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Keynote Speakers

Sebastian Mernild

Professor Sebastian H. Mernild (PhD & DrScient) is Head of SDU Climate Cluster and a Professor in Climate Change and Glaciology. Mernild is also an IPCC Lead Author.  Mernild worked in the US for seven years at the International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks (2006-2009), and at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico (2009-2013), and three years as senior research scientist/research leader at Centro de Estudios Científicos (CECs) in Valdivia, Chile (2013-2016). Further, he worked in Norway from 2016-2020 as full professor in Climate Change and Glaciology, and as Director of the Nansen Center (NERSC) in Bergen. After 15 years abroad he returned to Denmark in 2020.

Invited Speakers

Katja (H.K.) de Jong
Centre of Tropical Medicine and Travel Medicine, Department of Infectious Diseases, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, location AMC, Amsterdam Infection & Immunity, Amsterdam Public Health, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Katja de Jong is specialized in internal medicine and infectious diseases and trained at the Amsterdam UMC. She currently works as an infectious disease specialist at the Center for Tropical and Travel Medicine and as an internist for the department of internal medicine. In 2015 she completed her PhD thesis at the University of Amsterdam titled host-pathogen interactions in typhoid fever, were she studied typhoid fever pathogenesis by performing a fever study in Bangladesh and by setting up a mouse model. In 2020 she was involved in a mRNA vaccine trial as study coordinator and currently she is involved in research projects as postdoctoral researcher focusing on the prevention and treatment of (tropical) infectious diseases (i.e., malaria, schistosomiasis, yellow fever), acceleration of clinical trial trajectories, monoclonal antibody therapy, and infectious bloodstream infections (and sepsis).

Seif Al-Abri
Dr. Seif Al-Abri, an accomplished consultant in Infectious Diseases at the Royal Hospital, completed his medical studies at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, in 1993, and furthered his training in Liverpool, UK. Appointed Director General for Disease Surveillance and Control at the Omani Ministry of Health in 2014, he significantly contributed as the National Focal Point of IHR for Oman and led the national technical team during the COVID-19 pandemic. A member of the IHR Review Committee in 2020, Dr. Al-Abri is deeply involved in medical education, serving as an international advisor for the Royal College of Physicians of London and a former Lead Examiner for the MRCP (UK) Examination in Oman. He has chaired the Governing Council of Oman Medical College and is currently a council member of the National University of Science and Technology. An associate editor for several medical journals, he has authored over 130 scientific articles.

Lin H. Chen
Lin H. Chen, MD, FACP, FASTMH, FISTM, is Past President of International Society of Travel Medicine (2019-2021).  She is Director of the Travel Medicine Center at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Chen developed and directed the ISTM Travel Medicine Review and Update Course, served on the Professional Education Committee and Research Committee. She also served on the Education Committee of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, as well as several Work Groups of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and on past scientific program committees of ISTM and International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Her editorial roles include the Journal of Travel Medicine, Current Infectious Disease Reports, and Infectious Diseases: A Geographic Guide. She has contributed sections in CDC Yellow Book.  She is a site director for the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network and Global Travel Epidemiology Network. Her clinical research focuses on travelers’ health, including vector-borne diseases, vaccines, and emerging infections.

Klaus Larsen
Author and journalist. Since 2007 Klaus Larsen has published 8 volumes of medicine history and is currently finishing another, scheduled for publication in the October 2024.
Since 1994 he has worked as a journalist at the Danish Medical Journal. Writing books, however, has led him to work part time for the journal, where he is concentrating exclusively on the topic of medicine history.

Carina Ren
Carina Ren is associate professor in tourism and cultural innovation and Head of AAU Arctic, the cross-faculty platform for Arctic research at Aalborg University, Denmark.
In her research, Ren specializes in place and tourism development in Greenland and the Nordic Arctic region at the intersection of drastic environmental and societal changes. Prompted by climate change and increasing geo-political interests, we are currently witnessing a dramatic increase in tourism visitation to the Arctic and following, massive tourism infrastructure development. This has created an acute need for building knowledge on tourism as a social, economic, and environmental phenomenon and on its effects on environment and on communities as they transform into tourist destinations. In her research published in over 100 scientific publications, Ren particularly focusses on capacity building, knowledge collaboration and cross-destination learning to better understand and overcome the barriers and challenges in co-creating more sustainable Arctic tourism futures.

Thomas Weitzel
Thomas Weitzel is an infectious diseases physician specialized in Tropical and Travel Medicine. He obtained his medical training in Clinical Microbiology, Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases, and Tropical Medicine in Germany. From 2000 to 2009, he was Head of the Diagnostic Laboratory and lecturer at the Institute of International Health, Charité Berlin. Since 2009 he works in Santiago, Chile. He is Head of the Travel Medicine Program at Clínica Alemana and faculty member of the medical school, Universidad del Desarrollo, where he was appointed Full Professor in 2015. His main research interests are vector-borne and travel-related infections. Up to date, he has published >20 book chapters and >120 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is member of the Advisory Board of Travel Medicine (StAR) of the German Society of Tropical Medicine (DTG), and serves as a guest lecturer for Tropical Medicine at Universidad de Chile and Charité University Medicine Berlin.

Selwyn H. Lowe
Selwyn H. Lowe, MD PhD, was born in Surinam, South-America, a former Dutch colony. On the age of 13 he emigrated to the Netherlands. He studied medicine at the University of Amsterdam, followed by Internal Medicine at the UMC Utrecht and after this specialized in infectious diseases at the Leiden UMC.
Since 1996 he is a medical specialist in internal medicine and infectious diseases. Between 1996 and 2000 he worked at the Sint Elisabeth Hospital, Curaçao.
In 2007 he finalized his research thesis on antiretroviral therapy and HIV sanctuary sites. Since 2005 he works at the Department of Medical Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Infection Prevention (MMI) and the Department of Internal Medicine of the Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+) and since 2009 he is the Director of the residency training program Infectious Diseases.
At present he is also the chair of the Antibiotic Committee of the MUMC+ and chair of the Maastricht Infection Center (MINC) symposia.

From 2012 onwards he organized and chaired the biannualy “EUregional Maastricht symposium on Immune Compromised Traveller” (EUMICT), which was held in Maastricht, the Netherlands.  In 2022 EUMICT joint the 8th Northern European Conference on Travel Medicine (NECTM8), which was held in Rotterdam, Netherlands. From 2024 onwards EUMICT will be integrated into the NECTM conferences and is renamed to European Meeting on Immune Compromised Traveller (EUMICT).

Susan Deer, Director of Industry Relations, ABTA
After a varied career in the industry ranging from hotel reservations to business travel, tour operations and travel law, Susan joined ABTA as a solicitor in 2016 and was subsequently appointed Director in 2019. She leads the Destinations and Sustainability teams in ABTA’s work on sustainable tourism, health, safety and security, operations and crisis management. Susan engages with the UK Foreign Office, destination governments, tourist boards, trade associations and other stakeholders on behalf of Members in relation to travel industry matters.  

As well as being responsible for ABTA’s internal people development strategy, she also manages ABTA’s work on education, skills and career development, helping promote the travel industry as an exciting and rewarding career choice.

Philippe Parola
Philippe Parola, MD, PhD is Professor of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at Aix- Marseille University, France. There, he is Director in charge of the Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Residency program. He has created a course of medical entomology, and a course of tropical medicine. He also spent a total of 5 years for clinical and/or research/teaching activities in tropical settings in Africa, particularly Western Africa, Indian Ocean Islands and Asia. His clinical medical activities take place in the University Hospital Institute Méditerrannée Infection in Marseille. He is particularly involved in management of ill returned travellers. His research interest includes medical entomology, particularly tick-borne diseases. By January 1st, 2024, he has co-authored more than 620 publications. He has also written 20 book chapters. He has published major studies and reviews in the field of vector borne diseases, tropical medicine, rickettsiology, travel medicine, infectious diseases and medical entomology. His H index is 65. ORCID: 

Anne McCarthy
Dr McCarthy is the President-elect of the International Society of Travel Medicine. She is past Chair of Canada’s Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel, as well as the Clinical Group of the American Society of Tropical Medicine. She is a co-director of the Asian Clinical Tropical Medicine Course that takes part every 2 years in Thailand and Cambodia.
Anne spent her early career in the Canadian Military, serving 20 years. During this time she deployed to Rwanda, Haiti and Cambodia which provided real life clinical experience with many tropical diseases and drove home the need to prevent these illnesses in military members and travelers.
She is Professor of Medicine at University of Ottawa and Infectious Disease Physician at the Ottawa Hospital, where she is an Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Clinician. She is also a Site Director for the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network and CanTravNet.
Her research includes medical education, and clinical studies related to infectious disease, travel medicine, malaria, migrant health, and global health.

Carole Tracey
MSc(TravMed), BSc(Hons), RGN, RM, PGCertHELT, FFTM RCPS( Glasg)
My career pathway since completing the MSc in Travel Medicine at the University of Glasgow has been influenced by my interest in travel related issues. In recent years I have worked in some interesting and clinically challenging locations such as remote working in the Australian outback, to cruise ships, to outreach clinics in rural Kenya and Malawi. As well as working in the UK as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner.
As a lead nurse I set up and managed travel clinics at the University of East Anglia Medical Centre and Norwich Walk-in Centre. Pre-pandemic I worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Trailfinders Travel Clinic in London.
I have been involved in the RCPSG Faculty of Travel Medicine for over 15 years gaining Membership in 2006 and Fellowship in 2013. I have continued to support the College as a lecturer, student supervisor, module author and examiner as well as Honorary Clinical Registrar. I am delighted to be co-director of the Professional Development Certificate in Travel Medicine.

Ralph Huits
Ralph Huits is an infectious disease physician and researcher at the Sacro Cuore Don Calabria Hospital in Negrar, Italy, and a Co-Principal Investigator of GeoSentinel (Research lead), the emerging infectious diseases network of the International Society of Travel Medicine and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has extensive experience working as a clinician in various settings in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe. Dr. Huits obtained a PhD on the topic ‘emerging arbovirus infections’ from the KU Leuven, Belgium. His research focuses on the molecular epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management of infectious diseases in travellers and endemic populations, with a particular interest in vector-borne diseases and AI-assisted outbreak detection. Dr. Huits is the PI of SUMMIT, a GeoSentinel project that aims to build the first international database and platform for ‘real-time’ reporting on the genomic epidemiology of travel-related malaria.

Jane Chiodini MBE
MSc (Trav Med) RN RM FFTM RCPS(Glasg)
Queen’s Nurse, FISTM

Jane graduated with a Masters degree (MSc) in travel medicine in 1998.  She has held leadership roles in the Royal College of Nursing Travel Health Forum and the Nurse Professional Group of the International Society of Travel Medicine.  Jane was Dean of the Faculty of Travel Medicine, RCPSG, the first time a nurse has been elected to this role.  During her tenure, the Good Practice Guidance for Providing a Travel Health Service was published, and she also led on the development of two new academic travel medicine courses.  In the New Year Honours List of 2022, Jane received an MBE for services to Training and Development in Travel Medicine.  With a passion for teaching, writing and developing tools particularly to support primary care practitioners who see travellers, these resources can be found at  Of recent years, Jane has developed digital designer skills and now also creates elearning.  

Kath Lynch
(RN),  MSc International and Travel Health,  MFTM (RCPSG),                                                                                                                                                    Diploma Tropical Nursing (LSHTM) and DTLLS (teaching diploma).                                                      
Lead Nurse at Trailfinders Travel Clinic, London  
Kath has worked in the fields of Tropical Nursing and Travel Medicine for over 26 years.  
Passionate about travel (& currently obsessed with outdoor swimming…. anywhere!). After working at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Kath has since provided travel health services, around London, including NHS hospitals -  Charing Cross and The Royal Free. She set up an on-site staff travel clinic at the Natural History Museum 2014-1018; provided    pre-departure health briefings for volunteer long-term travellers to rural parts of Africa and Asia via Voluntary Services Overseas (2014-2020); was an associate trainer for NaTHNaC on the national Yellow Fever programme (2006 – 2018) and has regularly taught practice nurses, GPs and pharmacists. More recently (2023) Kath was a Module Lead on the RCPSG Postgraduate Diploma in Travel Medicine course.    

Bugge Holm Hansen
Bugge Holm Hansen serves as the Senior Futurist and Head of Innovation and Technology at the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies. He is renowned as a keynote speaker, with expertise that spans technology, culture, human behavior, and society in general. Bugge’s passion is centered on a human-centric approach, exploring how humans live, desire, and envision their futures.

With a master’s degree in Educational Science & Semiotics from Copenhagen University, Bugge has cultivated a global perspective through his work in countries like Argentina, Spain, Norway, and France. This international exposure has greatly enriched his understanding of the global implications of the future travel and leisure industry.

Lynda Bramham
Lynda is a travel health specialist nurse at the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) and secretariat for the JCVI travel sub-committee in the UK. With colleagues she developed the current yellow fever training course for designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in England Wales and Northern Ireland. Lynda is a Fellow of the Faculty of Travel Medicine, RCPS (Glasgow). Previously she was the senior specialist nurse at MASTA Ltd, she obtained an MSc in Travel Medicine in 2001.

Steffen Ulrik Friis. MD., DMSci.
Specialist in Medical Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine

Senior consultant at Nordsjællands Hospital in Capital Region, Denmark.

Corporate Medical Doctor

1992–2023 Escort Doctor and Medical Consultant in Europæiske ERV (Europäische ReiseVersicherung AG).
Attached doctor for expatriates at the Danish embassies abroad 2019 – 2023.

Lecturer on the public health system, health insurance and travel medicine, including travel insurance.

Jenny Schnyder
Jenny Schnyder is medical doctor and PhD-student working at the Center of Tropical Medicine and Travel Medicine of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers. In 2020 she obtained her degree in medicine at the University of Amsterdam and worked as a resident at the Internal Medicine department of the Flevo Hospital in Almere. In 2021 she started her PhD trajectory at the University of Amsterdam. Her research is on preventing tropical diseases in travellers focusing on malaria chemoprophylaxis and optimising vaccination regimens (yellow fever, hepatitis A, rabies and pneumococcal), mainly in immunocompromised patients. In addition, she worked as a clinician at the Center or Tropical and Travel Medicine in Amsterdam consulting immunocompromised patients in need for vaccination and travel advice .

Micha Loebermann
Professor Micha Loebermann is a distinguished expert in internal medicine, infectious diseases, and tropical medicine. He currently leads the Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Rostock, located in the bustling harbor city on the Baltic Sea in Northern Germany. With a rich background in clinical care and research, Micha’s scientific work is centered on preventive vaccines, travel medicine, and schistosomal infections. His clinical work encompasses the treatment of viral hepatitis, emergency medicine, and advocating for antibiotic stewardship. He is actively engaged in the field, serving on the Advisory Board of Travel Medicine (StAR) within the German Society of Tropical Medicine (DTG), and lending his expertise to the Travel Vaccinations Working Group of the Standing Vaccination Commission at the Robert Koch Institute (STIKO).

Liën van Ooijen
Liën van Ooijen is a registered nurse and working for The Netherlands National Coordination Center for Travelers Health Advice (LCR). In addition to being a registered nurse, she has also completed a Master’s degree in International Public Health. This enables her to be the link between theory and practice. She is working on national travel health guidelines and is responsible for the involvement of nurses from different vaccination centers around the Netherlands. Besides that, she is conducting research aimed at improving the effectiveness of pre-travel advice.

Merete Engell
Merete Engell is Head of Learning and Development in MSF Denmark. She has worked for 24 years in MSF and has been deployed to situations of conflict, natural disasters, and epidemics as a nurse and project coordinator with the organisation’s emergency team. For more than twenty years, she has worked with women’s health, treatment of sexual violence and access to safe abortion care and is currently building a centre for learning and development within these topics in MSF Denmark. She is teaching health in emergency settings at Copenhagen University, is a writer and a lecturer and is often used as a spokesperson in the Danish media around humanitarian disaster situations.

Ana Requena-Méndez
Dr. Ana Requena-Méndez is a medical doctor specialized in Internal Medicine and Infectious diseases. Currently, she is Assistant Research Professor at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), where she currently leads the research group of Migrant Health and she also coordinates the Barcelona CaixaResearch Living lab. She also holds a position as  researcher at the Department of Medicine Solna of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
Her research currently focuses on generating innovative tools to improve migrant health using electronic patient records (EPR), contributing to reduce inequities, and providing high-quality of care and to the digital transition with direct impact in health systems.

Erik Christian Jansen
Erik Christian Jansen MD, specialist in anesthesiology, Dr. Med. Sci. Medical doctor in 1972 and interested in SCUBA-diving since then. Chief of hyperbaric medicine at Copenhagen University Hospital 1994 to 2013. Member of the diving medical committee of the Danish Navy. Certified professional divers’ physician. Level III expert in baromedicine. Medical adviser for the hyperbaric works in the construction of the Copenhagen Metro and other tunnel works 1999 – 21, Member of the medical board of the Danish Sports Diving Federation.

Andrea Boggild
Dr. Andrea K. Boggild is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and Medical Director of the Tropical Disease Unit of Toronto General Hospital. She is a licensed Medical Microbiologist and Infectious Diseases physician with additional certifications in Tropical Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine, who provides care to patients with travel-acquired illnesses in her medical practice. As a Clinician Scientist in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, she has graduate supervisory privileges through the Institute of Medical Science and leads a research program in tropical medicine and travel and migration health. She serves and has served in many leadership capacities nationally and internationally, including on advisory groups to the Public Health Agency of Canada and World Health Organization. She has a longstanding interest in the intersection of human and ecological health, as well as how socioeconomic and demographic inequities drive health disparities globally.

Gerard Flaherty
Gerard Flaherty, Professor of Travel Medicine and International Health, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Galway, Galway, Ireland
Adjunct Professor, Mahidol University, Thailand and International Medical University, Malaysia

MD, PhD, BSc (Hons.), MB, BCh, BAO, FRCPI, MRCPI, Cert. Travel Med. (RCSI), Dip. SEM (GB & I), FFSEM (RCPI & RCSI), FAcadMEd, DTM RCPS (Glas), FFTM RCPS (Glas), FACTM, FFTM (ACTM), MFSEM (UK), MMedSc, Dip. HSc. (Clinical Teaching), MSc Int Trav Health (Sheffield), MECOSEP, MMEd (Dundee), Diop. sa Ghaeilge, Cert. Traffic Med, Cert. Ornith., Cert. Bird Behaviour, FIFA Dip. Foot. Med., PG Cert Sc. Healthcare Simulation and Patient Safety, FISTM, AFAMEE, FRGS, FIPC, MRSTMH.

Gerard Flaherty was elected to the role of President-elect of the ISTM in May 2021 and President in May 2023. His research interests include pre-travel risk assessment, travel health behaviour, travellers with pre-existing medical conditions, high altitude medicine, mental health issues and travel, older travellers, technology and artificial intelligence in travel medicine, and travel health education. He has over 20 years of clinical experience in travel medicine and has completed tropical medicine courses and expeditions in Kenya, Tanzania, Nepal, Russia, Cuba, Peru, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Ghana, Morocco, and South Africa. He has over 250 publications and research presentations to date. Gerard is also an active member of Mensa.