The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is pleased to announce that Francine Ntoumi, Founder, Chair and Executive Director of the Congolese Foundation for Medical Research, has joined its Board of Directors.
“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Ntoumi to IAVI’s Board,” said IAVI Board Chair Alex Coutinho. “Her pioneering work in infection research and her dedication to advancing African scientific capacity align perfectly with key pillars of IAVI’s work toward a safe, effective AIDS vaccine.”
Ntoumi, an expert in molecular epidemiology and immunology of malaria, is very involved in developing health research capacities through the Central Africa Network on Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, Malaria (CANTAM.) She was awarded the 2014 Georg Forster Prize for her career in malaria research and the 2012 African Union Kwame Nkrumah Regional Scientific Award for women. She is also laureate of the Reseau International des Congolais de l’Etranger for contributions in health research. For 20 years through 2010, she served a range of institutions as Coordinator of the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria and was Senior Scientific Officer at the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP).
“Dr. Ntoumi brings critical experience working across sectors to collaboratively attack some of the greatest challenges in global health through her work in academic research and with CANTAM and EDCTP,” said IAVI President and CEO Mark Feinberg. “We are delighted that IAVI’s programs and future directions will now benefit from her expertise and dedication.”
Ntoumi currently holds the posts of Senior Lecturer in Immunology at the Faculty of Sciences and Techniques of University Marien NGouabi and Associate Professor at the University of Tübingen in Germany. Born in Brazzaville, she studied and worked in France and has conducted research in Gabon, the Netherlands, Germany, Tanzania and Congo. She speaks French, English, German and the Congolese languages Lari and Lingala, and was twice named one of Le Metropolis magazine’s top 50 women to make their mark on Congo’s history.
“It is an honor to join IAVI, which is in the front line of development of a vaccine against HIV,” said Ntoumi. “Africa would benefit tremendously from this accomplishment, and it is exciting to be part of this endeavor.”
IAVI’s distinguished Board of Directors represents an array of global expertise in healthcare, finance, vaccinology, clinical research, international development and academia.