Meet the team

A centres of excellence initiative boasts a vibrant and diverse network of professionals with multidisciplinary backgrounds. Our team includes academic fellows, industry practitioners and staff representing a wide range of backgrounds, philosophies, and expertise.

Prof. Padmashree Gehl Sampath


Padmashree Gehl Sampath is an author, academic and policy expert, whose work is situated at the nexus of trade, technology, and industrialization. Born and educated in India, Germany and the USA, she has been a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford (UK), and University of Berkeley (California) during her education. With an academic background in engineering, economics, and the law, she conducts interdisciplinary work on the impact of technological change on industrialization and society.

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Her work has come to specialize in three sectors, which have now come to be known as the so-called grand challenges – pharmaceuticals and health, the digital economy, and energy and climate change. She serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Competition and Change, and her research has appeared or is forthcoming in the Michigan Journal of International Law, Harvard International Review, Harvard Public Health Review, and several other reputable outlets.

Padmashree is currently the Director of the Global Access in Action Program at the Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg, leading an international team examining the politics of vaccine production in Africa. She is also the Chair of the Technical Advisory Group of the COVID-19 Access Pool (CTAP) of the World Health Organisation


Reuben Langevin


Reuben Langevin manages the design and implementation of operational processes, media strategy, and bridges communication with stakeholders across industries and organizations.

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His background includes work in pharmaceutical industry collaboration in rare disease research, and data utilization as a tool in disaster/pandemic response planning at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He also managed program operations at the Harvard University Law School, where he worked with a broad range of stakeholders at the intersection of technology, social justice and policy. His other professional interests include the utility of data in shaping development policy.

He has extensive experience in LATAM where he worked in the technology sector, ecotourism, and as a delegate with governmental agencies in sustainable land development and construction projects.

Dr. Bertha Vallejo


Dr. Bertha Vallejo is a senior researcher at the Knowledge and Innovation Studies (KIS) Chair Group at IHE Delft – Institute for Water Education (the Netherlands) since 2022. She is also a research associate at the DST/NRF Newton Fund Trilateral Chair in Transformative Innovation, the 4IR, and Sustainable Development at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa). She holds a Ph.D. in Economics and Policy Studies of Technical Change from UNU-MERIT (Maastricht, NL). Her research expertise focuses on innovation dynamics, social and transformative innovation, and stakeholder engagement

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Dr. Vallejo has more than 20 years of experience working on capacity development projects in sub-Saharan Africa, mostly in the Horn and Great Lakes Region, for more than 20 years. Through the different projects she has managed, Dr. Vallejo has collaborated in identifying lessons learned, capabilities constructed, and analyzing public policies to draft policy recommendations. As part of the Accelerating Vaccine Production in Africa: A Centres of Excellence Initiative Project, Dr. Vallejo collaborated with Prof. Gehl-Sampath in the fieldwork and preparation of Ghana’s Pharmaceutical and Vaccine Production System: A Technology Gaps Assessment report (2022).

Dr. Donatus Ayitey


Dr. Donatus Ayitey is currently a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Ho Technical University in Ghana. He was an Associate Senior Consultant and Team Leader at the Innovation Unit within the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Consultancy, Innovation and Training Directorate (GCITD) in Accra.

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Born on 23rd May, 1971, Donatus is an Economist-Statistician with key strengths and know-how in economics of innovation, international trade and economic development. He has over 15 years of progressive professional experience working in various capacities with international and local organizations including the: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva; the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva and the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana.

Dr. Ayitey holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University School of Business and Economics in the Netherlands; MSc. Applied Statistics from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom; MPhil. in Economics from the University of Ghana; B.A. degree in Economics with Geography and Resource Management from the University of Ghana; and a Certificate in Professional Training for Social Scientists from the Said Business School, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

Dr. Tolulope ‪Adekola


Dr. Adekola’s expertise is in intellectual property law and international trade law. His research interests are principally in pharmaceutical patent law and biotechnology law and how these fields interface with key policy areas including sustainable development, industrial strategy, and public health. He is the author of the book titled ‘Access to Medicines and the Regionalization of Pharmaceutical Law and Policy: A Holistic View for Least Developed Countries (London Routledge 2023). He has published extensively in different highly ranked refereed international journals such as; Legal Studies( Cambridge University Press), Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property(Edward Elgar Publishing), Globalization and Health( Springer Nature), Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice (Oxford University Press), GRUR International (Oxford University Press), etc.

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He has gained valuable experience as a funded scholar at the prestigious Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition Law and has also won different grants and awards from the City University of Hong Kong and the World Intellectual Property Organization, amongst others. His professional experience traversing different continents including Asia, Europe, and Africa has given him a broad international outlook in legal teaching and research. He is currently a law academic in the School of Law, University of Queensland, Australia, and also serves as a legal expert to the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa.

Adebisi Adenipekun


Adebisi is a public health and policy specialist and currently a Master of Public Policy (MPP) Candidate at the Blavatnik School of Government, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford.

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He has seven years of experience in public health research, global health policy and advocacy, health systems strengthening and management consulting. He provided technical expertise and thought leadership on Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the COVID-19 vaccination Crisis Communication Centre and has led a range of donor-funded public health and policy initiatives and interventions at the national, regional and global levels. He possesses strong analytical, negotiation, problem-solving and communication skills, which he uses effectively in his work.


Prof. Ruth Okediji

Ruth L. Okediji is the Jeremiah Smith. Jr, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Co-Director of the Berkman Klein Center. A renowned scholar in international intellectual property (IP) law and a foremost authority on the role of intellectual property in social and economic development, Professor Okediji has advised inter-governmental organizations, regional economic communities, and national governments on a range of matters related to technology, innovation policy, and development. 

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Her widely cited scholarship on IP and development has influenced government policies in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and South America. Her ideas have helped shape national strategies for the implementation of the WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). She works closely with several United Nations agencies, research centers, and international organizations on the human development effects of international IP policy, including access to knowledge, access to essential medicines and issues related to indigenous innovation systems. Know more 

Prof. Frederick Abbott

Frederick Abbott, the Edward Ball Eminent Scholar Professor of International Law, is highly regarded for his scholarship and professional activities in international intellectual property rights and global economic issues. He has served as an expert consultant for numerous international and regional organizations, governments and nongovernmental organizations, mainly in the fields of intellectual property, public health, trade, competition and sustainable development. He is co-chair of the Committee on Global Health Law of the International Law Association, having served as rapporteur for the Committee on International Trade Law from the inception of its work in 1993 to its conclusion in 2014

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He recently served as a member of the Expert Advisory Group to the UN Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, appointed in late 2015. Abbott is a member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the WHO C-TAP program (having also served as consultant to the World Health Organization on a variety of projects) and is consultant to the United Nations Development Program. Professor Abbott regularly serves as panelist for the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of International Economic Law (Oxford) and on the editorial board of the WIPO-WTO Colloquium Papers Series, Geneva. Know more

Prof. Bryan Mercurio

Bryan Mercurio is the Simon FS Li Professor of Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Professor Mercurio’s work focuses on the intersection between trade law and intellectual property rights, free trade agreements, public health, and trade in services. Professor Mercurio is co-author of one of the most widely used case books on WTO law (Hart, 2018, 3rd ed) and co-editor of the leading collection on bilateral and regional trade agreements (CUP, 2nd ed, 2016). 

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Professor Mercurio previously taught at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), worked as a trade negotiator and policy officer and practiced international trade, intellectual property and commercial law. He is a Senior Fellow at the Melbourne Law School, Visiting Professor at the KDI School and a frequent consultant and advisor to governments, industry associations and law firms on a wide range of trade and investment matters.

Dr. Nnaemeka Darlington Ndodo

Dr. Ndodo is currently the Chief Molecular Bioengineer at the National Reference Laboratory, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Abuja. Dr Ndodo is also the President of the Nigerian society of Human Genetics.

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Dr Ndodo leads Genomics Research at the National Reference Laboratory and in this capacity coordinates pathogen sequencing particularly SARS-Cov2 sequencing. His lab has contributed over 2000 sequences to GISAID. Dr Ndodo is a member of Africa CDC technical working group on Pathogen Genomic Initiative, and is a Fleming Fund Fellow for Sequencing and bioinformatics for Nigeria. He has been a Fulbright visiting scholar at Yale University, USA from 2013 to 2014.

Prof. Williams O. Siyanbola

Professor Willie Siyanbola (a.k.a) is a Research Professor at the Centre for Energy Research and Development, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Ife (now OAU), his Masters’ and PhD from the University of Sussex, UK. He is also an alumnus of the Kennedy School of Government and Public Policy, Harvard University, USA where he received, Executive Education in Science Policy, Science Advice and Advocacy. For nearly a decade, he served as the Director-General/Chief Executive of the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM), an FMSTI Agency that provides knowledge support and policy advice to Governments within and outside Nigeria on STI matters.

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A seasoned scholar and researcher, Prof Siyanbola has authored or co-authored over 100 academic articles in materials science, energy, environment, science policy, R&D and
innovation management. He has supervised and mentored over TEN Doctoral and master’s students. He is a recipient of many National and International Awards and a Fellow of several professional bodies.Prof Siyanbola is a Professor of Practice in that he conveniently operates at the Government Industry-Academia interface. Additionally, he regularly provides consultancy services to MDAs
and International Development Partners including the World Bank, WTS-Global and UNESCO.