Professor Wendy Stevens

Principal Investigator of iLEAD – MBBCh MMED (HAEM) FCPath (Haem)
Country Lead: South Africa

Professor Wendy Stevens is a global leader in HIV and TB-related laboratory medicine. She is Head of the Department of Molecular Medicine and Haematology at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and heads up the National Priority Programme within the National Health Laboratory Service, which is the largest pathology service provider in South Africa, servicing 80% of the population in the public sector.

Professor Stevens helped establish the first HIV PCR laboratory in the NHLS and formed the National Priority Program to implement WHO-endorsed TB diagnostic testing. She is a strong supporter of laboratory upliftment across Africa and has developed training courses for Good Laboratory Practice, Good Clinical Laboratory Practice, CD4, and viral load testing. Her programmes and experience have been shared beyond South Africa’s borders to benefit laboratories in countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Professor Stevens has been an advisor to PEPFAR, the CDC, the Clinton Foundation and the Gates Foundation.

Professor Souleymane Mboup

Co-Investigator of iLEAD – PhD
Country Lead: Senegal

Professor Souleymane Mboup is a world-renowned researcher and professor. He is Head of the Bacteriology-Virology Laboratory at le Dantec Hospital in Dakar, which is a teaching hospital of Cheikh Anta Diop University. The Bacteriology-Virology Laboratory is Senegal’s reference laboratory, performing important research on HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. Professor Mboup co-ordinates many activities, including at the national level with disease surveillance and monitoring programmes, and at the regional level with regional health networks.

He works with the West African Network of Excellence for TB, AIDS and Malaria (WANETAM) and is the co-ordinator for West Africa Project Fair’s (WAPF) HIV research and prevention efforts. WANETAM is a collaborating centre for both UNITAID and ASLM. Professor Mboup recently established a non-profit laboratory organisation – the Institut de Recherche en Santé, de Surveillance Epidémiologique et de Formation (IRESSEF) in the Diamniadio District near Dakar.

Dr Ilesh Jani

Co-Investigator of iLEAD – MD PhD
Country Lead: Mozambique

Dr Ilesh Jani is the Director General of the Instituto Nacional de Saúde (National Institute of Health) in Mozambique. Dr. Jani’s research interests involve HIV/AIDS vaccines and point-of-care laboratory tests, including the deployment of these technologies in resource-limited health systems.

Dr. Jani is currently leading various projects in the areas of research, public health and education with the objective of strengthening the health system in Mozambique. He is a member of the Executive Board of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI), a member of WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunisation and he is a member of the Program Committee of the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI).

Professor Lesley Scott

Research and Development Lead
South Africa

Lesley Scott, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine and Haematology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, with a focus on accelerating HIV and TB patients’ access to care through improved diagnostics. She has over 15 years’ experience in research and development from product design, development and clinical diagnostics trial evaluation. Lesley has experience in implementation science and “big data” analytics, largely driven by the NHLS’s National GeneXpert program. She is the inventor of the “dried culture spot” technology used as a companion molecular TB diagnostic, now distributed to 27 countries through a spinoff company from WITS University called SmartSpot Quality.

Lesley has an interest in statistics applied to method comparison and developed the Percentage Similarity model and algorithm now recommended by WHO.  She consults to the NHLS Quality Assurance Division for immune monitoring proficiency testing and is a Laboratory Director for the AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG). Lesley leverages her experience within iLEAD for end-to-end guidance in the R&D pipeline and continues to supervise PhD/MSc/MMed/Biomedical Engineering students.

Lynsey Stewart-Isherwood

Business Innovation Manager
South Africa

Lynsey Stewart-Isherwood, MSc. (med) is the Business Innovation Manager who assists the Executive Committee in the overall management of the Innovation Pipeline. Lynsey has over 18 years experience in HIV and TB research within the academic sector and her wide range of experience includes working within molecular laboratories (focusing on TB) all the way through to innovation development and implementation within the public health sector.

Lynsey has been fortunate enough to implement programmes and provide technical expertise to countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. Aside from the management of the iLEAD pipeline, her next objective is to accelerate iLEAD into a higher dimension of Digital Health by bringing various expertise together from both the private and public sector.

Lucky Ngwenya

Financial Manager
South Africa

Lucky Ngwenya holds a Master’s degree (MBA) and has over 15 years’ experience in contracts, grants and finance management. Ten years of Senior management experience within the health sector. Lucky work experience includes working within the South African Department of Health, Love Life, Right to Care, USAID, National Health Laboratory Service and CLS.

Lucky is a member of South African Institute of Management (SAIM). Currently, Lucky is overall in charge Finance, Contracts and Administration for Global Fund, BMGF, NIH, USAID and CDC grants.

Maimouna Traoré-Mané

Finance Lead

Maimouna Traoré-Mané is the Financial and Administrative Program Manager at the Institut de Research en Sante de Surveillance Epidemiologique et de Formation (IRESSEF) in Dakar, Senegal, where she has been working for the past eight years to support the management of numerous Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other United States Government (USG) funded contracts and grants.

Ms. Traoré-Mané’s experience includes a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Business Administration from Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA) and Masters in Financial Accountability from York University (Ontario, Canada).  Ms. Traoré-Mané has over 12 years of experience in financial management and banking. Prior to joining IRESSEF, Ms. Traoré-Mané worked as a Personal Banker at Bank of America and Accounts Manager for the Royal Bank of Canada, where she provided customer service support for accounts management and investment portfolios, and ensured compliance with banking and other financial regulations.

João Baptista

Budget and Finance Lead

João Baptista is the Budget and Finance Lead at the Instituto Nacional de Saúde (INS). Currently, he is the head of Cooperative Agreement (CoAg) between the INS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), positioned within the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

He controls all administrative and financial activities of the project and has extensive expertise in financial management of several INS projects.

Lara Noble

Medical Scientist & Project Manager
South Africa

Lara Noble, MSc, is a research and development scientist in the department of molecular medicine and haematology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Lara first joined the group in 2006 to focus on evaluating new high throughput HIV viral load laboratory diagnostics.

She now dedicates her R&D skills towards evaluating new TB and HIV diagnostics and developing quality monitoring panels for integrated laboratory and point of care molecular technologies. Her skills in laboratory and clinical trials management as well as new assay development and integration will be applied to the iLEAD mission as the South African Project Manager.

Anura David

Medical Scientist & Project Manager
South Africa

Anura David is a medical scientist focused on research and development of molecular technology for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in limited resource settings. Anura has more than nine years’ experience in clinical trials management involving TB and HIV coinfection studies. She was involved in the South African laboratory diagnostics evaluation of Xpert MTB/RIF and Xpert MTB/RIF Ultra with translation into policy for the National Priority Program.

Anura’s skill is applied to pre-market development of new laboratory technologies that impact on patient care across the laboratory value chain. She is also a key member of the team that supports the development and management of molecular EQA programs based on the dried culture spot technology that is now distributed to 27 countries.

Kyle Fyvie

Biomedical Engineer
South Africa

Kyle Fyvie studied Biomedical and Information Engineering at Wits University, and has recently completed his Masters Degree. His thesis involved EMG signal processing, with a drive towards making prosthetics more affordable in the African context.

Kyle has also been involved in multiple projects, including collaboration with IBM Research, focusing mainly on data analytics and visualization to improve TB research in South Africa. Kyle’s position within iLEAD requires him to apply his engineering skills sets to bring the technological and medical aspects of Ilead’s digital health interventions together.

Lizelle van Zyl

IT Specialist
South Africa

Lizelle van Zyl is the Systems Support Manager at CLS and iLEAD has vast experience in both IT systems and clinical laboratory medicine. With qualifications in medical laboratory technology and IT systems, Lizelle has been involved the design and implementation of innovative LIMS (laboratory information management systems) and LDMS (laboratory data management system).

She has over 15 years’ experience in first and second line support laboratories. She managed the implementation of new LIMS at several National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) in South Africa. She has involved been involved in the creation of an External Quality Assurance (EQA) database for support of major clinical trials in several African countries. Lizelle also ensures that CLS and iLEAD is 21 CFR Part 11 Compliance.

Kumbirai Chigudu

IT Technical Specialist
South Africa

Kumbirai Chigudu is an IT Technical Specialist with vast experience in the health sector. His skill set enables him to participate effectively in the designing and implementing of innovative IT solutions to strengthen the laboratory value chain in various countries according to their needs. He brings a strong scientific background augmented with a plethora of knowledge and experience in IT Systems, IT Service Management, IT Infrastructure and IT Governance. His previous work and current engagements has seen the successful implementation of various systems at a national scale.

This includes the implementation of a centralised national Laboratory Information System (LIS) interfaced with a variety of testing platforms and integrated with various third party systems. Also phenomenal is his participation in the design, development, implementation, support and maintenance of a cutting edge sample tracking and tracing viral load mobile application equipped with an order entry and electronic result delivery capability. Kumbirai has 12 years’ experience in the health sector of which 9 years was dedicated to designing, development, deployment and supporting of IT health systems. In 2014 he was nominated National IT Service Management finalist of the year.

Dr Djibril Wade

Project Manager

Djibril Wade obtained a Master’s degree in Biology and a university diploma in Biological Retrovirology before being awarded a scholarship from the Belgian Directorate of Cooperation and Development to start a PhD at the University of Antwerp in Belgium.  During his PhD research, entitled “Evaluation and Decentralization of CD4 T-cell counting technologies in Senegal,” Djibril assisted with the implementation of a national CD4 Quality Control program and in the decentralization of CD4 monitoring in remote areas.

He obtained his PhD in Biomedical Sciences in June 2015 and is the author and co-author of eight papers published in international, peer-reviewed journals. During his post-doctoral research, he was involved in a Clinical Trial assessing the safety and immunogenicity of an Ebola vaccine. His research interests include diagnostic tools and correlates of immune protection from Infectious Diseases, especially HIV, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis and other Emerging and Neglected Tropical pathogens, including Ebola infection. He joined IRESSEF (Institute of Research in Health, Epidemiological Surveillance and Training) in August 2016. Djibril is the Project Manager for iLEAD Senegal.

Dr Moussa Sarr

Deputy Country Lead

Dr Moussa Sarr is a senior epidemiologist at Westat and Head of the Cooperation Group at IRESSEF.  Since 2010, Dr Sarr has worked with Professor Mboup and the US PEPFAR program to support laboratory capacity-building activities in sub-Saharan Africa, including the implementation of effective laboratory quality management systems, with external quality assurance (EQA) and EQA costing. Key objectives of this effort are to address existing challenges and gaps in HIV testing and to ensure access to high quality HIV diagnostics.

Dr Sarr also works with the Cheikh Anta Diop University and the US CDC Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Program to strengthen the laboratory system in Senegal, so that it can respond to infectious disease outbreaks, health threats and PHEICs on an ongoing basis. Dr Sarr is also co-principal investigator of the Demonstration HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Project in Dakar, Senegal, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr Sofia Viegas

General Laboratory Advisor

Dr Sofia Viegas, PhD, is the overall laboratory advisor for iLEAD in Maputo, Mozambique, providing technical and scientific advice for all laboratory activities. Dr Viegas has been a researcher at INS since 2006. Her previous work at INS has included coordination of the bacteriology laboratory (2010 to 2011) and coordination of the activities of the Tuberculosis reference laboratories (2011 to 2015).

She is also Head of the Department of Laboratory Network and Reference Services at INS. Her main research interests include Tuberculosis and laboratory diagnostics.

Nádia Sitoe

Project Manager

Nádia Sitoe, MSc, is the head of the Cellular Immunology Laboratory at the Instituto Nacional de Saúde (National Institute of Health) in Mozambique. Her research interests include immunology of HIV/AIDS and its coinfection and point-of-care testing for HIV.

Currently, she is the laboratory coordinator of the TB sequel multicentre study, in Mozambique. She has experience in working as biologist in a CD4 testing network and in laboratory quality system management. Nadia is the Project Manager for iLEAD Mozambique.