FIND adds members to Board of Directors

Geneva, Switzerland – 30 January 2014 – FIND announced today the appointment of Mr. Deepak Gupta from India, Dr. Carlos Morel from Brazil, and Dr. Michael Watson from France to its Board of Directors.

“I am delighted to welcome these new members to the FIND family,” said Mark Kessel, current Chair of FIND’s Board of Directors. “Each has a long and impressive experience in global health and will bring valuable expertise to the organization.”

Mr. Deepak Gupta spent 37 years in the Indian Administrative Service and retired as Secretary to Government of India. As a member of India’s premier public service he has held senior and leadership positions at the field, state and central government levels in many sectors. As Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, he helped conceptualize India’s ambitious National Solar Mission and successfully implemented the first phase. He is currently Director-General of the National Solar Energy Federation of India and is writing/consulting on renewable energy, energy access and health-related issues. He has spent a decade in the health sector, including eight years in senior positions in the Central Health Ministry. Mr. Gupta was instrumental in India’s fast expansion of the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) and for developing partnerships with NGOs and all other sectors in the TB programme. He has written a book on that experience entitled Covering a billion with DOTS. Mr. Gupta was also Advisor with WHO in Dehli to oversee that RNTCP expansion and consolidation and to develop partnerships. He represented India in the GFATM and the Stop TB Alliance.

Dr Carlos Morel’s career has been entirely dedicated to global health. A physician, researcher and professor, Dr Morel also created the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), assembling a team that conducts world-class work in molecular parasitology and biotechnology. He has an impressive publication record and has received numerous awards. He actively participated in the creation of several global programmes of research and development for neglected diseases: Global Forum for Health Research, Medicines for Malaria Venture, Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, becoming this Organization’s first Chairman of the Board, and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative. He also witnessed the establishment of FIND at the 2003 World Health Assembly. Dr Morel is currently Director, Center for Technological Development in Health (CDTS), Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ).

Dr. Michael Watson leads the team responsible for Global Immunisation Policy and Advocacy at Sanofi Pasteur, based in Lyon, France. He is a UK-trained physician who led the teams that developed and licensed Pediacel® in the UK and Gardasil® (Quadrivalent 6,11,16,18 HPV vaccine) in Europe and has worked on most classes of vaccines. Prior to his current role, he was Executive Vice President of Research and Development at the vaccine company Acambis, based in Cambridge, US. During this period, he oversaw the licensure of the smallpox vaccine ACAM2000®, and the research and development of Chimerivax® platform-based vaccines against Japanese encephalitis (completed phase 3) and West Nile fever, an M2e universal influenza vaccine (ACAM-FLU-A™), and the world’s most advanced C. difficile vaccine (ACAM-CDIFF™), as well as a number of pre-clinical stage projects, including an HSV-2 vaccine and a number of innovative new vaccine delivery platforms.

“With an expanded Board of Directors and additional expertise we look forward to enhancing the support to FIND’s mission to develop and introduce innovative diagnostics that are affordable, user-friendly, robust and rapid for use in resource-limited settings,” said Mr. Kessel.

# # #

About FIND
The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics is dedicated to developing affordable, easy-to-use, cutting edge diagnostic tests that save lives in the poorest areas of the world. From proof of principle to putting new tests into practice, the organization works with diverse groups, including academia, industry, donors, partners in the field, Ministries of Health and the World Health Organization. With new diagnostics for malaria, tuberculosis and sleeping sickness already in the field, FIND is also working on other neglected diseases such as leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and Buruli ulcer. Created in 2003, the not-for-profit Foundation is ISO certified and financed by both the private and public sectors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the governments of the United Kingdom (DFID), Switzerland (SDC), the Netherlands, Germany (BMBF/KfW), the United States (CDC, NIH and USAID) and Australia (AusAID), the European Union, UNITAID, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UBS Optimus Foundation and others.

Media contact: