#GFN19 Programme Committees
Professor Gerry Stimson is a public health social scientist, with over 40 years’ experience of research and advocacy. He was one of the founders of drugs harm reduction in the 1980s and helped develop and evaluate harm reduction in the UK as a response to HIV/AIDS. He has advised the UK Government, World Health Organization, UNAIDS, UNODC, World Bank and numerous governments on issues relating to drugs, HIV infection and AIDS, and alcohol. He is an advocate for tobacco harm reduction as a key public health strategy for reducing smoking related harms. He was a member of the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines group on tobacco harm reduction, and is a member of the British Standards Institute working group on e-cigarette standards. He helps organise the Global Forum on Nicotine conference. He has published over 220 scientific publications and several books. He is Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Emeritus Professor at Imperial College London, and recent past Editor of the International Journal of Drug Policy. He was Executive Director of the International Harm Reduction Association from 2004 to 2010.
Dr Notley is a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health at the Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, and lead of the Addictions Research Group. She is a social scientist with extensive experience in all aspects of addiction research. Her current programme of research is focused on tobacco smoking relapse prevention, particularly working with vulnerable groups. Dr Notley’s research interests in alternative nicotine delivery devices primarily explores social and culturally pertinent aspects of vaping. Her work emphasises the public health potential of vaping for smoking relapse prevention, taking a ‘real world’ approach to highlight the importance of user focused perspectives on switching from traditional smoking to vaping.
Dr Sharon Cox has over ten years’ experience working in the drug and alcohol field, including working at front-line services with some of the UK’s most deprived communities. She has a special interest in harm reduction and the use of translational methodologies in vulnerable and marginalised groups. She currently works as a Trial Manager at London South Bank University’s Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research. Her current research is focused on e-cigarette puffing patterns associated with high and low nicotine e-liquid strength, smoking and alcohol consumption within disadvantaged groups and the impact of health warning labels on reduced risk products.
Rajesh N. Sharan, Ph. D., is a Full Professor at Department of Biochemistry and Director of Design Innovation Center at the North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong (India). Rajesh is a Molecular Biologist and Biochemist by training with over 3 decades of research experience in the field of betel (Areca) nut & chemical induced carcinogenesis, and molecular mechanisms of radiation induced damage to DNA & its repair with expertise in biomarker discovery for cancer and radiation damage assessment for their clinical applications. He earned his doctoral degree at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (1983) and did his post-doctoral research at the Institute of Medicine, FZ Jűlich and DKFZ Heidelberg in Germany. He has been a Visiting Professor at FZ Jűlich and an Invited Professor at Osaka University (Japan). Currently, he is a member of an international CRP of the International Atomic Energy Agency (2017-21). He holds/has applied for several patents. He has over 105 research publications in international and national journals and books of repute to his credit with a citation of > 1500. He has authored one text book (adaptation) and edited 6 books. He is an Associate (handling) Editor of the Journal of Radiation Research (Japan).
Dr Roberto A Sussman is the founder and Director of Pro-Vapeo Mexico, an association representing Mexican consumers of noncombustible nicotine products and is a member of INNCO. Dr Sussman is actively advocating for an appropriate regulation of Tobacco Harm Reduction products in Mexico. As a full time senior researcher in physics at the National University of Mexico (UNAM), he directs and supervises the effort to spread scientific information on these products, as well as advising consumers on how to counter the misinformation and prejudice about them that is rampant throughout Latin America.
David Levy has a PhD in Economics from UCLA (USA), and is currently a Professor of Oncology at Georgetown University. He has published over 250 articles, including in the American Economic Review, the BMJ, the AJPH, the JAMA, Lancet, Tobacco Control, and PLOS Medicine. He has been principal investigator of grants from the CDC, WHO, the National Cancer Institute, and Bloomberg/Gates Foundation. Dr. Levy is currently overseeing the design and development of the SimSmoke tobacco policy simulation model, for which he has developed models for over 40 countries covering 85% of the world population. He is now developing models of smokeless tobacco and e-cigarette use.
Konstantinos E. Farsalinos, M.D., is a research fellow at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens-Greece, at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Patras-Greece and at the National School of Public Health-Greece. He has been conducting laboratory and clinical research on e-cigarettes as a principal investigator since 2011. Examples of his work include the first study on the cytotoxic effects of e-cigarette vapor on cultured cells and the immediate effects of e-cigarette use on cardiac function and coronary circulation. He ran a worldwide online survey of almost 20,000 vapers (users of e-cigarettes) identifying patterns of use and experience with e-cigarettes among consumers, published in 2014. He also co-authored the first systematic review on e-cigarette safety, published in 2014. He has analyzed patterns of e-cigarette use based on large European and US population surveys (Eurobarometer, National Youth Tobacco Survey). Additionally, he is performing research work on heated tobacco products. His research findings have been presented in major international scientific congresses and his studies were used in preparing the regulatory framework on e-cigarettes by the European Union. As of late 2018, he has published more than 70 studies and articles in international peer-reviewed scientific journals about smoking, tobacco harm reduction, and e-cigarettes. He was the handling editor and author in a book titled "Analytical assessment of e-cigarettes", published by Elsevier in 2017.
Professor Marewa Glover has worked on reducing smoking-related harm for over 25 years. She has worked as a policy analyst, a coordinator of a national tobacco control programme, cessation trainer and, for over 17 years, as a researcher. She has chaired numerous committees and organisations including End Smoking NZ, an independent NGO that lobbied for a harm reduction approach even before electronic cigarettes were introduced. Marewa has over 100 publications reflecting her leadership and support of numerous studies. Her primary focus has been on reducing smoking during pregnancy and reducing smoking among Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand.
Leon Kośmider is the Technical Director of the Bioanalytical Shared Resource Laboratory within the Department of Pharmaceutics at the VCU School of Pharmacy. After Dr. Kosmider received his Pharm.D, he earned his PhD in Pharmacy and Toxicology from Medical University of Silesia, Poland. He has conducted research in toxicology of various tobacco products including e-cigarettes and cigarettes. He has studied smoking topography and yields of toxic agents in tobacco smoke and e-cigarette vapor generated under various smoking conditions.
Trained neuroscientist in Paris (PhD in 1988) who spent 2 years as a post-doctoral fellow in Clinical Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics at the University of California. After 6 years of research in La Salpêtrière Hospital (Paris), and teaching at Paris V and Paris VII Universities, he became a freelance consultant for the pharmaceutical industry and the public sector (training smoking cessation specialists, and writing scientific digests for them). He is a Charter Member of SRNT and was part of the core group who founded SRNT Europe. He is also an Honorary Lecturer at the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies, University of Nottingham. He is now proposing trainings on vaping and nicotine to vapeshops and Health professionals.
Kevin McGirr is Clinical Professor in the School of Nursing; has taught in schools of medicine, social work and public health and was a Fulbright Scholar in Pondicherry India, 2013-2014. He has over forty years experience in providing and managing behavioral health services; holds master’s degrees in public health, psychiatric nursing and ABD in public health. He has been involved in the training and development of harm reduction services and in particular utilizing Harm Reduction Tobacco interventions for persons with serious mental illness.
Gregory Conley is the president of the American Vaping Association (AVA), a nonprofit organization that champions regulatory policies toward vapor products designed to maximize the effectiveness of vaping for quitting smoking. He is one of the most prominent defenders of vaping in the United States and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. Mr. Conley is also an attorney and a consultant on vaping legislative and regulatory issues. He began working on vaping issues in 2010 after quitting smoking with a vapor product while in law school. He served as the pro bono legislative director for the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association from 2011 to 2014.
Cynthia Cabrera has been a key player in the vapor industry since 2011. A seasoned expert, she has focused on logistics, compliance, regulatory and legislative strategies to advance the benefits of tobacco harm reduction through the adoption of alternative nicotine products. As Founder and president of The Cating Group, Cynthia and her team provide functional consulting services, product rollout, and strategic partnerships. She is a frequent speaker on trends, product evolvement, distribution channels, and regulatory and legislative issues. Cynthia has presented for TMA, GTNF, GFN, FDLI, RRF, ECIG USA, the Morven Dialogues, and a wide variety of vapor shows and exhibits. Cynthia Cabrera is a seasoned expert in the vapor space,involved in the vapor industry since 2011. As Founder and president of The Cating Group, Cynthia and her team provide business-consulting services including compliance, manufacturing operations, restructuring, government affairs, and business development including new product rollout and strategic partnerships. She is a frequent speaker on trends, product evolvement, distribution channels, and regulatory and legislative issues. Cynthia has presented for The Tobacco Merchants Association (TMA), The Global Tobacco Nicotine Forum (GTNF), the Global Forum on Nicotine (GFN), The Food & Drug Law Institute (FDLI,), The Responsible Retailers Forum (RRF), ECIG USA, the Morven Dialogues and a wide variety of vapor shows and exhibits.
Colin Mendelsohn is an Associate Professor at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He is a medical practitioner and tobacco treatment specialist working in private practice and is Chairman of the Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association. He is actively involved in raising awareness of the public health benefits of tobacco harm reduction and advocating for the legalisation of vaping in Australia. Colin is a member of the committee that develops the Australian national smoking cessation guidelines and is past Vice President of the Australian Association of Smoking Cessation Professionals.
Robyn Gougelet works at Pinney Associates and advises on public health legislative and regulatory policy strategy for tobacco harm reduction efforts and leads on targeted efforts. Before joining Pinney Associates as an Associate in June 2015, Robyn worked for three years at Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit, non-partisan organization in Washington, D.C. dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. In that role, Robyn helped to inform Members of Congress and their staff about state-specific prevention and public health provisions and programs created by the Affordable Care Act.
Christopher Lalonde, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist and Professor of Psychology at the University of Victoria. His research focuses on cultural influences on identity formation and social-cognitive development. He is currently collaborating with First Nations in British Columbia and with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs in a research program that aims to better understand how the promotion of First Nations cultures and the pursuit of self-determination foster youth health and wellbeing. He is keenly interested in the relations between policy and youth health.
Jessica Harding became NNA’s first administrator in December 2016. She is passionate about the potential for tobacco harm reduction products to improve lives and has devoted much her time and energy to vaping consumer activism. She helped establish Vapers in Power, and helped to get ViP registered as a political party. Her primary role in NNA is fundraising, external communications, helping NNA campaigns, and supporting the work and development of NNA. Before having children she worked as an English teacher, in the UK and abroad.
Dr Kgosi Letlape, is currently the President of the HPCSA and Chairperson of the Medical and Dental Board. Dr Letlape obtained his MBChB degree in medicine from the University of KwaZulu Natal in 1981.
In 1988, he completed his FSC (OPHTH) degree in Ophthalmology at the College of Ophthalmology Medicine South Africa. In the same year he obtained his FRCS (OPHTH) degree in Ophthalmology at the University at Edinburgh. PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES: Board Member: South African Medical & Dental Practitioners, Johannesburg: 1989 – 1995; Vice Chairperson: South African Medical & Dental Practitioners, Johannesburg: 1990 – 1994; Chairperson: South African Medical & Dental Practitioners: 1994 – 1995; Chief Executive Officer: Phelo-Ntle: 1996 – 1997; Chairperson: National Council of the South African Medical Association: 2001 – 2009; President: World Medical Association (WMA): 2005 – 2006; Co- chair of the Prevention Task Team of (SANAC): 2007 – 2009; President of Africa Medical Association: 2006; Member of the Global Hygiene Council; President HPCSA October 2015
Miroslaw Dworniczak, PhD - chemist, freelance science journalist, former scientist and lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland). Author (under the name "Stary Chemik" - "Old Chemist") of the first blog in Poland dealing with e-cigarettes and e-liquid chemistry and safety (http://starychemik.wordpress.com - in Polish) and the webpage for complete beginners (http://epapieros.edu.pl) including a manual for beginners in English (http://epapieros.edu.pl/manual-english/).
Prof . Andrzej Sobczak, head of the Department of General and Inorganic Chemistry at Medical University of Silesia and head of the Department of Chemical Hazards and Genetic Toxicology at the Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health in Sosnowiec in Poland. Prof. Sobczak has been focusing on the toxicology of tobacco smoke for many years. Growing popularity of e-cigarettes led him to investigate these devices.
Aaron Biebert, Director & Executive Producer of "A Billion Lives", won top honors for his documentary, including the Supreme Jury Prize and Best Director at the July 2016 Melbourne Documentary Film Festival in Australia, a Remi Award at the Worldfest International Film Festival in Houston, and the Dorn Award from the Global Forum on Nicotine. Aaron’s production company, Attention Era Media, is one of the most successful video production and digital social media companies in the Midwest. Producing commercials and short films for clients such as Applebee’s, IndyCar, the NCAA, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and inner-city education initiatives, Attention Era balances the firm’s client load between for-profit and passion projects. Originally from Milwaukee, Aaron grew up the eldest of eight kids, and played football at Milwaukee’s Wisconsin Lutheran College, where he earned a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Art. A lifetime non-smoker, he enjoys hanging out with his wife and two kids when he’s not traversing the globe filming and speaking.