Thandi Tutu-Gxashe

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1. Programmes Manager – Adult Treatment & Research (Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU), Soweto, Gauteng) Employed: February 2010 to present.

PHRU leads studies in HIV prevention, care and support and takes part in research, training, policy formulation and advocacy involving HIV positive people and their children.

This position involves the management of the PHRU Treatment Access Programme (PTAP) and also the Adult Clinical Trials conducted under the auspices of the DAIDS ACTG network, pharmaceutical companies and other collaborators while reporting to the Director – Adult Treatment and Research

Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Develop and manage study budgets and resources in collaboration with Grants & Financial Managers, ensuring that financial and administrative systems comply with NIH, USAID and Wits Health Consortium regulations
  • Ensure that study clinical trials are conducted in line with study timelines, budgets and other requirements.
  • Provide internal quality assurance function for all the Adult Clinical Trials conducted here
  • Provide all line management functions,for 2 Clinical Coordinators, a Research Nurse, a Clinical Administrator and a Recruiter employed in the Adult Clincal Trials Unit
  • Ensure the smooth operation of all functions related to the Pepfar Clinic from which the Treatment Access Programme (PTAP) is run where primarily adult HIV positive patients are provided with ARVs.
  • Provide all line management functions,for the PTAP employees who include, 3 Primary Health Care Nurses, 2 Clinic Administrators, 3 Counsellors, an Auxiliary Social Worker and 4 Data Transcribers.
  • Contribute to the development of the project team through active participation in recruitment, interviewing, training and mentoring
  • Develop project plans in collaboration with the project teams and the Principal Investigator (PI)
  • Determine resource requirements for the various projects
  • Coordinate and manage local study meetings
  • Compile and provide various monthly, quarterly and annual reports
  • Identify and independently problem solve issues that arise in the unit
  • Plan and effectively organize and coordinate activities in the unit
  • Collaborate with both internal and external partners and stakeholders
  • Work independently and as part of a team in the execution of all duties
  • Chair the Senior Management Meetings within PHRU

2. Director – Africa Projects (University of California – Los Angeles, Center for Community Health(UCLA/CCH), Los Angeles, CA) Employed: May 2008 to 31 March, 2009)

This position involved being the in-country Director for CCH’s primarily South African research and other projects. Presently this included Project Masihambisane in KwaZulu-Natal run by the HSRC and Philani Project Plus run by Philani Nutrition Centers in the Western Cape and Global Buddies run by Women for Peace in Mfuleni township in the Western Cape. Activities and responsibilities included but are not limited to:

  • Monitor all research activities
  • Participate in research planning and supervision meetings
  • Ensure the development and maintenance of project timelines
  • Communicate with project staff at all participating institutes on the intervention development, participant tracking, and data transfer and reporting
  • Coordinate with all PIs, in South Africa and in the USA for regular meetings and site visits
  • Oversee the development of study protocols and the maintenance of an accurate file base
  • Assist in development of intervention protocols for IRB/Ethics approval
  • Identify high level stakeholders in the communities and schedule and conduct stakeholder meetings
  • Ensure projects recruit, hire and train suitable staff and assist in evaluations
  • Ensure the continued development and training of project mentor mothers
  • Ensure development of assessment tools and intervention data collection tools
  • Collaborate with South African and U.S. investigators to train and supervise interviewers to accurately implement recruitment, and assessment protocols.
  • Ensure the development and documentation of standard operating procedures for projects
  • Ensure the production or development of any additional training or intervention materials
  • Ensure the existence and testing of any emergency procedures
  • Ensure the development and implementation of a QA&I plan
  • Prepare reports as required
  • Represent UCLA at meetings, conferences and with various stakeholders in South Africa

3. Research Project Coordinator, Supervisor (Emory University, Department of Biostatistics, Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH), 1518 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA, 30322)

Employed: September 1999 – May 2008:

Initially employed as a Research Project Coordinator, promoted to Senior Research Project Coordinator within a year and then promoted to Research Project Coordinator Supervisor two years later.

This involved working with the Principal Investigator (PI) to manage one large or multiple smaller research projects. The activities involved included:

  • Management of research project activities including, recruitment, ensuring compliance with regulatory activities and equipment and space requirements.
  • Assist with developing project related budgets
  • Participate in development and finalization of project protocol manual, manual of operations and case report forms (CRF) for compiling project research data.
  • Develop and direct surveys and make presentations
  • Supervise staff by orienting, training and providing ongoing performance feedback
  • Manage project related databases including data collection, coding, storage and analysis
  • Assist PI and clinical research personnel with publication of findings
  • Serve as project liaison with other departments, outside organizations; government agencies and clinical or pharmaceutical product representatives
  • Assist in the development and administration of research protocols
  • Assist in the preparation of operational and statistical reports for management and regulatory agencies
  • Perform on-site data quality monitoring and auditing to facilitate production of high quality clinical study data and monitor the sites for compliance with the study protocol and good clinical practices (GCP) guidelines. (Travel 25-50%)
  • Check for unreported adverse events
  • Meet with clinical personnel to discuss the performance of their particular clinical center
  • Report on monitoring/audit visit activities and communicate findings and help problem solve issues with the in-house project teams at the Statistical Coordinating Center (SCC) and the Clinical Coordinating Center (CCC);
  • Compile case studies for patients with adverse events for presentation and reporting to independent physician monitors, adjudicators, IRB and Data Safety Monitoring Boards set up by the NIH and also to the FDA
  • Respond to questions, queries and problems from site research coordinators
  • Conduct final study closeout at all sites and ensure closeout protocol is adhered to by investigators and coordinators at all clinical sites
  • Organize and attend investigator and coordinator meetings and prepare and make presentations

The research projects involved in are:

The NIH (NIDDK) funded Efficacy of Mechanisms of GLN Dipeptide in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) (GLND). This is a multi-center (4 clinical centers in the USA) double-blind, randomized nutrition study of patients requiring both parenteral nutrition and post-operative care in the SICU. The Department of Nutrition at the Emory School of Medicine is the Clinical Coordinating Center and the Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health is the Data Coordinating Center.

  • The NIH (NEI) funded Infant Aphakia Treament Study (IATS)

This multi-center (12 clinical centers in the USA) study compares the surgical removal of a unilateral cataract in infants 4 weeks to 7 months of age and treatment of the eye with either an implanted intraocular lens (IOL) or a contact lens. The Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health is the Data Coordinating Center, and the Emory Eye Clinic is the Clinical Coordinating Center.

  • The NIH funded Warfarin-Aspirin Symptomatic Intracranial Disease (WASID) Clinical Trial.

Study was prematurely halted by NIH in July 2003 due to excess deaths in one group.

This was a double-blinded secondary stroke prevention study at over 60 clinical centers in the USA and Canada for 5-8 years. Emory Clinic was the Clinical Coordinating Center (CCC) and the School of Public Health the Statistical Coordinating Center (SCC).

4. Research Associate – BRAVE PROJECT (Emory University, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education (BSHE), Rollins School of Public Health),

Employed: November 1998 – March 1999

  • Developed an adolescent curriculum for the project;
  • Recruited and trained program mentors;
  • Drafted reports and papers associated with project and conducted literature searches
  • Recruited professionals for the project’s speakers bureau;

5. Research Associate (Emory University, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education (BSHE), Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH)

Employed: June 1998 – March 1999

  • Data analysis;
  • Conducted literature searches;
  • Organized and conducted interviews of prospective female candidates released from youth development campuses within the fourteen metro Atlanta counties
  • Generated reports for medical publication and general information;
  • Grant proposal writing;
  • Supervision of graduate assistants;

6. Human Resource Officer (Johannesburg Consolidated Investment Co (JCI), Johannesburg South Africa)

Employed: 1988 – 1989

Provided complete human resource services to various departments which included:

  • Recruitment and hiring of staff and middle managers
  • Assist Senior Managers in completing annual employee performance appraisals
  • Attend disciplinary hearings as HR representative to ensure procedural fairness in accordance with company policies and government regulations
  • Provide information and assistance on work related counseling services for employees.
  • Assisted in data collection and analysis for the remuneration survey and seminar of over 60 major South African companies and organizations.

7. Human Resource Officer Trainee (JCI, Johannesburg, South Africa) Employed:1987-1988

  • Assigned for 6 – 8 weeks training and development to different human resource sections at the company head office. These included, Pensions and Housing, Salaries and Payroll maintenance and payments, Industrial Relations, Mining Projects and Research.

8. Graduate Admin. Assistant (JCI, Johannesburg, South Africa) Employed:1983-1987

  • Assigned to various head office departments for orientation and training for 3 – 6 months
  • Attended introductory courses to computers and programming, labor and industrial relations, mining administration and human resource management.

9. Assistant Wildlife Biologist (Dept. of Wildlife and National Parks, Gaborone, Botswana)

Employed: 1981-1982

  • Established and maintained records on the numbers and migratory patterns of various wildlife species in Botswana’s National Parks.
  • Supervised activities of administrative wildlife staff
  • Educated villagers on the importance of maintaining a stable ecosystem between wildlife and farming activities – particularly herding cattle.
  • Supervised the issuance of hunting licenses at field offices
  • Attended regional wildlife and environmental conferences


Masters in Public Health (MPH), 1993 (International Health and Behavioral Sciences & Health Education.)
Emory University
Rollins School of Public Health
Atlanta, GA USA

Bachelors of Science in Biology (B.Sc.), 1981
(Minors in organic chemistry & environmental science)
University of Botswana & Swaziland
Gaborone, Botswana

Academic Internships & Fellowships

  • Research Fellow, Department of Epidemiology, American Cancer Society Fall 1997
  • Research Assistant, Dept. of Family & Preventive Medicine, Emory University Summer 1997
  • Research Assistant, South East AIDS Training Center (SEATEC)
  • Graduate Assistant, Dept. of Epidemiology, Grady Hospital, Summer 1995
  • Fellow, Winship Cancer Society, Emory University, Summer 1994
  • Fellow, Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, CDC, Summer 1993
  • Consultant, Dept. of Health and Human Services, Atlanta GA, Fall 1992
  • Public Health Intern, DeKalb County Board of Health, Summer 1992
  • Graduate Assistant in International Health Dept at RSPH
  • Teaching Assistant, Rollins School of Public Health, 1992-93
  • Fellow, Department of Minority Health, CDC, Summer 1991

Board Memberships and Volunteer Activities

  • Board member of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Board member of the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre, Cape Town, Couth Africa
  • Board member of Heifer International of South Africa, Durban South Africa
  • Board member for Africa’s Children’s Fund (Chairperson from 2003-2006)
  • Board member of Art Aids Africa, Atlanta, USA
  • Board member of Harmony, Atlanta’s International Youth Chorus.
  • Original trustee of the Mpho and Mphonyana Trust, South Africa
  • A former trustee of the Orlando Children’s Home, Soweto, South Africa