Scientific Director, UNC Project Malawi
UNC- Chapel Hill
Area of Interest
I am an infectious diseases physician and professor of medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill who has lived and worked in Malawi since 2001. During my time in Malawi, I have developed strong working relationships with the Ministry of Health, the University of Malawi College of Medicine, and the Kamuzu Central Hospital. I have been the investigator of record for the NIH AACTG (AIDS Clinical Trials Group) and HPTN (HIV Prevention Trials Unit) clinical trials that have been conducted at the Lilongwe site and have a strong record of independent research based on the evaluation of the Malawi national ART and PMTCT program. I am the Co-Principal Investigator for our Clinical Trials Unit.
Through the ACTG and AIDS Malignancy Consortium, I participated in 2 clinical trials focused on the management of Kaposi’s Sarcoma in HIV infected patients in Low and Middle Income countries. I served as the protocol co-chair for A5264, a clinical trial comparing immediate oral etoposide to an as-needed strategy for HIV infected individual with limited stage KS disease. A5264 showed no different in the primary outcome between these strategies. Also, I served an the investigator of record for A5263, a protocol evaluating the best chemotherapy for advanced stage KS. In this protocol, paclitaxal provided better KS outcomes than Bleomycin/Vincristine or oral etoposide.
Related to training and capacity building, I am currently the Co-PI of the Fogarty D43, Malawi HIV Implementation Research Scientist Training Program, the NIMH U19, Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Partnership (SHARP) for Mental Health Capacity Building, and the NHLBI/Fogarty U24, Building Heart, Lung, Blood and Sleep Diseases and Disorders Late-Stage Translation Phase 4 Research Capacity in Malawi grants that are all collaborations between the College of Medicine and the University of North Carolina.
I am the mentorship lead for the Malawi Cancer Consortium. I also serve as the Lilongwe Site Director for the Fogarty Global Health Fellows Program and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation International Scholars program. I served as the Lilongwe site Principal Investigator for the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) training activities which focused on HIV malignancies, including KS, Lymphoma, and cervical cancer. Over the past 18 years, I have been the primary on-site research mentor for many cadres of both Malawian and U.S. investigators with proven success in terms of completion of degrees, peer-reviewed publications, and grant submissions.
Awards and Honors
- Katerva Awards Human Development Finalist for HPTN 052, 2011
- Charles C Shepherd Science Award, Prevention and Control for the BAN study, 2010
- Frank Porter Graham Honor Society, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 2008
- Certificate of Knowledge in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2000.
- Gorgas Course in Tropical Medicine, Diploma recipient 1999.
- Achievement in Ambulatory Care Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine. 1998
- 1st place Oswald Research and Creativity Award, Engineering, University of Kentucky, 1991
- 1st place American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Student Poster competition, Chicago IL 1990
- 3rd place American Institute of Chemical Engineers Southern Regional Student competition, Atlanta. GA 1991
- American Institute of Chemical Engineers Chapter Award for Academic Achievement, 1989
- University of Kentucky Academic Excellence Scholarship
- University of Kentucky Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship