Charles W
Charles Wiysonge

Charles Shey Wiysonge is a Senior Director at the South African Medical Research Council; Extraordinary Professor of Global Health at Stellenbosch University; and Honorary Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. His previous appointments include Professor of Community Health and Deputy Director of the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care at Stellenbosch University, South Africa; Manager of the Vaccines for Africa Initiative and Chief Research Officer at the University of Cape Town; Chief Research Officer at UNAIDS in Geneva, Switzerland; Deputy Permanent Secretary in charge of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation, Cameroon; and Medical Epidemiologist at the Pasteur Centre of Cameroon. Charles is a Co-Chair of the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness Research (GloPID-R) and a member of numerous South African, African, and global scientific and policy advisory committees. His current research focuses on vaccine hesitancy, acceptance, and uptake in Africa.

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Sara Cooper
Dr Sara Cooper is Senior Scientist in Cochrane South Africa at the South African Medical Research Council, an Associate Professor Extraordinary at the Department of Global Health, Stellenbosch University (SU) and Honorary researcher in the Division of Social & Behavioural Sciences in the School of Public Health at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Sara has a PhD in medical sociology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a Master’s in Public Health from UCT. Her research interests include the application and explanatory potential of social science theories and methodologies within public health research, policy and practice, and how qualitative health research can be both ‘critical’ and ‘applied’. Her previous research focused on these issues in the realm of long-term chronic illnesses, particularly mental illness. Her most current research is exploring these issues in the fields of vaccination research and qualitative evidence synthesis. Sara is on the editorial board of Critical Public Health and teaches and supervises students in Critical Public Health theory and methods at UCT, SU and the University of the Western Cape.
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Anastasia Koch
Dr Anastasia Koch co-founded Eh!woza together with conceptual artist Ed Young in 2013. The organisation operates at the intersection of public engagement, youth advocacy, science communication and skills development to merge the biology of infectious disease with its social impact. 
Anastasia graduated with a PhD from the University of Cape Town in 2015 and in 2017 was awarded a Carnegie Corporation DEAL fellowship under the mentorship of Prof. Digby Warner in the MMRU lab at UCT.
In 2020, Eh!woza was awarded a Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award and was established as an independent NPO. Anastasia shifted focus to work on Eh!woza full-time while maintaining a position in the MMRU as an Honorary Lecturer. She has a strong interest in translating complex biomedical concepts into relatable media and developing collaborations that can facilitate impactful public engagement work.
Lesley Bamford
Dr Lesley Bamford is a paediatrician who also holds post-graduate degrees in the social sciences and public health.  She has worked in the Child, Youth and School Health Chief Directorate in the National Department of Health since 2006, and has extensive experience in engaging with and using research evidence to inform policy, guideline development, programme design and implementation of national health programmes.
Her work focuses on ensuring that mothers and children survive and thrive through strengthening delivery of maternal, newborn and child health services at community, primary health care and hospital levels. She provides technical oversight and support to the Child, Youth and School Health programme which includes the Child Health, Child Nutrition, paediatric HIV, Immunisation and School Health sub-programmes. During 2020 she was responsible for case management on the Covid-19 National Incident Management Team, and since January 2021 has played a key role in the Covid-19 Vaccine Roll-out.
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Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson is the Advocacy and Partnerships Manager at Cochrane, where she oversees the organisation’s external strategic partnerships and campaigns on topics including research integrity and transparency and promoting the use of evidence. She is a member of the Steering Committee for World Evidence Based Healthcare Day and was an invited participant at the WHO global conference on science communication during health emergencies in 2021. Emma has a professional background in advocacy and communications for NGOs which work on issues related to health and the environment and is currently completing an MSc in Global Health Policy.
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Lindi Mathebula
Ms Lindi Mathebula holds an MSc Clinical Epidemioogy, BTech Pharmaceutical science, BSc Honors in Physiology and Environmental health, and BSc in Molecular and Life sciences. In her capacity at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), Cochrane South Africa, Ms Mathebula is project manager of the clinical trial registry portfolio where she manages two clinical trial registries namely, the Pan African Clinical Trials Registry (PACTR) and South African National Clinical Trials Registry (SANCTR). Ms Mathebula is also a researcher in her profession and conducts research that includes mapping of clinical trial activities, and research around vaccine implementation, and evidence-based healthcare. She has authored and co-authored several peer-reviewed publications in high-impact factor journals.

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Bey-Marrie Schmidt
Dr Bey Schmidt is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape. She has training in anthropology and epidemiology. Bey’s expertise are in qualitative and quantitative systematic reviews of public health and health system interventions, and implementation science and knowledge translation methods that can bridge research evidence into health policy and practice.
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Yusentha Balakrishna
Yusentha Balakrishna is a Senior Statistician within the Biostatistics Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council. She holds a Masters of Science in Statistics and is currently completing her doctorate in Statistics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. During her eight years of research experience, Yusentha has co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles in various areas of health such as nutrition, non-communicable diseases, women's health and environmental health and has developed expertise in meta-analysis. Yusentha regularly collaborates with Cochrane South Africa on systematic reviews and training events.
Ameer Hohlfeld
Ameer is based at Cochrane South Africa. He is the coordinator of  Cochrane Africa, a sub-Saharan African network and conducts systematic reviews. Ameer co-convenes the evidence-based health care course that forms part of the University of Cape Town (UCT) masters’ in Public Health. He has a master’s degree in Public Health from UCT and is currently pursuing a PhD from Stellenbosch University.
Mashudu Mthethwa
Mashudu Mthethwa is a Senior scientist at Cochrane SA. She has a PhD in Medical Physiology from Stellenbosch University and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Cape Town. Her interests include epidemiology, biostatistics and evidence-based healthcare. She has previously worked on HIV projects, including multimorbidity in people living with HIV/ART and the effects of HIV/ART on cardiovascular function. She is currently involved in various projects including priority setting for universal healthcare, vaccine equity and clinical practice guidelines for newborn and child health. Her hobbies include reading, walks on the beach, coffee dates with friends and family, and watching reality shows (which she describes as “crazy I know”). She also admitted to an interest in weight training although she has not had the opportunity to do it for years.
Thobile Malinga
Mrs. Thobile Lorraine Malinga is currently employed as a Scientist at Cochrane South Africa, where she plays a key role in supporting the management of data collection for the clinical trial registries hosted by Cochrane South Africa, Pan African Clinical Trials Registry (PACTR) and South African Clinical Trials Registry (SANCTR).  Moreover, she plays a key role in writing evidence-based research protocols for systematic reviews and other relevant research.
Thobile has worked in the health sector for over 20 years, gaining experience in nursing, health research, and project management. Prior to joining Cochrane South Africa, she worked as a Senior Research Nurse at Stellenbosch University-Desmond Tutu T.B Centre, as a Registered Nurse, and Critical Care Unit Manager at Netcare, as well as a Research Nurse at Aurum Institute. In addition to her work experience, she also conducted a pilot project for HIV prevention and addressing issues related to gender-based violence in women through the MAC AIDS Fund Leadership Initiative under the auspices of the Human Sciences Research Council.  Thobile holds a Degree in Nursing (BCur), Certificate in Elementary Critical Care, and Master of Nursing in Health Service Management. She is currently finalizing her Master of Philosophy degree in Cancer Sciences.