Chairs and Speakers – W

Chairs and Speakers – W


Gregor K. Wenning
Main position/role:
Director, Dysautonomia Center, Medical University Innsbruck, Austria

Gregor K. Wenning is best known for his research on multiple system atrophy (MSA) (Fanciulli A & Wenning GK NEJM 2015). In 2006  Wenning was appointed chairman of Neurobiology at Medical University Innsbruck exclusively focusing on MSA. Collaborating with Vikram Khurana at the Harvard Stem Cell Center Wenning recently succeeded in generating a patient derived iPS based MSA model. At the same time his team developed a MSA center of excellence that provides state-of-the-art diagnostic work up and symptomatic therapy. Since Wenning`s arrival at Innsbruck 315 publications related to MSA document his world leading role in clinical and experimental research of this disorder.


Colin White
Main position/role:
Senior Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Staining & Imaging Leica Biosystems

Colin White is an IVD industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience in conceiving, developing and commercializing systems that advance the practice of pathology. Colin is currently the Senior Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Staining & Imaging at Leica Biosystems, a position he has held since 2015. Colin’s passion is innovation and motivating teams to develop solutions that advance patient care whilst also meeting the needs of healthcare providers and regulating bodies. Early in his career, Colin spent about a decade with BHP, a global resources company. Colin has a PhD and bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

Ramani Wijesinha-Bettoni
Main position/role:
Nutrition Officer; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Ramani Wijesinha-Bettoni is a Nutrition Officer in FAO, Rome. She is originally from Sri Lanka. She has a Chemistry degree from Imperial College, London and PhD on proteins from Oxford University. Since joining FAO in 2009, she has worked on various areas including food composition, protein protein-quality evaluation and complementary feeding for infants and young children. She has worked on the FAO ENACT project in capacity building for nutrition education since 2012, including on ToT activities in Africa and Asia Asia. Her current work involves providing technical assistance to countries in Africa and Asia for developing and implementing food food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs). She is also part of the FAO team currently updating the methodology to develop FBD Gs, taking a food food-systems approach and considering all aspects of sustainability.

Annelies Wilder-Smith
Main position/role:
Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Annelies Wilder-Smith is Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and visiting Professor at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Singapore. She also serves as Consultant to the Initiative of Vaccine Research at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, as Focal Point for the SAGE Working Group on COVID-19 vaccines. She is Past President of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM), and Editor-in-Chief of ISTM`s Journal of Travel Medicine.  Annelies specializes in emerging viral diseases such as Zika, dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, influenza, SARS and now SARS-CoV-2. In 2003, she was at the forefront of the SARS epidemic in Singapore. She is now coordinating a working group at WHO to formulate policy recommendations for the use of COVID-19 vaccines. With a career spanning almost three decades, she has led and co-led various clinical trials, published more than 350 scientific papers, edited and co-edited textbooks and travel medicine books, served on various editorial boards and scientific committees, including as Editorial Consultant to The Lancet. Her awards include the Myrone Levine Vaccinology Prize, the Honor Group Award for exemplary leadership and coordination in determining and communicating global yellow fever risk presented at the CDC Award Ceremony, the Mercator Professorship award by the German Research Foundation and the Ashdown Oration Award by the Australian College of Travel Medicine. She is the Principal Investigator of an EU funded international consortium called “ZikaPLAN” (, and recently completed another 4 year research project on dengue, also funded by the European Commission.