Marc Steben is a family physician specialized in sexual health and public health, dedicated to implementing and promoting the best and most innovative multidisciplinary practices from around the world in the fields of STIs. His research work spans from chronic genital pain, HPV vaccine and testing, as well as genital herpes management. He’s currently studying the development of an integrative control and management approach to HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer, female genital schistosomiasis and soil helminths in Eswatini, within the PAVE consortium of the National cancer institute (NCI) of the NIH.

He is the co-founder of IUSTI Canada and is a member of the Expert group for STI guidelines for the Public Health Agency of Canada, and is also part of the Board of the International Papillomavirus Society, and chairs its Education Committee. He chaired the 26th International Papillomavirus Conference in Montreal, and has now been appointed President of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research.

Dr Steben was awarded the Gilles Desrosiers prize for Education Leadership by the Fédération des Médecins Omnipraticiens du Québec, the “Médecin de Cœur et d’Action” prize by the Association des Médecins de langue française du Canada for his outstanding dedication to patient care, as well as several honors recognitions from the Coalition Priorité Cancer, the 150th Anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine at the Université de Montréal, and as an Emeritus Ambassador of Palais des Congrès de Montréal. 

R. Dillon

Jo-Anne R. Dillon is President of the International Union Against Sexually Transmitted Infections (IUSTI). She is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, and a Research Scientist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada). She is the recipient of numerous awards and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada. She founded the National Laboratory for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (Health Canada) and is a co-founder of the WHO-sponsored Gonococcal Antimicrobial Susceptibility Program (GASP).


Professor Dillon’s research interests include the biology and molecular epidemiology of sexually transmissible diseases, in particular Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the surveillance and molecular biology of antimicrobial resistance, and the application of new technologies to develop diagnostic and analytical methods for STIs. Professor Dillon has led several national and international scientific organizations, including the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research (ISSTDR), and has consulted nationally and internationally in STIs and public health.



Adele Schwartz

Adele Schwartz Benzaken holds a degree in Medicine (1978) and a PhD in Public Health (2009). She currently works for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) as Medical Director of the Global Quality and Medical Program and external consultant for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases. Also is a member of the Regional advisor board for BMJ and for the board of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases Research (ISSTDR).

She has occupied different positions over her career. Director of the Tropical Dermatology and Venereology Foundation “Alfredo da Matta” (Manaus/Brazil) from 2007-2010. Officer of the National Program of UNAIDS/Brazil from 2011-2013. Deputy Director (2013-2016) and Director of the Department of STI / HIV-AIDS and Viral Hepatitis of the Ministry of Health of Brazil from 2016-2019. Vice-Chair of the World Health Organization Expert Committee (“WHO Strategic and Director of Fiocruz Amazonas/ Brazil from 2022 to 2023Technical Advisory Committee on HIV and Viral Hepatitis”/STAC-HIVHEP) from 2017-2021. Member of the certification committee for the elimination of syphilis and HIV of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) from 2016-2021.Vice-Chair of the “Steering committee of the 2025 target setting and 2020-2030 resource needs and impact estimation” of UNAIDS/Geneva from 2019-2021. Regional Director for Latin America of the International Union Against Sexually Transmitted Infections (IUSTI) until 2023.


Bradley Stoner is Professor and Head, Department of Public Health Sciences and Professor of Medicine at Queen’s University, Kingston, ON Canada. His research focuses on the clinical epidemiology of sexually transmitted diseases and sociocultural factors which influence infectious disease risk in human populations. Dr. Stoner received the AB degree from Harvard, the MA degree from McGill, and MD and PhD degrees from Indiana University. At Washington University in St. Louis, he served as Chief of STD Services for the St. Louis County Department of Health and Medical Director of the CDC-funded St. Louis STD/HIV Prevention Training Center.


He previously served as a Visiting Medical Officer in HIV and Reproductive Health at the World Health Organization (WHO), and he is Past-President of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association (ASTDA). He currently serves as North American Regional Director for the International Union Against Sexually Transmitted Infections (IUSTI). Dr. Stoner is a former Chair of the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee (CHAC) on HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and STD Prevention and Treatment, and has served as subject matter expert for the development of CDC’s STD/STI Treatment Guidelines for more than two decades. He is board-certified in infectious diseases and internal medicine.


J. NdowA

Dr Francis J. Ndowa (MB. ChB; Dip Derm.; Dip GU Med.) is based in Harare, Zimbabwe working as Director and Physician (Specialist Dermato-venereologist) at the Skin & Genito-Urinary Medicine Clinic in Harare.
He is the Regional Director of the Africa and Middle East & North Africa Branch of the International Union against STIs (IUSTI Africa-MENA). He serves Adviser on the Scientific & Technical Advisory Group (STAG) of the WHO Department of Global HIV, Hepatitis and STI Programmes, Geneva, Switzerland, and he is also a member of the ReAct Toolbox International Advisory Group on antimicrobial resistance.

In Zimbabwe, he serves on the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care Advisory Committee of the National STI Prevention and Control Programme as well as on the Advisory Committee of the National AMR Programme of Zimbabwe.


Khalil Ghanem, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Deputy Director of Education for the Department of Medicine on the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus. He is the Program Director of the Graduate Training Programs in Clinical Investigation at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has been the Principal Investigator of the CDC-funded Johns Hopkins STD/HIV Prevention Training Center since 2014. His research focuses on reproductive tract infections- in particular syphilis and the vaginal microbiome. He is the past president of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.



Miyotehewin ᒥᔪᑌᐦᐁᐃᐧᐣ Okihcitaskwew (Kind-hearted Warrior Woman)
Okimaw (CEO), CAAN Communities, Alliances & Networks December 2019 – present
Finance and Research Director, All Nations Hope Network Oct 1999 – present

Nehiyaw iskwew ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐤ ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ (Cree Woman) with direct ties to the Kisikaw Piyesis(Bitternose)/Itittakoose Family from George Gordon First Nation and the Desnomie/McLeod Family from Peepeekisis First Nation, in Saskatchewan on the land now called Canada. Descendant of both the Moose clan and the Bear Clan, living as a traditional medicine practitioner, a knowledge keeper and baby catching bundle carrier.
Waniska (Awakened) to the ways of the ancestors, practising traditional ways of knowing, healing along the way, seeking pimâtisiwin (life) for all nations through Indigenous practices, language, ceremonies, culture and traditions, working as a Co-Creator for Kisi Manito (Great Mystery) honoring the ancestors along the way.
In the colonized world, she is a leader as the CEO of CAAN and celebrates 30+ years of responding to HIV, HCV and colonial impacts to Indigenous communities through culture, ceremony, humour, and Indigenous ways.



Remco Peters, MD, PhD, is an HIV/STI clinician, epidemiologist, and researcher based in East London, South Africa. He is Head of Clinical Research at the Foundation for Professional Development and appointed extraordinary professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology at the University of Pretoria and honorary associate professor in the Division of Medical Microbiology at the University of Cape Town.


Prof Peters leads clinical research studies on STI programme implementation, STI diagnostics and Neisseria gonorrhoeae antimicrobial resistance. He is member of WHO advisory groups, the South African STI technical working group, and author of the STI guidelines for the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society. He was scientific co-chair of the 23rd IUSTI World Congress in Zimbabwe, 2022.



 Yonatan Grad is the Melvin J. and Geraldine L. Glimcher Associate Professor in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and faculty in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He earned his MD and PhD at Harvard Medical School, trained in internal medicine at BWH and infectious diseases at BWH and Massachusetts General Hospital. The Grad lab focuses on how to prepare and respond effectively to infectious disease threats through understanding interacting processes from microbial evolution through human ecology. The lab uses interdisciplinary methods, including microbial genetics, population genomics, and mathematical modeling to move across these scales, with goals of advancing clinical and public health practices and with a particular focus on Neisseria gonorrhoeae and antimicrobial resistance.


Sponsorship &

Yukari C.

Yukari C. Manabe MD, FIDSA, FRCP, is a Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases within the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Director of the Center for Innovative Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases ( She also holds joint appointments in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Departments of International Health and Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and is the Associate Director of Global Health Research and Innovation within the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health. Her research has focused on infectious disease diagnostics for STIs, HIV, TB, and respiratory viruses (COVID-19, influenza) and their impact on patient-centered outcomes. 


She is dedicated to accelerating infectious disease diagnostic development, innovation, and access to increase diagnostic certainty and targeted treatment to improve global health. Dr. Manabe is an author of more than 270 peer-reviewed publications. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Yale University and her MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She joined the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine faculty in 1999 after completing her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins Hospital. From 2007-2012, she was seconded to the Infectious Diseases Institute where she was the Head of Research and holds an honorary appointment at Makerere University College of Health Sciences.

Jeff Klausner



Pant Pai

Nitika Pant Pai is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and a Senior Scientist at MUHC Research Institute, Montreal, Canada.

Dr. Pant Pai is a global expert in point-of-care diagnostics, digital health, and implementation science in HIV/STBBI with over 15 years of experience and a global research program based in Canada, South Africa, and India. Using design thinking, she develops process and product innovations.

She synergizes digital health, machine learning, and predictive analytics with rapid point-of-care diagnostics to impact clinical care and service delivery in community settings. Her solutions generate clinical, public health, and social impact. She is an elected member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists (2018 cohort), featured in the list of Canadian Women in Global Health, and serves as Treasurer of IUSTI Executive Canadian Chapter. 



Odile Harrison is a senior research fellow in the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford. She is on the editorial board for the Journal of Infection and is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Odile undertook her PhD at Imperial College London, supervised by Professors Robert Heyderman and Brian Robertson. After gaining her PhD, Odile was awarded a Marie Curie fellowship to work at Sanofi Pasteur in Lyon, France where she became interested in bioinformatics and the analysis of nucleotide sequence data. 

photo (c) John Cairns

 While working with Professor Martin Maiden in Oxford, Odile extended her training in bioinformatics and molecular epidemiology to develop expertise in the analysis of whole genome sequence data (WGS). Odile’s work now focusses on the population genomics of bacterial pathogens and in developing genomic approaches for the improved surveillance of human pathogens including Neisseria gonorrhoeae. She is particularly interested in understanding the dynamics of Neisseria ecology in the human oropharynx and in developing tools for improving diagnostics, preventing infection through vaccination and understanding the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. As a result, she has developed tools for the annotation of WGS belonging to several sexually transmitted pathogens including Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Treponema pallidum subsp. and Mycoplasma genitalium, Odile’s work has also extended to the analysis of WGS belonging to Streptococcus agalactiae (group B strep) and Haemophilus influenzae.




Ina Park is a Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of California San Francisco. She currently serves as the Principal Investigator at the California Prevention Training Center and Medical Consultant for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Division of STD Prevention. Ina is the author of the book Strange Bedfellows: Adventures in the Science, History and Surprising Secrets of STDs. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times and Scientific American.


Cara Spence