The Clinical Research Division is under the leadership of Dr Vinodh Edward, Managing Director: Clinical Research Division.
About Clinical Research
Focus in 2015 shifted from the exclusive implementation of sponsored/sub-contracted research to both the continued implementation of sponsored/contracted research and submitting / securing Aurum led Investigator-initiated clinical research (n=6), all believed to contribute significantly to future Aurum intellectual property.
Dr Vinodh Edward - Managing Director: Clinical Research Division
Dr Edward has been a basic sciences researcher since 2000. He has been involved in clinical trials management since 2005. Dr Edward is registered as a professional natural scientist, which allows him to have a broad focus in the biological sciences.
Clinical Research Sites
There are four Clinical Research Sites which include Tembisa, Rustenburg, Klerksdorp and Welkom. These four sites are home to a large number of HIV and TB researchers.
Tembisa Clinical Research Site
Rustenburg Clinical Research Site
Klerksdorp Clinical Research Site
Welkom Clinical Research Site
Appointments made into key positions include:
- Tanya Nielson – Head of Department (Clinical Research division)
- Trevor Beattie – Programme Manager (TB Vaccines, Clinical Research division)
- Tania Adonis – Programme Manager (HIV Vaccines, Clinical Research division)
- Dr Pholo Maenetje – Programme Manager (Basic Sciences and Special Projects)
- Lungile Mbata – Programme Manager (TB Treatment, Clinical Research division)
- Heeran Makkan – Programme Manager (HIV Treatment and Prevention, Clinical Research division)
- Dr Craig Innes – CRS Leader at the Gavin J Churchyard Legacy Centre / Klerksdorp CRC
- Dr William Brumskine – CRS Leader at the Rustenburg CRC
- Dr Modulakgotla Sebe – CRS Leader at the Tembisa CRC
- Dr Mandla Mlotshwa - Scientist based at the Tembisa CRC
- Stacey Lawrence – MRC ACT4TB/HIV Consortium Project Coordinator (Clinical Research division)
All studies fall into one of five programmatic areas:
The availability of a new effective TB vaccine would be the single greatest advance towards eradicating TB both nationally and globally.
In 2015 alone, a total of five TB vaccine clinical research were conducted at the Gavin J Churchyard legacy Centre / Klerksdorp CRC and Tembisa CRC. Enrolment into the AERAS GSK TB 018 TB vaccine (sharing significant adjuvant homology with the recently developed RTS, S GSK malaria vaccine) study was completed at the Klerksdorp and Tembisa CRCs, where 328 participants were enrolled over a period of a year and 52 participants over a record breaking three months period, respectively.
Together with partner sites and TB Vaccine world experts, two competing TB vaccine clinical research proposals were submitted for review to the European Developing Countries Trials Partnership for potential funding.
The Advancing Care and Treatment (ACT) for TB/HIV collaboration is one out of the ten prestigious collaborating centres to be awarded funding from the South African Medical Research Council (SA MRC). The collaboration was launched at the SA AIDS Conference in 2015 and is the largest and most powerful centre due to the entities it comprises of.
The ACT for TB/HIV collaboration brings together a cross-disciplinary consortium of TB and HIV experts with complementary interests and skills to do transformative and translational TB and HIV research. This research will advance understanding; contribute to developing new tools and interventions to improve patient, programme and population relevant outcomes and build a capacity of early stage investigators.
The purpose of the ACT for TB/HIV is to use the partnerships fostered in both the ACT for TB/HIV collaboration and nine other MRC-funded collaboration centres to leverage funding in niche research areas.
The ACT for TB/HIV collaboration will:
- Build capacity for TB/HIV research
- Provide an integrated basic science, clinical, implementation & social science research platform for collaboration
- Use seed funding to leverage additional grants
- Organise high-level scientific workshops that address local and global needs
- Acknowledge the MRC in related publications
Sites or partners of the ACT for TB/HIV collaboration include: The Aurum Institute’s Klerksdorp, Tembisa, Rustenburg and Welkom Kopanong Free State DoH MDR-TB CRCs, UKZN, K-RITH, WITS CHRU, WITS Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, CLS and NHLS laboratories and Setshaba CRC.
For more information, please visit the SA MRC ACT for TB/HIV website at http://act4tbhiv.org/