New appointments strengthen Aurum/Vanderbilt partnership

New appointments strengthen Aurum/Vanderbilt partnership

The partnership between Aurum and Vanderbilt University has been strengthened with the appointment of four researchers.

Professors Salome Charalambous and Vinodh Edward, as well as Drs Mandla Mlotshwa and Pholo Maenetje were appointed as Adjunct Assistant Professors at the US university’s  Department of Medicine.

Prof Salome Charalambous, Aurum Group Chief Scientific Officer, has vast experience in medical research in the fields of HIV and TB and is currently the Principal Investigator on a number of clinical trials and large cluster-randomized epidemiological studies. As part of programme implementation, she also conducted research studies and published articles on TB-HIV integration, HIV programme evaluations and other topics related to HIV and TB. She has a PhD in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Newly appointed Aurum SA CEO Prof Vinodh Edward, has been a basic sciences researcher involved in clinical trials management for 20 years. As Principal Investigator for the IAVI Protocol B and C studies, he leads Aurum’s partnership in the ADVANCE (Accelerate the Development of Vaccines and New Technologies to Combat the AIDS Epidemic) network.  He has a Doctor of Technology Degree in Biotechnology and is published in the areas of basic sciences and clinical research.

Dr Mandla Mlotshwa is a Senior Scientist at Aurum’s Clinical Research Division, heading up the Biomedical Research Laboratory at the Tembisa site. He holds a PhD in Immunology from Wits University. He has over 15 years’ experience in research and clinical trials including HIV vaccine trial network studies, microbicide trial network studies, microbicide safety biomarker studies and completed a research partnership in Africa for HPV and setting up of laboratory to comply with GCLP requirements.

Immunologist Dr Pholo Maenetje, has been working in clinical trial and basic science research for more than 10 years. He has a keen interest in host immune responses against infectious diseases such as HIV and TB. As a Senior Scientist at Aurum, Dr Maenetje oversees the successful implementation of numerous clinical research studies in people living with HIV and/or TB. He produced several peer-reviewed publications from these studies and presented his research work at different local and international conferences.

As part of their tenure, Profs Charalambous and Edward and Drs Mlotshwa and Maenetje, will share their expertise with one of the leading universities in data science and public health and have access to Vanderbilt’s vast academic resources and opportunities to engage, consult and discuss their work, particularly during the weekly virtual lectures with their Vanderbilt colleagues.

The partnership with Department of Medicine in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine started in 2020, with the appointment of 10 Aurum staff in various adjunct positions and Dr Yuri van der Heijden, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), as a Senior Researcher at Aurum.