We are delighted to announce that the following speakers have confirmed their participation at the HTAi 2019 Annual Meeting in Cologne:

Prof. Jeonghoon Ahn, Associate Professor, Ewha Womans University, Korea

Dr. Ahn is an associate professor at the Ewha Womans University (EWU) and an adjunct fellow at the National Evidence-based healthcare Collaborating Agency (NECA). His main research area is economic evaluation of health technologies. Before joining the EWU in March 2016, Dr. Ahn was an executive director at the NECA and an assistant professor of pharmaceutical economics and Policy at the University of Southern California before joining the NECA. He received his B.A. in International Economics and M.A. in Economics from the Seoul National University and Ph.D. in Economics from USC. Dr. Ahn is currently serving in the Drug Reimbursement Evaluation Committee of the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Agency (HIRA). He also had served to many professional organizations such as board director for HTAi and INAHTA. Dr. Ahn also contributed to form a regional Health Technology Assessment agency network, the HTAsiaLink (www.htasialink.org), along with other experts in the region.

Dr. Ain Aaviksoo, Chief Medical Office, Guardtime Health, Estonia

20 years of experience in digital technologies and health innovation. Former Undersecretary for eServices and Innovation for Estonia, responsible for digital transformation of health and social care system as well as advanced actively the developments of digitally enhanced health care systems in Europe and globally.

Dr. Federico Augustovski, Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS), Argentina.

Current Director of Health Economic Evaluations and Technology Assessment at the Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS), an independent non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Buenos Aires, a CONICET (National Scientific and Technical Research Council) center and one of the few INAHTA Health Technology Assessments agencies in Latin America. Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre in HTA and Economic Evaluations at IECS; founding Editor in Chief for Latin America of Value in Health Regional Issues (VIHRI), the ISPOR peer reviewed journal for Latin America, Asia and Central and Eastern Europe and Africa; President of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomic and Outcome Research (ISPOR) from 2017 to 2020; Director of the PAHO-affiliated PROVAC Center of Excellence for decision-making in vaccines and Professor of Public Health at the School of Public Health of the University of Buenos Aires. Medical Degree at the University of Buenos Aires and specialist in Family Medicine.

Prof. Marcin Czech, Head of Department of Pharmacoeconomics, Institute of Mother and Child, Poland


Marcin Czech is a professor and head of the Department of Pharmacoeconomics at the Institute of Mother and Child in Warsaw, President- elect of ISPOR, Poland Chapter, former Undersecretary of State/ Vice Minister at Ministry of Health.

He is the author of over 200 articles and reports in the field of management, health economics, pharmacoeconomics and quality of life, published both in foreign and Polish magazines. He promoted over 150 master’s and diploma theses, he is member of working groups (including the Polish Academy of Sciences), editorial boards and scientific specialist journals, he is a reviewer of research works (also as expert of the National Science Centre), PhD theses and books, scientific articles, he participated in the implementation of scientific grants also those financed by the European Union. He worked in international business and advisory environment where he was responsible for health economics and Real World Evidence.

A medical doctor by education (specialist in epidemiology and public health) holding PhD degrees in medicine and management, MBA, completed postgraduate studies in Health Economics, Leadership Academy, university trainings in socio-economic evaluation of medicines at the University of York, University of St. Andrews, Mc. Master University and several certified specialty courses.

Dr. Anne G. Ekeland, Senior Researcher, Norwegian Centre for E-health Research, Norway 

With a Doctor Polit degree including sociology and societal planning, Anne has worked with evaluation research of telemedicine and e-health for more than 20 years. Her portfolio includes the EU project MethoTelemed 2009-2011, leading a systematic review and participating in the development of MAST. She later evaluated MAST in the project Renewing Health.

NSE produces decision relevant knowledge on digital health services and effects, integrated patient pathways, personal systems and health data analysis. With a specific mandate to develop HTA in e-health, she is now leading a three-year project: HTA for ICT.

Publications include systematic reviews, case studies and a critical-realist review and qualitative meta synthesis. Her current interest is digitalization and governance.

She holds an associate professorship at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, Department of Clinical Medicine, teaching theory of science to PhD students in medicine and health professions and e-health to international students.

Dr. Michelle Mujoomdar, Director, Scientific Affairs, CADTH, Canada

Michelle has held several leadership roles since joining CADTH in 2008. In 2013, Michelle joined CADTH’s Evidence Standards team as Director, Scientific Affairs where she has accountability for the quality of CADTH’s work. In this role, she also has oversight for CADTH’s Scientific Advice programme and Patient Engagement activities. Michelle returned to CADTH in 2018 following a secondment to the European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA) where she served as EUnetHTA’s Senior Scientific Officer. Michelle currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment and in 2018 was awarded the Dr. Maurice McGregor Award which recognises rising stars in the field of health technology assessment early in their careers. Michelle holds a PhD in Pharmacology from Dalhousie University, Canada.

Prof. Kanchan Mukherjee, Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India

Kanchan Mukherjee is a Professor at the Center for Health Policy, Planning and Management, at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India. Prof. Mukherjee is a clinician with specialization in Public Health (gold medalist). He completed a Fogarty Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA for HIV/AIDS research and a Masters with distinction in Health Economics from the LSE. As an expert for evidence to policy translation, he was invited as a Visiting Professor by the University of Liverpool, UK and Karolinska Institute, Sweden. He is the founder and convener of the Masters in Health Policy, Economics and Finance programme, which integrates HTA within the MPH curriculum, the only one of its kind in South Asia. He has 18 years of teaching and research experience in health systems and policy analysis, economic evaluation, urban health, HIV and NCDs. For more details, please visit: http://www.tiss.edu/view/9/employee/kanchan-mukherjee/

Dr. Brian O’Rourke, President and Chief Executive Officer, CADTH, Canada

Dr. Brian O’Rourke is the President and Chief Executive Officer of CADTH. He joined CADTH in January of 2009 following a distinguished career as a Pharmacist and Health Care Executive with the Canadian military. With over 38 years of experience in health care, Brian actively positions CADTH as the leading Canadian source of evidence-informed advice on managing pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and clinical interventions. He has a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Dalhousie University and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Toronto. Dr. O’Rourke is the Chair of the Health Technology Assessment Steering Committee and a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for the Centre for Innovation in Regulatory Science. He is also Co-Chair of the ISPOR North America Health Technology Assessment Roundtable and served as the Board Chair for the International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment from 2014 to 2018.

Mrs. Gesa Pellier, Head Global Patient Access, Novartis Pharma AG, Switzerland

Gesa heads the Novartis Global Patient Access (GPA) team since 2013. In this role she is responsible for ensuring appropriate patient-centric, outcome-focused value demonstration and access plans and their execution for all Novartis Pharma therapy areas and products/programs, throughout development and post-approval, worldwide. Her responsibilities span the areas of market access, pricing & reimbursement, health economics and outcome research. Gesa has been with Novartis in Basel, Switzerland, since April 2005, initially in Pharma Development where she started as senior DRA Manager, then headed the DRA Business Franchise Teams for Europe and later for Global; subsequently headed DRA Europe and Greater China. Before joining Novartis, Gesa worked for 15 years in GlaxoSmithKline and its legacy companies, in a variety of Regulatory Affairs roles with increasing responsibility in country, Region and Global. Gesa is a physician by training, graduating from Medicine University of Lübeck, Germany, in 1990.

Prof. Dr. Rainer  Röhrig, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany

1989 – 1992 Computer Science (Rheinischen Friedrich Wilhelms Universität)
1992 – 2000 Medicne (Justus-Liebig Universität Gießen & Albertus-Magnus-Universität zu Köln am Rhein)
2000 – 2014 Physician and Scientist (Department for Anasthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital Gießen
2014 – today  Full Professor for Medical Informatics at the Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg

Scientific interests
Building and operating of IT-infrastructure for biomedical research
Patient Safety: Research in medical socio technical system: Building safe HIT, safe operating of HIT, improving safety by HIT

Dr. Bettina Ryll, Founder, Melanoma Patient Network Europe, Sweden

Dr. Ryll holds a medical degree from the Free University of Berlin, Germany, and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from University College London, UK.After losing her husband to Melanoma, she founded the Melanoma Patient NetworkEurope and developed a special interest in patient-centric clinical research, innovative trial designs and novel drug development concepts, such as MAPPS (medicines’adaptive pathways to patients). Lately, she focuses on patient-relevant outcomes andsustainable healthcare models ensuring access to innovation for patients.Dr. Ryll is involved in numerous initiatives promoting evidence-based advocacy. She is fascinated by the enormous potential and capacity of patient networks to both educate and support patients as well as to capture data at the primary data source,the patients themselves, to generate evidence at a granularity level non-accessible to outsiders. Between 2015 and 2018, Dr. Ryll chaired the ESMO-PAWG, the first time this position was held by a non-oncologist and was instrumental behind the development of the advocacy track at annual ESMO conferences.

Mr. Martin Seychell, Deputy Director General, European Commission, Belgium

A graduate in chemistry and pharmaceutical technology, Mr. Seychell specialized in Chemical analysis. He has held important positions on several government boards and commissions in Malta, including the Food Safety Commission and the Pesticides Board. Mr Seychell occupied the post of Head of Directorate at the Malta Standards Authority between 2001 and 2006. He has been responsible for the implementation of a number of EU directives in the areas of risk assessment, food safety, chemicals and cosmetic products legislation, and has actively participated in negotiations on major technical proposals such as the new chemicals legislation, REACH, and in screening processes in the areas of free movement of goods, environment and agriculture during the process leading to Malta’s accession  to the EU. He held the post of Director of Environment in Malta between 2006 and 2011. As Director, he was responsible for a broad range of functions arising from the Maltese Environment Protection Act. He was appointed Deputy Director General for Health and Consumers at the European Commission in March 2011.  Responsible for directorates dealing with Consumer affairs, Public health and Health systems and products (SANCO).  2014 – to date: Deputy Director-General for Health in the Health and Food Safety Directorate-General  (SANTE).

Dr. Siw Waffenschmidt, Head of Information Unit, Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, Germany

Siw Waffenschmidt is a sports scientist by trade and previously worked at the German Sports University Cologne and the Central Library for Sports Science. She now works at Germany’s health technology assessment agency, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) and has headed the Information Management Unit since 2011. Her main responsibilities are the development of comprehensive search strategies and the peer review of literature searches. Her research focus is on the further development of information retrieval methods for systematic reviews. She is also the chair of the HTAi Information Retrieval Interest Group and the spokeswoman of the newly established Information Management Working Group in the German Network for Evidence-based Medicine. She is currently supporting the establishment of a network of information specialists for EUnetHTA assessments.