ECF has a Board of Directors and is guided by a Scientific Advisory Board which includes the following individuals:
- Dr Rosie Mngqibisa (KZN, SA)
- Dr Sandy Pillay (KZN, SA)
- Professor Umesh G Lalloo (KZN, SA)
- Professor Constance Benson (University of California, San Diego)
- Professor Bill Bishai (Johns Hopkins University)
- Professor Thomas Campbell (University of Denver)
The organization is further supported and driven by a competent and experienced technical and administrative team of project managers and coordinators, quality controllers and assessors, monitoring and evaluation experts, social science and public health specialists, medical experts, and financial and grant management specialists. This highly qualified multi-disciplinary team has been widely published.
ECF has developed excellent working relationships and key contacts with major stakeholders in the public and private health, education, social welfare, and academic sectors in South Africa, sub Saharan Africa, Asia, and North America.
Dr Sundrapragasen (Sandy) Pillay
Dr Sandy Pillay completed his medical degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and entered the field of research immediately, having acquired a Medical Research Council post-internship to spend time in the Department of Pharmacology where he completed research in hypertension and liver disease. Dr Pillay spent many years in family practice, completing post graduate qualifications in occupational medicine and HIV clinical management. He joined UKZN in 2004 where he led a team that developed South Africa’s only coursework post graduate program in clinical HIV management. He was the director of the Global Fund’s HIV corporate program and coordinated UKZN’s clinical HIV services for many years.
In 2005 Dr Pillay joined the Durban International Clinical Trials Unit, incorporating the Aids Clinical Trials Group and the International Maternal, Paediatric and Adolescent Aids Clinical Trials group of the National Institutes of Health. He has served as Clinical Trials Unit Coordinator for many years, participating in various research studies and study protocol teams. He was co-author of UKZN’s prestigious Medical Education Partnership Initiative and remains a co-Principal Investigator of this grant. Dr Pillay has led various capacity development and health systems strengthening projects including a successful partnership with the KZN Department of Health resulting in more than 5000 health care workers being reached with various teaching programs in HIV and TB management. He has been involved in various projects with the World Health Organisation, German Backup Initiative and other partners.
Professor Umesh Gangaram Lalloo
Professor Umesh Lalloo is a renowned Pulmonologist, Professor and Chief Specialist. Apart from having served as Dean of the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine (NRMSM), he also serves as Head of the Respiratory and Critical Care unit, Director: Adult HIV Programs, Executive Director: KZN Enhancing Care Initiative, Principal Investigator: International Clinical Trials Unit of the US Division of AIDS and Programme Director of the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI). Professor Lalloo’s career began as a student at the former University of Natal’s Medical School in the MBChB programme and in 1993 he graduated with a MD (PhD equivalent). He went on to receive honorary degrees from the American College of Chest Physicians and the Royal College of Physicians in the UK, respectively. In 1986, Professor Lalloo was appointed as specialist lecturer in the Department of Medicine at the former University of Natal and King Edward VIII Hospital. In 1989, he was appointed as Head of the Respiratory Unit in the NRMSM. From 1993-1995, Professor Lalloo was a visiting clinical scientist at the Royal Brompton National Heart and Lung Institute in the University of London, UK.
Professor Umesh Lalloo is known both nationally and internationally as an expert in the field of Respiratory and HIV Medicine and has been involved in the training of health care workers and the general public in HIV and TB management over many years. In recognition of his leadership skills, the national Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsaeledi appointed him onto the Board of Directors of the Medical Research Council of South Africa. He is currently also the International Regent of the American College of chest Physicians having been re-elected for a second 3 year term in 2010. He was also awarded the Fellowship of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, an award made in recognition of outstanding academic contribution and leadership. He serves on the editorial board of the prestigious international journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases and is section editor for the International Journal of TB and Lung Diseases. During his illustrious career, he has received many awards including the SA Pulmonology Society Best Publication Award 1997 for best publication in an international peer reviewed journal; the Golden Peacock Award of the South African Indian Academy for Service to the Community; the SA Pulmonology Society/ Pharmacare Visiting Lecturer Award 1999 – for outstanding service to the development of respiratory medicine in South Africa; the International Governors Award of the American College of Chest Physicians for Community Service for HIV/AIDS Training Programs-2003; the American Association of Physicians of Indian (AAPI) Origin 2002 in recognition of contribution to the advancement of Health Care in Durban and to AAPI’s Medical Education Program. He was listed amongst the top 10% of reviewers for the Chest Journal.
He was elected the Arthur Landau Lecturer of the College of Physicians of South Africa in 2007. He also served as President of the SA Thoracic Society for 2 terms and is the chairperson of the credentials committee of the SA Thoracic Society. He is also Vice-President of the Society of Pulmonologists of the Indian Ocean Islands. Professor Lalloo was the founding co-president of the Pan African Thoracic Society. He was the author of the successful 72 million US dollar grant from the Global Fund in 2002 which brought a huge resource to the province of KwaZulu-Natal for HIV and TB care. He directs one of the largest HIV graduate programs in HIV, a development catalysed by the Global Fund grant he received. Professor Lalloo and his team at the Enhancing Care Initiative were awarded $10 million over the next four years for medical training and training in the management of HIV and TB. The Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI)is designed to support the United States Presidents Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief’s (PEPFAR’s) goals to train and retain 140 000 new health care workers and improve the capacity of partner countries to deliver primary health care.
Dr Rosie Mngqibisa
Dr Rosie Mngqibisa began her studies in the field of Medical Technology before qualifying as a medical practitioner at UCT. She has a diploma in HIV management and advanced health management certificate. She is currently in the process of completing her Masters in Public Health with specialization in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She has more than a decade experience in working in both the public and private health sectors and has extensive experience in HIV and TB Management. She is an experienced and distinguished researcher, mentor and teacher.
Dr Mngqibisa currently manages a large HIV/AIDS research unit and contributes to the academic output of the HIV/AIDS teaching program. She was part of the expert team that provided input to national DOH panels on ARV expansion. She is part of scientific committees that provide direction to an HIV network on improved outcomes and better management of HIV in women. Dr Mngqibisa is passionate about disease prevention and health promotion and sees them as cornerstone to any health system. Dr Mngqibisa is a member of a National Health Institutes committee on HIV and Women and is published in the field of HIV.
Dr Constance Benson
Dr Constance Benson, M.D. is a Professor of Medicine, Senior Attending Physician, and the Infectious Disease Fellowship Training Program Director in the Department of Medicine/Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. She is also the Principal Investigator and Chair of the Executive Committee and Vice Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the NIH/NIAID AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), Principal Investigator of the NIH/NIAID UCSD AIDS Clinical Trials Unit, and is a past chair of the NIH Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council.
Dr. Benson is an internationally-recognized researcher and clinician in the field of HIV and AIDS. Her areas of research focus include Mycobacterium avium complex disease, other HIV-related opportunistic infections, metabolic complications of HIV therapies, antiretroviral treatment and new antiretroviral drug development, treatment of acute HIV-1 infection, and the treatment of HIV infection and its complications in resource-limited international settings. Her contributions to the field of HIV/AIDS are numerous. To date, she has published more than 220 original manuscripts, book chapters and abstracts reporting and summarizing findings from HIV-related research. She has served on numerous NIH ad hoc study sections and scientific review groups, has served as a reviewer for 11 major medical journals, and lectures frequently both nationally and internationally on topics within her areas of research and clinical expertise.
Dr. Benson is a member of the International AIDS Society, the Infectious Disease Society of America, the HIV Medicine Association of the IDSA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American College of Physicians. She participates on numerous academic and extramural committees and is a member of the Board of Directors of the International AIDS Society-USA and the Foundation for Human Retrovirology. She also serves on the Scientific Program Committee of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), and participates in reviewing papers submitted to the International AIDS Society-sponsored World AIDS Conferences.
Dr. Benson received her B.S. and M.D. degrees from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine and her fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. She served in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps at the Great Lakes Naval Regional Medical Center prior to continuing her career in academic infectious diseases. She was a faculty member of Rush Medical College and the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center before assuming her current position as Professor of Medicine in the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. She maintains clinical duties as a specialist in infectious diseases and as an active provider of HIV/AIDS care at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center in San Diego
Professor Thomas Campbell
Dr Thomas Campbell, M.D. is Professor of Medicine and Microbiology, University of Colorado Denver. He joined the faculty of the Infectious Diseases Division in 1995 after completing clinical and research training in infectious diseases in the University of Colorado Denver Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program. He is a graduate of the University of Texas, South Western Medical School and he completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern. Dr. Campbell is the Principal Investigator of the Colorado AIDS Clinical Trials Unit. His research interests are the use of antiretrovirals to treat HIV infection and its complications, particularly Kaposi’ sarcoma.
Dr Campbell was chair of a large international NIH study on the evaluation of the efficacy of once-daily Protease Inhibitor and once-daily Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor-containing therapy combinations for initial treatment of HIV-1 infected individuals from Resource-Limited Settings (PEARLS) Trial – this study has set the standard for HIV guidelines in developing countries and contributed greatly to our understanding of HIV. Dr Campbell is a member of various other ACTG studies and is very widely published particularly in HIV and TB. He is also represented on various committees and boards. Most recently, Dr Campbell was successful as PI of an NIH grant for the improvement of medical education in Zimbabwe (MEPI grant).
Professor Bill Bishai
Dr. Bill Bishai received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1981 and a master’s degree from Cambridge University two years later. He returned to Harvard to earn both his medical degree and doctorate in 1989. He did his internship and residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and received fellowship training in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He was a Howard Hughes Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the laboratory of Nobel laureate, Dr. Hamilton Smith. He joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1994 and is currently a Professor of Medicine in the Dept. of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Bishai has been working on mechanisms of pathogenesis of M. tuberculosis and novel drugs and drug targets for TB for over 15 years as a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he serves as Co-director of the JHU Center for TB Research. He recruited Professor Jacques Grosset to Johns Hopkins in 2002, and together they have built a unit that is well-recognized for molecular analysis of M. tuberculosis and for testing drug combinations in the mouse and other animal models of TB. On Sept. 1, 2010 he became the Director of the KwaZulu Natal Research Institute for TB and HIV (K-RITH), an institute set up in a historic collaboration between the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) in Durban South Africa where there are large numbers of patients with TB, HIV and TB-HIV co-infection, K-RITH is setting up an inpatient unit in collaboration with McCord Hospital which will enable the lab to perform inpatient early bactericidal activity (EBA) studies of TB drugs in patients with active pulmonary TB.
He has authored over 150 papers in peer reviewed journals, and receives grant support from the National Institutes of Health. He serves on several editorial boards, review panels, and is the Co-Chair of the WHO Stop TB Partnership’s Working Group for New TB Drugs.