Dr Fabio Zicker joined TDR in 1997, following three years at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) headquarters in Washington (1995-97) as Regional
Advisor for Research in Communicable Diseases. Prior to this, Fabio was project leader for Biology and Control of Vector-Borne Diseases at PAHO in Venezuela (1990-95).
Following academic training in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Epidemiology in Brazil, at MacMaster University, Canada, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Xochimilco, in Mexico, Fabio decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London. His thesis focused on risk factors for Chagas disease cardiopathy. From 1975 to 1985, he worked at the Federal University of Gioás in Brazil and was appointed to the post of Professor and Head of the Department of Preventive Medicine, before joining PAHO/WHO in Venezuela, where he assisted the Ministry of Health and the International School of Malariology in implementing a national programme for the control of endemic diseases - supported by a World Bank loan.
After Fabio moved to PAHO in Washington, his relationship with TDR grew stronger as a result of working closely with staff in the Research Capability Strengthening unit (RCS) and vaccine development. Fabio’s work with capacity building has been extensive – and has involved research advisory missions to more than 40 disease-endemic developing countries. This has included providing epidemiological advice to pioneering field trials involving both malaria and leishmaniasis candidate vaccines.
As manager of the MIM/TDR Task Force, he initiated a major push to promote large North-South collaborative projects aimed at strengthening research leadership in Africa. As RCS Coordinator, Fabio is responsible for developing the TDR new strategy for research capacity building (RCS Plus), targeting support to research and development priorities, in addition to encouraging developing countries to participate in TDR activities.