Aranka Anema, PhD, MSc

Chief Executive Officer

Aranka is an epidemiologist and public health scientist specialized in digital analytics and emerging technologies. Aranka has designed and led independent impact evaluations for major bilateral and multilateral institutions including the World Health Organization, USAID and European Commission, spanning operations across 50 countries and representing >US$300 million in foreign aid investments. She has held executive positions in Fortune 500 firms including KPMG and Booz Allen Hamilton, with a lens towards adoption of emerging technologies and commercialization of data. She advises the United Nations, World Bank and XPRIZE Foundation on evidence-based policies and programs. Aranka holds research fellowships at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, USA.


Chandana Unnithan, PhD, MBusComp, MBA

Chief Informatics Officer

Chandana is a global leader in applied health informatics, analytics and public health practice. Over the past 15 years, she has pioneered health technology adoption and implementation projects in some of Australia’s largest public and private hospitals; developed successful EMR strategies; built integrated communication systems and data visualizations; and trained higher degree students in health technology implementation and analytics best practices. Chandana has worked in partnership with major technology and professional services firms including IBM, INTEL, Deloitte and HP as well as city councils and government, for advising on health technology integration in public health practice. She is an appointed member of "Space and Global Health" an expert focal group (from Australia) that advises Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPOUS) - in the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). She is an Associate Professor in Health at Torrens University Australia, which is part of the Laureate International Universities Network. She leads applied research projects as director of the Centre for Healthy Futures (CHEF) and is a senior research fellow in Public Health.


Ramkumar Permachanahalli, PhD, MTech

Information, Communications and Technology (ICT)

Ramkumar is an astronomer and computer engineer with 30 years of experience in development and implementation of ICT applications in health.  He runs Global Health PX’s research & development lab, focused on mobile Internet of Things (IoT) and patient-centered information platforms. Ramkumar is a Senior ICT Advisor to the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU), which promulgates adoption of technical standards for network and technology interconnectedness across 700 private and academic stakeholders and 193 Member States. Ramkumar led Intel’s innovation and research lab for 10 years, where he grew research programs with government and academia in areas of mechanical engineering, computer engineering and informatics.  He has trained and supervised 120 PhD students and holds 10 patents in health-related artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Ramkumar is Adjunct professor at Manipal University and Professor at the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), India’s most prestigious tertiary education institution for technology and innovation.


Engelbert Niehaus, PhD

Computer Science and Mathematics

Engelbert (Bert) Niehaus is a mathematician and computer scientist with a passion for Open Source technologies for education and capacity building in public health. Bert leads Global Health PX’s spatial risk and predictive modelling, and has deep subject matter expertise in infectious disease surveillance modelling. He is passionate about Open Community approaches to higher education. Bert is associated with the United Nations University and promotes the ‘Living Labs approach’ to co-create and scale Global Health PX’s e-Learning curricula. He manages the creation and roll-out of Creative Commons material across Member States in high- and low-resource settings. He is an expert group member of Space and Global Health, UN COPUOS (UNOOSA) and has developed open source community approaches under the ‘Action Team 6’ initiative of UN. Bert is a Professor at the Institute of Mathematics and Head of the Computer Science Centre University Koblenz-Landau, Germany.


Melanie Platz, PhD


 Melanie Platz is a mathematician specialized in healthcare information communication and technology for sustainable development (ICT4D). She brings 20 years of operational experience in mathematical modelling to guide healthcare investments and predict investment risks and outcomes. Melanie’s passions converge around how to leverage use of GIS-tailored and GUI-design tools for problem-based learning. She specializes in creation of education tools for ICT4D for improving healthcare delivery, and has worked extensively across sub-Saharan Africa and South America to design, implement and evaluate professional development training tools. Melanie has built digital ‘living labs’ to promote research on non-communicable diseases, and medical supply chains to optimize distribution of pharmaceutical products.Melanie is a Deputy Professor in Didactics of Mathematicsat the University of Siegen, Germany, and member of the German delegation to UN Expert Focus Group - Space & Global Health, appointed by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).


Paola Ardiles, MHSc, MBA

Health Promotion

Paola is a public health practitioner, social entrepreneur and faculty member in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, Canada. In 2012, Paola was awarded Dr. Nancy Hall Public Policy Leadership Award of Distinction, for her local, provincial and national work to advance mental health in Canada. In 2016, she co-designed a novel Health Change Lab to identify urban community health challenges and design innovative & entrepreneurial solutions. She received the 2017 Surrey Board of Trade-Women in Business - Social Trailblazer award. She also received the inaugural 2017 Health Promotion Canada's Mid-Career national award and was recognized as one of TD Bank's 10 most influential Hispanic Canadians. Paola has 15 + years of leadership and facilitation experience, plus a passion for creating and leading innovative, collaborative and multi-sectoral initiatives. She serves as the immediate Past President of the Public Health Association of British Columbia, a provincial non-for-profit organization that advocates for healthy public policy & public health workforce development.


Ajit Babu, MBBS, MPH

Clinical informatics

Ajit obtained an MBBS followed by residency in internal medicine at North Shore University Hospital, Cornell University, USA and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Subsequently, he obtained a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from Saint Louis University (SLU) in 1998, became a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP) in 1999, and received advanced training in medical informatics through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2000. Ajit is currently American Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine (subspecialty Clinical Informatics). He is Professor of Internal Medicine at St Louis University, and a staff physician at the St. Louis VA Medical Center, Missouri, USA. He serves as Research Scientist at the Centre for Disease Modeling, York University, Toronto, Canada. Ajit is a member of the Expert Focal Group on Health under UN COPUOS, UNOOSA.


Alexander Houghton


Alexander is a full-stack software engineer with 20 years professional experience in high performance multithreaded C++ videogames on dozens of platforms and apps. He is confident in 7 programming languages and has a deep specialization in blockchain and distributed systems technology, including Hyperledger, Ethereum and programming blockchains based on the Bitcoin protocol. Alexander has a particular interest interoperability between blockchain and decentralized systems. He loves architecting and implementing systems from the ground up, particularly if they involve full stack engineering encompassing SAAS platforms and mobile. Alexander has lateral interests in Artificial Intelligence and natural language processing (big fan of Douglas Hoffstadter), data visualization (loves D3) and user interface design. He loves using ZeroMQ to send data between any language running on any system on any network.


Melinda Stanners, PhD

Epidemiology and biostatistics

Melinda is a public health research scientist, specialized in e-Learning applications and training. Her specialties include research methods (biostatistics, epidemiology, and qualitative research methods), ecological determinants of health (social, political, environmental, and global), health policy and advocacy, and community-centric program planning, implementation, and evaluation.   Melinda has deep experience in designing and implementing observational research cohorts, and subject matter expertise in mental health multi-morbidities in secondary and tertiary care.  She has designed and developed role-based competency training for the roll-out of patient databases to staff at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and Elizabeth GP Plus Health Care Centre in Australia.  Melinda is a senior faculty member in public health at Torrens University Australia, part of Laureate global universities.


Sarah Fielden, RD, PhD


Sarah is a monitoring and evaluation specialist with 15-years experience leading 3rd party outcome evaluations for community-based programs in high and low resource settings.She has led scientific reviews and field-based evaluations for agencies such as the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and World Food Programme (WFP). As a scientist, she has advised data collection methodologies for statistical and public health surveillance agencies, including Statistics Canada and the British Columbia Centres of Disease Control (BCCDC). Sarah is a longstanding member of the Canadian Evaluation Society and has a passion for narrative evaluation methods and qualitative data analysis.Most recently, she led monitoring and evaluation division of provincial a regional medical association representing physicians, residents and medical students. Sarah holds an Adjust Professor position in Population Health Promotion at the University of British Columbia (UBC).