Academic Hot Topics

The Academic Hot Topics series are designed to be conversations with academics who are doing research relevant to brand protection and counterfeiting. The event is free and open to anyone in the field of brand protection who registers in advanced. The event will be an online moderated conversations with a chance for Q and A.

Chat 1: March 2022


View the conversation with Professor Saleem Alhabash, who researches on the processes and effects of new and social media within the context of persuasion. He investigates the cognitive and emotional responses, and psychological effects associated with using new and social media. His research is geared toward understanding how new communication technologies can be used as persuasive tools. We’ll explored his perspectives on social digital technologies in anti-counterfeiting efforts.

MARCH 10, 2022


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Saleem Alhabash is an associate professor of Public Relations and Social Media at Michigan State University’s Department of Advertising + Public Relations, where he also co-directs the Media and Advertising Psychology (MAP) Lab. His research focuses on the processes and effects of new and social media within the context of persuasion. More specifically, his research investigates the cognitive and emotional responses, and psychological effects associated with using new and social media. His research is geared toward understanding how new communication technologies can be used as persuasive tools, most recently in relation to marketing of alcohol as well as digital aggression across the lifespan. He also studies how new and social media can facilitate cross-cultural and international communication, with emphasis on changing attitudes and stereotypes of foreign nations. In 2014, he was named the inaugural recipient of the American Academy of Advertising’s Mary Alice Shaver Promising Professor Award. His research won best article, top paper, and top poster awards at national and international conferences. Saleem received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Pre-academia, he worked in a youth nonprofit organization focusing on media and well-being. 

Chat 2: April 2022


APRIL 15, 2022

View the conversation with Professor John Hertig, as we explored what’s new in consumer purchasing from illegal online pharmacies, as well as the huge gap in education in our colleges and universities on substandard, falsified, and counterfeit products and why this matters. He researches on counterfeit medicine and most recently the impact of COVID-19 on the increase of illegal online pharmacies.


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John B. Hertig, PharmD, MS, CPPS, FASHP is vice-chair and an associate professor of Pharmacy Practice in the Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Indianapolis, USA). Dr. Hertig lectures around the world and publishes on a variety of patient safety, leadership, administration, health policy topics.  His extensive research program is designed to enhance the safety of the medication use process, while using evidence to inform patient advocacy efforts. Dr. Hertig is a member of the United States Food and Drug Administration Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee. He holds other national and international appointments, including with the International Pharmaceutical Federation, where he is vice president of the Americas for the Hospital Pharmacy Section, and as president of the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies – Global (ASOP), where he leads efforts to reduce the patient safety impact of illegal and counterfeit online drug distribution worldwide.  He was awarded the ASOP Global Patient Safety Champion Award in 2018.  Dr. Hertig received his Bachelor of Science in pharmaceutical sciences and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from Purdue University (USA). He completed a PGY1 pharmacy practice and PGY2 health-system pharmacy administration residency at The Ohio State University Medical Center while also obtaining a Masters degree in health-system pharmacy administration from The Ohio State University (USA). 

Chat 3: May 2022


View the conversation with Professor Tim Mackey on the latest trends and nuances in the detection of illegal online sales of controlled substances as well as the work being done with Snapchat and some best practices in this area when it comes to counterfeit detection when partnering with a technology firm.

MAY 16, 2022


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Tim Ken Mackey is a professor of global health in the Global Health Program at UC San Diego in the Department of Anthropology, the director of the Global Health Policy and Data Institute, and the editor-in-chief of JMIR Infodemiology. He is also the CEO and co-founder of the data science and research services company S-3 Research, currently funded by the National Institutes of Health and through other government and private sector contracts. He holds a BA in political science-international relations, a master’s degree in health policy & law and also earned his Ph.D. in global public health from the joint doctoral program at UC San Diego – San Diego State University.  Mackey’s work has been featured in high-impact journals such as Science, JAMA, Nature Biotechnology, the Lancet, Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, Clinical Microbiology Reviews, and BMC Medicine. His research and expertise has also been featured in major news outlets such as CNN, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal. His work focuses on an array of multidisciplinary topics in domestic and global public health. He also has extensive professional experience including over 10 years experience in the private sector and acting as a consultant for the World Health Organization, the US Department of State and others.

Chat 4: July 2022


The rapid, ever-changing world is now on the verge of shifting the entire social landscape, not physically, but virtually. Enter: the metaverse. With this advent of technology on the rise, many questions, concerns and outright confusion have resulted in this quake, especially in the brand protection space. Join us in a conversation with Radindra Ratan—who conducts research on the effects of human-technology interaction—as we discuss this virtual landscape and map out how it effects brand owners. Join the conversation and bring your questions!

JULY 8, 2022


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Rabindra (Robby) Ratan is an associate professor and AT&T Scholar at Michigan State University’s Department of Media and Information as well as director of the Social and Psychological Approaches to Research on Technology-Interaction Effects (SPARTIE) Lab. He is also an affiliated faculty member of the MSU Department of Psychology, the MSU College of Education’s program in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology, and the MSU Center for Gender in a Global Context. Ratan received his Ph.D. from USC’s Annenberg School for communication and journalism, his M.A. in communication from Stanford University, and his B.A. in science, technology and society, also from Stanford University.

Thank You Event Sponsors



Session and Series Sponsorships Available

This series is offered at no cost to attendees. Therefore, sponsorships are vital to our ability to offer these. Our prior event attendees and partners come from a broad range of industries, government, law enforcement, and academia that are addressing counterfeiting and brand protection and understand this. While we typically do not make attendee contact information available, the value of your sponsorship is greater. Our attendees and partners recognize our sponsors as helping the greater good in the fight against counterfeits and protecting brands.