Nigel French attends Gates Foundation World Health Summit
NZFSSRC Director Nigel French was privileged to be the only New Zealander (as far as he could tell) out of 2000 invited to attend the Gates Foundation Summit in Berlin in October. This was likely in recognition of his role as technical adviser on a Bill and Melinda Gates research project to study the effect of pathogens, especially Campylobacter, on the stunting of Ethiopian children.
He was very inspired by the keynotes from Gates, Angela Merkel, Norwegian PM Erna Solberg, and the Director General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Nigel said that overall, there was a great sense of humanity and sincere desire to alleviate suffering, on the part of all these speakers.
There were several streams at the summit. Nigel was mainly interested in the antimicrobial resistance and next generation sequencing presentations. He said there is a lot of progress in making bioinformatics tools more user friendly, and this will further amplify the uptake of new technologies.