Christopher J. Colvin (UCT) is a medical anthropologist living and working in Cape Town, South Africa. He has a PhD in socio-cultural anthropology from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in epidemiology. He has lectured in anthropology, public health, epidemiology, African studies, and comparative literature at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Virginia as well as the Universities of Cape Town, the Western Cape, and Stellenbosch in South Africa. He is currently an Associate Professor in UCT’s School of Public Health. He is also Head of the Division of Social and Behavioural Sciences. His research interests include HIV and masculinity; health activism and community health governance; trauma, subjectivity and narrative; and the interface between communities and health systems in the context of HIV/AIDS, TB and maternal and child health. He also has an interest in conducting and developing methodological approaches for systematic evidence synthesis of social science research in public health.
Mark Lurie (Brown) is an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist who has been studying TB, silicosis, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections in South Africa since 1994. Born in Cape Town, Lurie received his Masters degree in African History from the University of Florida and his PhD from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health at Brown University in Providence RI USA. Lurie has studied the role of migration in the spread of HIV in South Africa, a 3-year cohort study with behavioral and biological outcomes funded by the Welcome Trust. This study followed migrants and their partners and non-migrants and their partners from a rural KwaZulu/Natal district to the gold mines in Carletonville, measuring HIV, STIs, and risk behaviors in an effort to better understand the role of migration, or population movement, in the spread of HIV in southern Africa. Lurie has also examined the evidence for concurrent partnerships as a major driver of the HIV epidemic, and found it to be lacking. He has conducted ecological studies of the impact of mining on population-level TB in 44 African countries. His current research, using primary data collection and mathematical models, estimates the impact of antiretroviral therapy on HIV/AIDS epidemic dynamics in Sub-Saharan Africa. Another current project is a RCT of different options for partner notification among STI patients in Cape Town. Other research interests include linkage to care, migration and its impact of health seeking behavior and HIV testing and treatment and sexual behavior among people on ART.
Key Personnel Contributing to the Programme
Omar Galarraga (Brown)
Omar Galarraga is an Assistant Professor at Brown University School of Public Health (Department of Health Services, Policy & Practice) where he conducts research on: (a) economic incentives to improve programs for prevention and treatment of HIV and other health conditions; (b) the causal effect of social health insurance programs (such as Seguro Popular in Mexico and the National Hospital Insurance Fund in Kenya) on health expenditures, utilization and outcomes; and (c) economic evaluation (cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses) of programs to control and treat infectious and chronic conditions. Current projects include research in: Kenya, Mexico, South Africa and USA. Past research appears in health economics and public health journals; and teaching includes classes on comparative health systems and global health economics.
Dr. Galárraga has been a consultant for the World Bank, UNAIDS, World Health Organization, World Food Program, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. During 2006-2010 he was a Researcher at the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and at the Institute of Business and Economic Research (IBER) at the University of California, Berkeley. He obtained his PhD in Health Economics at the Johns Hopkins University (Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2001-2006). During 1999-2001 he served as Associate Economic Affairs Officer at the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Lucy Gilson (UCT) holds the appointment of professor both at the University of Cape Town and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, and is an honorary professor at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (Oxon), an MA in Development Economics (East Anglia) and was awarded her PhD by the University of London. Over her career, her research has been driven by concern for equity in health and health care.
It has involved conceptual and empirical work on issues of health care financing, organisation, management and policy change. She has also played a leading role in developing the field of health policy analysis, and currently manages a continental initiative to strengthen training in this field. She has, as well, conducted collaborative research with colleagues in other countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, and in Asia. Her research interests include Health policy and systems research. She is a founding member and remains on the steering committee of EQUINET, the regional network on equity in health in Southern and East Africa, and has recently become a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research. She is also the Associate Director of the International Consortium for Research on Equitable Health Systems, and has coordinated the Knowledge Network on Health Systems for the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. She is an editorial board member of the Journal of Health Policy and Planning and an advisory editor (health policy) for the Journal of Social Science and Medicine.
Abigail Harrison (Brown) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences in the Brown University School of Public Health, and a faculty associate of the Population Studies and Training Center and the International Health Institute. Trained as a social epidemiologist, Dr. Harrison has additional expertise in medical anthropology and social demography. She received her PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, following a joint master’s program (MA in Social Change and Development/MPH) at Johns Hopkins University.
Her research addresses gender, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health globally, with a particular focus on adolescents and the transition to adulthood in the context of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. From 1998-2006, she conducted ethnographic research in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on the social dynamics of adolescent risk and protective behaviors, including a gender-focused behavioral intervention in secondary schools. Other research has focused on HIV and RH service integration, and young people’s perceptions of ART.
Her current research interests are epidemiological studies of contraception, intersections between pregnancy and sustained high rates of HIV infection among young women in southern Africa, and gender-focused HIV prevention. She lived in KwaZulu-Natal from 1996-2000, and spent seven months in 2013 as a visiting scholar at the UCT School of Public Health.
Caroline Kuo (Brown). She has a DPhil in social policy from Oxford University and a Master in International Development, also from Oxford University. She is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences and at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University; she also holds an appointment as Honorary Lecturer in UCT’s Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health. Her research focuses on addressing mental health and HIV disparities among vulnerable populations including children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS and their caregivers; men who have sex with men; incarcerated women; and sex workers. Her global public health research has included community-based epidemiological studies, qualitative studies, and intervention development and testing in South Africa, Kenya, Mexico, and the USA. She is particularly interested in conducting community- and policy-engaged research and developing mental health and HIV interventions that are culturally appropriate and sustainable.
My research interests cluster around projects that focus on the anthropology of childhood and medical anthropology. My PhD research (1997-2000) on children’s employment in South Africa’s wine lands raised questions related to children’s rights, research ethics, the political economy of race, gender, class and age, and the impact of child labour legislation in post apartheid South Africa. With the high rates of TB, HIV/AIDS, FAS, and chronic malnutrition among children living on farms, my concerns have also focused with the ways in which structural inequality impacts childhood experience, and the ways in which applied research can identify spaces for political intervention. Funded by the NRF, I support six post graduate students in the department whose research articulates with the question of children and healing. Examples include projects on the impact of xenophobia among child refugees, water born illness among children in informal settlements, chronic care facilities for children with terminal illness, children and HIV/AIDS, the question of international development projects for children, and children living with cancer.
Trained as a visual anthropologist, I am also invested in training students in visual research methods, including the production of photo essays, the use of film and photo elicitation, and the serious use of film and photography for scholarly knowledge production. Best known for my work on a media intervention campaign to combat stigma related to HIV/AIDS, I have brought together my research interests in medical with visual anthropology.
Leslie London (UCT). Current position includes Head of Public Health Medicine, Associate Director (Environmental Health), Occupational and Environmental Health Unit and Head of the Health and Human Rights Division in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town South Africa.
Relevant positions: Fellow, Collegium Ramazzini, Carpi, Italy.Associate, College of Public Health Medicine of South Africa. Member of South African Society for Occupational Medicine.
Joint Co-ordinator of the SASOM Scientific Committee on Ethics and Legal Issues. Member of the Committee on Human Rights, Ethics and Professional Practice of the Medical and Dental Professional Board of the Health Professions Council of South Africa since it formation in 1999, and Vice-chairperson since 2000. Member of the Social Research Review Panel for the Working for Water Programme of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. Member of Advisory Group for the Epidemiology of Pesticide Poisoning Project. Member of the International Congress on Occupational Health (ICOH) and ICOH Scientific Committee on Pesticides and International Programme for Chemical Safety (IPCS), WHO. Editorial Board member of International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. Vice-chairperson of the Voluntary Advisory Forum on Responsible Care for the Chemical and Allied Industries Association (CAIA) 1999-2001
Chairperson of the DOPSTOP project, since 1998
Portfolio Manager: Transformation and Equity, University of Cape Town Health Sciences Faculty
Catherine Mathews (UCT) is a scientist in the Health Systems Research Unit, based in the Cape Town office of the Medical Research Council. She is also an honorary Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town, in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine and in the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health. Her work is in the field of HIV prevention and adolescent sexual and reproductive health. She is currently working on the development, implementation and evaluation of an HIV and intimate partner violence prevention programme for young adolescents, using school as the gateway. She is an editor for the Cochrane Sexually Transmitted Infections Review Group.
Stephen McGarvey (Brown), PhD, MPH. Professor of Epidemiology and Anthropology, and Director of the International Health Institute at Brown University’s School of Public Health. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has conducted population health research in developing nations for more than 30 years with US NIH support. He leads ongoing projects in the Samoan islands on non-communicable diseases, and has collaborations in South Africa, Ghana, and The Philippines on both non-communicable and infectious diseases. He has been involved with NIH-supported interdisciplinary social science and epidemiology training in HIV through the Fogarty Center funded AITRP (AIDS International Training & Research Program; co-directing this from 1994-2000), and worked with physician scientists to integrate social science into HIV/AIDS research and training. He participated in mentoring several Philippine, Indian, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Cambodian trainees and MPH students on social science and HIV, as well as several Brown University students, resulting in several publications. He collaborates with Dr Mark Lurie on a study of migration and HIV in Limpopo, South Africa. His long-term biocultural and behavioral intervention research among Samoan populations since the 1970s focuses on modernization-related socio-economic and behavioral changes on human population biology and health, specifically on non-communicable diseases, genetic epidemiology of cardiovascular disease risk factors, nutritional changes, in both adults and children, and most recently translating and behavioral intervention research on non-communicable conditions.
Robert Morrell (UCT). I am currently employed to promote research collaboration in Africa, to develop interdisciplinary research teams within UCT and to provide mid career academic staff support. I am attached as an associate member to the School of Education at UCT.
I continue to work in the broad field of gender with a specific focus on issues of masculinity.
Don Operario (Brown) is social/behavioral scientist in the Brown University School in Public Health, Department of Behavior and Social Sciences. His research addresses two inter-related areas. The first general area is the social context of HIV transmission and the social sequelae of HIV/AIDS in affected communities, with an emphasis on developing and evaluating theory-based social and behavioral interventions with high-risk groups. A second research area is the lived experiences associated with social inequality, including stigma and discrimination, with an emphasis on understanding the perspectives of disadvantaged group members and addressing associated health and psychosocial disparities. His work uses mixed research methodologies (qualitative techniques, community surveys, intervention evaluations, randomized trials, and systematic reviews) and has focused on most-at-risk populations for HIV including ethnic minorities, sexual minorities, and children/families affected by HIV.
Susan Short (Brown) is Professor of Sociology and Faculty Associate of the Population Studies and Training Center and Director at Brown University. She is also Director of Graduate Studies for the PhD Program in the Department of Sociology. Short completed her undergraduate training in Human Biology at Stanford University and her doctoral studies in Sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In 2003-2004, Short was a Visiting Scholar at the National University of Lesotho, and in 2008-2010, she was a Visiting Scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health. As a sociologist of gender and family, and a social demographer with expertise in reproductive health, Short examines social change, social contexts, and their implications for individual well-being. Her current research emphasizes social inequalities and health, and the integration of biological and social factors in shaping gender and health. Short, in collaboration with Abigail Harrison (Brown) and ‘Maletela Tuoane-Nkhasi (Statistics South Africa) carried out a mixed methods project on HIV/AIDS, family organization, and children’s lives in Lesotho. At Brown, she regularly mentors graduate students, and teaches classes on Social Research Methods, Inequalities and Health, Writing for Academic Publication, and other topics.
Daniel Smith (Brown) is associate professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at Brown University. He received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Harvard University in 1983, a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University in 1989, and a PhD in anthropology from Emory University in 1999. Smith has been a member of the Anthropology Department at Brown since 2001 and is also affiliated with the Population Studies and Training Center and the Watson Institute for International Studies. He is the author of three books, A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria (Princeton, 2007; winner of the Margaret Mead Award); The Secret: Love, Marriage, and HIV (Vanderbilt, 2009; co-authored); and AIDS Doesn’t Show Its Face: Inequality, Morality, and Social Change in Nigeria (Chicago, forthcoming). Broadly, Smith’s work examines processes of social change and their consequences at multiple levels of social life. He has written extensively about Nigeria’s HIV/AIDS epidemic, particularly as it intersects with gender and other dimensions of social inequality. His scholarship also addresses the sociocultural aspects of population processes such as marriage, fertility, and migration. Further, Smith has studied and published on topics related to political culture, including the participation of ordinary citizens in Nigeria’s notorious corruption, the rise and impact of violent vigilantism, and the social and political consequences of increasingly popular Pentecostal Christianity. Theoretically, his work addresses the complex intersections between broad social transformations over which individuals appear to have little control, the effects of these processes in the most intimate arenas of social life, but also the dynamic ways in which the beliefs and behaviors of ordinary people contribute to how social structures and shared cultural values are reproduced and changed.
Alison Swartz is a Lecturer in the Division of Social and Behavioural Sciences in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at UCT. She has a background in social anthropology and environmental sciences. In 2012 she completed a Masters in Public Health at UCT. Her research and publications thus far have focused on community health workers in Khayelitsha and the synthesis of qualitative data for qualitative systematic reviews. She currently teaches qualitative research methods on the Masters in Public Health programme. Previously Alison has taught undergraduate medical students at UCT, and has worked in a range of capacities teaching and developing curricula for study abroad programmes with North American undergraduate students. Alison is currently working on a PhD in Public Health at UCT. Using ethnographic methods, her PhD seeks to investigate the ways that youth coming of age in Khayelitsha navigate threats and opportunities to health and wellbeing.