Jennifer Smit has worked in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health for over 30 years. Her work focuses on reproductive health, with an emphasis on contraception and HIV prevention, including extensive research on barrier methods (female condoms, microbicodes, diaphragms), safer conception for sero-discordant couples, perinatal depression, medical male circumcision, dual protection, long-acting hormonal injectable contraceptives, emergency contraception, new contraceptive technologies, health services delivery, including RH/HIV service integration, and policy development at local, regional, and international levels. Professor Smit is the site principal investigator of several studies and has over 80 publications in peer reviewed journals. Prof Smit is a qualified Pharmacist, with a Masters in Science. Her PhD focused on injectable contraceptives, in particular the user, social and pharmacological perspectives, which contributed important new information in the fields of reproductive health and pharmacology, addressing the paucity of rigorous community-based research on the widely used injectable hormonal contraceptives.
Zonke Mabude has over 30 years of experience as a nurse, educator/ lecturer and researcher, working in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health. Her work focuses on HIV prevention, contraception, including extensive research on microbicides, barrier methods (especially the Female Condom), dual protection, and new contraceptive technologies, health services delivery, including RH/HIV service integration, and policy development. Zonke has been a site principal investigator and investigator of several studies and has managed a number of complex microbicide trials at the MatCH Research Edendale site. She has over 30 publications in peer reviewed journals. She holds a Masters in Health and Population Studies ad is registered for a PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Mags has worked in the field of SRH for almost 20 years and her research has included clinical and operations studies in a broad area of reproductive health with a focus on barrier methods for dual protection. She has specialized in research on female condoms (FCs) and is a member of the UNFPA/WHO FC Technical Review Committee and involved in the development of International Standards and Specifications for condoms. She was an author of the WHO/UNFPA Female Condom Specifications. Beyond her research activities, she is actively involved in Global FC programming and advocacy. She acts in an advisory role with UNFPA and the Universal Access to Female Condoms Joint Programme (UAFC). Mags has a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Cell Biology, a Masters in the Neurophysiological Basis of Behaviour and her PhD focused on the effect of hormonal contraception on bone mineral density in adolescent and perimenopausal women. She has authored over 70 peer-reviewed publications.
Ms Drace has been managing large women’s health research programmes in sub-Saharan African for almost 14 years. She provides financial oversight of projects, develops budgets, reviews contracts and ensures compliant expenditure for projects funded by donors such as NIH, USAID, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition, she oversees all operational aspects of project implementation including staff recruitment and hiring, IT support, facility and asset management ensuring standard operating procedures are in place and implemented. She acts as the pivotal support and liaison between project and operational/financial teams. Ms Drace has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a Masters’ Degree in Public Health from Tulane University, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Bongiwe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Post Graduate Diploma Psychology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She has been working in the field of sexual reproductive health and HIV/ AIDS research for 9 years and has been actively involved in the National evaluation of Female condom programme.
Cecilia Milford is a registered research psychologist who has been working in social science research using mainly qualitative research methodologies and processes since 1999. Her research has largely been in the field of reproductive health, HIV prevention and care. Her research has spanned diverse populations using a variety of research frameworks to understand and explore issues. She has authored over 20 peer-reviewed publications. Cecilia holds a Master of Social Science in Research Psychology from the University of Natal. She is currently registered for a PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Ivana holds a MBChB degree from the University of Cape Town and a Postgraduate Diploma in the Clinical Management of HIV/AIDs from the University of Kwazulu-Natal. She has a keen interest in HIV, TB, primary health care and occupational medicine. She is currently registered for the Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, and has completed an online operational research course offered by the University of Cape Town and the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre.
Keri holds a Bcomm degree from the University of KZN. Keri provides financial oversight on project expenditure, reviews contracts, ensures donor compliance and develops budgets. Keri also oversees the operational side of MRU in terms of IT, assets and facilities.
Letitia Greener holds a Master of Social Science in Research Psychology and a Bachelor of Social Science Honours in Psychology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is currently registered for a PhD in Public Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her interests lie within public health, community and health psychology. She currently works with key populations and is involved in behaviour change studies focusing on sexual and reproductive health, high-risk sexual behaviours and sexual violence.
Nomkhosi holds a Diploma in Project Management she is currently registered with University of South Africa for her Bachelor Degree in Business Management. She has more than 10 years research experience, including clinical trials with the Africa Centre and University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Nonhlanhla holds a Diploma in General Nursing from University of Zululand , Diploma in Midwifery and neonatal science from Natal College of Nursing , Diploma in Community Nursing from Durban University of Technology and a Diploma in Nursing Management from UKZN
Nzwakie holds a Bachelor degree in Social Science from University of Natal (Durban) and is completing her Masters in Population Studies with the University of KwaZulu Natal (Durban). Nzwakie has fifteen years working experience in the SRH and HIV Research. She has been actively involved in conducting behavioural and operational research focusing on integration of health services, male circumcision, safer conception for sero-discordant couples, perinatal depression, ARV recreational drug use and barrier methods. She has specialised in CAPI using Filezilla and ODK program.
Ross holds a Master of Social Science in Research Psychology and a Bachelor of Social Science Honours in Psychology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is interested in linkages between sexual and reproductive health and HIV/ AIDs. He works on a myriad of trials investigating multi-purpose technologies and advances in male and female condoms.
Shannon holds a MBChB degree from the University of Cape Town and a Diploma in HIV Management from the College of Medicines of South Africa. She is currently registered for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health at the University of South Africa (UNISA).
Thando Gwetu holds a MBChB degree from the University of Zimbabwe. She is an experienced public health clinician with a keen interest in health information management, skills development, medical research and epidemiology. She is currently registered for a Public health degree at the University of Kwazulu-Natal.
Thuleleni holds a National Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology with speciality in the category of Exfoliate Cytology from (Edendale Technical College) which is now Mangosuthu University of Technology and a certificate in (IAC) International Academy Cytology. She holds a Diploma in Theology from the University of KwaZulu- Natal.
She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Bachelors of Arts Honors (Psychology) from the University of Venda. She is currently completing a Masters of Social Science in Research Psychology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal
Yolandie has a background in nursing research and holds a masters in health science. As a health researcher her main area of focus is in access, uptake and adherence to sexual and reproductive health strategies, including: Family planning, contraceptive methods use, and HIV prevention and treatment. Currently she works as a clinical trial coordinator on a project that will evaluate the uptake and adherence to safer conception strategies, including the use of PrEP during the periconception phase”