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Contributors until June 2016

Initiative Operations Manager: Kathryn Wood

Kath Kathy Wood was appointed as the Manager of the Clinical Infectious Diseases Research Initiative since its launch in 2008. Prior to this appointment she supervised and managed routine and research laboratories in a private practice, at Red Cross Children's Hospital and at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) in Professor Robert J Wilkinson's unit. Her main area of research was the immunology of tuberculosis.

The Initiative Operations Manager is responsible for:

  • Advertising the Initiative
  • Receiving and responding to enquiries and applications for the awards
  • Co-ordinating the peer reviews and presentation of the applications to the Steering Committee
  • Corresponding with applicants about the Steering Committee decisions
  • Maintaining CIDRI website
  • Liaising with UCT Human Resources, Post Graduate Funding Office and Finance Department about the activation and supervision of the awards.
  • Obtaining quotes for infrastructure development and supervising the completion of these projects
  • Organizing CIDRI sponsored meetings and conferences
  • Supporting all the CIDRI and Wellcome Trust Fellows at the University of Cape Town.


Faculty Of Health Sciences Faculty Manager: Research Enterprise: Yolande Harley

Yolande Yolande Harley is the Manager of the Research Enterprise for the University of Cape Town's (UCT's) Faculty of Health Sciences. She manages initiatives to strategically advance research in the Faculty as well as to develop partnerships and promote research. In addition, she provides strategic writing and project management support for the Clinical Infectious Diseases Research Initiative, particularly with respect to grant funding. Before joining UCT she worked as Deputy Director of Research for Action Medical Research, a charitable funder in the UK, and prior to that as a Medical Writer at Envision Pharma, also based in the UK. She obtained her PhD in Exercise Physiology from UCT, with a fellowship period at the University of California at Berkeley in the USA.


Projects Co-ordinator: René Goliath

Rene Qualified as a general nurse and midwife in 1984, worked in paediatrics in South Africa and the UK for 15 years and joined clinical research in paediatrics in 2000, where I worked as a research nurse for 4 years.  Research projects during this time were TB/HIV immunology related.

For the next 5 years I managed a RCT in adult HAART initiation study, monitoring behaviour changes and drug adherence.

Since 2009 I have been working as a projects co-ordinator in the CIDRI group with the responsibility of:

  • setting up new research projects
  • developing the clinical research site
  • managing the clinical research staff


Laboratory Manager: Vanessa January

Vanessa Vanessa January was appointed as the Laboratory Manager for the Clinical Infectious Diseases Research Initiative in 2013 to manage the day to day laboratory activities of the research studies.
Prior to this appointment she worked for the Wilkinson Group managing the laboratory activities of a TB Vaccine clinical trial, at Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation providing technical support for TB laboratories conducting Aeras- sponsored  clinical trials, at the IDM supervising the BSL3 research laboratory for the Wilkinson Group and at the NHLS Medical Microbiology Laboratory, Groote Schuur Hospital.

The Laboratory Manager is responsible for:

  • Managing and directing day to day activities of the laboratory facilities:
    • Finalise and approve study specific SOPs.
    • Organise the recording and storage of processed samples.
    • Database entry of samples records, and teaching this to students and new staff.
    • Ensure continuous record keeping is adhered to by all users at all times.
    • Ensure equipment maintenance is performed regularly.
    • Ensure compliance with BSL2 SOPs and safe working practices according to UCT Health and Safety guidelines.
    • Monitoring the ordering of stock consumables and equipment as required.
    • Troubleshooting day to day developments
  • Be the liaison between clinical and laboratory staff.
  • Involvement in planning of new studies.
  • Assist in the preparation of laboratory results for presentation at meetings.


Data Systems Manager: Amanda Jackson


Amanda Jackson was appointed as the Data Systems Manager for CIDRI in 2013. Prior to that, she was the Data Manager for the Malaria Research Unit at the Medical Research Council in Durban.
The Data Systems Manager’s responsibilities include:​

  • Developing and maintaining data systems for the unit
  • Reporting and analysing data for researchers
  • Responsibility for the data capture process
  • Ensuring the accuracy and integrity of data stored
  • Setting up systems to facilitate the analysis of data sets