Matthew Lewin, MD, PhD, FACEP
Director, Center for Exploration and Travel Health
Fellow, California Academy of Sciences
Dr. Lewin is an internationally recognized expert in the practice of emergency medicine and wilderness medicine. He has served as doctor on major scientific expeditions sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History, the Field Museum, Kellogg Foundation, and National Geographic funded scientific expeditions, is the author of several book chapters in leading texts on wilderness medicine, and is a regular contributor to major, peer-reviewed publications such as Annals of Emergency Medicine, Lancet, Journal of Emergency Medicine, and Wilderness and Environmental Medicine. He is a life-member of the Wilderness Medicine Society and in 2010 became a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians in recognition of his academic accomplishments in the field. He was director of Emergency Medicine Research at UCSF from 2003 until 2009. He is a popular invited speaker on his research and clinical interests in wilderness and pre-hospital medicine worldwide having lectured on a regular basis at national and international meetings in Europe and Asia. Since 2008, he has been the California Academy of Sciences emergency medicine liaison to UCSF. He has played an active role in developing and testing protocols for the safe handling and first aid of Academy and Steinhart Aquarium employees potentially exposed to venomous animals housed on Academy grounds and on display to the public. Dr. Lewin’s current research focuses on the global expansion of treatments for snakebite. He was the 2017 winner of the UCSF John L. Ziegler Outstanding Mentorship in Global Health Sciences Award. He was the 2020-2021 University of Texas/MD Anderson Cancer Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Alumnus of the Year and has been a member of the WHO Snakebite Envenoming Working Group since its inception in 2017. He is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and a Grantee of the Wellcome Trust Foundation.
Philip Bickler, MD, PhD
Fellow, California Academy of Sciences
Professor of Anesthesia, University of California, San Francisco
Director of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology, UCSF
Director, Hypoxia Research Laboratory and Human Studies Laboratory, UCSF
Dr. Bickler is an internationally recognized expert in anesthesiology and high-altitude medicine. At UCSF he directs the division of neurosurgical anesthesiology which cares for patients with high-risk and complex neurosurgical disease. He received his undergraduate, graduate, and medical degrees from the University of California and received post-doctoral training at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and UCSF, under John Severinghaus. Dr. Bickler directs the Hypoxia Research Laboratory at UCSF, one of the world’s leading sites for studies on the adaptation and response of humans to hypoxia. He is the principal investigator of over a dozen active clinical trials involving detection of hypoxemia, tissue ischemia, blood biochemical abnormalities, carbon dioxide poisoning, non-invasive and wearable medical devices, and low-cost medical monitors for developing countries. He is a co-founder of the Open Oximetry project, a compendium of objective information on pulse oximeter performance relevant to monitoring COVID-19 patients, in conjunction with the Department of Anesthesia Division of Global Health Sciences. Dr. Bickler has also been PI for numerous projects involving human adaptation to high altitude environments. His basic science laboratory has pioneered numerous concepts concerning the cellular and molecular adaptations to hypoxia in diverse groups of organisms. Recent research includes the mechanisms underlying paralysis produced by snake venoms and the similarities to paralytic agents used in surgery and critical care. He has published over 130 peer-reviewed research papers. He is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences.
Stephen Paul Samuel, MBBS, MSc, PhD
Nanomedicine and Molecular Imaging Group
Department of Clinical Medicine
Trinity College Dublin
Dr. Stephen Paul Samuel is a key collaborator with the Center for Exploration and Travel Health in research dedicated to combating death and disability from neurotoxic snakebite. He worked in various clinical specialties including Accident and Emergency, General Surgery, Internal Medicine and General Practice. He then went on to do his Masters (Molecular Medicine) and subsequently completed his PhD (Clinical Medicine); both from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He has been working in Nanomedicine and Molecular Imaging group, Department of Clinical Medicine since 2012. His research has focused on the interactions of engineered nanoparticles including quantum dots with components of human microvasculature: plasma, platelets and endothelial cells.
Brett D. Mensh, MD, PhD
Scientific Advisor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farm Research Campus
Dr. Mensh is a physician and neuroscientist working across a broad spectrum of scientific and medical ventures, including human brain imaging and neural networks. He played a key role in the founding of the Center for Exploration and Travel Health in 2010 and has collaborated on several papers with colleagues at the Center, including the pivotal Clinical Case Reports experiment establishing the viability of a novel therapeutic modality for lethal neurotoxic snakebites. Dr. Mensh advises and mentors other researchers worldwide to maximize the extraction of scientific meaning from the fields in which they are working.
Education Coordinator, Liaison to UCSF Global Health Masters
CETH Snakebite Projects
Tommaso is a graduate of the Global Health Sciences Masters program at the University of California, San Francisco, and has a strong interest in neglected diseases, wilderness medicine, and conditions caused by structural inequality. His recent research has focused on clinical trial design to test a snakebite field antidote and the factors acting as barriers and facilitators of overseas clinical trials, including Nepal and India, with a focus on opinions and needs of local stakeholders. Tommaso previously worked on global health projects in Uganda and as a wilderness guide in the United States. Tommaso grew up in Italy before moving to the US to attend college at UCLA, where he graduated with Honors. He is currently in the Joint Medical Program at UC Berkeley – UCSF.