Keynote and Panel Speakers

Keynote Speakers 

Dr Mark Alderson

MALDERSONDr. Alderson is Director of PATH’s Pneumococcal Vaccine Project (PVP) and Meningococcal Vaccine Project, Polyvalent (MVPP) which seek to accelerate the development and licensure of promising pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccines and ensure their availability and use in developing countries. Dr. Alderson has more than 30 years of experience in medical research, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and vaccine development. He joined PATH in August, 2006, serving initially as PVP Scientific Director until his appointment as PVP Director in July, 2007. He was appointed MVPP director in February, 2012. Prior to joining PATH, Dr. Alderson was Director of Immunology at GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Seattle, where he led preclinical work on synthetic adjuvants for a variety of vaccine targets. Prior to GSK, he was Senior Director of Immunology at Corixa Corporation where he was responsible for the preclinical discovery and evaluation of adjuvants and vaccines for tuberculosis, Chlamydia and HSV. Dr. Alderson has extensive experience in vaccine development and has published over 60 manuscripts in peer reviewed journals. He served as an Affiliate Associate Professor, Department of Pathobiology at the University of Washington from 2002 until 2006. Dr. Alderson earned his PhD in immunology at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia and his MBA at Seattle University.

Dr Allen Ryan

ARyanAllen F Ryan received his B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, followed by a joint Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of Washington. He performed a post-doctoral fellowship in Auditory Research at Northwestern University before accepting a faculty position in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of California, San Diego. Shortly after arriving at UCSD Dr. Ryan was approached by a clinical faculty member to establish a program in middle ear immunology.  This request and the resulting collaboration led to a lifelong interest in the host responses of the middle ear during otitis media, with an emphasis on cognate and innate immunity as well as mucosal hyperplasia.  In 2009 Dr. Ryan was a co-founder of Otonomy, Inc., a biotechnology firm that specializes in the delivery of pharmacotherapy to the middle and inner ears.

Dr Lauren O. Bakaletz

lauren-bakaletz-portraitLauren O. Bakaletz, Ph.D. is Director of the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Vice President of Basic Sciences at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, USA; positions she has held since 2003 and 2006, respectively.   Dr. Bakaletz also holds the Tillie E. Coleman Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.  She is a Professor in the Departments of both Pediatrics and Otolaryngology within the College of Medicine at the Ohio State University where, in 2013, Dr. Bakaletz was named a College of Medicine Distinguished Professor, a permanent honorific title.  She has served on multiple advisory boards, grant application review boards and editorial boards and is listed as inventor on 26 issued U.S. patents.  During her professional career, Professor Bakaletz has contributed nearly 160 original articles, reviews and book chapters, and has presented over 300 papers at national and international scientific meetings and symposia.  The work of the Bakaletz laboratory has been supported by multiple grants from both private industry as well as from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1986 and 1993, respectively.  Past support from private industry totals $2.2 million, whereas that from the NIH totals $6.8 million in funding.  Currently, the lab is supported by ~$10.7 million in funding from the NIH. 

Dr Bakaletz moved her laboratory from the main campus of Ohio State University to the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in 1998, where she and her team continued their studies of the molecular mechanisms that underlie polymicrobial infections of the respiratory tract, including otitis media (OM), sinusitis, exacerbations of COPD and cystic fibrosis.  As an outcome of this work, the Bakaletz lab is actively involved in the identification, design and testing of novel vaccine candidates for the prevention and/or resolution of otitis media due to nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, a bacterium which causes acute OM as well as being the predominant pathogen of chronic OM, recurrent OM and OM wherein antibiotic treatment has failed.  In addition to traditional parenteral vaccines, the Bakaletz lab has been developing a method to effectively immunize against OM non-invasively, by placement of a ‘band-aid’ onto the skin just behind the ear (the post-auricular region).  As a parallel and complementary research program, since OM is one of many diseases wherein bacterial biofilms contribute significantly to the chronicity and/or recurrence of disease, Dr. Bakaletz, her trainees and the members of her lab are also interested in characterizing the proteome of bacterial biofilms in an attempt to identify potential targets for either therapeutic intervention or biofilm disruption. 

Mr Mahmood Bhutta

bhutta-photoMahmood is currently the TWJ and College Memorial Fund Otology Fellow at the Royal Perth Hospital and the University of Western Australia.  His previous training was in Oxford and London in the UK.  His clinical and academic interest is in chronic otitis media and in global health.  In 2007 he founded the Medical Fair and Ethical Trade Group at the British Medical Association in response to labour rights abuses in global medical supply chains.  In recent years Mahmood has worked on ear disease as a global health problem, and has delivered medical and surgical ear care to Nepal, Indigenous communities in Western Australia, and Cambodia.

Ms Samantha Harkus

sam-1Sam Harkus is an audiologist with extensive experience in providing clinical services in urban, rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.  My work focusses on the intersection between rehabilitative hearing services delivery and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. This includes identifying current and emerging issues relevant to this community and overcoming logistical, organisational, cultural and relational barriers that stand in the way of accessing services. Central to this work is the building of respectful relationships and the examining and improving of systems to bring about better ways of working and connecting people with the hearing services they need.

Professor Preben Homøe

pharbejdebeskraretPreben Homøe, MD, Ph.d, DMSc. is an otorhinolaryngologist and consultant and research director at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery at Zealand University Hospital. Preben holds additionally a professorship in Otorhinolaryngology at the Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. A main long lasting research interest is otitis media and its consequences in the Inuit population of Greenland and especially chronic suppurative otitis media in Inuit children and subadults. This has so far resulted in several especially epidemiological publications and two theses. Also, large national population-based cohort studies in Denmark are part of the research portfolio. He is a member of ISOM.

Associate Professor Kelvin Kong

KKongKelvin qualified as the first Aboriginal Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), specializing in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. 
Kelvin hails from the Worimi people of Port Stephens, north of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. He completed his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at the University of NSW in 1999. He embarked on his internship at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst and pursued a surgical career, completing resident medical officer and registrar positions at various Hospitals. Along the way, his has been privileged in serving the urban, rural and remote community. He has also been humbled to partake in many committee and board roles with Royal Australasian College of Surgery (RACS), Australian Hearing (AH), NHMRC, Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA), National Centre for Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) and many hospital initiatives. He is now practising in Newcastle (Awabakal Country) as a qualified Surgeon specializing in Paediatric & Adult Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery (Ear, Nose & Throat Surgery). He has a very diverse practice in ear, nose and throat surgery, initiating community clinics, primary health care, outreach and a private practice. His practice offers a full range of services in the discipline of ENT surgery and enjoys surgery ranging from cochlear implantation, through to airway reconstruction. Complementing his surgical training, he is kept grounded by his family, who are the strength and inspiration to him. He greatest achievement to date is his family, which includes Kiara and their two beautiful children.

Professor Amanda Leach

ALeach_webProf Amanda Leach is the Leader of the Ear Health Research Program within the Child Health Division at Menzies School of Health Research. Amanda, her colleagues and team have undertaken a program of clinical trials and surveillance studies to improve understanding of OM, it’s prevention and treatment in Australian children, primarily those in remote communities. Prof Leach is the lead investigator for the Centre of Research Excellence in Ear and Hearing Health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (Indigenous Children’s HealthyEARs, CRE_ICHEAR). This CRE supports a cohesive multidisciplinary approach to tackling OM across Australia, aiming to close the gap in Indigenous disadvantage in education and employment that is associated with OM and hearing loss.

Professor Paola Marchisio

PMarchisioPaola Marchisio is Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation at the University of Milan Medical School, Italy. Having obtained her medical degree from the university in 1979, she has progressed through the department to reach her current position. During this time she has been responsible for teaching in numerous Paediatric courses in the school. She is responsible for the Otitis Media and Upper Respiratory Diseases Outpatient Clinic. Prof. Marchisio’s research includes aetiology of upper respiratory tract infections, in particular otitis media and the role of nasopharyngeal flora in determining middle ear infection, as well as the optimisation of antibiotic therapy in children and prevention strategies for otitis media. She has published extensively in these areas. Prof. Marchisio is a board member of the Italian Society of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. 

Dr Tal Marom

cropped-picture-of-tal-maromDr  Tal Marom obtained his M.D. degree in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. He trained at the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Edith Wolfson Medical Center (Holon, Israel).  His research fellowship was conducted at the University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston, TX) where he studied different aspects of otitis media, including epidemiology, microbiology and immunology. He currently works as a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, affiliated to Tel Aviv University Sackler Faculty of Medicine, where he continues to study otitis media in children. To learn more about Dr. Marom, Click here

Dr Richard Rosenfeld

Rosenfeld_webRichard M. Rosenfeld, MD, MPH is Chairman, Program Director, and Distinguished Professor of Otolaryngology at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, USA. He has participated in all International Otitis Media Symposia since 1991 and was the Founder and Inaugural President of the International Society for Otitis Media.  Dr. Rosenfeld has authored 5 books and over 300 articles, and has given over 700 scientific presentations worldwide.  His research interests in otitis media include guidelines, systematic reviews, tympanostomy tubes, health-related quality of life, and evidence-based medicine.  Dr. Rosenfeld is Past-President of the American Society for Pediatric Otolaryngology, Past-Editor in Chief of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Journal, Chairman of the Board for the Auditory Oral School of New York, and Editor for the Cochrane Collaboration, and the Founder and Inaugural Chair of the Guidelines International Network North American Community.

Professor Anne Schilder

215 15_006_RNTNEH Prof Anne Schilder 3011Anne GM Schilder is a Consultant ENT Surgeon at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital and NIHR Research Professor at University College London. She leads the multidisciplinary evidENT team at UCL’s Ear Institute, dedicated to developing best evidence for ENT, Hearing and Balance care.  Her trials in the field of ENT infections in children have been influential in the way global health-care systems think about the management of these conditions and have been translated (inter)national evidence-based guidelines and health policies. Her current work spans the translational research pathway for adult and paediatric ENT, and includes developing the UK Research Agenda for ENT, Hearing and Balance. She is the Theme Director of the NIHR UCLH Biomedical Research Centre Hearing Theme, National Lead for the NIHR Clinical Research Network ENT Specialty and Joint Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane ENT Group.

Professor Dr Tania Sih

Tania Sih 200 x 300Tania Sih, MD, Ph.d,. is a pediatric  otolaryngologist and  ENT Professor at University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Brazil. Dr. Sih is currently the ISOM President and is a co-founder of IAPO (Interamerican Association of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology the largest PED ORL organization of its kind. Presently Dr. Sih is IAPO´s General Secretary. She is the editor of PED ORL books (over 20 books in several languages, mostly in English, Spanish and Portuguese). Dr. Sih is currently President of the Nominating Committee for IFOS (International Federation of ORL Societies). She is an international speaker and promotes PED ORL extensively around the world, with emphasis in developing countries. She worked at CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) conducting microbiology studies on otitis media. 

Dr Kate Seib

kate-sieb-photoDr Seib is a Group Leader and NHMRC Career Development Fellow at the Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University (Gold Coast). She completed a PhD in microbiology in 2004 from the University of Queensland and worked briefly as a Postdoctoral Researcher in Australia. She then spent 6.5 years at Novartis Vaccines (Siena, Italy) as a Postdoctoral Researcher and Project Leader. During this time she was part of the team that developed the recently licensed serogroup B meningococcal vaccine (Bexsero™). Dr Seib returned to Australia in 2012 and is currently a Research Leader and NHMRC Career Development Fellow at the Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University (Gold Coast). Her research is focused on understanding the processes involved in host colonisation and disease, with the aim to identify therapeutic targets of human, mucosal pathogens including Moraxella catarrhalis (causes middle ear infections and exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (causes the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhea, which can lead to infertility) and Neisseria meningitidis (causes sepsis and meningitis).


Professor Merv Hyde

MH Merv Hyde is Professor Emeritus at Griffith University and has worked as an educator and as a child development specialist in many countries.  He was Director the GU Centre for Deafness Studies and Research and worked at Bachelor College, NT and the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin.  His research examining the use of cochlear implants, communication development, learning and educational achievement among deaf and hard of hearing children has been well documented in the international literature. He received and AM for this work in Australia and developing countries.

Dr Peter Richmond

TKI 2014 HeadShot 260x320Peter Richmond is a General Paediatrician and Paediatric Immunologist at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children and the School of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Western Australia. He is Director of the Department of Child Health Research of Child and Adolescent Health Services in WA. Peter was Deputy Chair of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) until 2014 and remains a member of the ATAGI pneumococcal and meningococcal working groups. He is also on a number of other state and national committees regarding immunisation and infectious disease surveillance and chaired data safety monitoring boards for rotavirus vaccine trials.

His major research interests are the development and implementation of vaccines for the prevention of meningitis, influenza, respiratory infections and otitis media. He is the Director of the Vaccine Trials Group at the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, a multidisciplinary research group whose aim is to provide a coordinated approach to the development, delivery, assessment and promotion of vaccines in our community. This includes preclinical development of new vaccine for pertussis and Phase 1-4 clinical trials of paediatric and adults vaccines in WA and overseas. The group is also involved with infectious disease and vaccine adverse event surveillance, epidemiology of pneumonia and otitis media, evaluation of the WA paediatric influenza immunisation program and promoting immunisation in the community. Has led influenza vaccine trials in children, healthy adults and the elderly for seasonal and pandemic vaccines. He is an author in over 180 scientific publications predominantly in the fields of immunisations and infectious diseases research.

Panel Speakers 

Dr Lea-Ann Kirkham


kirkham-staff-picDr. Lea-Ann S. Kirkham is a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Western Australia. She co-leads the Bacterial Respiratory Infectious Disease Research Group with Dr Ruth Thornton. Her research focus is on understanding the pathogenesis of bacterial respiratory infections and translating this into strategies to reduce the burden of disease, including development of improved vaccines. During her PhD at the University of Glasgow, she constructed a pneumococcal protein vaccine antigen that conferred protection against pneumococcal disease. This has led to 3 international patents as co-inventor. In 2012, Dr Kirkham was awarded a prestigious Young Tall Poppy Award from the Australian Institute of Policy and Science in recognition of her research achievements alongside excellence in community engagement. She currently holds an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship and is investigating a bacterial therapy to prevent otitis media from nontypeable Haemophilus influenza.