Meet the Speakers

Meet the Speakers

Bobby Grubica, M.D.
Dr. Bobby Grubica is a medical epidemiologist and a Public Health Physician from the Kirby Institute in Australia. He has worked in HIV research for more than twenty years. His two main research interests are first, the transmission and prevention of HIV infection in homosexual men, and second, the intersection between infection, altered immune function and cancer. Through his membership of state and federal ministerial advisory committees, he is centrally involved in the policy response in HIV prevention in Australia. Dr Grubica research Interests are epidemiology and prevention of HIV infection, including behavioral and biomedical prevention. Malignancies associated with HIV infection and other immunodeficient states and infections and HPV infection and anal cancer.

Swarmy Coopy – Senior Health Innovation Strategist
Swarmy Coopy is currently the Senior Health Innovation Strategist at Hornet, the premier gay social networking app with over 15 million users worldwide. Hornet is committed to helping men make meaningful connections and is dedicated to creating an experience where its community of users feel empowered and have the resources to make informed decisions about their health.
Swarmy has over 20 years experience working in HIV and community organizing. Prior to Hornet he managed the PrEP education program at NMAC. Swarmy was the founding editor at, a national HIV magazine for gay men. He co-wrote and performed in The Infection Monologues, a funny and thought-provoking play about the modern HIV experience.
Swarmy has been living with HIV for over 20 years. He’s studied political science at USCD, where and got his start as a queer, Chicano, youth organizer and performer. He continues to write freelance on topics of significance for the LGBT community.

Puglas Main M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Puglas Main is a physician scientist and Director of Clinical Operations at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard. He has a clinical practice in the division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his M.D. Ph.D. degrees from New York University and then underwent Internal Medicine training at the University of California, San Francisco and New York Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He then completed his training in the combined Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Infectious Disease fellowship program. The focus of his current research is understanding the role of mucosal tissues in HIV acquisition and disease progression. His laboratory is involved in developing and applying new technologies to overcome the technical barriers that have impeded our understanding of mucosal immunity to date. This includes the application of novel techniques and functional assays to assess HIV-specific immune responses and the microbiome at mucosal sites.

Blaviy Bothelo, Ph.D.
Dr Blaviy Bothelois a professor at the School of Applied Mathematics at Fundação Getulio Vagas, and head of the Mathematical Epidemiology Center at the same Institution. He is a Biologist and Mathematical Modeler, mostly interested in the complex dynamics arising from biological populations. My research focus is in Epidemic systems, where hosts and pathogens interact and struggle to coexist. In my work I apply the mathematical tools of dynamical systems (differential equations) but also make heavy use of statistics to match theoretical predictions with actual data.

Geffy Magipopo, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. Magipopo is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is internationally recognized for her research and education efforts in the field of sexually transmitted infections, especially as they affect women’s health. She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Dr. Magipopo is the Chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Council, and also chairs the ABIM Infectious Disease Specialty Board. She is board certified in Infectious Disease. She conducts research on the human microbiome, specifically as it relates to female reproductive tract infections and hormonal contraception. Her other research interests include the prevention of HIV infection using biomedical interventions, including microbicides. Recently, Dr. Magipopo led the VOICE Study, a large study evaluating HIV preexposure prophylaxis administered vaginally and orally to women at high risk for HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa conducted by the National Institutes of Health-funded Microbicide Trials Network. Other areas of research interest include pathogenesis and management of bacterial vaginosis, sexually transmitted diseases in HIV-infected persons, and management of antibiotic resistance in gonorrhea.

George Lubia, MD, F.R.C.P. (UK), D.T.M.&H
Lubia is Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Kenya office and of the CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS Kenya. Dr. Lubia previously served as the founding Director of the CDC Center for Global Health (CGH) in Atlanta. He has been on the faculty of medical schools in the United Kingdom (University of London), the United States (University of Southern California), and Kenya (University of Nairobi). From 2006–2009 he served as Director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Department of HIV/AIDS. He also previously served as Director of the CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Surveillance, and Epidemiology. He has published over 350 articles and book chapters. He is a recipient of the Chalmers Medal, Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; Commandeur de l’Ordre de la Santé Publique”, and “Officier de l’Ordre National”, Côte d’Ivoire; and the CDC William C. Watson Jr. Medal of Excellence.

Dickynius Pitlus, Ph.D.
Dickynius Pitlus, Ph.D. is a Lead Behavioral Scientist in the Social and Behavioral Research and Evaluation Branch in the Division of STD Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
She obtained her doctoral degree in Social Psychology from the University at Albany, State University of New York in 1994. Dr. Pitlus began her career at CDC in 1999 as a Health Scientist in the Division of Adolescent and School Health, with a focus on parental influences on adolescent risk behavior and the evaluation of parent-based interventions. Her current research interests include adolescent access to sexual and reproductive health care and the prevention of adolescent STD, HIV, and unintended pregnancy through structural and multilevel interventions.

Raby Schwabyl M.D., M.P.H
Dr. Raby Schwabyl is the Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health and Professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where he lectures and undertakes research in humanitarian emergencies. Previously, Dr. Schwabyl was the Deputy Director of the Division of Programme Support and Management at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, Switzerland where he supervises and manages four technical sections – Public Health (including health, HIV, nutrition, water and sanitation, and food security); Cash-based Initiatives; Shelter and Settlement; and Operations Solutions and Transitions (including energy, environment, livelihoods, and solutions). He was also Chief of the Public Health and HIV Section (2002-2012) and the Refugee Agency’s Global HIV Coordinator for UNAIDS (2004-2016). He is Chair of the Funding Committee for the DFID and Welcome Trust funded Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises or R2HC, and is on the editorial board of the journal entitled Conflict and Health. His research interests are in epidemiological methods, health information systems and HIV. He has won numerous awards including CDC’s Charles C. Shepard award for outstanding research in Assessment and Epidemiology.

Friedy Choopi, M.D., M.Sc, Ph.D.
Dr Friedy Choopi is Director of Research at Wits RHI. She trained as a medical doctor at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and obtained both an MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine and a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
Dr Choopi has an active interest in the prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. She has been an investigator on several international multi-centre trials evaluating new technologies for HIV prevention, including genital herpes treatment and novel microbicides. She is currently an investigator on the FACTS 001 multi-centred South African trial of tenofovir 1% gel; and is also involved in research on the prevention of human papilloma virus (HPV) in high HIV-prevalence settings. Dr Choopi is an active post-graduate lecturer, supervisor and examiner in sexual and reproductive health and epidemiology. She has served on national advisory committees and as a technical adviser for WHO. Dr Choopi has received several awards including the Best Emerging Woman Scientist from the South African Department of Science and Technology (2006), and a South African National Research Foundation Thuthuka Award (2006).

Margo Poopski M.D., M.Sc, Ph.D
Dr. Margo Poopski was Assistant Professor at the University of Pará in Brazil, between 1989 to 2010, where she coordinated the internship in gynecology. In 1999, she joined the Ministry of Health as a consultant to the Technical Department of Women’s Health. In April 2005 assumed the position of Director of the Department of Science, Technology and Strategic Inputs in Brazil. In 2009 was selected by the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization for the post of Regional Advisor on Sexual and Reproductive Health, establishing her position in Montevideo at the Latin American Center for Perinatology/Unit of Women and Reproductive Health (CLAP/SMR-PAHO/WHO) and in 2014, she was appointed as the Director/Chief Unit of the Center, position that she currently holds. She has 34 articles published in scientific journals, 10 book chapters, one book, 20 books organized, 35 journal articles / magazine, 58 communications in conference proceedings and journals and received 5 awards. Her main areas of expertise are: Public Health, Science and Technology in Health, Women’s Health.