GeneConvene Team

The GeneConvene Global Collaborative is staffed by a team of experienced technical, regulatory and administrative experts providing a resource for accurate and timely information, advice and support to foster a responsible approach to research and governance of gene drive and other genetic biocontrol technologies for public health. The team is located in Maryland and Michigan, USA, and Nairobi, Kenya.

Brinda Dass, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Manager, Policy Lead for Gene Drive Research, Science, FNIH

Dr. Dass has a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology, an MPH and extensive experience in transgenic laboratory animal care and use, preclinical drug testing, clinical trial management, and review of new animal drug dossiers for genetically engineered products.

 


 

Renata HoffstetterRenata Hoffstetter
Associate Project Manager, Science, FNIH

Ms. Hoffstetter has experience providing organizational support and managing complex projects, including for a not-for-profit organization focused on stabilization initiatives in conflict zones and local commercial enterprises investment projects.

 


 

Stephanie JamesStephanie James, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Science, FNIH

Dr. James has a Ph.D. in microbiology and a background in research on parasitic diseases. She has more than 30 years of experience in research administration, having led global health programs at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH, the Ellison Medical Foundation and the FNIH.

 


 

David O’BrochtaDavid O’Brochta, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Manager, Technical Lead for Gene Drive Research, Science, FNIH; Professor Emeritus, Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. O’Brochta is trained in entomology and molecular genetics and is founding Director of the Insect Transformation Facility in the University of Maryland. His research experience focused on the development of transgenic insect technologies and their applications to fundamental and applied problems in medical and agricultural entomology.

 


 

Hector QuemadaHector Quemada, Ph.D.
Principal Research Associate at Western Michigan University

Dr. Quemada has a Ph.D. in molecular biology and more than 20 years of experience in training and capacity building with regulators in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

 


 

Michael SantosMichael Santos, Ph.D.
GeneConvene Director and Associate Vice President, Science, FNIH

Dr. Santos was previously a Deputy Director in the Global Health program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he was involved in setting strategy for programs on malaria, tuberculosis, HIV and other international health priorities. He has been a Principal at Boston Consulting Group and has a Ph.D. in astronomy.

 


 

Willy Kiprotich TonuiWilly Kiprotich Tonui, Ph.D.
CEO of the Environmental Health and Safety Consultancy, Ltd, Nairobi, Kenya

Dr. Tonui has a Ph.D. in Immunology and more than 15 years of experience building networks and providing leadership in biosafety. He is the immediate former Chief Executive Officer at the National Biosafety Authority (NBA), Nairobi, Kenya.

 


 

Karen TountasKaren Tountas, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Manager, Science, FNIH

Dr. Tountas has more than 35 years of experience working in research and development, marketing and program management for academia, government and for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

 


 

Susan WienerSusan Wiener
Senior Project Manager, Science, FNIH

Ms. Wiener has more than 15 years of experience in global health project management and grants management. Before joining the FNIH, she was a programmer and conducted research and evaluation for not-for-profit organizations.

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