isirv Antiviral Group
Charles Penn, World Health Organisation, Switzerland
World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland
Charles Penn joined the World Health Organization, Geneva at the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic, and was primarily responsible for the use of antivirals in influenza management. He has recently been appointed chairman of WHO's Guidelines Review Committee, which oversees all health guidelines published by WHO.
Charles has extensive experience in influenza, gained through a PhD in virology from the University of Cambridge, followed by research on human and avian influenza viruses at Cambridge University and the UK Institute for Animal Health. In 1988 Charles joined Glaxo (now GSK) to lead research on influenza and HIV, first as a Senior Research Associate and later as Senior Medical Strategy Head. During this time he saw two new antiviral medicines from discovery through to regulatory approval (lamivudine for HIV, and zanamivir for influenza).
In 1998 he moved to the (now) UK Health Protection Agency Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, as Director for Research and Development. Activities included infectious disease diagnosis through the Special Pathogens Reference Unit, vaccines research and development, and epidemic and intervention modelling in infectious diseases including pandemic influenza.