GARDP selects Veronika von Messling as newest Board member and Prabhavathi Fernandes as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee

[Geneva, Switzerland – 22 October 2019]

The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) announced today that Prof Veronika von Messling has joined the Board as its newest member, with Dr Prabhavathi Fernandes selected as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee, bringing an exceptional level of international leadership and experience.

Prof von Messling heads the Life Science Directorate-General of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, a role she has held since 2018. Prior to that she was Head of the Veterinary Medicine Division at Paul-Ehrlich-Institut from 2012 to 2018. Prof von Messling has also held associate professor positions at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, and INRS Institut Armand-Frappier in Canada.

Prof von Messling’s expertise lies in the development of novel prophylactic and therapeutic strategies against infectious diseases.

“With the recent launch of GARDP’s 5 BY 25 goal to deliver five new treatments by 2025, it is an exciting time to be joining the organisation,” said Prof von Messling. “I look forward to working with the Board, staff and partners as we tackle the critical threat of antibiotic resistance.”

Dr Fernandes has over 35 years of drug discovery and development experience as the CEO of small biotechnology companies and has held executive leadership positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Abbott laboratories. She served on the U.S. Congressional Panel for Assessment of the Impact of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria and on the American Society for Microbiology Advisory Panel for Antibiotic Resistance.

In 2017, Dr Fernandes was appointed to the National Biodefense Science Board for the US Government and has served as its Chairperson since 2018. Dr Fernandes is currently on the Supervisory Board of Curetis, a leading rapid bacterial infection diagnostic company.

“I am excited to take on this this new role and to work with GARDP and the Scientific Advisors to accelerate the delivery of new and improved treatments for those who need them,” said Dr Fernandes.

Prof von Messling joins the Board as part of its expansion, with Dr Fernandes replacing Prof Jutta Heim, who served as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee since 2016. Prof von Messling and Dr Fernandes are scheduled to begin their three-year terms at GARDP’s upcoming Board and Scientific Advisory Committee meetings in November.

GARDP’s 5 BY 25 strategy seeks to accelerate the development and delivery of five new treatments by 2025 as a response to the growing emergency of antibiotic resistant infections. GARDP’s five treatments will focus on the priority bacterial pathogens identified by the World Health Organization.

About GARDP

The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) is a not-for-profit developing new and improved treatments for drug resistant infections. Created by the WHO and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), GARDP is an essential element of the WHO Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance. www.gardp.org

Media contacts

Caleb Starrenburg, Senior Communications Manager, GARDP
cstarrenburg@gardp.org | +41 79 254 02 07