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Mpox: Learnings from Effective Science and Human Rights-Based Responses

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The USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health and UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health invite you to join us for "Mpox: Learnings from Effective Science and Human Rights-Based Responses" on Thursday, Jan. 19, noon–1 p.m. PST.

Mpox, declared a public health emergency in July 2022, requires not only strong political commitment grounded in sound evidence and science, but explicit attention to human rights and the voices of affected communities. This one-hour, virtual event will bring together an esteemed panel of researchers, scholars, scientists and practitioners for a discussion on lessons learned from HIV, COVID-19, Ebola and mpox in developing, implementing and monitoring responses to public health emergencies, with attention to understanding and approaching structural inequalities and their role in epidemics moving forward.

The dialogue will be moderated by Professor Sofia Gruskin, Director, USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health.


Anne Rimoin is a Professor of Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the Gordon-Levin Endowed Chair in Infectious Diseases and Public Health. Dr. Rimoin serves as the Director of the Center for Global and Immigrant Health and is an internationally recognized expert on emerging infections, global health, surveillance systems and vaccination. Rimoin has been working in the DRC since 2002, where she founded the UCLA-DRC Health Research and Training program to train U.S. and Congolese epidemiologists to conduct high-impact infectious disease research in low-resource, logistically-complex settings. Dr. Rimoin’s research focuses on emerging and vaccine preventable diseases. It has led to fundamental understandings of the epidemiology of human mpox in post-eradication of smallpox, long term immunity to Ebolavirus in survivors and durability of immune response to Ebola virus vaccine in health workers in DRC. Her current research portfolio includes studies of COVID-19, Ebola, Marburg, mpox and vaccine preventable diseases of childhood. Dr. Rimoin earned her BA at Middlebury College, MPH at UCLA, and PhD at Johns Hopkins University.

Joel Breman is the Senior Scientist Emeritus, Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Starting in the late 1960s, Dr. Breman was the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Chief Technical Advisor, Smallpox-Measles Program in Guinea; in Burkina Faso, at the Organization for Coordination and Cooperation for the Control of the Major Endemic Diseases, he was Chief of the Epidemiology Section; and, at the World Health Organization, Geneva, he was responsible for coordinating orthopoxvirus research, decreasing the number and increasing safety in laboratories with variola (smallpox) virus, and the certification of smallpox eradication. In 1976, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), Dr. Breman investigated the first outbreak of Ebola virus disease as part of an international commission for which he received the Order of the Leopard, the highest award bestowed by the government. Following the confirmation of smallpox eradication, Dr. Breman returned to the CDC, where he began work on the epidemiology and control of malaria. Dr. Breman joined the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health in 1995 and served as the director of the International Training and Research Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases and other institutional strengthening programs in low-income countries. He continues to play important leadership positions in global health.

Nicole Hoff is the Kinshasa, DRC-based country director and a senior administrative analyst within the UCLA-DRC Research Program at UCLA. Nicole has been primarily based in DRC for the last five years, where she works closely with and has established relationships with the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Institute National de Recherche Biomedical (INRB), and the Kinshasa School of Public Health (KSPH). Her past research evaluated the country’s monkeypox surveillance system, the result of which provided recommendations for improvements in reporting. Most notably, Nicole collaborated with both the Congolese government and MOH as a supervisor for the 2013 Demographics and Health Survey (DHS), to which UCLA-DRC contributed the first population-wide serological survey for vaccine preventable diseases for the DRC. Nicole earned her BA in biology and sociology, followed by an MPH in epidemiology from Tulane University. She earned her PhD in Epidemiology from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in 2014.

Placide Mbala-Kingebeni is an Associate Professor at the medical school of the University of Kinshasa; a medical doctor with a PhD in virology; Head of the Epidemiology and Global Health Department; and Director of the Clinical Research Center at the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) in Democratic Republic of Congo. Dr. Mbala has more than 10 years of experience leading research projects on viral zoonotic diseases such as Ebola and monkeypox in collaboration with USAMRIID, Africa CDC, US CDC, UCLA, NIH, ITM-Antwerp, IRD-Montpellier, UNMC, Gates Foundation, etc. focused on genomics, clinical research studies, passive and active surveillance as well as rapid response to outbreaks caused by these diseases.

Gregg Gonsalves is an expert in policy modeling on infectious disease and substance use, as well as the intersection of public policy and health equity. His research focuses on the use of quantitative models for improving the response to epidemic diseases. For more than 30 years, he worked on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues with several organizations, including the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, the Treatment Action Group, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa. He is a 2011 graduate of Yale College and received his PhD from Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences/School of Public Health in 2017. He is currently the public health correspondent for The Nation. He is a 2018 MacArthur Fellow.

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