The two recipients of the 2016 CUGH Global Health Distinguished Leadership Awards were Dr. Thomas Quinn, Professor of Medicine and Pathology in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Professor of International Health and Kwadwo Sarpong is the cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of African Research Academies for Women (ARA-W).

Thomas Quinn

Dr. Thomas Quinn is Professor of Medicine and Pathology in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Professor of International Health, Epidemiology, and Molecular Microbiology and Immunology in The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He serves as Associate Director for International Research at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Head of the Section of International HIV/STD Research in the Laboratory of Immunoregulation at NIAID. In 2006 he was appointed founding Director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Global Health, and he is one of the founding Board members of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health.

Dr. Quinn has been involved in clinical, virological and epidemiologic investigations of HIV/AIDS in 29countries, with current projects in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, India, China, and Thailand. He was one of the first scientists to identify the AIDS epidemic and its cause HIV, in Africa in the early phases of the global pandemic. His investigations have involved the study of the epidemiologic, virologic, immunologic features of HIV infection in Africa, the Caribbean, South America and Asia. His research interests have involved laboratory investigations that have helped define the biological factors involved in sexual and perinatal transmission of HIV, the natural history of HIV infections in developing countries, and the identification and characterization of unique strains of HIV-1 infection.

He serves as advisor/consultant on HIV and STDs to the World Health Organization, Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (PEPFAR), UNAIDS, and the FDA. He co-founded the Academic Alliance for AIDS Care in Africa and is a member of the Board of the Infectious Diseases Institute of Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences where he is Chair of the Board on Global Health. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and is a member of the American Association of Physicians. He is an author of over 1000 publications and chapters on HIV, STDs, and infectious diseases, and serves on multiple editorial boards.

Kwadwo A. Sarpong

Kwadwo Sarpong is the cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of African Research Academies for Women (ARA-W) – a non-profit organization that seeks to create a research-intensive pipeline program for young African women interested in pursuing STEM careers. Sarpong is a current Post Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) Scholar at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and hopes to one day become a physician scientist specializing in neurodevelopmental diseases due to his own battle with severe form of typhoid fever as a kid and his brother’s paralytic polio condition. He is currently evaluating the role of somatic mutations in children with autism and refractory epilepsy at the Pinto Lab.

Sarpong was invited by the White House during the 2014 US-Africa Leaders’ Summit to discuss ways President Obama’s administration could invest in women education and empowerment in Africa.

Kwadwo graduated from Emory University last year as the Class Marshall and the recipient of the Patricia Taylor Award for Academic Excellence. Sarpong has been recognized by Emory University for Global Philanthropy, United States Embassy in Ghana and Planet Earth Institute, and interviewed by The L’Oréal Foundation Discover Her magazine for his leadership and work with ARA-W. After graduation, Sarpong was selected by Emory University to be interviewed by NPR (WABE 90.1 FM) in Atlanta, commending him for his perseverance and leading such a worthy cause. Currently at Icahn School of Medicine, Sarpong together with his team won the Mount Sinai Young Innovator Pitch Challenge at the2015 Mount Sinai Innovations.

Sarpong currently serves on the Board for Sankofa Generation of Africa, 21STCentury Citizens Initiative and heads partnership and strategic initiatives for Shepherd Mills – an initiative that uses advanced agricultural research techniques to equip rural rice farmers with tools for increased productivity, incomes and improved livelihoods.

Kwadwo was recently selected as a Highly Recommended Runner Up for The Queen’s Young Leaders Award and is taking a one-year leadership course with the University of Cambridge as part of the award package. As part of a distinguished panel of experts, Sarpong spoke on the topic, “Driving the Agenda for African Women in STEM.” at the Next Einstein Forum Global Gathering – an initiative under the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS). The conference was hosted by the President of Senegal, H.E. President Macky Sall

As an avid proponent of health equity across the globe, Sarpong merges his love and passion for medicine, scientific research and advocacy for gender parity to address global health challenges.