Individual Members Bios

Professor Irena Bralic

Professor Irena Bralic

Associate Professor of Paediatrics, University of Split, Croatia

Irena Bralić, M.D., Ph.D. a head doctor (Primarius), a specialist paediatrician, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and a scientific associate at the Medical Faculty of the University of Split, permanently employed in a Specialized Paediatric Practice.

She is the author and editor of the university textbook "Prevention of Diseases in Childhood"(2014), “Transition medicine” (2018) the university handbook "Vaccination and Vaccines"(2016), and “Rational diagnostics and treatment” (2019), the sold-out handbook for parents, "How to Grow Up Healthy". 

She has published more papers in recent journals, and she has been an invited speaker at many foreign and national conferences. She is the head of the scientific project of the Ministry of Science of the RC entitled; "Secular changes in growth and the appearance of obesity during puberty". She is the head of category 1 courses in the life-long education of doctors, in the series "New Challenges in the Prevention of Diseases in Childhood". 

Her narrow field of professional and scientific interest are preventive programmes in childhood and adolescence, vaccination, growth and development and obesity.  She is a member of the Management Board and Treasurer of the Croatian Paediatrics Society.


Dr Mihai Craiu

Paediatrician, Univeritatea de Medicina si Farmacie Carol Davila, Bucarest, Romania

I’ve graduated Carol Davila Medical University (CDMU) from Bucharest, Romania in 1989. After training in Pediatrics I became certified by the Romanian board of Pediatrics in 1994 and I am working since certification in National Institute for Mother and Child Health of Romania. In 2005 I was awarded PhD title with a thesis in Pediatric Emergency Medicine

For almost 30 years I have been working efficiently as part of various medical teams [in Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, Respiratory Diseases Unit etc.] and since 1991 I am an academic of the Pediatric Department of CDMU.

Twice I was visiting physician abroad for a short period (at Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis Utrecht, The Netherlands and at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, USA).

In Romania my communication skills and professional performances were commended by two
National Societies were I was appointed as board member: National Society of Pediatrics since 2013 (member of National Council of SRPed) and National Society of Pediatric Respiratory Diseases since 2010 (reelected 2014).

I am founder of a Social Media educational project ("Spitalul Virtual de Copii") that has more than 138.000 followers, both parents and physicians. The impact of this project in changing landscape of communication and education in Romanian language was recognized by Special prize of the jury at COPAC 2017 gala (national medical communication contest) and by the 7th European Communication Contest Vaccines Champions 2018.


Ms Gertraud Daye

Chair, NGO Committee on Ageing, Austria

Gertraud has been involved in advocacy work for older people since 1976 when she was Director of the European Federation of Older Persons – EURAG (employed by EURAG from 1976 to 2004). She has also lectured in social work over the years at the faculty f. Social Work, FH Joanneum Graz/A (2004 to 2007) and the Facutly f. Social Work, Health and Nursing, Univ. of Applied Sciences, Ravensburg-Weingarten (2009 to 2011) and has twice been Chair of the Vienna NGO Committee on Ageing (2003 – 2007 and 2013 to 2018).

Currently Gertraud is the NGO representative in the Bureau of the UNECE Working Group on Ageing Geneva (since November 2017). She is also Regional Coordinator of the Austrian Representation of Interest of Informal Carers
“IG Pflegende Angehörige”, Chair of ASSG (“Aktive Seniorinnen und Senioren Graz”) and an independent expert on Public Health and Ageing for DG Research, European Commission.

Gertraud has also published papers on meeting the challenges of demographic change and the care of Europe’s older people among other topics.

Mr Gary Finnegan

Mr Gary Finnegan

Editor, Vaccines Today, Ireland

Gary Finnegan is an experienced health journalist, editor and author. He has a degree in physiology and an MSc in science communication and is a former Editor of the Irish Medical News and a newspaper columnist.

Gary has been the Editor of Vaccines Today since it was founded in 2010 and has served on the Advisory Board of the WHO Vaccine Safety Net network of trustworthy vaccine websites.

He was a national winner at the European Commission’s EU Health Prize for Journalists in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and a jury member in 2012. He has won two Irish Medical Media Awards for online health journalism and opinion writing.

Gary’s book, Beijing for Beginners, has nothing to do with vaccination but could be worth a read if you are interested in a light-hearted and wholly out-of-date travel diary.



Daphne joined the world of charity management in 1999 after 30 years in medical research and education, first with the UK Medical Research Council and then at Imperial College in London, where from 1986 she was team leader at the Karim Centre for Meningitis Research.

After working for 10 years on international development for the Meningitis Trust (UK) Daphne joined the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) in 2009 to become the first executive director, and to establish CoMO as a registered organisation in Perth, Western Australia. Daphne became a member of the Governing Council of CoMO and subsequently its Vice President for Europe and Africa, posts that she held until December 2017 when she retired to help found the Coalition for Life-course Immunisation (CLCI) and become its Chair.

Daphne is a member of the editorial board of Vaccine Today and is generally active in the world of vaccines advocacy.

Professor Pier Luigi Lopalco

Professor Pier Luigi Lopalco

Professor of Hygiene & Preventative Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy

Pier Luigi Lopalco, MD, is Full Professor of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at the University of Pisa (Italy). He started his academic career in January 2000 as Researcher at University of Foggia. In December 2001 he got a position as Associate Professor at University of Bari. Between 2005 and 2015 he joined the ECDC, where has been Head of the Vaccine Preventable Disease Programme.

During that period he has contributed to strengthening European collaboration in the field of vaccination programmes and produced several guidance documents to support the decision making process for introduction of new vaccines at national level. Since October 2015 he took back his position in the Italian University, moving to Pisa in April 2016, where he is teaching Epidemiological Methods and Public Health at the School of Medicine. He is member of the National Verification Committee for measles and rubella elimination in Italy.

His research activity has been focused on infectious disease epidemiology and prevention. He is co-author of more than 160 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals. He has co-authored a chapter in the textbook Vaccines 6th Edition by Plotkin S., Orenstein W., and Offit P.

Professor Carlo Signorelli

Professor Carlo Signorelli

Professor of Hygiene and Public Health, University of Palma, Italy

Born in Milan in 1962, Carlo is married with two daughters. He is currently Full Professor of Hygiene and Public Health at the University of Parma and at the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele of Milan and Director of the Post-Graduate School in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine.

Carlo is Past-President of the Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health (SItI), Treasurer of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) and Member of the Executive Board of the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER). He is Co-Chair of the 16th World Congress of Public Health to be held in Rome in October 2020.

Carlo qualified in Medicine at the University of Milan in 1986, he holds an MSc in Epidemiology and a PhD from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. His research work focuses on public health, epidemiology, environmental health, health organisation and immunization policies where he has a strong track record of scientific publications and active participation in national and international research projects.

Carlo is co-author of three consecutive editions of the Life-time immunization Schedule (the Italian Scientific Societies’ recommendations on vaccines) and consultant to the Ministry of Health on the Italian National Immunization Prevention Plan.

Currently he is an active Member of the Italian National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAG) since its institution by the Ministry of Health in 2017 and is also part of the Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (RITAG) of the Emilia-Romagna Region. In both groups he is involved in providing technical recommendations on the introduction of new vaccines, on the definition of life-course immunization schedules and on strategies to overcome the growing phenomenon of the vaccine hesitancy.

Carlo is author or co-author of 40 teaching books in the fields of epidemiology, environmental health and public health, about 200 indexes scientific papers and over 1400 publications overall. He is also Section Editor of the Scientific Journals Annali di Igiene (Ann Ig) and Acta Bio Medica (Acta Biomed) and reviewer for various International Journals of Epidemiology and Public Health.

From 2006 to 2016 Carlo was Mayor of the town of Perledo (Lecco, Italy) and from 2009 to 2014 Councilor for the Environmental policies of the Province of Lecco. Since 2014 is President of a Local Mountain Community (Comunità Montana Valsassina, Valvarrone, Val d’Esino e Riviera). As Councilor for the Environment of the Province of Lecco he was involved in the fauna sector, Integrated water service, Ecology and Agriculture and he actively participated in the start-up and assignment processes of the integrated water service of the Province, to the drafting of the Cave Plan, the Waste Plan and the Wildlife Plan.

Dr Malcolm Taylor

Retired International Business Development Director, electricity industry.

I joined the Coalition for Life-Course Immunisation (CLCI) in December 2017 as General Secretary. Previously I had spent 40 years in the electricity industry, first as a research scientist, then as a technical trouble-shooter, a general manager, and finally as an operational manager and business development director.

Following the privatization of the UK electricity industry I contributed to the development of the UK wholesale electricity market and then moved on to power project development and operation in Europe, India and sub-Saharan Africa.

My goal is to bring my experience of working in strategic project, regulatory and policy development as well as operational management to bear on the goals of the CLCI and work towards the widest possible take-up of the life-course approach to immunization and hence the improvement in public health.

Professor Vytautas Usonis

Professor Vytautas Usonis

Head of Clinic of Children’s Diseases, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Vilnius, Lithuania

Vytautas Usonis is professor of Paediatrics at Vilnius University and he is currently Head of the Clinic of Paediatrics, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University. He holds undergraduate degree in medicine/paediatrics (1974). His PhD was on the immunology of viral hepatitis (1981) and his doctor habilitatus dissertation was on the immunopathogenesis and vaccine prophylactics of viral hepatitis B (1990).

Vytautas Usonis is an expert on vaccine-related issues. He is on the editorial boards of a number of national and international scientific journals as well as being a member of the international vaccination advisory and working groups.

He is (co-)author of more than 200 publications on paediatric infectious diseases published in English, Russian and Lithuanian (research articles, textbooks and chapters in textbooks on paediatric infectious diseases, vaccine preventable diseases and vaccinology, rotavirus infection, paediatric HIV infection). He has been teaching various courses on paediatric infectious diseases and vaccinology for undergraduate medical students and postgraduate physicians at Vilnius University. He supervised doctorates at Vilnius University and was an external jury member of numerous doctorates and habilitations in Lithuania and abroad. He was also a tutor of Oxford University’s Postgraduate Diploma in Paediatric Infectious Diseases (2008-2015).

He has been a board member of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (ESPID), Chair of the National Committee for Poliomyelitis Eradication Certification in Lithuania.

He was President of the Lithuanian Paediatric Society (LPS) 2000 to 2007 retiring after two terms according to the Constitution of the Society. He has since been the Vice-President and board member. From 1997 to 2003 he was President of the UNICEF National Committee of Lithuania retiring after two terms.

Professor Paolo Bonanni

Paolo Bonanni is a Full Professor of Hygiene in the Faculty of Medicine and the Director of the Specialization School for MDs in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at the University of Florence, Italy.

Professor Bonanni graduated in Medicine and Surgery (MD) in 1985 and was awarded two specialisations in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at the University of Genoa, Italy. From 1992 to 2000, he was Associate Professor, before becoming a Full Professor in 2000.

Professor Bonanni’s scientific activity has covered the epidemiology and prevention of infectious diseases, particularly viral hepatitis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza, measles, rubella, varicella, and, most recently, bacterial invasive diseases and human papillomavirus, including clinical trials and economic valuation of vaccination strategies.

Professor Bonanni has been a member of the National Vaccination Commission of the Italian Ministry of Health, and he acts as an expert consultant for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) based in Stockholm, Sweden. He is a member of the European Technical Group of Experts on Immunization (ETAGE) at WHO Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark. He is standing adviser of the Viral Hepatitis Prevention Board (VHPB), an international independent committee of experts in viral hepatitis prevention. He received several grants from the Italian Ministry of University on projects regarding vaccine-preventable infections and was research unit leader in 4 EU-funded projects on vaccination.


Javier Diez-Domingo

Pediatrician, at present, is the director of the Vaccine Research Department of FISABIO in Valencia, Spain. He has 4 major passions: Family, cooking, vaccines and cycling. From the vaccine point of view, he has been principal investigator in more than 40 clinical trials with vaccines, Phases I to IV and has participated in the development of different vaccines: HPV, PCV, Pandemic flu, quadrivalent influenza vaccines, and now on coronavirus and RSV both for adults and children. His department is working on different projects with real-world data and is modelling the impact of different vaccines and diseases in Valencia. At present they are actively involved in the post-authorization surveillance of the potential new coronavirus vaccines. He is coordinating two H2020 projects: i-CONSENT, trying to make informed consents more understandable, and DRIVE for the influenza vaccine effectiveness in Europe. From the family point of view, he is happily married with two grown-up girls, both doctors, and if you are interested in his cooking abilities, he participated in MasterChef Spain, although for working reasons he could not get into the TV show.


Sally Hargreaves

Sally Hargreaves leads the Migrant Health Research Group at St George’s, University of London, UK, a multi-disciplinary team with a particular focus on vaccination, tuberculosis, and COVID-19. Sally has 20 years of experience working in a variety of research, consultancy, and lecturing posts relevant to designing and evaluating complex interventions in healthcare. She has a track record in health service research with an interest in health inequalities, health promotion and prevention in migrant and ethnic minority populations. Sally is Principal Investigator on several grants, including an NIHR Advanced Fellowship focussing on developing strategies to deliver catch-up vaccination to adult migrants through primary care. She is also an Advisor for the UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health European Hub, involved in global and regional dialogue and policymaking around the promotion of Universal Health Coverage and tackling health inequalities and barriers to health and vaccination systems in migrant populations. Sally is a Consultant for WHO and the ECDC, including as a WHO advisor on COVID-19 and vaccine hesitancy in marginalised groups.



Dr Rajeka Lazarus

Dr Rajeka Lazarus is a vaccinologist, infectious diseases physician and microbiologist. She leads trials for new adult vaccines and vaccine delivery in Bristol, UK. Rajeka completed her vaccine training in the Oxford Vaccine Group and is an alumnus of the ADVAC course. 


Dr Joe Schmitt

Joe Schmitt MD, PhD, is Board certified in paediatrics, infectious diseases, microbiology, virology and epidemiology. He was a professor of infectious diseases and vaccine development in Mainz, Germany, and chairman of the German NITAG (STIKO) for over ten years. He was also an advisor to the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) and WHO committees, including SAGE and the GACVS. Schmitt joined the industry in 2007; his last position was Vice President and Global Lead of Viral Vaccines with Pfizer until May 2021. He is currently a scientific advisor to the EU-funded VACCELERATE consortium and Editor-in-Chief with Global Health Press (GHP) in Singapore.