Principal Investigator

Prof Matthew Chersich

Wits RHI

Matthew Chersich is Research Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and a Visiting Professor at the University of Ghent, Belgium. His career spans more than 20 years working in medical and public health research in Africa. His training encompassed both clinical medicine at Wits, public health at LSHTM and doctoral studies at the University of Ghent. His work on climate change centers on assessing the impacts of climate change on maternal health and HIV, heat-related impacts and adaptation and climate activism. He is leading the NIH HEAT Center, a new data science initiative across Africa within the DSI-Africa.

Co- Principal Investigator

Prof Stanley Luchters

Center for Sexual Health HIV/AIDS Research Zimbabwe (CeSSHAR)

Stanley Luchters is the Deputy Director of the HE2AT Center, and a Professor at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), UK. He is also the Director of the Centre for Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Research (CeSHHAR), based in Zimbabwe. He holds an academic appointments as a Visiting Professor at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University (Belgium). His career spans more than 20 years working in medical and public health research, as well as program implementation in various low- and middle-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. He has particular expertise in the design, conduct, management and analysis of clinical, behavioural, and health systems interventions that have a population health impact, with an extensive background assessing the health status and intervention effectiveness among pregnant women and children. Since 2019, he has made the work around the impacts of climate change on health a priority topic and has been particularly assessing the health effects and community perceptions of extreme heat events on maternal and child heath in Africa.

Dr Gloria Maimela

Co-Principal Investigator and Hub Administrator

Wits RHI

Dr Gloria Maimela is the Director for Climate and Health Directorate at Wits RHI and acts as a Co-Principal Investigator and Hub Administrator within the HEAT Center. Gloria is a Medical Doctor with extensive experience in paediatric and adult TB management and HIV treatment and prevention. Dr Maimela provides strategic oversight and technical direction in the implementation of various grants and programmes. Dr Maimela is currently a member of the Dira Sengwe Board and is the chairperson of the SAAIDS2023 conference, she is also a member of the Africa Telehealth Collaboration steering committee that seeks to address barriers to the expansion of telehealth in South Africa and the rest of the African region.

Mr Zororo Mavindidze

Deputy Hub Administrator

Wits RHI

Mr Zororo Mavindidze is a Portfolio Manager and acts as the deputy Hub Administrator. In this role, Zooro supports financial, administrative, legal, and regulatory compliance across all the Projects and Core within the HEAT Center. Zororo has led acquisition and request for assistance processes for several multi-year grants and overseen the onboarding of sub-contractors and sub awards from different jurisdictions, ensuring compliance with Republic of South Africa legislation, USG federal rules and regulations and Wits Health Consortium policies and procedures. 

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr Sibusisiwe Makhanya

IBM Research Africa

Sibusisiwe Makhanya is a research scientist and manager at IBM Research Africa (Johannesburg). She manages teams in applied artificial intelligence and contributes to research, leveraging her skills in statistics. Prior to joining IBM, she was a senior researcher at the CSIR. She holds a PhD in Spatial Statistics from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, an MSc in Mathematical Statistics from the University of the Witwatersrand and undergraduate degrees (BSc and BSc Hons) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is a recipient of the Harvard South Africa Fellowship, the Department of Science and Innovation’s Women in Science Award, the Nuffic PhD Fellowship and the Young Researcher Award from the CSIR.

Dr. Christopher Jack

University of Cape Town(UCT)

Christopher Jack has a background in computer science and ocean/atmospheric science with particular expertise in high performance computing and computing platforms and dynamical and statistical modeling and analysis. Over the past 10 years Christopher has also built extensive experience in science-society engagement and communications, and more recently, decision making under uncertainty and multi/trans-disciplinary research. This experience has been developed through a mix of consulting/advisory activities as well as academic research activities in partnerships with a wide network of collaborators across the region and internationally. His current research activities are focused on the intersection of urban contexts and climate risk through projects such as UrbanARK and FRACTAL.

Co-Principal Investigator

Prof Guéladio Cissé

Université Peleforo Gon Coulibaly (UPCG)

Guéladio Cissé is Professor in sanitary engineering and environmental epidemiology, Head of the Ecosystem Health Sciences Unit within the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, S witzerland, and Adjunct Professor at Peleforo Gon Coulibaly in Korhogo (UPGC), Ivory Coast (CI). He is a renowned expert on climate change and health, currently a member as Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) of the IPCC Working Group II on "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability" for the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). For the HE2AT, he is Co-PI, co-lead of the RP2 and CI country project leader.

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr Kristie L. Ebi

University of Washington (UW)

Dr Kristie L. Ebi has been conducting research and practice on the health risks of climate variability and change for 25 years, including estimating current and future health risks of climate change; designing adaptation policies and measures, such as early warning systems, to reduce risks in multi-stressor environments; and estimating the health co-benefits of mitigation policies. She has been an author on multiple national and international climate change assessments, including the fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment and the IPCC 6th Assessment Report.

Prof Akbar K. Waljee

University of Michigan

Akbar K. Waljee is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Waljee serves as the Associate Director of the Data and Methods Hub and the Director of the Michigan Integrated Center for Health Analytics and Medical Prediction (MiCHAMP)both at the UM Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation (IHPI). He also serves as the Director of the VA CCMR Prediction Modeling Unit (PMU) and, clinically, he is the Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease clinic both at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Dr. Waljee was born in Kenya and moved to the United States to complete his undergraduate and medical degrees at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He then completed his residency and fellowship at the University of Michigan. Dr Waljee holds a master’s degree in Health Services Research from the University of Michigan and completed a health care policy fellowship at the Center for Health and Research Transformation.

Scientific Advisory Board

Prof Kiros Berhane, MS, PhD

Cynthia and Robert Citron-Roslyn and Leslie Goldstein Professor in Biostatistics; Chair, Biostatistics at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Areas of expertise include Data Science, Longitudinal Studies, Multilevel Modeling, Research Design and Methods, Adolescent Health, Asthma, Pollution--Air/Ground/Water, Climate and Health, Environmental Epidemiology, Nutrition, Obesity, Global Health, Urban Health

Dr Chewe Luo MD, PhD

Associate Director, Programme Group, and Chief of the HIV/AIDS Section at UNICEF

Dr. Chewe Luo was appointed Associate Director, Programme Group, and Chief of the HIV/AIDS Section at UNICEF in April 2016. A paediatrician and Tropical Health Specialist, prior to this appointment she served as Technical Team Leader for children and AIDS country programme scale-up, and Senior Programme Adviser on HIV and Maternal and Child Health in the Programme Division.

Prof Howard Chang

Professor biostatistics and bioinformatics & joint appointment Environmental Health, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health

His primary research interest is in the development and application of statistical methods for analyzing complex spatial-temporal exposure and health data. Our current projects focus on two broad areas of population health: (1) exposure assessment for air quality and extreme weather events, especially under a changing climate, and (2) health effect estimation and impact assessment leveraging large databases, such as birth/death certificates, hospital billing records, electronic health records, and disease surveilleince systems. I also have collaborative experience in ecology, infectious disease, social epidemiology, and community intervention trials. Currently has NIEHS funded work on extreme heat events and pregnancy duration in the U.S.