2023 Annual Conference

The SPHeRE Network 9th Annual Conference 

 ‘Population Health – future directions and challenges’

took place on Thursday 23rd March 2023 in RCSI.

Conference Timetable

During the SPHeRE Network 9th Annual Conference we will examine the current big population health challenges, how we choose amongst competing priorities going forward and look at how the landscape of population health science is changing. We will examine emerging public health challenges, directions in population mental health, and global health equity. The conference is an opportunity to hear from international leaders in the field, to understand how different disciplines can work together to guide decision-making in population health and to discuss how we can shape population health science to achieve the greatest impact.

Registration for the conference has now closed.

If you have any questions please email sphereconference@gmail.com

Conference Keynote Speakers




Professor Breda Smyth
Chief Medical Officer

Professor Breda Smyth is currently Chief Medical Officer in the Department of Health, leading the provision of evidence-based public health advice across a range of areas including the response to COVID-19 and Monkeypox. Professor Smyth served as a Member of the NPHET for COVID-19 and currently chairs the COVID-19 Advisory Group.

She is a Personal Professor of Public Health Medicine in University of Galway and most recently worked as a Consultant and Director of the Department of Public Health HSE West.

Amongst her numerous contributions to public health medicine is Professor Smyth’s national leadership on public health reform, healthy ageing, and stroke prevention.



Professor Blandina T. Mmbaga
Paediatrician at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC)

Prof Blandina T. Mmbaga is a paediatrician at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) participating in clinical, teaching, and research activities. She is a Director of the Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute (KCRI) and the Director of research and consultancy at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College of the Tumaini University Makumira.

She graduated with a PhD in 2013 from the University of Bergen Centre for International Health and Department of Public Health and Primary Health Care. She is Adjunct Associate Professor of Duke Global Health, visiting Research Professor UVA and Adjunct Associate Professor of Paediatric and Child Health Cork University Ireland.  She is the Deputy Director of the EACCR which is one of the EDCTP Node of Excellence and host the Training node. Her expertise is in both communicable and non-communicable diseases research. She is the lead investigator for the KCMC site for the International Maternal and Paediatric and Adolescent Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) and Adult Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) for the HIV and TB trials in Moshi and other clinical trials. She is involved in AMR, One-Health, NCDs-Arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, oncology, TBDM, HIV stigma, Adolescent mental health and alcohol and Injury research as an investigator or Mentor. Her interest is in mentorship to create a mass of Tanzanian and African independent researchers to in identifying evidence for supporting health care improvement and in implementation science research.  She is also coordinating, supervising and mentor students at all levels including Junior and Senior fellows under EDCTP support, NIH Fogarty and other funding support. Her interest also includes mentorship of young researchers to create a community of Tanzanian and African independent researchers to lead in identifying evidence for supporting health care improvement and in implementation science research.  She provides mentorship and supervision to several students from undergraduate to PhD  training within and outside Tanzania who pursue their careers in different fields, providing mentorship to Junior and Senior fellows under EDCTP support, NIH Fogarty and NIH earlier career development (K-Awardees). She is the director of the D43 Training grant on Trauma and Injury (TRECK) and co-lead the D43 Training grant on social behavioral science.






Professor Edward W. Gregg
Head of the School of Population Health at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences

Prof Edward W. Gregg is the newly appointed Head of the School of Population Health at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences. From 2019-2022 he served as a Professor and Chair in Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, and before that led a multi-disciplinary public health research unit for chronic diseases at the US Centres for Disease Control Prevention.  He has worked extensively in chronic disease epidemiology and surveillance, prevention effectiveness trials, the development of natural experiments to study health policies, and modelling of health impact and cost-effectiveness of public health interventions.  His research has focused on understanding the causes, dynamics, and prevention of diabetes and its complications, and includes long-term follow-up studies of the lifestyle interventions as well as the evaluation of US and UK-based public health prevention programmes. He has led and served in numerous health policy development roles for diabetes and chronic diseases for organizations such as the World Health Organization, Lancet Commission, US CDC, and American Diabetes Association. He has published more than 380 peer reviewed articles and chapters and was awarded the ADA 2016 Kelly West Award for Excellence in Diabetes Epidemiology and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) 2015 award for Epidemiology .




If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at sphereconference@gmail.com