Maria Bejarano

Affiliated to teaching/tutoring

About me

Maria Teresa Bejarano, works at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) since 2018. Between 2018 and 2019 she served as Gender & Reproductive Rights and Sustainable Development Adviser and oversaw the finalization of UNFPA’s Gender Strategy at the Gender Human Rights and Culture Branch. In 2019 she became  the  Global Health Adviser at the Technical Division to oversee  and coordinate  UNFPA’s support to the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All, a platform that brings together 12 multilateral health, development and humanitarian agencies to better support countries to accelerate progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. She also represents UNFPA and coordinates the partnership between UNFPA and the WHO-UNDP-World Bank-UNICEF and UNFPA Special Program on Research on Human Reproduction  (HRP), and is also the task manager for the development of UNFPA strategy on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Main author on the report to the UN 53rd Commission for Population and Development on "Population, Food Security, Nutrition and Population and Development" to be presented to the UN Economic and social Council on April 2020.


Before joining UNFPA, Maria Teresa has been working at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) for 18 years where she has coordinated the support to health research initiatives and acted as focal point for antimicrobial resistance issues. She has been involved in the support to higher education and research in low income countries and has actively contributed to the building of institutional capacities and research policy/agenda formulation in Latin- America and in the East African Region. Dr. Bejarano has served as member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the WHO Tropical Diseases Research program and as Board member of the WHO-Sexual and Reproductive Health Research (HRP) and the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (AHPSR).

Between 2012-2014 Maria Teresa worked as Policy Adviser at ReAct, Action on Antibiotic Resistance where she provided support to the formulation of antimicrobial national policies/strategies in LICs and contributed to bring AMR to the global health agenda. She developed a module on AMR policy issues for Master in Global health at Uppsala University and Karolinksa Institutet.

At KI, Maria Teresa has worked in infection biology/immunology research aimed at understanding the polymicrobial origin of endemic Burkitt’s lymphoma, the most common pediatric cancer in Sub- Saharan Africa.

Dr. Bejarano is trained as MD and earned her PhD in immunology/infection biology at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm and holds a Lic on Clinical Drug Development from Uppsala University

Current areas of interest: Global Health, Global Health Diplomacy, advocacy and evidence for policies to contain antimicrobial resistance.

Teaching portfolio

• UNFPA 2018-present: developed module on AMR basics to introduce country and regional offices on the concept of AMR and its relationship with UNFPA mandate.

• Lecturer at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Genève. Following the executive course on Global Health Diplomacy in 2013, I have been  invited in 2014 and 2015, 2017 to participate as lecturer on the theme of my experience and the Swedish perspective in placing health issues in the agenda of aid organizations. • Lecturer and designer of a module on antibiotic resistance policy issues included in the MSc program on Global Health at Karolinska Institutet on the module health systems and policy (HSP) and at Gothenburg University since 2012 once a year during the autumn. Each module takes 8 hours teaching. • Lecturer on general aspects of antimicrobial resistance for 2 term foreign students from Africa, Asia and Middle East, Uppsala University, 2012, 2013, 2014 (2h/year) • 2001,2003,2005: lecturer at Makerere University-Karolinska Institutet joint course “Genes and Genomes in the Tropics”. • Between 1995-2004 Regular lecturer in the Course of Pathology, Immunology and Infection Biology (Autumn Biomedicine Program term 5) on the theme of polymicrobial disease and ethiology of Burkitt’s lymphoma (2hs /year). • 1996-2001, Regular lecturer at Immunology HT course, Stockholm University. 2hrs/termin. • Teaching assistance at the course of "Pathology, Immunology and Infection Biology" for Biomedicine students. Coordinator and organizer of immunology laboratory practice. HT 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001.


• The Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland (07-08 2013), Executive Course on Global health Diplomacy • Uppsala University, Sweden (01 - 2001 to 06 - 2001). Licentiate in Clinical Drug Development/Clinical trials • Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Stockholm (1992 - 1994) Post-graduate fellow. Immunology/cell biology studies on antigen presentation • Stanford University, Dept. of Cell Biology/DNAX Research Institute. Palo Alto, California, USA (1991-1992). Post Doctoral fellow. Regulation of immune responses by IL-10 • Karolinska Institutet, Dept. of Tumor Biology, Stockholm, Sweden (1981-1989). PhD student. PhD thesis: “Analysis of immune responses against Epstein- Barr virus” • Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia (1974 - 1980). Medicine Studies. Degree Obtained: Doctor en Medicina y Cirugia

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Post-Doctoral Fellowship awarded by the Cancer Research Institute, New York and the Swedish Cancer Society. (1992-1994) • Post-Doctoral Fellowships awarded by the Fogarty Foundation and The Swedish Cancer Society (1991-1992). • The Ten Best Secondary School Colombian Students. “Mejores Bachilleres Coltejer Award” (1973)