The Academy of Medical Sciences & The Lancet International Health Lecture 2023



17.00, Tuesday 28 November 2023

Wellcome Collection

183 Euston Road London

Success from the South: the rotavirus vaccine story and its lessons
Professor Gagandeep (Cherry) Kang, Director of Global Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The 2023 International Health Lecture “Success from the South: the rotavirus vaccine story and its lessons“, presented by Professor Gagandeep (Cherry) Kang, Director of Global Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, took place virtually and in person on Tuesday 28 November.

Rotavirus is the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in children under the age of five worldwide. It has a high mortality rate, especially in middle- and low-income countries. In 2016, India became the first Asian country to locally develop and nationally introduce rotavirus vaccines.  

In this lecture Cherry reflected on the successes and lessons learnt from the rotavirus vaccine journey in India and outline what could be applied to improve global health in future. 

  • The challenge of encouraging more initiatives, such as locally produced vaccinations, in India, Indonesia, China and Brazil, and the benefits this could have. 
  • Vaccine inequity and vaccine effectiveness in low and-middle-income countries.
  • How developing countries can lead in driving forwards the public health agenda.

 

Professor Gagandeep (Cherry) Kang is Director of Global Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Cherry is responsible for leading the newly formed team and executing against its three strategic focus areas: enteric & diarrheal diseases, diagnostics and genomics, epidemiology & modelling.

As well as her role at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Cherry is a Professor in the Division of Gastrointestinal Sciences at Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore, India. Her work explores vaccines and public health, with a focus on children and infectious disease in India. Her research has also covered areas such as water, sanitation and nutrition. Internationally, Cherry’s team is one of the most highly recognised multidisciplinary research groups in India.

Cherry has worked for the Government of India, leading and building India's first translational health science institute. She has served on World Health Organisation and Indian vaccine committees, covering policy and scientific areas. She has been a mentor and guide for women at work and outside of work.

Cherry was joined by a global expert panel:

  • Professor Suerie Moon, Professor of Practice & Global Health Expert, Geneva Graduate Institute

  • Professor Petro Terblanche, Managing Director, Afrigen Biologics

  • Dr Miren Iturriza Gomara, Head of Research, GSK Vaccines Institute for Global Health

 

The lecture was followd by an open Q&A session, chaired by Professor Richard Horton FRCP FMedSci, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, and Professor Tom Solomon FMedSci, Vice President (International), Academy of Medical Sciences. A networking and drinks reception followed. 

Watch previous lectures and find out more about our Academy of Medical Sciences & The Lancet International Health Lecture series.

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