Talk | Global efforts to build AMR surveillance in low resource settings, examples from the Fleming Fund

Date: 17th July, 17:30 – 18:30

Venue: Manson Lecture Theatre

Speakers: Penny Walker-Robertson and Dr Charles Penn



A brief overview of the UK government’s international policy on AMR and its efforts to tackle AMR globally. Followed by a more detailed exploration of the journey of the Fleming Fund – a £265 million government commitment to support low and middle income countries improve surveillance capability for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and antimicrobial use (AMU), and use data relevant to AMR in order to inform policy and practice. This case study will explore the enabling environment needed to tackle AMR nationally, the protocols developed and used for building AMR and AMU surveillance and the challenge and opportunities working in a one health space.



Penny Walker-Robertson: Head of the Fleming Fund

Penny Walker-Robertson is currently the Head of the Fleming Fund at the UK Department of Health and Social Care. She specialises in programme and policy development in international development and global health. She has worked with policy and strategy in the Office of the Executive Director at UNAIDS; with a country focus on Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos at Amnesty International; and in programme development and delivery for both development and humanitarian programmes at the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Penny joined the UK Department of Health and Social Care in August 2015 to set up the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team, responding to international disease outbreaks with epidemic potential, and moved on to support design and delivery of the Fleming Fund. She holds a BA in Social and Political Science from the University of Cambridge, an Msc Master of Public Health from Kings College London, and has just completed a fellowship in Global Health Leadership at LSHTM.


Dr Charles Penn: Clinical Adviser to the Fleming Fund

Charles Penn is currently working as an advisor on antimicrobial resistance for the Fleming Fund at the UK Department of Health & Social Care. Prior to this he worked at the World Health Organization, Geneva where he was responsible for guidance on the use of antivirals in influenza management during the 2009-2010 influenza pandemic, and for the development of the global action plan on antimicrobial resistance adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2015.  He also chaired WHO’s Guidelines Review Committee, which monitors the quality of all of WHO’s health guidelines, from 2011-2015.

Charles has extensive experience in infectious diseases, gained through a PhD in virology from the University of Cambridge, followed by research on human and avian influenza viruses at Cambridge University and the UK Institute for Animal Health.  In 1988 Charles joined Glaxo (now GSK) to lead research on influenza and HIV, first as a Senior Research Associate and later as Senior Medical Strategy Head.  During this time he saw two new antiviral medicines from discovery through to regulatory approval (lamivudine for HIV, and zanamivir for influenza),

In 1998 he moved to the (now) Public Health England Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, as Director for Research and Development.  Activities there included infectious disease diagnosis through the Special Pathogens Reference Unit, vaccines & biotherapeutics research and development, and epidemic and intervention modelling in infectious diseases.