After obtaining my MBChB degree at the University of Stellenbosch in 1996, I went on to complete an MPhil (Applied Ethics) and MPH (Epidemiology and Biostatistics), all cum laude. I also did a PhD in Philosophy (Biomedical Ethics) that critically analysed the principle of respect for autonomy and the idea of informed consent in an androgynous and multicultural society, and recently completed a PhD in Medical Immunology (University of Pretoria) that explored systemic immune activation in HIV-infected patients in three African countries and its impact on immunological and virological treatment failure.
In my clinical work, I have focused on the comprehensive management of HIV-infected patients. After spending time in private practice in Cape Town, I became responsible for the treatment and monitoring of HIV-infected patients in the Tshwane region (2005 until 2015). I headed an HIV treatment failure clinic where I developed access to drug resistance genotyping and advanced technologies for monitoring response to therapy.
I am currently Associate Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Medical Immunology at the University of Pretoria. I research interests encompass a wide spectrum of HIV-related work, spanning from the basic sciences where I predominantly focus on HIV-associated drug resistance and systemic immune activation, to the clinical and social sciences, where I have been involved in exploring the socio-ethical aspects of HIV/AIDS for more than a decade. My research and clinical work have culminated in membership of the Southern African Treatment and Resistance Network (SATuRN), the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society’s (SAHIVCS) Guideline Committee, the TUKS AIDS Reference group, the SAHIVCS Northern Gauteng HIV Resistance Group and an international working group on the Social and Ethical Consequences of HIV Cure Research.
Given my special interest in biomedical and research ethics, I am a member of the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Health Sciences Research Committee, one of the Deputy Chairpersons of the Research Ethics Committee of this Faculty and a member of the Research Ethics Committee of the Human Sciences Research Council. I am Deputy Director of the Centre for Ethics and Philosophy of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria where we focus on ethics training and research.
I have succesfully supervised 14 Masters students and am currently supervising 2 Masters and 4 PhD students. I regularly act as external examiner of theses, reviewer of publications for international, indexed journals and referee for various conference abstracts, proposals, policy briefs and national guidelines. I have published 40 articles and 5 full-length conference papers in international peer-reviewed journals, as well as co-authored chapters in three books.