The following leaders of Southern Africa’s Infectious Diseases Community are hereby acknowledged as honorary life members of the Federation of Infectious Diseases Societies of Southern Africa. They share the common characteristic of having made outstanding contributions to South African Medicine in the field of Infectious Diseases, Clinical Microbiology and Infection Control, and to FIDSSA itself.
Professor Lucille Blumberg is a deputy director at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a branch of the National Health Laboratory Service, and is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She heads the Epidemiology Division, which includes the units for Outbreak Response, Travel and International Health, Epidemiology and Surveillance, as well as the Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training programme. She is the medical consultant to the Special Pathogens Unit on rabies and Viral Haemorrhagic fevers. She is an Associate Professor at the University of the Stellenbosch, Western Cape Province. Prof Blumberg is a nationally and internationally renowned Infectious Diseases specialist, clinical microbiologist and travel medicine specialist. Her special interests are tropical and travel-related diseases, zoonosis, drug-resistant TB and management of severe malaria. She is a member of a number of South African and international expert groups and has been involved in a number of outbreaks in South Africa including cholera, rabies, Rift Valley fever, Lujo virus and influenza A H5N1.
Marc Mendelson is Professor of Infectious Diseases at University of Cape Town and Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital. Trained at St. Mary’s Hospital London, he undertook his PhD in cytomegalovirus latency and reactivation at University of Cambridge before completing Infectious Diseases training at Addenbrookes Hospital. He moved to The Rockefeller University in New York to work on tuberculosis and innate immunity, which continued during a move to UCT to work with Gary Maartens in 2001. He moved into his current post in 2007, to build an infectious diseases training unit at UCT. He served as President of IDSSA and FIDSSA from 2008, serving for 4 and 8 years respectively. He went on to become President of the International Society for Infectious Diseases in 2018.
In 2011 his focus turned to national and international policy relating to antibiotic resistance. He co-founded the South African Antibiotic Stewardship Programme (SAASP) with Adrian Brink and has served as Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on AMR since 2016. He is South African lead for the Global Health Security Agenda AMR programme and works with WHO, The World Economic Forum, and GARDP on various aspects of AMR, and chairs the VIvli – Center for Global Clinical Research Data AMR Surveillance Scientific Advisory Committee.
Dr Adrian Brink gained his MB BCh degree from the University of Pretoria in South Africa in 1984, before completing further medical training including his M Med (Clinical Microbiology) degree, in 1994. He currently works in Johannesburg, South Africa, as a Clinical Microbiologist, Ampath National Laboratory Services, Milpark Hospital, Johannesburg. His research interests include antibiotic resistance in intensive-care-related infections, and the pharmacokinetics and outcome measures of antibiotics in healthcare-associated infections.
Professor Mark Cotton is Professor of Paediatrics at University of Stellenbosch. He studied medicine at the UCT and his MMed at Wits before undertaking a fellowship in infectious Diseases at The Children’s Hospital in Denver Colorado. Mark returned to Cape Town, and has had a long and distinguished career in paediatric infectious diseases and clinical research at University of Stellenbosch (US) since 1996. He is Director of Children’s Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Unit (KID-CRU) and currently, Professor and Head of the Paediatric Infectious Diseases Division at Tygerberg Hospital, US.
Professor Charles Feldman was born and brought up in Johannesburg, South Africa. He obtained his MB BCh degree at the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, in 1975 and served his internship at Johannesburg Hospital. He subsequently did his fellowship training in Internal Medicine at Johannesburg Hospital and received his FCP (SA) in 1981. He received his PhD in 1991 for a thesis entitled “Aspects of Community-acquired Pneumonia” and his DSc in 2009 for a thesis entitled “Contributions to an Understanding of Community-acquired Pneumonia”. He was registered as a sub-specialist in Pulmonology in 1993 and was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP) in 1997. In 1988/89 he was a Research Fellow and Honorary Senior Visiting Colleague, in the Host Defence Unit, Department of Thoracic Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, and Royal Brompton Hospital, London, United Kingdom. In May 1995 he was appointed as Professor of Pulmonology and Chief Physician, at Johannesburg Hospital and the University of the Witwatersrand, a position, which he currently holds. He is a member of a number of national and international societies, including the American Thoracic Society (ATS), the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), the European Respiratory Society and the British Thoracic Society. He is active in the ATS Conference Scientific Program Committee for the MTPI Assembly and is currently the South African representative on the European Respiratory Society. He has been President of the South African Thoracic Society on 2 previous occasions. Professor Feldman’s research interest is in the field of community-acquired pneumonia, and in particular pneumococcal pneumonia. In addition to being part of large international clinical collaborations recruiting cases of community-acquired pneumonia he has also contributed to basic research studies, investigating the effects of various pneumococcal virulence factors on human ciliated epithelium as well as the effects of antibiotics on pneumococcal growth and expression of virulence factors. He has more than 300 publications in books, book chapters, and in both indexed and DE accredited peer reviewed journals.
Professor Hendrik Koornhof graduated in 1951 at the University of Cape Town and obtained the Diploma at Clinical Pathology at the Royal Postgraduate School of Pathology, Hammersmith, London in 1960, the Diploma in Bacteriology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in 1966 and became a Founder Member of the Royal College of Pathology, London in 1973. He was awarded an Honorary DSc degree by the University of the Witwatersrand in 1997 and was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2009. During his career as medical microbiologist from 1960 to 1991, he was Head of Medical Microbiology at the South African Institute for Medical Research for 31 years, and since 1971, with the establishment of the School of Pathology, he became Professor and Head of the Department of Pathology (Microbiological) (later renamed Department of Medical Microbiology) for twenty years. After his retirement in 1991 he was awarded Emeritus Professor and Honorary Professorial Research Fellow status by the University of the Witwatersrand and in that capacity was Acting Head of the Department of Clinical Microbiology from 1995 to 1998, Acting Head, Sexually Transmitted Infections Reference Centre (STIRC) from 2002 to 2004, Coordinator, Microbiology External Quality Assessment Programme of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) from 2007 to 2010 and research advisor to the Epidemiology Division of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) from 2005 and the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory NHLS since 2006.
Regarding his research activities, he was Director of the MRC Emergent Pathogen Research Unit from 1981 to 1992 and his research activities covered a wide range of bacterial pathogens, including salmonellae, Yersinia enterocolitica, Campylobacter jejuni, Legionella pneumophila and multidrug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae and more recently Mycobacterium tuberculosis. He was a senior collaborator in evaluation studies of bacterial vaccines in South Africa, including several polyvalent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine formulations in gold miners in the 1970s initiated by Professor Robert Austrian, and under the direction of Professor Keith Klugman a 9-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in children with and without HIV infection in 2003 and the earlier evaluation of the Salmonella typhi Vi capsular polysaccharide in rural school-aged children. Professor Koornhof received the gold medal from the South African Society for Microbiology in 1992 for outstanding services to microbiology in South Africa over an extended period.
Professor Gary Maartens is Professor and Head of Clinical Pharmacology in the Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town, and Chief Specialist at Groote Schuur Hospital. Gary trained at UCT, with additional research and clinical training in Birmingham, UK, before becoming a consultant physician at Groote Schuur Hospital in 1991. His interest has always been in the field of Infectious Diseases, and he led the development of HIV management in South Africa from the early ‘90s. In 2004, Gary became a full professor, taking over as head of clinical pharmacology at UCT. He now leads an exceptionally strong group of pharmacologists, continuing his research into the therapeutics and clinical management of HIV and tuberculosis. Gary was at the forefront of ensuring that Clinical Pharmacology became a sub-specialty of Medicine, leads a much sort after training programme for clinical pharmacologists at UCT, and remains an active member of the ID team.
Dr Steve Oliver worked in Medical Microbiology at Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) for 35 years. His career started with the first appearance of MRSA at GSH, which sparked an interest in Infection Control that remained with him throughout. He was involved in the initial formation of a National Infection Control Society and the first congresses organized under the umbrella of that body. His interest in antibiotic stewardship resulted in the printing of a Groote Schuur Antibiotic Recommendations booklet compiled in consultation with colleagues in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, that has gone on to be an annual publication distributed widely in the Western Cape. Teaching, both under- and postgraduate, has also been an abiding interest and medical students at UCT nominated him for a distinguished teacher award. He embraced the introduction of the new curriculum for undergraduate teaching enthusiastically and was responsible for microbiology teaching in this new venture.
Professor Barry Schoub was born in Johannesburg and received his undergraduate MB BCh at the University of Witwatersrand, followed by an MD and DSc. He is a Fellow of the College of Pathology of South Africa, Fellow of the Royal College of Pathology, a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He was appointed as the first Professor and Head of the Department of Virology of the University of the Witwatersrand in 1978 at the age of 33 and in 1982 became the Director of the National Institute for Virology. In January 2002 Professor Schoub was appointed as the Executive Director of the newly established National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a post he has held until his retirement at the end of August 2010.
In 1977 he received a United States Public Health Service international postdoctoral fellowship and was the first recipient of the James Gear International Postdoctoral Fellowship and was a Fogarty fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, USA, until the latter part of 1978. Barry has been a member of a number of international bodies and has served as an advisor for several WHO programmes including polio, measles, RSV and influenza. He was a member of the Advisory Committee for Poliomyelitis Eradication [ACPE] of the World Health Organization. He was a member of the Board of the International Association of Public Health Institutes (IANPHI) and has served on the Task Force for Immunization for WHO (AFRO). Barry was a member of the interim board of the International Society of Influenza and Respiratory Viruses and served as South Africa’s delegate to the International Union of Microbiological Societies. He was the founding Chairman and current member of the National Advisory Group on Immunization of South Africa and was the founding President of the African Virology Association. He is the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Panel and vice-chairmen of the Board of Trustees of the Poliomyelitis Research Foundation He served on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the South African AIDS Vaccine initiative. He was on the International Scientific Advisory Committees of the 1990, 1996 and 1999 International Congresses of Virology and the 1996 and 1998 International AIDS Congresses He has published over 270 scientific publications, 16 chapters in books and has written a book on HIV/AIDS, entitled “AIDS & HIV in Perspective”, published by Cambridge University Press now in its 2nd edition. Amongst the awards he has received are the Paul Harris Award of Rotary International and the Daubenton prize of the University of the Witwatersrand.
Prof Shaheen Mehtar (retired) is at the Unit for Infection Prevention and Control (UIPC) at Tygerberg Academic Hospital and Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University. She trained in the United Kingdom in Medical Microbiology, Infectious Disease and Community Health. She was Head of Microbiology at the North Middlesex Hospital & was Senior Lecturer at Royal Free Hospital where she worked until she accompanied her husband upon his return to South Africa in 2000. Following a post as deputy director public Health in the South Cape Karoo region, she moved to Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch Uni where she established the Unit of Infection Prevention and Control in 2004- it has a wide reputation across Africa and has trained more than 2500 student annually ranging from a 5 day basic course to a Masters in IPC.
The following internationally renowned specialists have been made honorary life members of FIDSSA:
Professor Nicholas White is Professor of Tropical Medicine at the Faculty of Tropical Medicine Mahidol University and Oxford University, and is also a Consultant Physician at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK. He has lived in Thailand and worked in the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University since 1980. Professor White chairs the Wellcome Trust Tropical Medicine Research Programme in South-East Asia, and the Oxford Tropical Medicine Network (encompassing research groups in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Kenya and the Gambia). He also currently co-chairs the World Health Organization anti-malarial treatment guidelines committee and the WHO Global Malaria Programme case management cluster. His principal research interests are malaria, particularly the pathophysiology and treatment of malaria, and also other severe tropical infectious diseases (melioidosis, typhoid, pyogenic, tuberculosis and fungal meningitis, dengue, viral encephalitis, pneumococcal infections, diphtheria and tetanus). His is currently on the editorial boards of 11 scientific journals including The Lancet, PLOS Medicine, the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. He has published over 760 scientific papers and over 39 book chapters.
Dr David Livermore gained his BSc at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh in 1978 and his PhD from the University of London in 1983. He worked at the London Hospital Medical College form 1980 until 1997, then moving to the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL), which became part of the Health Protection Agency in 2003. He is now Director of the Agency’s Antibiotic Resistance Monitoring and Reference Laboratory (ARMRL), where he has responsibility for investigating bacteria with unusual resistance phenotypes and assessing their mechanisms and public health importance. Dr Livermore serves or ahs served on various editorial boards and scientific committees, including, from 2001-7, the UK Government’s Specialist Advisory Committee on Antibiotic Resistance. He has published over 300 papers on antibiotics and resistance in peer-reviewed journals.