Kathrin has a Master degree in Physiotherapy. Through her work in South Africa she treated many patients with HIV, TB and other conditions related to these diseases. To better understand these diseases, different methodologies and statistical analysis she has undertaken a Master in Epidemiology at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and in parallel continues her research into TB and HIV within the framework of IeDEA-SA .
Project Manager: WHO Collaboration, ISPM
Elizabeth is the project manager for the IeDEA-WHO Collaboration since November 2014. This project formalizes collaboration between the IeDEA network and the WHO by defining a core set of indicators and analyses that can contribute in a reliable and predicable way to global ART reporting. Before joining ISPM, she worked at UNAIDS coordinating data collection/dissemination of HIV/AIDS estimates and was responsible for producing summary analyses of the HIV/AIDS epidemic to inform policy and strategy within the organization. She has previously held positions at WHO, UNAIDS and NGOs and has a background in Biology, Environmental Science and Epidemiology. Her current research focus is HIV retention in care.
Senior Research Fellow, ISPM
Dr Gilles Wandeler
Gilles is an attending physician at the Department of Infectious Diseases, University Hospital Bern and a senior research fellow. He currently leads several HIV and viral hepatitis cohort projects within the framework of IeDEA-SA and IeDEA-West Africa as well as in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study. He has recently been granted a three-year Ambizione-Prosper fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation to study HIV and Hepatitis B coinfection in sub-Saharan Africa.
Research Officer, UCT
Dr Priscilla Tsondai
Priscilla Tsondai recently completed her Master’s in Public Health (Epidemiology) degree at the University of Cape Town. Her thesis was titled: “HIV viral load monitoring in HIV-infected pregnant women established on antiretroviral therapy in Cape Town, South Africa”. The literature review discussed the role of HIV viral load and antiretroviral therapy (ART) on vertical transmission of HIV and compared the existing ART monitoring strategies and management of viremia in resource-limited settings. She described public sector HIV viral load testing patterns (frequency and timing) and HIV viral load levels for pregnant women conceiving on ART, before and during pregnancy. In addition, the analysis assessed factors associated with having a HIV viral load (VL) test performed and being viremic during pregnancy. Defining viremia as a VL >1000 copies/mL, the analysis concluded that 80% of women had VL tests done during pregnancy, and of these approximately 88% had VL <1000 copies/mL For women with a raised VL during pregnancy, under 60% had repeat VL tests performed before delivery; and of those that did, over half were still viremic on the second test.
Priscilla is currently working as a Research Officer and has just begun her PhD at the University of Cape Town. Her PhD will focus on the models of care and the models of transition to adult HIV services for HIV-infected adolescents within Southern Africa.
Research Fellow, ISPM
Dr Adrian Spörri
Adrian is trained in epidemiology and biostatistics and has been working with the nationwide Swiss National Cohort (SNC) for many years. Using state-of-the-art linkage methodology, he has developed, together with the SNC teams in Bern and Zurich, the SNC into a major Swiss research platform with funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation (2006 to 2016). He has knowledge of advanced linkage methodology and infrastructure (linkage server, linkage software), and teaches (internally and externally) on data linkage and use of statistical software. Adrian is in charge of the data management and the record linkage of the Malawian Mayo+ project and will support the statistical analyses of the data. He is currently based in Singapore.
Project Assistant, ISPM
Lilian holds a Federal Diploma of Commerce and has many years’ international experience in a wide range of administrative tasks. She has been with the University / University Hospital of Bern for more than ten years supporting a Medical Research Group with Grant Management, HR, the sourcing of consumables and all other non-scientific tasks. In addition, she supported two EU-funded research networks as Grant Holder Manager.
Lilian has joined the IeDEA SA team in June 2017.
Senior Statistician, UCT
Dr Michael Schomaker
Michael is a statistician with a PhD in Statistics and various interests related to biostatistics and epidemiology. His current research includes statistical modeling of infectious diseases (especially HIV and tuberculosis), causal modeling, missing data and loss to follow-up, model averaging and model selection uncertainty. He is primarily involved in analyses for IeDEA.
Research Fellow, ISPM
Dr Eliane Rohner
Eliane is a medical doctor and has recently completed her MSc in Epidemiology (2015) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine by distance learning. Her research focus is HIV-related cancer and oncogenic viruses and her MSc thesis examined the incidence rate of invasive cervical cancer (ICC) in a South African cohort of HIV-positive women. In a meta-analysis, she examined the association between HIV and human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), the infectious cause of Kaposi sarcoma (KS). This meta-analysis showed that HIV-positive persons were more likely to be seropositive for HHV-8 than HIV-negative persons. Another research project focused on the incidence rate of KS and associated risk factors in HIV-positive children and adults participating in IeDEA-SA. She is also working on multiregional IeDEA projects to estimate and compare ICC and KS incidence rates in HIV-positive persons across different continents.
Gem is an epidemiologist at the UCT Data Center, currently focusing on research related to pediatric HIV. She has a Masters in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, an interest in infectious diseases, and has worked as a field epidemiologist primarily doing operational research to address specific challenges in the delivery of primary care to those with HIV.
Patience has recently completed her masters in Medical Statistics from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She worked on two theses for her masters, one of which has been submitted for publication and is currently under review. The first thesis was titled “Development of a predictive model for loss to follow up and incidence of pregnancy among HIV negative female sex workers among to African cohorts”. This was part of a study taking place in Mwanza and Uganda to establish the feasibility of these women for HIV prevention trials on microbicide and vaccines (PMC3715536). The second thesis was titled “Correction of estimates of retention in care for a Uganda pre-ART cohort: a sample-based approach”. This was a retrospective cohort study that involved tracing of lost patients to establish their outcomes (dead, alive and in/out of care, lost) and merge these with clinic-recorded outcomes. Patience is currently working as a research officer/ statistician with IeDEA-SA.
She is currently working on an analysis of virologic suppression rates in children starting efavirenz-based ART regimens stratified by PMTCT. Patience is also developing a concept on viral load trajectories in adolescents
and young adults.
Data Manager, UCT
Nicky is the data manager for the IeDEA-SA South Africa cohort and she has been with the collaboration since 2007. Prior to that she worked as the data manager for the Khayelitsha cohort after returning from the UK where she worked for the Health Protection Agency as a Surveillance Officer for a number of years. She has a nursing background in pediatrics.
Victoria completed her MPH (Epidemiology) degree in 2016 at the University of Cape Town. Her thesis was titled “Prevalence and determinants of unplanned pregnancy in HIV-positive and HIV-negative pregnant women in Cape Town, South Africa: a cross-sectional study” She described the importance of preventing unplanned pregnancies among HIV-positive women as one of the crucial tools for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in high burden, resource-limited settings such as South Africa. The study presented key differences between HIV-positive and HIV-negative women regarding pregnancy intentions and family planning practices. Younger age (<24 years old), increasing parity and contraceptive use in the year prior to conception were associated with an increased probability of an unplanned pregnancy. The manuscript was published in BMJ Open (Iyun et al. 2018).
Victoria is currently working on her PhD project at the University of Cape Town. Her PhD is focused on understanding the effect of expanded early infant diagnosis (EID) and early infant antiretroviral therapy (EIART) guidelines and practices, on patient and program-level outcomes among HIV-infected infants and young children in resource-limited settings.
Mmamapudi completed her MPH in 2016, her thesis sought to understand the epidemiology of
diabetes in a high tuberculosis and HIV context Khayelitsha, South Africa. She was also involved in a
study that determined the association between TB and diabetes. (odds ratio 2.4; 95% confidence
interval 1.3–4.3) in a study population with high HIV prevalence (64%) (1). Building on her MPH work, she is currently working on her PhD project that seeks to understand the effect of diabetes, HIV and household overcrowded living conditions on the South African TB epidemic. She will develop an individual-based model to represent TB dynamics in South Africa. The model will be used to: a) understand and explain the observed gender and age differences in TB; b) assess how effective current TB control interventions have been in reducing TB incidence in South Africa up to the current time c) determine the population attributable burden of tuberculosis due to HIV, diabetes, and household overcrowded living conditions; and d) evaluate the potential impact of current TB control interventions that target to reduce HIV, diabetes and household overcrowding in
addition to current TB control interventions.
Epidemiologist & Modeler, UCT
Dr Leigh Johnson
Leigh is an epidemiologist and actuary, with a particular interest in the modelling of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. He has been involved in evaluating the impact of a range of HIV prevention and treatment programmes in South Africa. His work includes estimating the demographic impact of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. He has recently published updated HIV and demographic estimates for South Africa and for each of the provinces.
Research Fellow, ISPM
Dr Andreas Haas
After completing a Master’s degree in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, Andreas joined the ISPM in 2012, where he completed his PhD in Epidemiology. His PhD project evaluated the effectiveness of Malawi’s “Option B+”. Specifically, the project aims were to identify challenges to program success, and then to plan and carry-out appropriate interventions.
In 2011, the Malawian MoH developed a pragmatic public health approach to improve the low antiretroviral coverage among pregnant women in Malawi and implemented the “Option B+” protocol. Option B+ provides universal lifelong ART for all HIV-infected pregnant and breastfeeding women, regardless of CD4 cell count and/or WHO clinical stage. Following the national implementation of Option B+ the antiretroviral coverage among pregnant women in Malawi increased from 49% in 2011 to 85% in 2014 and numerous other countries have adopted the Option B+ policy.
In November 2016, Andreas was awarded the 2016 annual SSPH+ Award for the best published PhD article resulting from his PhD: “Retention in care during the first 3 years of antiretroviral therapy for women in Malawi’s option B+ programme: an observational cohort study”,
Senior Research Fellow, ISPM
Prof Lukas Fenner
Lukas is an epidemiologist and international health expert. His research focus is infectious disease epidemiology and molecular epidemiology of emerging pathogens threatening public health, such as nosocomial infections and more recently TB and HIV, at the interface between clinical and molecular data. As the head of the TB research group, he has been leading multiregional projects on TB and HIV within IeDEA, and molecular epidemiological studies on TB/HIV in Switzerland and sub-Saharan Africa. He has a longstanding track record working with large HIV collaborations (IeDEA, Swiss HIV Cohort Study, Collaboration of Observational HIV Epidemiological Research in Europe). During the last two years, Lukas has gained extensive field experience in low-income settings as scientific project leader and TB team leader stationed at the Ifakara Health Institute in
JulieJesson has joined IeDEA-SA in 2017 as a post-doc fellow to conduct a multiregional analysis on growth among HIV-infected adolescents. She previously completed her PhD with the University of Bordeaux, France, on ‘malnutrition and pediatric HIV infection in West Africa’, in collaboration with IeDEA pWADA (pediatric West African Databases). The main results were that prevalence of malnutrition was high among HIV-infected children, but growth improved after ART initiation in the first 24 months of ART, with the better weight and height gains for those early initiated on ART (before two years of age). However, those who remained malnourished while on long-term ART could be at high risk of death. Also, Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food was efficient to treat weight deficiency among HIV-infected children. Height deficiency was difficult to reverse and even impaired the recovery for weight deficiency. A greater documentation and awareness of nutritional aspects of pediatric HIV care in resource-limited settings are needed and adapted nutritional interventions focused on HIV-infected children have to be developed. During her post-doc, her focus is now on HIV-adolescents, who represents a specific population in terms of HIV care as well as nutritional needs.
Research Fellow, ISPM
With a background in evolutionary biology, Fardo is currently studying the accumulation of ARV resistance mutations after HIV combination therapy in Southern Africa. Methods used include several mathematical modelling techniques, such as hidden Markov chains, as well as a systematic reviewing of the literature. Future projects might also include the phylodynamics and transmission networks of regional HIV epidemics. Fardo started his academic career at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, where, at the Centre of Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, he constructed mathematical models of the evolution of animal behaviors. For his PhD thesis at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, he studied the transmission of a haemosporidian parasite of bats, using behavioral observations, population genetics and phylogenetics. After a brief excursion working as a data scientist, Fardo joined the ISPM and IeDEA in April 2017.
Data Manager, ISPM
Cam Ha Dao Ostinelli
Cam Ha is the Data manager for IeDEA-SA cohorts in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. She works in close collaboration with the Data Manager at UCT who is responsible for the data management of cohorts within South Africa. Previously, she worked as a software engineer, spending many years specializing in data warehouse reporting within the telecom industry. Since joining the team, Cam Ha has been instrumental in optimizing the performance of the IeDEA-SA data management environment (servers and tools) and at the same time has quickly learned the data management of HIV patients.
Senior Researcher and Project Manager, UCT
Dr Morna Cornell
Morna has worked in the field of HIV/AIDS in South Africa since 1992, when she helped to establish the AIDS Consortium. From 2002-2011, she managed CIPRA-SA, a NIH-funded multi-centre study including CHER (early ART for infants). Since 2007 she has been project manager of the IeDEA-SA data centre at UCT, completing her MPH (Epidemiology) in the same year. In 2014 she was awarded her PhD on the evolution and effectiveness of the South African ART programme. Morna has a particular interest in the invisibility of men and older individuals in African ART programmes. She is passionate about growing African research capacity.
Dr Frédérique Chammartin
Frédérique is a statistician working for the IeDEA. She holds a Master in Statistics and a Federal Diploma in Pharmacy. She completed a PhD on “Geostatistical model-based predictions of helminthiases risk to assist control interventions” and has previously worked as a scientific collaborator within the Bayesian Modelling and Analysis unit at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute.
Prof Andrew Boulle
Andrew was co-Principal Investigator of IeDEA-SA from its inception until 2011. During this time, he completed his PhD on the effectiveness of ART in Khayelitsha and in the Western Cape, following adults for up to five years on ART and examining temporal trends over seven years, during a time when ART services expanded dramatically in the province. Andrew currently holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor in the Division of Public Health Medicine, UCT, and as a Public Health specialist in the Health Impact Assessment Directorate of the Western Cape Department of Health.
Senior Research Fellow, ISPM
Dr Julia Bohlius
Julia is a physician specializing in the field of clinical hematology/oncology, public health, and epidemiology. She started her career at the University of Cologne, Germany, at the Department for Hematology/Oncology and Infectious Diseases where her research focused on meta-analyses of the effectiveness of cancer treatment as well as prognostic factors for cancer survival. Since 2007, Julia has been working at the ISPM where her research focus is analyses of AIDS-defining and non AIDS-defining cancer in HIV-positive patients in Europe, North America, Latin America, Southern Africa and Asia-Pacific. She uses meta-analytical techniques to evaluate risks for infection with oncogenic viruses and effectiveness of oncologic treatments. Currently, Julia supports probabilistic record linkage projects with HIV cohorts and cancer registries in South Africa and Malawi.
Research Fellow, ISPM
Dr Marie Ballif
Marie participates in multiregional IeDEA studies in the field of TB and HIV. She has a background in biology and molecular epidemiology and joined ISPM after finishing her PhD at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in 2011, having previously worked as a Research Assistant at the University Hospital of Zurich. Her main research interests are TB, drug resistance and molecular epidemiology. In addition, Marie coordinates tracing studies aiming to understand and improve retention in care among HIV-infected individuals in Southern Africa.
Senior Data Manager, UCT
Tshabakwane (Tshabs) Nembandona is a Senior Data Manager for the IeDEA-SA data centre. He has over a decade of experience in Information Technology specialising in database management, security, backups, database development and administration, and data management.
Tshabs is pursuing a PhD in Information Systems at the University of Cape Town, and his research interests include mobile technology and bullying in South African schools, mobile security, and digital forensics. He offers data management and support, collaborating with other data managers from IeDEA regions including participating in the IeDEA data harmonization working group.
Program Manager, ISPM
Per von Groote
Per Maximilian von Groote is the acting Program Manager of the International Epidemiological Database to Evaluate Aids, Southern Africa (IeDEA SA) research consortium and is based at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM), University of Bern. Before joining ISPM he worked as research scientist in the Disability Policy Unit at the Department of Health Science and Health Policy at the Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPF), Nottwil and the University of Lucerne, Lucerne. Per von Groote worked on numerous projects including research into social inequalities in functioning and disability, rehabilitation systems and services, and international public health policy, and is an executive editor of the WHO Report International Perspectives on Spinal Cord Injury. In these roles he developed an expertise in implementation research, specifically looking at the implementation of WHO global public health recommendations into national contexts. Among other participatory, stakeholder-driven and evidence-based implementation strategy development, application, monitoring and evaluation methods he conducted stakeholder dialogues in many countries including Germany, Romania, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia. He holds a Magister Artium in Political Sciences and History, a Master of European Politics and Government and is soon to complete a part time PhD in Health Science and Health Policy with a focus on implementation.
Project Assistant, ISPM
Benedikt contributes to the tracing studies aiming to understand and improve retention in care among HIV-infected individuals with data from different IeDEA-SA sites. His interest is to receive both, quantitative and qualitative insights by using different approaches and methodologies.
Benedikt has a background in epidemiology/parasitology in organic animal husbandry (MSc in Epidemiology, FibL/Swiss TPH/University of Basel). He holds a biology teacher diploma for high schools and is experienced in international development cooperation by working for an NGO in Tanzania (different health topics). He is particularly interested in the interface between research and development cooperation, what he deepened by recent works (Medicus Mundi Switzerland: Implementation Research of Swiss NGOs Working in the Field of International Health Cooperation; Unité: The Multilevel Approach in the Swiss Exchange of Personnel in Development Cooperation).
Record linkage fellow, ISPM
Data Manager, UCT
Ernest Mokotoane is from the Free-State province, he has a BSc degree in Information Technology from University of the Free-State. He has been working with health information since 2012, has experience working with databases and data management. He joined IeDEA in November 2017 as Data Manager for South Africa.