PATH announces leader for malaria and neglected tropical diseases

April 4, 2016 by PATH

Dr. Laurence Slutsker to lead PATH's malaria and neglected tropical diseases portfolios

PATH has named Dr. Laurence Slutsker as the new director of the malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) programs in its public health division. Dr. Slutsker will join PATH on May 2, 2016.

"I am thrilled to partner with Dr. Slutsker in achieving PATH's vision of eliminating malaria and accelerating the high-impact, low-cost approaches needed to defeat malaria and NTDs," said Dr. David Fleming, vice president of PATH's public health division. "Dr. Slutsker's detailed understanding of malaria and other infectious diseases, combined with deep expertise in health strategy, research, policy, surveillance, advising governments and multilateral organizations, and managing across complex organizations and systems will be a tremendous asset to PATH."

Advancing the tools and strategies needed to defeat diseases

As PATH's director of malaria and NTD programs, Dr. Slutsker will lead the design and implementation of PATH's public health programs and investments in malaria, oversee the organization's broad portfolio of malaria control and elimination work, and expand PATH's portfolio in NTDs.

In this role, he will work across the organization–from diagnostics and drugs to one of the world's largest pipelines of malaria vaccine projects–to advance PATH's comprehensive malaria strategy, and increase collaboration across a network of projects and geographies.

A global leader in malaria and NTDs

During his extensive career in public health, Dr. Slutsker served for 28 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a number of leadership roles, including Associate Director for Science, Chief of the Malaria Branch, and Director of the CDC/KEMRI Field Station in Kisumu, Kenya.

Dr. Slutsker most recently served as director of the Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria at the CDC Center for Global Health, where he provided strategic leadership for malaria and NTDs. He spearheaded the Division's commitment to elimination science, which included helping to secure initial funding for Malaria Zero, a CDC-led alliance of partners working to eliminate malaria from Hispaniola. In this position, he also provided leadership in developing and enhancing strategic partnerships to advance CDC's work to eliminate NTDs, including lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis.

For four years, as CDC KEMRI Program Director, Dr. Slutsker led creation of a multidisciplinary population-based demographic surveillance system, and research and program platform to address multiple diseases. This platform facilitated research evaluations of the impact of key public health interventions such as insecticide-treated nets, vaccines, and other prevention interventions that were instrumental in informing World Health Organization (WHO) policy. In addition, Dr. Slutsker also led seminal CDC research to evaluate critical malaria prevention and control interventions, including intermittent preventive treatment in infants and pregnant women, the RTS,S malaria vaccine, and innovative vector control strategies.

While serving as CDC Malaria Chief, Dr. Slutsker provided strategic and technical oversight of CDC malaria program for five years, including directing and establishing the initial CDC participation in the $1.2 billion President's Malaria Initiative for malaria program scale up, monitoring, and evaluation. He also contributed to the development of a malaria research agenda that continues to inform future malaria elimination and eradication research efforts.

Due to his substantial experience and expertise in malaria, Dr. Slutsker has been asked to participate in numerous high-level policy and strategy committees and groups, including Roll Back Malaria (recent co-chair of the Case Management Working Group and participant in the Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group); WHO/GMP as Co-chair of the Evidence Review Group Malaria in Pregnancy/ IPTp; Malaria Chemotherapy Technical Expert Group; Surveillance, Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Expert Group; and the highest-level malaria advisory group to WHO/GMP, the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee.

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