Chris Elbers

Professor Chris Elbers is the Desmond Tutu Chair Holder of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration. He studied econometrics and mathematical economics at the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands and obtained his doctoral degree from the VU University of Amsterdam. From 1984, he is a member of the Development Research Group in the Economics department at the VU University and as of 1994, he has been associate professor at the same university. The Development Research Group focuses on applied microeconomic research in developing countries, in particular countries in Sub-Sahara Africa. Chris Elbers is fellow of the European Union Development Network (EUDN), the Tinbergen Institute, and the Amsterdam Institute for International Development (AIID). His main research activities are in the fields of poverty measurement and impact evaluation.

Frank Cobelens MD MSc PhD (1959), Professor of Global Health, studied medicine in Amsterdam and communicable disease epidemiology in London, and earned his PhD at the University of Amsterdam. He worked for several years in HIV/AIDS control and tropical and travel medicine. He became involved in epidemiological research on tuberculosis in Asia, Africa and Latin America as senior epidemiologist with the Dutch NGO KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, one of the world’s leading technical agencies for tuberculosis control. Since 2008 he has led the tuberculosis research group which later became AIGHD and the Department of Global Health of the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, where he was appointed full professor of epidemiology and control of poverty-related infectious diseases in 2011. Since 2016 he has chaired AIGHD’s Executive Board as well as the Department of Global Health at the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam.

Cobelens works closely with research groups around the world, and has supervised numerous junior researchers and doctoral students at home and abroad. His scientific interest is in multidisciplinary approaches to problems at the interface of biomedical aspects of infectious diseases, socioeconomic context and control policy. Recent work includes causes and spread of anti-tuberculosis drug resistance, development and evaluation of novel interventions for tuberculosis control, and biomedical mechanisms that define the relation between poverty and infectious diseases.

Cobelens has served on several expert panels and advisory bodies for global infectious disease control, in particular tuberculosis, including the World Health Organization’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Tuberculosis. He is also Scientific Advisor of KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation.

Professor in Anthropology of Health and Social Care at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (Sociology / Anthropology Department) and Scientific Director of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR), both of the University of Amsterdam.


Together with Prof. Jelle Visser and Prof. Robert Pool she directs the research priority area the Centre for Global Health and Inequality. Professor Hardon has been involved in comparative studies of health care arrangements, focusing on the global diffusion of contraceptive technologies and modern pharmaceuticals in primary health and family planning programs, on programs to limit the transmission of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases and on global efforts to immunize the world’s children. The studies involve anthropological fieldwork in different socio-cultural settings, at global, national and local levels of health care usually by a team of researchers. This has led to the development of widely used research frameworks/methodologies (Applied Health Research Manual, 2001) and high impact publications in journals asThe Lancet, Social Science and Medicine en Medical Anthropology. Hardon is the author of several influential books such as Social Lives of Medicines(Cambridge University Press 2002) and Medicines out of Control? (Aksant 2004).

Michiel Heidenrijk, the founding Director of the new Amsterdam health & technology institute (ahti), has been the managing director of the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD) since he and Professor Joep Lange created it in 2006. His background is in business economics with a special focus on banking and insurance.  He worked for 9 years in corporate finance and as a management consultant before joining the Academic Medical Center in 2003.

Constance Schultsz MD, PhD is a specialist in medical microbiology and Associate Professor at the Department of Global Health of the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam. She is an Executive Board member of the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD) and deputy head of the Department of Global Health. Constance worked as a research fellow at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 1987 – 1989 and worked as a consultant microbiologist at the VU University Medical Centre (2000-2003). From 2003 until 2008 she headed the Microbiology department of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Vietnam, at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where she still holds a Faculty position.

Constance joined the Department of Global Health and the AIGHD in 2008. Her research interests include antimicrobial drug resistance, nosocomial infections and infection prevention, and zoonotic diseases. In addition to her infectious diseases research, Constance has initiated operational research on the impact of the Health Insurance Fund program on biomedical and health outcomes, which is carried out in Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya since 2009. This research is conducted in close collaboration with PharmAccess, the implementing party.

Constance Schultsz has supervised and is currently supervising PhD students in the Netherlands, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Nigeria. She has received research grants from the Dutch government as well as from the EU and has published more than 85 publications in international peer reviewed journals