Christian Bréchot, MD, PhD joined the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine part time as Senior Associate Dean for Research in Global Affairs, Associate Vice President for International Partnerships and Innovation, and Professor in the Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Internal Medicine. He is also executive director of the Tampa-based Romark Laboratories Institute for Medical Research. Since 2017, Dr. Brechot has served as President of the Global Virus Network, a network of 48 research centers worldwide, headquartered in Baltimore.
Before serving as president of the Pasteur Institute from 2013 to 2017, Dr. Bréchot was vice president of medical and scientific affairs at Institut-Merieux, a company that develops new approaches to fight infectious diseases and cancers. He also served as the general director of Inserm, the French national agency for biomedical research from 2002 to 2007. As professor of hepatology and cell biology at Necker School of Medicine, Paris Descartes University, he led the clinical department of liver diseases at Necker-Enfants Maldes Hospital from 1997 to 2001.
Authoring more than 400 articles in medical and scientific journals, Dr. Bréchot was ranked by the Institute for Scientific Information as the 4th most cited author on the topic of hepatitis C. He has been recognized as an inventor on 18 patents, and helped create three biotechnology companies: Rarecells, ALFACT Innovation, and The Healthy Aging Company.
Dr. Bréchot’s research activities have focused on viral hepatitis: hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), particularly with regard to their role in liver cancer (Hepatocellular carcinoma: HCC) and to the molecular mechanisms that drive liver regeneration and cancer (in particular, cell cycle deregulation and the impact of oxidative stress). He has been the member of numerous scientific committees and societies and has received prestigious awards.
Dr. Saskia Estupiñán-Day is a public health dentist with worldwide experience including all of the countries of the Americas as well as many countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. She has provided leadership in scientific and academic communities and is a leading worldwide authority in the development of oral health strategies, implementation of national programs, international technical cooperation, and management of research programs. She has conceived and implemented major innovations in public health dentistry research and programs including fluoridation, atraumatic restorative treatment, and the application of cost-effectiveness analysis and policy support to national programs.
A salient characteristic of her combined approach to research, management and cost-effectiveness, as an emphasis on evidence-based research and programming. Over decades of involvement with the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO), she led the development of highly strategic program innovations developed under Dr. Estupiñán-Day’s leadership at PAHO, major outcome improvements that resulted in: significant caries reduction in almost every country of the Americas; improved cost-effectiveness; expanded coverage; capacity development; transfer of technology; and improved sustainability. During a post hoc evaluation of her landmark public health dentistry work in salt fluoridation, her program was credited with having prevented as many as 300 million caries and saving families the associated costs. The program continues to produce multiples of the stream of benefits (and earned her the moniker among her colleagues as the “Johnny Appleseed of salt fluoridation”).
During her career Dr. Estupiñán-Day has advised over 50 ministries of health as well as international agencies, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, foundations, research entities and private sector partners. She has authored and co-authored nearly 50 publications; served as Associate Editor of professional journals; and participated in or led major scientific and technical sessions in most regions of the world. She is a committed educator, having served as visiting professor and adjunct professor in major universities (Temple University, NYU College of Dentistry, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Harvard Medical School and others) and has served as a preceptor and mentor to over 40 students.
On the personal side, Dr. Estupiñán-Day is a sports enthusiast. Her primary sports interest is in track in field, as she became a national champion in her native Ecuador at the age of 15, as an avid runner, and eventually returning to her love of hurdling as a member of the USA Track and Field Team, Masters, winning the USA national gold medals in 80 meter hurdles and 300 meter hurdles and competing the World Masters Athletic Championship in Italy. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, FL.
Dr. Hernandez is assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and medical director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Healthy Weight Initiative. She completed her medical school, residency and fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She additionally completed a Master in Public Health with an emphasis on nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health during her fellowship in general academic pediatrics.
As medical director of the hospital’s Healthy Weight initiative, Dr. Hernandez has developed and grown innovative and evidence-based approaches to promote healthy lifestyles that target the current pediatric obesity epidemic within our institution and our community. As one of few pediatricians certified in obesity-medicine nationally and regionally, she has led a multidisciplinary weight management clinic, Healthy Steps, based at Johns Hopkins All Children’s since 2012. With the support of her interprofessional team, the Healthy Steps clinic has provided tailored, patient-centered recommendations to children ages 0-21 years of age who have weight-related medical issues, including low self-esteem, anxiety/depression, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, diabetes and other health conditions. She also has been an ongoing advocate for reducing weight-related stigma within the health care setting as well as within schools. By engaging with community partners including our community division and school-based health clinics, exciting new community-based programs including Health Squads, the First Steps/Fit4Allkids Program and Fit4Allteens Program have continued to engage at-risk children in the Tampa Bay region while connecting them to the outstanding specialty care provided by Johns Hopkins All Children’s for those requiring additional medical care.
Dr. Hernandez is widely published in various medical journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) for her pediatric obesity-based and other academic research. Her current research focuses on enhancing pediatric obesity screening and prevention efforts within our community as well as implementing innovative mobile-health technology with teens and families to promote improved lifestyles and weight loss. Dr. Hernandez additionally served as director of Medical Education at Johns Hopkins All Children’s from 2012-2018 where she successfully led efforts to develop a newly-accredited, educationally focused pediatric residency program as well as newly accredited fellowship programs based at the hospital. She is additionally a nationally invited speaker on issues related to pediatric health disparities, cultural competence and graduate medical education. Dr. Hernandez’s educational, research and clinical efforts have helped Johns Hopkins All Children’s obtain more than $800,000 in funding for clinical and community efforts related to pediatric obesity to date, with the goal of continuing programmatic and research efforts in the coming years.
Janet K. Keeler is a journalism instructor and coordinator of the Graduate Food Writing and Photography Certificate Program at University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Her paper “Inhospitable Chairs: Everyday Insults that Negatively Impact Higher-Weight Individuals” was presented at the Sixth Annual Weight Stigma Conference in Leeds, England, in 2018. Keeler is a 35-year daily newspaper veteran with 15 years as the food editor at the Tampa Bay Times. She is a contributor for The Zest podcast on WUSF Public Media and is a judge for the annual James Beard Foundation journalism awards. Keeler is a doctoral candidate in Education Program Development at the University of South Florida and her research emphasis is on what university students learn when they study food writing.
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