Dr. Anne De Groot 

Founder and Scientific Director

Internationally known for her research on the immune system’s response to vaccinations, Anne De Groot has explored the “genome-to-vaccine” approach to solving some of the world’s biggest infectious disease problems. Her biotech company EpiVax and her academic Institute for Immunology and Informatics are collaborating on epitope-driven vaccines to counter tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, hepatitis C, dengue fever, cervical cancer, smallpox and tularemia. First as a professor at Brown University and now, at the University of Rhode Island, she has introduced the next generation of researchers to the field.  In addition to founding EpiVax, Anne has dedicated her medical skills and research to expanding the availability of vaccines by founding the Global Alliance to Immunize against AIDS (GAIA) Vaccine Foundation , a non-profit that collaborates with clinics and laboratories in Mali, West Africa. As part of a group of medical volunteers, Anne founded the Clinica Esperanza (Hope Clinic), a community health center that offers free medical care and preventive health services in Rhode Island.

Anne De Groot,  Assetou Guindo, Karamoko Tounkara, and Socrates 

Anne De Groot,  Assetou Guindo, Karamoko Tounkara, and Socrates 


Dr. Karamoko Tounkara

National Director                    

Working hard to make sure all our patients receive the best care available, Dr. Karamoko Tounkara has been directing GAIA's programs since 2007. A distinguished pediatrician, he earned his MD in Odontology -Stomatology from the University of Bamako in 2001 and his pediatrics certification from the University of Bamako in 2008. His published  papers on KAP/WTP studies for HIV trials in Bamako ("Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices. Willingness to Participate) have been presented at Keystone HIV Vaccine conference in 2009 and the 4th International Conference on HIV Treatment Adherence in Miami in 2009. He presented GAIA's research on Human Papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer, and HIV prevention at the International Symposium on HIV and Emerging Infectious Diseases in Marseille, France in 2016.

Dr. Karamoko Tounkara

Dr. Karamoko Tounkara


Eliza Squibb

Executive Director

Specializing in collaborative environments, Eliza Squibb has worked as an artist in residence at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA and the Edna Lawrence Nature Lab in Providence, RI. Her research on traditional art has taken her to Tunisia and the Peruvian Amazon where she taught sewing lessons in  Yine-Yami and Shipibo indigenous communities. She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Haby Benkali and Eliza Squibb

Haby Benkali and Eliza Squibb


Dr. Tounkara with Guidé Diarra, President of ASACOMSI; Mamoutou, committee member; and  Abdoulaye "Socrates" Banou, peer educator

Dr. Tounkara with Guidé Diarra, President of ASACOMSI; Mamoutou, committee member; and  Abdoulaye "Socrates" Banou, peer educator

Dr. Yssouf Koné, Head Physician at the ASACOMSI Clinic

Dr. Yssouf Koné, Head Physician at the ASACOMSI Clinic

Dr. Zoumana Koty, Physician and HIV specialist

Dr. Zoumana Koty, Physician and HIV specialist

Dr. Lassina Yaya Diarra, Pharmacist specializing in HIV care

Dr. Lassina Yaya Diarra, Pharmacist specializing in HIV care

Dr. Fanta Tembele, Physician

Dr. Fanta Tembele, Physician

Mme Sabané Rokia Sangare,Vice President of ASACOMSI

Mme Sabané Rokia Sangare,Vice President of ASACOMSI

Mme Fatoumata Badiallo Diarra, President of the Sikoro women's group ,

Mme Fatoumata Badiallo Diarra, President of the Sikoro women's group ,

Head midwife, Assetou, with midwives in training

Head midwife, Assetou, with midwives in training

Mme Aminata, intake nurse

Mme Aminata, intake nurse

Mme Haby, Leader of the nutritional support group

Mme Haby, Leader of the nutritional support group

GAIA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Jeffrey T. Safrit, PhD

Steven Lutterbeck

Elizabeth George, Esq.

Ned Heltzer, Pharm.D

Robert Morris

Sophie Sprecht

Sarah Beseme, PhD

Bintou Chatterton

Janet McNicholl, PhD

Neville Bedford

GAIA SCIENTIFIC BOARD

Ben Aboubacar, MD, Advisor, UNICEF

Marc Girard, PhD, Vaccine Research Consultant

Anne Hosmalin MD PhD, Inst. Cochin de Genetique Molec.

Ousmane Koita, LMBA, FAST, University of Bamako

Sarah Rowland-Jones MD, Oxford University