Mycetoma Research Centre Advisory Board

The Mycetoma Research Centre (MRC) at the University of Khartoum is a pioneering institution dedicated to the research, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mycetoma and other skin neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Established to address the significant health burden posed by these conditions, the MRC has emerged as a leading center of excellence, recognised for its comprehensive approach and impactful work in the field.

Central to the MRC mission is the provision of strategic direction and expert advice. The MRC seeks to enhance its research capabilities, refine diagnostic techniques, improve treatment protocols, and develop effective prevention strategies for mycetoma and other skin NTDs. Through strategic guidance, the MRC aims to optimise its efforts, ensuring that its interventions are scientifically robust and aligned with global health priorities.

The MRC is committed to supporting the development of local, regional and global capacities. This involves organising training programs, workshops, and collaborative research initiatives designed to equip healthcare professionals, researchers, and community workers with the necessary skills and knowledge. By building capacity, the MRC ensures that sustainable and effective responses to mycetoma and skin NTDs are established and maintained within affected regions.

Advocacy is a critical component of the MRC work. The center actively engages in advocating for policies and resources at both national and international levels to address the burden of mycetoma and skin NTDs. By influencing policy, the MRC strives to secure the necessary support and commitment from governments and international organisations, ensuring that these diseases receive the attention and resources required for effective control and eradication.

Sustaining the MRC activities necessitates robust financial and technical support. The center plays a vital role in mobilising resources to support its programmes and initiatives. Through strategic partnerships and fundraising efforts, the MRC aims to secure the necessary funding and technical assistance, ensuring the long-term sustainability and success of its interventions.

Collaboration is at the heart of the MRC’s approach. The center fosters partnerships with global health organisations, research institutions, and other stakeholders to advance its mission. By working together with these entities, the MRC leverages shared expertise, resources, and networks, enhancing its capacity to combat mycetoma and skin NTDs on a broader scale.

Advisory Board Terms of Reference

Advisory Role

Provide expert advice on scientific, technical, and operational matters related to mycetoma and skin NTDs.

Review and Evaluation

Regularly review the MRC’s activities, programmes, and research projects to ensure alignment with its vision, mission, objectives, and international standards and best practices.

Strategic Planning

Assist in the development and implementation of strategic plans and priorities for the MRC.


Facilitate connections and partnerships with relevant organisations, researchers, and policymakers.


Provide periodic reports and recommendations to the leadership of the MRC and WHO as required.


The Advisory Board Members

Prof. Roderick James Hay

Emeritus Professor of Cutaneous Infection, King’s College London

 Roderick James Hay is an Emeritus Professor of Cutaneous Infection, King’s College London (KCL) and of Dermatology, at Queens University Belfast (QUB). He is currently a Consultant Dermatologist at the London Bridge Hospital. He is the former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast, Dean of the St John’s Institute of Dermatology, and Dean of Graduate Studies (Medicine) at King’s College London. His clinical and research interests are Infectious and tropical Diseases of the skin, particularly fungal infections and Neglected Tropical Diseases. He has carried out collaborative work on mycetoma in Sudan, Tanzania and Mexico. He is a former International League of Dermatology Societies (ILDS) Board member and Chairman of the International Foundation of Dermatology. He is a member of the Global Mycetoma Working Group and has worked with WHO on Neglected Tropical Skin Diseases (Skin NTDs). He is a member of the WHO technical Advisory Groups on a) Buruli ulcer and Skin NTDs, b) Implantation mycoses. He chairs the Technical Advisory Committee of LEPRA.

Prof El Sheikh Mahgoub

Professor of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology at the University of Khartoum.

Professor El Sheikh Mahgoub is a Professor of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology at the University of Khartoum. He previously led the department and, in 1968, established a mycetoma ward and clinic at Khartoum North Civil Hospital. He has served as the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Professor Mahgoub has worked as a Consultant for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Tehran, Iran, and has been a member of the WHO Expert Committee on Parasitology. He also served as the Regional Adviser for Tropical Diseases Research for WHO, later becoming the Director of Health Services Development and subsequently the Regional Adviser for Educational Development for Health. He was the editor-in-chief of the Eastern Mediterranean Health Services Journal and served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Medical and Veterinary Mycology and Mycopathologia.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP). His accolades include the Ademola Prize from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Shousha Prize from the WHO.

Dr Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft

The Delegate General for The PANdemic Preparedness Platform for Health and Emerging Infections Response.

 Dr Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft is currently the Delegate General for PANTHER (PANdemic Preparedness Platform for Health and Emerging Infections Response) since its foundation in 2022. Prior to that, she was Medical, NTDs and COVID-19 & Preparedness Director at the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) since joining in 2009 until her retirement in July 2023. Dr Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft holds over 30 years of experience in R&D. As Director of NTDs, she provided strategic and technical oversight to a wide portfolio of R&D and access plans for therapeutic areas covering Sleeping Sickness, Chagas disease, Cutaneous and Visceral Leishmaniasis, Filaria, & Mycetoma. She notably led the development of fexinidazole, the 1st oral NCE registered for both stages of sleeping sickness. She later led DNDi’ COVID-19 research response through the coordination of ANTICOV Consortium and was one of the initiators of the COVID 19 clinical research coalition, now CERCLE. She is involved in several research working groups dedicated to LRS needs and settings and has been engaging with AMRH/AUSA-NEPAD/AVAREF on support mechanisms to accelerate reviews of key clinical trials in Africa since 2012.

Prior, Dr Strub-Wourgaft served as Clinical Development Director at Trophos, and held similar roles within Pfizer, Lundbeck and Aspreva. Dr Strub-Wourgaft graduated as a Medical Doctor from Necker Hospital, Université René Descartes in Paris in 1983. She co-authored a number of scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr Luis Pizarro

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Executive Director.

 Dr Luis Pizarro has led the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) since September 2022. He joined DNDi in June 2022 as a Special Advisor and incoming Executive Director. Dr Pizarro is a medical doctor and global health leader. He also serves as founder and member of the Global Health 2030 think tank, as scientific advisor for Global Health at Sciences Po Paris, and as a board member of Sidaction. Having led medical projects for several years in West Africa, he became the first CEO of Solthis from 2007 to 2019, successfully developing the international health and solidarity organisation to become one of the leaders in health in West and Central Africa. In 2020, Dr Pizarro joined Unitaid’s leadership team during the COVID crisis to lead the international organisation’s HIV portfolio and related access programmes.

Born in Chile and trained as a medical doctor at the University of Paris, he also holds a master’s degree in Political Sciences from Sciences Po and an executive health MBA from a joint programme of EHESP School of Public Health, the London School of Economics, and the ESCP European Management School.

Prof David W. Denning.

Prof David W. Denning is an internationally recognised retired clinician with expertise in fungal diseases and a Professor of Infectious Diseases in Global Health at The University of Manchester. He was the founding Director of the UK’s National Aspergillosis Centre in Manchester (2009-2020), the world’s only such centre. He was the Founder and Chief Executive of Global Action For Fungal Infections (GAFFI) from its inception in 2013 until early 2023, part-time and voluntarily. GAFFI’s primary achievement has been to facilitate global public health recognition of the importance of fungal disease.

David Denning has published more than 750 papers, books and book chapters, and he lectures worldwide. His writings have been cited over 100,000 times. He has successfully led many major international collaborative science, diagnostic and treatment projects and clinical guidelines, with subsequent publication in Nature, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet. He is the Founder of two University spinout biotechnology companies – F2G Ltd (antifungal drug discovery and development) and Myconostica Ltd (molecular diagnostic tests for fungi).

David is Chairman of the Editorial Board of The Aspergillus Website (1998-) ( and the educational LIFE portal ( He has chaired Scientific Committees of several international fungal infection meetings and co-chairs the alternate year Advances Against Aspergillosis and Mucormycosis meetings, attracting ~400 delegates from >120 countries.

Fr. Dr. Jorge Carlos Naranjo Alcaide

The Principal of Comboni College of Science and Technology (CCST)

 Fr. Dr. Jorge Carlos Naranjo Alcaide is a Comboni Priest who is working in Sudan since 2008. He is the Principal of Comboni College of Science and Technology (CCST) since 2012. He holds a PhD in Total Quality Management from the Sudan University of Science and Technology,  Deanship of Quality and Development and a Master Degree in Direction and Quality Management of Educational Centres. From 2017 to 2019, he was the Director of the Sudanese team of the project: “Innovation in Society: training paths and human capital enhancement in Sudan (INSO)”, carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Sudan, CCST and the University of Bari – Aldo Moro (UNIBA) and headed by the Institute for Research on Innovation and Services for Development-National Council of Research of Italy (IRISS-CNR). He led the digital transformation of CCST during the COVID pandemic in 2020 that, allowed the College to shift its activities into online and managed different online training programs for CCST staff with several European institutions (Institute of Heritage Sciences – National Council of Research of Italy, UNIR University, and others). Since 2019, he has coordinated exchange academic projects (Erasmus Ka107, Meridies, and others) with the Polytechnic University of Valencia.

He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Northern College of Medical Sciences and Technology (Meoreo) since 2022. He is one of the founders of C-Hub Limited Company, an Incubator to support the creation of digital start-ups by Sudanese and refugee people in Sudan and of the national committee of ICOMOS Sudan.

Dallas Smith, PharmD, MAS

Epidemiologist, Mycotic Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA.

 At the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dallas Smith leads scientific and programmatic work for fungal neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), which include mycetoma, chromoblastomycosis, sporotrichosis, and lobomycosis. Dr Smith helps to organise and convene the Global Mycetoma Working Group and Global Chromoblastomycosis Working Group and works closely with the World Health Organization to improve the control of fungal NTDs. He obtained his PharmD from the University of Findlay and his MAS from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to coming to CDC, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cambodia (2017-2019) and Malawi (2019-2020). He was a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the class of 2021. Dr. Smith also leads the agency’s antifungal stewardship activities.

Prof Andreas Neumayr

Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Base, Switzerland 

Andreas Neumayr heads the Centre for Tropical and Travel Medicine at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) in Basel, Switzerland. He completed his medical studies in Germany, worked at various university hospitals in the fields of internal medicine, anaesthesiology, intensive care, emergency medicine and infectious diseases in Germany and Switzerland and was trained in clinical tropical medicine in Thailand, Peru and Laos. He habilitated in Tropical and Travel Medicine at the University of Basel, Switzerland and holds an adjunct Professor position at the James Cook University in Townsville, Australia.