Johannes Sommerfeld is Secretary to the Steering Committee for Strategic Social, Economic and Behavioural Research (SEB), Basic and Strategic Research unit, UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior professional posts included Project Social Scientist with the Applied Diarrheal Disease Research Project (ADDR) at the Harvard Institute for International Development, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (1992-1996) and Research Associate at the Department of Tropical Hygiene and Public Health of Heidelberg University, Germany (1996-2000). From 1994-1996 Sommerfeld was Chair of the International Health and Infectious Disease Study Group, Society for Medical Anthropology, American Anthropological Association and editor of the 'International Health and Infectious Disease Newsletter'. His professional interests include capacity building for the social sciences applied to public health and medical anthropology.