ITC Project

Principal Investigators

Geoffrey T. Fong, Ph.D. 
Founder and Chief Principal Investigator of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project
Professor of Psychology and Health Studies, University of Waterloo, Senior Investigator at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Canada
Dr. Fong is Professor of Psychology and Health Studies at the University of Waterloo and Founder and Chief Principal Investigator of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (the ITC Project).  He received his B.A. in psychology from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Michigan and has held faculty positions at Northwestern University and Princeton University. In 1999, Dr. Fong received the Distinguished Teaching Award of the University of Waterloo and in 2007, he became the first researcher to receive a Senior Investigator Award from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
Dr. Fong conducted research on the effects of alcohol intoxication on risky health behaviours (e.g., risky sex), and on the creation, implementation, and evaluation (using randomized controlled trials) of behavioural interventions to reduce HIV/STD risk among inner-city adolescents, before focusing on tobacco control. The mission of the ITC Project is to conduct rigorous evaluation of the psychosocial and behavioural effects of national-level tobacco control policies of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the first-ever international treaty on health. In all, the ITC Project is conducting large-scale annual prospective cohort surveys of tobacco use to evaluate FCTC policies in countries inhabited by over 50% of the world's population, 60% of the world's smokers, and 70% of the world's tobacco users. The ITC Project is playing a role in establishing the evidence base for the FCTC.


Shane Allwright, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator of ITC Ireland
Professor in Epidemiology, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin
Shane Allwright is a Professor in Epidemiology in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, School of Medicine. She is currently also the Registrar of the College with statutory responsibility for the records of both Trinity College Dublin and the University of Dublin. A graduate and Fellow of the College, she holds an M.Sc. in Epidemiology from the University of California and a Ph.D. from the University of Dublin. She has acted as Head of Department and has served three terms on the Board of the College.
Her research interests include the health effects of passive smoking and of alcohol misuse; evaluation of tobacco and alcohol control policies; and prisoner health. She was a Board member of the Office of Tobacco Control and chaired the Scientific Review Group commissioned by the Minister for Health and Children to Report on the health effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the workplace. This report was critical to the introduction of the Irish legislation banning workplace smoking. She was the lead investigator on a study of the impact of the ban on the respiratory health of bar workers (All Ireland Bar Study). In 2011, she was admitted as an Honorary Fellow to the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.


Raphaël Andler, M.A., M.Sc.
Principal Investigator of ITC France
Institut National de Prévention et de l'Education pour la Santé (INPES), France
Raphaël Andler is the co-ordinator of the ITC France Project at INPES. Raphaël has a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics from the University Pierre-et-Marie-Curie (UPMC) as well as a Master's Degree in Statistics and Economics from the École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique (ENSAE) and a Master's Degree in Economics and Public Policy from Sciences Po.
Raphaël is currently working in a Health agency attached to the French Ministry of Health as a study and research manager specialized on tobacco consumption and social inequalities.


Rahmat Awang, Pharm.D.
Principal Investigator of ITC Malaysia
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
Rahmat Awang is the co-founder and former Director of the National Poison Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Currently, Rahmat is a Professor at the National Poison Centre, the Head of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Information, and the Coordinator for the Clearinghouse for Tobacco Control.
Rahmat has helped to advance tobacco control policies in Malaysia with his involvement in tobacco control research. His research has helped implement graphic health warnings on Malaysian cigarette packs, extension of public smoke-free areas, raising of tobacco tax and provision of cessation services such as Quitline and Helpline.
Nicolas Bécuwe, M.A., M.Sc.
Senior Director, TNS Opinion Europe (TNS)
Nicolas joined TNS opinion at the end of 2006. In his role of Senior Director, he advises a range of international clients on political and social research projects. He is responsible for the management of Eurobarometer surveys for the European Commission and the European Parliament. He holds a master’s degree in Political Sciences from “Sciences Po Bordeaux” (graduated in 2006) and a master’s degree in History from “University La Sorbonne – Paris” (graduated in 2004). He is a French national and speaks English fluently. He also speaks Spanish.
Prior to joining TNS Opinion, Nicolas completed an internship with the European Commission in the Directorate General for Communication where he worked in the unit responsible for political reporting in 2006. Nicolas advises a range of international clients on political and social research projects. He is responsible for the management of Eurobarometer surveys for the European Commission and the European Parliament. He has more than 8 years of experience in both qualitative and quantitative opinion research with a focus on international surveys. He has been responsible for the management of the Special Eurobarometer surveys on Tabacco on the account of DG SANTE (European Commission) for more than 5 years (EB Special Tobacco 2009 and 2012).


Ron Borland, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator of  ITC Four Country, Australia, and the SEA ProjectCancer Council Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Ron Borland is the Nigel Gray Distinguished Fellow in Cancer Prevention at the Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. Ron was one of the instigators of the ITC project. His main roles in the project are as a Chief Investigator, developing the Four Country and SEA (Malaysia and Thailand) surveys. 
Dr. Borland has an international reputation for his research in the areas of smoking cessation and policy evaluation. His current major interests outside the ITC project include the development of a rational comprehensive regulatory framework for tobacco, the development and improvement of mass-disseminable smoking cessation interventions, particularly quitlines and internet-deliverable services. He has written a book that develops a comprehensive theory of hard to maintain behaviour change (CEOS theory) based on his experiences with the challenges of tobacco control.


Premduth Burhoo, MRes
Principal Investigator of ITC Mauritius
Mauritius Institute of Health, Mauritius
Mr. Premduth Burhoo holds a degree in Statistics from University of Mumbai and a Master of Research degree in Research Methodology from the University of Mauritius. 
He has acted as Principal Investigator in more than a dozen research projects on topics of national importance.  Since 1992, he has been the Senior Research Officer at the Mauritius Institute of Health and  conducting  Health Systems Research.  He has also participated in a number of collaborative research projects with various international organizations and researchers.  Between April 2008 and February 2011, he was the Project Leader of the Mauritius African Tobacco Situation Analysis Initiative Project.  He joined ITC in 2009. He has acted as Regional Coordinator (Africa Region) for the WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2011.
K. Michael Cummings, Ph.D, MPH
Principal Investigator of ITC Four Country, USA
Medical University of South Carolina, United States
Dr. Cummings received his Bachelors of Science degree in Health Education at Miami University (Ohio) and his M.P.H. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina and co-leader of the Hollings Cancer Center Tobacco Research Program. In 2002, Dr. Cummings helped establish the ITC Project along with Geoff Fong, Ron Borland, and Gerard Hastings.
Dr. Cummings is widely recognized for his research on smoking behavior, product marketing and consumer perceptions, and the influence of cigarette design on smoking behavior. He has lead several NIH funded grants supporting the work of the ITC Project and was instrumental in helping to establish the Tobacco Product Testing lab at Roswell Park Cancer Institute which is currently led by Richard O’Connor. Over his 35+ year career, Dr. Cummings has authored over 380 peer-reviewed scientific papers including landmark reports for the Office of the Surgeon General, the National Cancer Institute, the Institute of Medicine, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the World Health Organization. In the late 1990s, he contributed to digitizing and publishing online previously secret internal tobacco industry documents which described how manufacturers directed their marketing to attract youthful replacement smokers and designed cigarettes in ways that make it hard for smokers to quit once they get addicted to nicotine. He frequently serves as an expert witness on behalf of plaintiffs in litigation against cigarette manufacturers.


Cristina de Abreu Perez, M.Sc.
Principal Investigator of ITC Brazil
National Cancer Institute of Brazil, Brazil
Cristina de Abreu Perez earned her B.A. in Psychology in 1994 at Gama Filho University in Rio de Janeiro. She completed her Masters of Policy and Management Science, Technology and Innovation in Health in 2013.  
Cristina is the current Supervisor of National Commission for the Implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control/ Minister of Health. Cristina joined the ITC Project as Principal Investigator for the ITC Brazil Survey in 2008. Her research interests lie in tobacco control, specifically in health warnings and public health. 
Tibor Demjén
Principal Investigator of ITC Hungary
Head, Hungarian Focal Point for Tobacco Control, National Institute for Health Development, Budapest
Chairman, Smoking or Health Hungarian Foundation (SHHF)
Tibor Demjén has been working for the National Institute for Health Development since 1989. He was Manager of the Public Awareness Project on Indoor Tobacco Smoke Exposure in 1996 and two World Bank programmes, namely the Tobacco Control Programme of the National Public Health Programme on Tobacco and the Alcohol Policy Development Programme in 2000.
He is a permanent member of the Hungarian Conference of the Parties (COP) delegation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and National Counterpart for the WHO Tobacco-Free Initiative. Mr. Demjén has also represented Hungary on the Regulatory Committee established under Article 10 of Directive 2001/37 EC on the approximation of the laws and the Expert Group on Tobacco Policy established under Commission Decision C(2014)3509 of 4 June 2014, working on the implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive (Directive 2014/40/EU). When the new DIRECTIVE: 2014/40/EU came into force the (C47900) Tobacco Products Committee was established. Since 2014 as a committee member he takes part in the  approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products.
Since 2005, he has been Head of the Focal Point for Tobacco Control, which was established upon the request of the State Secretariat for Health Care in the Ministry of Human Resources to plan and coordinate measures relating to tobacco control in accordance with WHO FCTC. He is also the project manager of the tobacco control part Biennial Collaborative Agreement between the Ministry of Health of Hungary and the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization on tobacco control since 2004.



Richard Edwards, MB BChir, MRCP, FCPHM(NZ), MPH, M.D.
Principal Investigator of ITC New Zealand (NZL)
Co-Head of Department for the Department of Public Health
Co-Director of Health Promotion and Policy Research (HePPRU)
Co-Director of ASPIRE2025 (Research for a Tobacco-Free Aotearoa)
Richard trained originally as a public health physician in the UK. He has over 15 years of experience in tobacco control practice and research in the UK and New Zealand. Richard is a Deputy Editor of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Richard is a member of a range of committees and working groups related to public health and tobacco control, including: The Cancer Society Health Promotion Committee, the New Zealand Tobacco Control Working Group, and the National Lung Cancer Working Group.
Esteve Fernandez, MD, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator of ITC Spain
Institut Català d’Oncologia (ICO) Director of the Tobacco Control Unit of the ICO. Also he is an associate professor of public health at University of Barcelona.
Dr. Fernandez’s main areas of research include tobacco control and cancer epidemiology, with focus on tobacco and other risk factors, electronic cigarettes and the monitoring of cancer incidence and mortality trends. He is interested in socioeconomic and gender determinants of health, in methodological issues and the teaching of epidemiologic methods.
He has been Principal or Associate Investigator in several research projects in tobacco control funded in competitive calls by SANCO, FP7 and H2020 European Union programs, and by Spanish agencies. He has published 243 papers (145 as first or corresponding/senior author) in peer reviewed journals and has an H-index of 33 (Web of Science). Dr. Fernández has provided advice on tobacco control to WHO (EURO region and TFI programme) and several governmental agencies in Europe. He has been the editor-in-chief of Gaceta Sanitaria, the journal of the Spanish Society of Public Health, has served as President of the Spanish Society of Epidemiology and is the current Academic Director of the Minorca Summer School of Public Health.
Fastone Matthew Goma, MBChB, Ph.D., CertPH  
Principal Investigator of ITC Zambia
Researcher and Dean of the School of Medicine, University of Zambia, Zambia
Dr. Goma is a cardiologist by training. He graduated from the University of Zambia with an MB ChB in 1988. He has a M.Sc. in Cardio-Respiratory Physiology at University College London and a Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Sciences from the University of Leeds. He also studied International Public Health at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), USA and Tobacco Dependency Management at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), University of Toronto, Canada. He is an Alumnus of the Global Tobacco Control Leadership Program of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA.
Dr. Goma is a researcher, Senior Lecturer in Cardiovascular Sciences, and the Dean of the School of Medicine, University of Zambia. He is the Director for the Centre for Primary Care Research (CPCR) at the University of Zambia, School of Medicine and a great advocate for Knowledge Translation. His main research areas include risk factors for Non-Communicable Diseases (Tobacco & Hypertension), HIV/AIDS and Palliative Care.  He has been a Co-Principal Investigator for the Human Resource for Health Projects which looks at the issues of deployment, retention and competencies for health projects in rural Zambia. Dr. Goma was the co-Project Leader on the pioneer project, African Tobacco Control Situational Analysis (ATSA), which led to the formation of the Zambia Tobacco Control Campaign (ZTCC). ZTCC is a strong multidisciplinary national tobacco control consortium consisting of researchers and policymakers in Zambia who have an interest in building research capacity for tobacco control to inform stronger tobacco control policies and policy implementaion in the country. He is currently the Principal Investigator of the ITC Zambia Surveys. He has published several peer-reviewed articles and presented in high-level national and international conferences.
Prakash C. Gupta, Ph.D. 
Principal Investigator of ITC India
Director of Healis - Sekhsaria Institue for Public Health, Navi Mumbai, India
Dr. Prakash C. Gupta is Director of Healis – Sekhsaria Institute of Public Health, Navi Mumbai.  He is Visiting Scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, USA.  He was the President of the 14th World Conference on Tobacco or Health held during March 8-12, 2009 in Mumbai, India.  He was a Senior Research Scientist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (joined October 1, 1966), and Honorary Consultant at the Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai until July 31, 2004. 
He is connected with numerous projects, academic bodies and NGOs working on cancer control and tobacco control globally and in India in various capacities.  He is involved with large population-based research studies in India and has published hundreds of research papers in international scientific journals.  Dr. Gupta has been connected with Editorial Boards of numerous international academic peer-reviewed journals.  He has a Doctor of Science degree in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University, U.S.A., and a Master of Science in Statistics from Bombay University.  He was a Takemi Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, U.S.A. and a Visiting Scientist at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, France.  He has received several awards including Luther Terry Award from the American Cancer Society in August 2003 and Tobacco Free World Award from the Director General, World Health Organisation, Geneva on May 31, 1999.   


David Hammond, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator ITC Four Country, Canada
University of Waterloo, Canada
Dr. David Hammond holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of British Colombia, an M.Sc. in Health Studies, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Waterloo. Dr. Hammond is an Associate Professor and CIHR PHAC Chair in Applied Public Health at the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo. His primary research focus is on policies that reach large segments of the population and target primary determinants of health such as tobacco use, diet, and illicit drug use. He has served as an Advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) and consulted with governments throughout the world on tobacco packaging and labeling policies. To learn more about Dr. Hammond's work, visit his websites at, and
Gerard Hastings, Ph.D. 
Principal Investigator for ITC Four Country, UK Team
Professor at the University of Stirling, Scotland
Gerard is a Professor at Stirling and the Open University and founder/director of the Institute for Social Marketing and Centre for Tobacco Control Research. His academic career has focused on researching the impact of marketing on society – both for good and ill. This has involved him in advising Government and working with policy makers and civil society both nationally and internationally.
Gerard was appointed as a Special Advisor to the House of Commons Health Select Committee during its separate enquiries into the tobacco (2000), food (2004), pharmaceutical (2005), and alcohol industries (2010); he has acted as a Temporary Advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) on both communicable and non-communicable disease, and he headed the team that did the world’s first systematic review on the impact of food advertising on childhood obesity (later updated twice for the WHO). He has also acted as an expert witness in litigation against the tobacco industry.
Andrew Hyland, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator of  ITC Four Country, USA
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, NY, USA
Andrew Hyland, Ph.D., is the Chair of the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and he also directs the Survey Research and Data Acquisition Resource at Roswell Park.  He holds a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and a M.A. in Statistics from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Dr. Hyland’s primary research interests lie in evaluating the impact of policies aimed at reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with the use of tobacco products.  He is the principal investigator on numerous grants and contracts, and is the Deputy Editor for the journal Tobacco Control. Dr. Hyland is the scientific leader of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study (PATH), which is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Food and Drug  Administration to study nearly 45,000 adults and children to understand the impact of regulations to reduce the disease burden caused by tobacco products.


Lawrence D.E. Ikamari, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator of the ITC Kenya
Director of Population Studies and Research Institute (PSRI), University of Nairobi
Prof. Lawrence Ikamari joined the ITC Project in 2011. He is a demographer and has over 25 years of professional experience conducting research in population and reproductive health. His training and competencies include demographic analysis, population policy analysis, health systems research, advanced research methods, analysis of survey and census data, monitoring and evaluation.
Currently he is the Director of Population Studies and Research Institute of the University of Nairobi. Between April 2007 and February 2013, he was also the Associate Director of Research at the University of Nairobi Centre for HIV Research and Prevention. His research interests include understanding changes in fertility, mortality, transitions to adulthood, family formation, the social aspects of reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, child and maternal health, monitoring and evaluation and data analysis. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals on population and reproductive health matters.


Yuan Jiang, M.D.
Principal Investigator of ITC China
Deputy Director of Tobacco Control Office, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, People’s Republic of China
Dr. Jiang is the Principal Investigator of the ITC China Survey.  She is responsible for the coordination of all aspects of the China Research Team in China, including major responsibility for coordinating the activities of the survey field teams in seven cities (Beijing, Changsha, Guangzhou, Kunming, Shenyang, Shanghai, and Yinchuan).
Ann McNeill, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator for ITC Four Country, UK Team
Professor of Tobacco Addiction, Kings College London, United Kingdom
Ann McNeill is a Professor of Addictions in the National Addiction Centre with a focus on tobacco. She graduated from the University of Nottingham with a first class joint honours degree in zoology and psychology and then carried out her Ph.D. at the Institute of Psychiatry focusing on the development of dependence on smoking.
Since that time she has held a variety of academic and public sector posts focusing largely on tobacco control research. Ann has an established international reputation, receiving a World Health Organization award for contributions to tobacco control in 1998. She has published more than 250 academic papers book chapters, reports and opinion pieces on the subject and her research ranges across prevention, cessation, harm reduction and local, national and international policy. Ann was a co-author of the recent systematic review of tobacco product packaging which underpinned the recent UK government consultation on plain packaging and has a particular interest in the relationship between smoking, mental health and inequalities. She is Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies.


Ute Mons, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator of ITC Germany
German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Cancer Prevention Unit 
Dr. Mons is a researcher at the Cancer Prevention Unit at DKFZ. She has expertise in tobacco control research, with a specific focus on policy evaluation, and pertinent experience in coordinating and analysing large prospective studies (e.g. Co-PI of ITC Germany). She will contribute to the planning and implementation of the ITC Germany surveys, will supervise the assessment of labelling/packaging practices of e-cigarettes, and will lead and contribute to the preparation of research publications and presentations for scientific meetings.
Nigar Nargis, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator of ITC Bangladesh
Faculty member of the Department of Economics, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Director, Economic and Health Policy Research Unit, American Cancer Society
Nigar Nargis received her B.S.S. and M.S.S. degrees in Economics from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. She began her research career as a Research Associate at Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies. She completed her Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University, USA. With a post‐doctoral fellowship from the Strategic Training Programme in Tobacco Research of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research during 2006‐2009, Dr. Nargis began working with Professor Geoffrey T. Fong and the ITC Project team. Dr. Nargis is also affiliated with the Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA) in Bonn, Germany.
She served as an economist in the Department of the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases at the World Health Organization Headquarters from 2012 to 2015. Dr. Nargis was a Co‐Investigator on the WHO Study of the Impact of Tobacco-related Illnesses in Bangladesh in 2004-2005. That comprehensive assessment of the impact of tobacco use, taking into account both positive economic impact (e.g., employment, exports) and negative impact (e.g., health care costs) was the first such analysis of tobacco use in Bangladesh. The WHO Study included an extensive, nationally representative household survey, and it is that study that is the reference point for the current ITC Bangladesh Survey.
Dr. Nargis is currently the Director, Economic and Health Policy Research Unit, American Cancer Society and a faculty member of the Department of Economics, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her current tobacco-related research is focused on the economics of tobacco and tobacco taxation.


Ugyen Norbu, M.Ed.
Principal Investigator of ITC Bhutan
Information and Media Officer, Ministry of Health, Bhutan
Ugyen holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Sherubtse College, affiliated with Delhi University. As the Information and Media Officer with the Ministry of Health in Bhutan he is responsible for developing communication strategies, designing and executing IEC activities, implementing and monitoring WHO funding tobacco control actitivies, drafting tobacco control legislation in Bhutan and preparing implementation reports for the FCTC. 


Richard O'Connor, Ph.D. 
Principal Investigator of  ITC Four Country, USA
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, NY, USA
Dr. Richard O`Connor has a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the George Washington University and a Ph.D. in Biobehavioral Health from Pennsylvania State University. He joined the Department of Health Behavior, Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in 2004 and was appointed Associate Member in 2010.  He is also Adjunct Assistant Professor of Community Health and Health Behavior and Research Assistant Professor of Social and Preventive Medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.
Dr. O'Connor is the Director of the Tobacco Research Laboratory, which is characterizing tobacco product design across different countries. Dr. O'Connor also coordinates the International Tobacco Product Repository, which is creating cohort surveillance of popular tobacco products in a number of countries, as well as archiving novel Potentially Reduced Exposure Products (PREPs) marketed around the world. He is Principal Investigator on an NCI grant examining smokers' interest in using non-cigarette tobacco products, particularly snus and e-cigarettes. He is also part of a consortium of investigators developing methods for assessing tobacco products for reduced toxicant exposure and/or health risk. Other research interests include tobacco regulatory science, and development of unobtrusive or minimally invasive measures of smoking behaviors and exposures.


Jane Rahedi Ong'ang'o, MBchB, M.PH
Principal Investigator of ITC Kenya
Research Scientist, Centre for Respiratory Disease Research (CRDR), Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Kenya
Dr. Ong’ang’o is a Medical doctor and a Research Scientist at the Centre for Respiratory Disease Research (CRDR) in the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). She specialized in Public Health and has an interest in the implementation of health programmes and operational research.
She has been a National Programme coordinator for several CDC funded HIV/TB programmes in various parts of Kenya. Through these programmes, she was able to utilize community approaches to enhance scale up and use of HIV/TB services. She has also been involved in operation research with the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation in the Division of Leprosy, TB and Lung Health. She continues to play a role in capacity building of health workers in Kenya. Dr. Ong’ang’o is the Chairlady of TB ACTION Group and a member of several other medical organizations in Kenya. She is the Principal Investigator of various population based surveys including being a co- Principal Investigator of the ITC Kenya Survey. 


Maizurah Omar, Ph.D. 
Principal Investigator of ITC Malaysia (ITC SEA Project)
Associate Professor at the National Poison Centre, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
Dr. Maizurah Omar, Ph.D. in visual literacy, is an Associate Professor at the National Poison Center at Univesiti Sains Malaysia in Malaysia. She is the Principal Investigator for ITC Malaysia and plays a large role in the development of the ITC SEA surveys. She is also influential in writing and producing ITC reports and papers. 
Dr. Omar is a member of the FCTC secretariat on research at the Malaysia Ministry of Health. In collaboration with Rahmat Awang (an ITC Co-Investigator), she played a major role in establishing Smoke Free Melaka, one of the most important projects for Melaka State government. She co-ordinates an Eye-Tracking Research Lab and the Informatics for Community Health. ITC helped extend this research beyond verbal into scientific eye movement data with the use of graphic health warning designs. 



Martina Pötschke-Langer, MD., M.A.
Principal Investigator of ITC Germany
German Cancer Research Center, Germany
Martina Pötschke-Langer is Medical Doctor and Master of Science in German literature and German history. She was educated at the University of Heidelberg. Since 1997 she is Head of the Unit of Cancer Prevention in the German Cancer Research Center with special focus on tobacco prevention and tobacco control research in Germany. Since 1999 she is advisor to the World Health Organization. In 2002 the Unit Cancer Prevention was designated as WHO Collaborating Centre for Tobacco Control so that she is also Head of the WHO CC.
In 2000 she founded and edited the “Red Series Tobacco Prevention and Control”, a publication series of the German Cancer Research Center, in which more than 70 publications have been released about tobacco control strategies. Also numerous peer-reviewed articles were published. The legislation on nonsmokers protection in Germany was mainly based on this work.
She was a recipient of the World Health Organization’s Tobacco Free World Award for outstanding contributions to public health in 1999 and of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for cancer prevention and nonsmokers rights initiatives in 2007. Together with her team she received WHO World No Tobacco Day Award also in 2007 and 2011.
Krzysztof Przewoźniak, MSc.
Co-Principal Investigator of ITC Poland
Health Promotion Foundation (HPF), Deputy Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre, Maria Sklodowska-Curie Cancer Centre & Institute of Oncology in Warsaw, Poland
Krzysztof Prezwoźniak has 30 years of experience in the field of public health, cancer and tobacco control. As a government public health expert, he took part in preparing and enforcing the long-term and annual national health, cancer control and tobacco policy strategies and laws. He also advised to Polish government during Polish Presidency at the European Council. He has been working or collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO), International Union Against Cancer (UICC), International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), World Bank and many European and American universities and health institutions.
He was project leader, principal investigator or collaborator in more than 130 Polish and international research and intervention projects, including HEM, PONS, GATS, GYTS, and GAMS. He is author or co-author over 200 scientific publications, including 50 published in peer-reviewed international journals.


Hong-Gwan Seo, M.D.
Principal Investigator of ITC South Korea
Director of Center for Smoking Cessation, National Cancer Center of Korea, President of Association on Smoking or Health, Korea
Dr. Seo is the Principal Investigator of the ITC Korea Survey. He is responsible for the coordination of the research team and for coordination of the activities of Gallup Korea, the survey firm responsible for conducting the telephone survey fieldwork in Korea. Dr. Seo plays a key role in Korea in tobacco control and as such will play a lead role in the dissemination of research findings to the Korean government. The ITC Korea Survey has completed three waves of survey fieldwork since 2005.


Buppha Sirirassamee, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator of ITC Thailand (ITC SEA Project)
IPSR, Mahidol University, Thailand
Buppha Sirirassamee holds a Ph.D. with specialization in Education and Psychology. She is the former Deputy Director of the Institute for Population and Social Research at Mahidol University. Buppha is the former WHO Temporary advisor to the State Research Center for MCH & RH, Ulaanbator, Mongolia. She also has experience of being the project consultant for an AusAID supported project called the Community Organization Network Support Project in Thailand. Buppha has helped to provide key information from her research to advance tobacco control policies in Thailand.




Mary Thompson, Ph.D. 
Professor Emeritus & Adjunct Professor, University of Waterloo, Canada
Mary Thompson is Distinguished Professor Emerita of Statistics at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. She holds a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. She was a founding Co-Director, and is  now Associate Director, of the University of Waterloo Survey Research Centre. She is Director of the Data Management Core for the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Policy Evaluation Project. 
Since the beginning of the ITC Project in 2002, Dr. Thompson has been instrumental in developing the sampling design, research protocol and analytic plan for all of the ITC cohort surveys. In recent years her research interests have focused on the analysis of data from complex surveys, statistical methods in the social sciences, and  the design of survey data collection for public health research, particularly for the ITC Project; she has collaborated in work on the spread of disease on contact networks, and in spatial analysis of environmental influences on smoking behaviour. 


James Thrasher, Ph.D., M.A., M.S.
Principal Investigator of ITC Mexico
Associate Professor, Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behaviour, University of South Carolina, USA
Researcher and Visiting Professor, National Institute of Public Health, Mexico
James F. Thrasher, PhD, is a behavioral scientist, anthropologist, and communications specialist who is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. For over a decade, he also has been a Researcher and Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico, where much of his research is based. 
Dr. Thrasher’s research generally focuses on assessing the effects of media and policy on smoking-related perceptions and behavior, including his work as PI for the Mexican administration of the ITC Project.  His federal- and foundation-funded research involves a variety of experimental and observational studies conducted across countries, in order to understand how policy and communication interventions can most effectively reduce tobacco use across sociocultural contexts. 
Yiannis Tountas, M.D.
Principal Investigator of ITC Greece
Professor of Social & Preventive Medicine, Medical School, University of Athens
Professor of Social & Preventive Medicine in the Medical School- University of Athens. He has studied Biology (Bachelor) and Public Health (Master) in Harvard University, as well as Medicine in University of Athens. He is Director of the Center for Health Services Research, Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology & Statistical Medicine, Medical School, University of Athens.
Yannis Tountas is also Director of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM), Chairman of the Scientific Committees of the National Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services, and of the Hellenic Healthy Cities Network, President of the Hellenic Society for Health Promotion and Education and Publisher of the journal “New Health”.
He has served as President of First Regional Health Care and Welfare System of the major Athens Area (2003-2004), Chair of the Governance Board of the International Network of Health Promoting Hospitals and Health Services (2008-2010), National Representative in the OECD Health Committee (2008-2010), member of the Central Health Council (KESY) (2010 - 2013), and President of the National Organisation for Medicines (EOF) (2010 - 2013). He is the author of 10 books and of more than 200 publications in scientific journals. He is the Pi of all the Hellas Health studies performed in Greece and is actively engaged in tobacco control at a national level. His main role will be to contribute to the planning and implementation of the ITC Greece surveys, to supervise the research interpretation of the Greek ITC data and to lead and contribute to the preparation of research publications and presentations for scientific meetings.
Antigona Trofor, M.D.
Principal Investigator of ITC Romania
Aer Pur Romania (APR), Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie, Department of Pneumology
Prof. Trofor has published papers on comparative late stage lung cancer diagnoses, the effectiveness of smoking cessation when lung cancer is suspected in current and former smokers.
She was a senior chest physician at the Clinic of Pulmonary Diseases Iasi, Romania; Manager of S.C.ANLET MED S.R.L., SME for clinical research and consultancy in the field of Respiratory Diseases; Coordinator of the Romanian Smoking Cessation guideline of The Romanian Society of Pulmonologists, Member of the Steering Committee of the Tobaccology Section of the Romanian Society of Pulmonologists.


Constantine Vardavas, M.D., RN, MPH, Ph.D.
EUREST-PLUS Project Coordinator
ITC 6E Co-Principal Investigator
European Network on Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP), University of Crete (UoC)
Dr. Constantine Vardavas is an international expert on European tobacco regulatory science. He was a Senior Research Scientist of the Harvard School of Public Health, before returning to Europe to spearhead tobacco control initiatives. He is the Principal Investigator or coordinator of a large number of projects funded by the European Commission -including Horizon2020, DG SANTE Tenders and CHAFEA Health Programme projects.
Moreover as the Greek delegate to the European Commission’s committees on Tobacco Control and a member of the Greek National Delegation to the FCTC, Dr. Vardavas is very aware of the processes and importance of FCTC implementation. He is also Scientific Relations Director, and a member of the Tobacco Control Committee of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and acting president of the International Society for the Prevention of Tobacco Induced Diseases (ISPTID), two networks that are heavily involved in the EUREST-PLUS Project.
EUREST-PLUS is funded through the Horizon2020 Funding mechanism of the European Commission.
Marc Willemsen, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator of ITC Netherlands
Maastricht University and Dutch Alliance for a Smokefree Society, Netherlands
Prof. Marc C. Willemsen holds an endowed professorship in Tobacco Control Research at the School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI), Department of Health Promotion, Maastricht University. He is also a senior researcher at the Dutch Alliance for a Smokefree Society in The Hauge, The Netherlands. He has an M.A. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Public Health.
He has conducted various studies in the field of tobacco control and has published on various tobacco control topics, including harm reduction, genetic aspects of smoking, the efficacy of cessation methods, computer tailoring as a cessation aid, smoking prevention programs for adolescents, and determinants of smoking onset and smoking cessation. He is co-editor of a comprehensive textbook on tobacco control for Dutch medical professionals and an expert in the development of the Dutch clinical guidelines for smoking cessation. He is one of the coordinators of a Dutch Knowledge Centre on implementation of tobacco cessation interventions for the medical profession and was Principal Investigator of the ESCHER project (European Smoking Cessation Helplines Evaluation Research). His current scientific interests focus on public health aspects of tobacco control, including tobacco policy. He is currently writing a book on Dutch Tobacco Policy.
Nick Wilson, M.B.Ch.B., DIH, M.P.H.
Principal Investigator of ITC New Zealand
University of Otago, New Zealand
Nick Wilson is an Associate Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago in New Zealand, as well as the co-Director of the BODE3 Programme, a programme involving health economics of primary prevention.
Nick trained as a medical doctor, and then decided to specialize as a public health physician. His research interests include tobacco use epidemiology and control, infectious disease control, climate change and air pollution, disarmament and peace and conflict studies, public health and New Zealand history, and the use of movies and novels for teaching public health themes.
Prof. Witold Zatoński, M.D., Ph.D.
Co-Principal Investigator of ITC Poland
Health Promotion Foundation (HPF), Director and Professor in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Prevention at Maria Sklodowska-Curie Cancer Centre & Institute of Oncology in Warsaw, Poland.
As founder and President of the Health Promotion Foundation, Professor Zatoński has been instrumental in launching numerous health campaigns implemented in Poland and other areas of Eastern Europe. Professor Zatoński has recently completed work on the HEM – Closing the Gap project, a complex study examining health inequalities between eastern and western parts of the European Union. The final project report has been recently published and is available at the project website ( At present, Professor Zatoński implements project PONS, aimed at establishing an infrastructure for prospective cohort studies of population health in Poland ( Professor Zatoński has been at the forefront of public health and tobacco control in Poland, Eastern Europe, and internationally, for over 35 years. A passionate activist and researcher, and he has helped promote policy development through research and dissemination of research evidence and best practice. In 2006 he was awarded the Luther L. Terry award for Distinguished Career by the American Cancer Society.
Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre since 1994. He is a specialist in internal medicine, an epidemiologist and a public health expert. His primary research interest is in the health status of the Poles, and particularly the epidemiology of cancer, both in Poland and in the entire Central and Eastern Europe. He is an author of about 500 publications and over 180 books. As a founder of the Health Promotion Foundation, Prof. Zatoński has initiated tobacco control legislation and policy and many health campaigns addressed to Poles, the most popular one being “Let’s Quit Smoking Together”, or the Polish smoke-out. Within the last twenty years, four million Poles have quit smoking as a result of his campaigns.