 2020 soliciting proposals from experts to serve on its technical advisory group. C-TAP aims to facilitate timely, equitable and affordable access of COVID-19 health products by boosting their supply. WHO C-TAP implementing partners include the Medicines Patent Pool, Open COVID Pledge, UN Technology Bank and Unitaid.

The technical advisory group will have its first meeting on 19 October 2021 to receive an update on COVID-19 Technology Access Pool progress to date, to review the terms of reference and the role of the Technical Advisory Group and reach agreement on how to deliver, to define priority areas/themes for the Technical Advisory Group, and to review operational procedures of WHO Technical Advisory Groups.

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