Research Agenda Working Group

The Research Agenda Working Group will develop an aligned research agenda for current and potential future innovations in diagnostics, strategies, and interventions to contribute to zero leprosy. The prioritized research agenda is intended to support advocacy for investment.

Its sub-groups below will develop research priorities in several key areas. Preliminary sub-group reports are expected by late November. An aligned, prioritized research agenda will be produced by early 2019.

Chair: Fareed Mirza, Head of Research, Novartis Foundation

Advisors also serve on the sub-groups and offer expertise and guidance. See the list of Research-Advisors.

Diagnostic tests (PCR, T-cell and other immunological-based tests)

Facilitator: Dr. Milton Moraes, Assistant General Coordinator of Postgraduate Programs and Manager of the technological platforms for genotyping and gene expression of the Technological Development Program for Health Inputs (PDTIS), Oswaldo Cruz Institute, FIOCRUZ

  • Flavio Alves Lara, Oswaldo Cruz Institute, Fiocruz
  • Charlotte Avanzi, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
  • Kidist Bobosha, Armauer Hansen Research Institute
  • Shintouo Cabirou Mounchili, University of Buea
  • Emmanuelle Cambau, National Reference Center for Mycobacteria of France, Universite Paris Diderot, Paris Hospitals
  • Sundeep Chaitanya Vedithi, American Leprosy Missions & University of Cambridge
  • Thomas J. Cummings,  Duke University Medical Center
  • Malcolm Duthie, Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI)
  • Andrea de Faria Fernandes Belone, Instituto Lauro de Souza Lima – Bauru/SP/ Brazil
  • Ida Maria Foschiani Dias-Baptista, Instituto Lauro de Souza Lima
  • Annemieke Geluk, Leiden University Medical Center
  • Deanna Hagge,  The Leprosy Mission
  • Ana carla Latini, Instituto Lauro de Souza Lima
  • André Luiz Leturiondo, Alfredo da Matta Foundation
  • Juliana de Moura, Universidade Federal do Paraná
  • Cynthia de Oliveira Ferreira, Alfredo da Matta Foundation
  • Patricia Rosa, Instituto Lauro de Souza Lima
  • Jenny Laura Ruiz Fuentes, Tropical Medicine Institute Pedro Kourì
  • Fabiana Santana, Instituto Lauro de Souza Lima
  • Utpal Sengupta, The Leprosy Mission Trust India
  • Eliane Silva,  Instituto Lauro de Souza Lima
  • Moises Batista da Silva,  Pará Federal University
  • Itu Singh, The Leprosy Mission Trust India
  • Pushpendra Singh, The Maharaja Sayajirao Univ of Baroda, Vadodara, India
  • Vânia Souza, Instituto Lauro de Souza Lima
  • Aparna Srikantam, LEPRA -Blue Peter Public Health and Research Center
  • Sujai Suneetha, Institute for Specialized Services in Leprosy (INSSIL), Nireekshana ACET
  • Ravindra Turankar, The Leprosy Mission Trust India, Stanley Browne Research Lab
  • Dhelya Widasmara, Saiful Anwar Hospital/Brawijaya University
Interventions to reduce transmission: post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), including SDR and enhanced chemoprophylaxis, contact management and cluster prophylaxis

Facilitator: Dr. Christa Kasang, Clinical Research Coordinator, German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association & The Leprosy Research Initiative (LRI)

  • David Blaney, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Raisa Caridad Rumbaut Castillo, Ministerio de Salud Publica Cuba
  • Arielle Cavaliero, Novartis Foundation
  • Joydeepa Darlong, The Leprosy Mission Trust India
  • Duane Hinders, Netherlands Leprosy Relief
  • Ximena Illarramendi, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz – Brazil)
  • Ibtissam Khoudri, Ministry of Health, Morocco
  • Laila de Laguiche, Brazilian Society of Leprology
  • Patrick Lammie, NTD Support Center, Task Force for Global Health
  • José Alexandre Menezes da Silva, Netherlands Hanseniasis Relief – Brasil (NHR Brasil)
  • Roberta Olmo Pinheiro, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz – Brazil)
  • Nimer Ortuno-Gutierrez, Damien Foundation
  • Cita Rosita Sigit Prakoeswa, Dr. Soetomo Teaching Hospital, Jl. Mayjen Prof. Dr. Moestopo No.6-8, Airlangga, Gubeng, Kota SBY, Jawa Timur 60286
  • Jan Hendrik Richardus, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam
  • Anne Schoenmakers, Netherlands Leprosy Relief
  • Cairns Smith, University of Aberdeen
  • Maria Solange Araúdo Paiva Pinto, Netherlands Hanseniasis Relief – Brasil (NHR Brasil)
  • Peter Steinmann, Swiss TPH
Interventions to reduce transmission: vaccines (BCG and novel vaccines, for both pre- and post-exposure)

Facilitator: Dr. Steve Reed, President, CEO & Founder, Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI)

  • Edglesy Aguiar, Universidade Federal do Ceará
  • Thomas Gillis, Louisiana State University School of Medicine
  • Mohan Gupte, Retired Director, ICMR-National Inst of Epidemiology, India
  • Mercedes De Oliveira Neto, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro
  • Claudio Salgado, Pará Federal University and Brazilian Hansen’s Disease Society
  • Veronica Schmitz Pereira, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz – Brazil)
  • Carolina Talhari, Alfredo da Matta Foundation
Operational research related to effectively deploying these and other interventions (including mapping, data management, surveillance, monitoring, evaluation, drug resistance, and health systems innovations such as telemedicine and incentives to promote case detection)

Facilitator: Dr. Paul Saunderson, Chair of ILEP ITC, Medical Director, American Leprosy Missions (ALM), and WHO TAG

  • Joel Almeida, Consultant in Public Health
  • Érica de Alencar Rodrigues Neri, Municipal Health Fundation – Terezina, PI and Federal University of Piauí
  • Eliana Amorim de Souza, Universidade Federal da Bahia–Instituto Multidisciplinar em Saúde
  • Helena Barbosa Lugão, Ribeiraão Preto Medical School – University of São Paulo
  • Marivic Balagon, Leonard Wood Memorial Center for Leprosy Research
  • Josafá Barreto, Federal University of Pará
  • Paula Brandão, MORHAN, ILEP, Universidad del Estado de Río de Janeiro
  • Arielle Cavaliero, Novartis Foundation
  • Ramesh Chand Chauhan, All India Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Joelma Maria Costa, Municipal Health Fundation – Terezina, PI and Federal University of Piauí
  • Narayan Dhamshaktu,  Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & FW, India
  • Luiz Dias, Fundação Alfredo da Matta
  • Olívia Dias de Araújo, Federal University of Piauí
  • Katherine Gass, NTD-Support Center, Task Force for Global Health
  • Angel Miguel Germán Almeida, Tropical Medicine Institute Pedro Kourí
  • Laura Gillini, WHO
  • Shahed Hossain, James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University
  • Maria de Jesus Freitas de Alencar, Global Health Tropical Medicine, Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (IHMT) of the New University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • Judith Justice, University of California at San Francisco (UCSF)
  • Rachna Kumari, Lepra Society
  • Mallika Lavania, The Leprosy Mission Trust India
  • Alberto Novaes Ramos Júnior, Universidade Federal do Ceará
  • Sathish Kumar Paul, Schieffelin Institute of Health Research & Leprosy Centre
  • Valderiza Lourenço Pedrosa, Fundação Alfredo da Matta
  • Chandrakant Revankar, Independent Public Health Medical Consultancy for Leprosy, Lymphatic Filariasis,Yaws; Public Medical Consultancy-Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Guillermo Robert, Lepra
  • Isabelle Roger, PAHO
  • Victor Santos, Federal University of Alagoas
  • Diah Fita Sari, Netherlands Leprosy Relief
  • Aparna Srikantam, LEPRA -Blue Peter Public Health and Research Center
  • Peter Steinmann, Swiss TPH
  • Anneke Taal, Netherlands Leprosy Relief
  • Nienke Veldhuijzen, Leprosy Research Initiative
  • Lance Waller, Emory University
  • Basu Dev Yadav, Rehabilitation Empowerment and Development -Nepal(READ-NEPAL)
Stigma as a barrier to zero leprosy

Facilitator: Dr. Wim van Brakel, Head of the Technical Department, Netherlands Leprosy Relief (NLR) 

  • Zoica Bakirtzief da Silva Pereira, Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil
  • Oraima Beruvides Cabrera, Tropical Medicine Institute Pedro Kouri
  • Jaqueline Caracas Barbosa, Universidade Federal do Ceará
  • Artur Custodio De Souza, MORHAN/ Fiocruz
  • Cinira Fortuna, School of Nursing of Ribeirão Preto of the University of São Paulo
  • Sanjay Kumar, Leprosy Affected Person
  • Rachna Kumari, Lepra Society
  • Aditya Maheshwari, Aditya Clinic
  • Anna van ‘t Noordende, Netherlands Leprosy Relief
  • Pankaj Patel, Kiran Trust Foundation
  • Ruth Peters, Athena Institute for Research on Innovation and Communication in Health and Life Sciences
  • Maria Solange Araúdo Paiva Pinto, Netherlands Hanseniasis Relief – Brasil (NHR Brasil)
  • Amar Timalsina, Association for IDEA Nepal
  • Héllen Xavier Oliveira, Netherlands Hanseniasis Relief – Brasil (NHR Brasil)
Disability as a barrier to zero leprosy

Facilitator: Dr. Liesbeth Mieras, Research Scientist, Netherlands Leprosy Relief (NLR)

  • Ana Paula Fontana, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
  • Karthikeyan Govindasamy, The Leprosy Mission Trust India
  • Saba Lambert, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Diana Lockwood, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Annamma John, Former Head, Research Resource Centre, The Leprosy Mission Trust India
  • Susilene Maria Tonelli Nardi, Instituto Adolfo Lutz – São José do Rio Preto- São Paulo – Brasil
  • Maria Renata Sales Nogueira, Lauro de Souza Lima Institute, Department of Health of São Paulo
  • Sathish Kumar Paul, Schieffelin Institute of Health Research & Leprosy Centre
  • Biliom A Sangma, Christian Hospital Chandraghona & Christian Leprosy Centre
  • Kelly Regina Dias Scipioni, Federal University of Paraná – UFPR
  • David Scollard, National Hansen’s Disease Programs, USA (Retired)
  • Cairns Smith, University of Aberdeen
  • James Staples, Brunel University London
  • Cassandra White, Georgia State University
  • Dhelya Widasmara, Saiful Anwar Hospital/Brawijaya University
  • Basudeve Yadav, READ-NEPAL
Epidemiologic modeling, investment case, and other cross-cutting issues

Facilitator: Dr. David Blok, Infectious Disease Modeler, Erasmus MC

  • Joelson Dos Santos Almeida,State University of Piauí (UESPI)
  • Jessica Fairley, Emory University
  • Ivana Haluskova -Balter, Consultancy PP partnership
  • Annick Mondjo, Association des Léprologues de Langue Française/MoH Gabon
  • Julia Pescarini, Centre of Data and Knowledge Integration for Health (CIDACS), Instituto Gonçalo Muniz, Fundação Osvaldo Cruz, Salvador, Brazil
  • Anuj Tiwari, Erasmus MC
  • Ravindra P. Turankar, The Leprosy Mission Trust India
Leprosy digital health and technology

Facilitator: Dr. David Heard, Head of Digital Health, Novartis Foundation

  • Sathish Kumar Paul, Schieffelin Institute of Health Research & Leprosy Centre
  • Santoshdev Rathod, Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists
  • Anne Schoenmakers, Netherlands Leprosy Relief