Fellows

Mqondisi Tshabalala M.Phil, BPharm, PhD candidate, University of Zimbabwe

Fellowship Program: UB-UZ HRTP

Mr. Mqondisi Tshabalala applied and was accepted as a pre-doctoral fellow in the UB-UZ HRTP, and began training in the UB-UZ HRTP in May 2011. Currently, Mr. Tshabalala is a lecturer in the Immunology Department at the University of Zimbabwe and is working on his research project proposal, “Investigation of the role of HLA gene polymorphism, co-receptor usage and primary drug resistant mutations on HIV-1 disease progression among antiretroviral therapy naïve individuals with CD4+ T lymphocytes above 350 cells/μL.” Mr. Tshabalala is also a DPhil Fellow under the International, Clinical Operational and Health Services Research Training Award (ICOHRTA).

 

Nathan Madanhi BPharm, MPhil candidate, University of Zimbabwe

Fellowship Program: UB-UZ HRTP

Mr. Nathan Madanhi applied and was accepted as a pre-doctoral fellow in the UB-UZ HRTP, and began training in the UB-UZ HRTP in May 2011. Currently, Mr. Madanhi is a Pharmacist at United Bulawayo Hospitals in Zimbabwe and an MPhil candidate at UZ. At UZ, Mr. Madanhi was recently appointed as a graduate teaching assistant, Lecturer and junior faculty member under the University of Zimbabwe's Staff Development program. Mr. Madanhi’s research project proposal, “An investigation of the pharmacokinetic properties of stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine in a dispersible fixed dose tablet versus individual innovator paediatric formulations among HIV-1 infected Zimbabwean paediatric patients,” has been approved by the University of Zimbabwe Higher Degrees Committee, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals Joint Research and Ethics Committee and Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe.

 

Nyashadzashe Bepe BPharm, MPhil candidate, University of Zimbabwe

Fellowship Program: UB-UZ HRTP

Mr. Nyashadzashe Gideon Bepe applied and was accepted as a postgraduate fellow in the UB-UZ AITRP in the fall of 2010. Mr. Bepe is an MPhil candidate at UZ and recently received an appointment there as a Lecturer and junior faculty member under the University of Zimbabwe’s Staff Development program. Mr. Bepe’s research project proposal, “Investigation of Adverse Drug Reaction Profiles of Fixed-Dose Combination Antiretroviral Drug Preparations,” has been submitted to the UZ Higher Degrees Committee, and will then be submitted to the Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe and the Joint Parirenyatwa Hospital and College of Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee for approval. During his initial training visit at UB, Mr. Bepe received training and mentoring in key areas that included: Human Subjects Research Protections and Ethics;  Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic data analysis; Translational Pharmacogenomics, Health Information Technology; Scientific Writing; and Adherence Pharmacology. Mr. Bepe’s abstract "Patient Perceptions, Knowledge, and Practices of the Role of Nutrition in HIV/AIDS Management in a Resource Limited Setting" was accepted to the IAS2010 conference in Rome.

 

Takudzwa Joylyn Mtisi MSc, BPharm, University of Zimbabwe

Fellowship Program: UB-UZ HRTP

Mrs. Takudzwa Joylyn Mtisi applied and was accepted as a postgraduate fellow in the UB-UZ AITRP in 2009. She recently completed her MSc in Microbiology at UZ. Mrs. Mtisi completed her initial training visit at the University at Buffalo in 2009, and a second visit in 2011. She returned to Zimbabwe to complete her academic requirements for her project, part of a national drug resistance monitoring network under the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in Zimbabwe.  Following her engagement as an HRTP trainee and her return to Zimbabwe, Mrs. Mtisi has spearheaded the development of the drug resistance monitoring laboratory had has been analyzing samples country wide. In December 2010 she received a promotion to a Medical Laboratory Scientist position under the Global Fund’s Early Infant Diagnosis Programme. In her new role, she has performed HIV DNA PCR for pediatric cases.  Ms. Mtisi is currently working with the newly designated ACTG Pharmacology Specialty Laboratory to develop a Quality Management System for the laboratory.

 

Samuel Gavi MS Epidemiology, BPharm, PhD candidate, University of Zimbabwe

Fellowship Program: UB-UZ HRTP

Mr. Samuel Gavi applied and was accepted as a postgraduate fellow in the UB-UZ AITRP in 2010. During his visits to UB, Mr. Gavi received mentored training in basic research areas with focus on the use of electronic health information technologies in the management of HIV and Tuberculosis (TB) co-infected patients in Harare, Zimbabwe.  With this guidance, Mr. Gavi established strong fundamental knowledge in the skills required to organize, analyze, interpret, monitor, and report on medication management and effects of ARV drugs in an effort to improve clinical decision making and patient care.  In addition, Mr. Gavi developed methods to evaluate existing information database silos and developed a plan to connect these systems into an integrated network.  During his visit, Mr. Gavi began theoretical training on possible pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic statistical applications to data analyses, and applied statistical software tools.

Mr. Gavi presented a poster titled “Establishing a Health Information Technology Network for HIV and TB Medication Management Research” at the University of Rochester Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) 2nd Annual World AIDS Days Scientific Symposium.  As part of an HRTP supplement, Mr. Gavi helped finalize a Health Information Technology online training module designed specifically for HIV research and management.  The education module incorporates pre-test and post-test sections to determine the effectiveness of the module. 

Mr. Gavi is currently developing a working group in Zimbabwe with key personnel to discuss the current state of systems and process for integration in addition to developing data analysis tools to monitor treatment outcomes.

 

Tinashe Mudzviti MPhil, BPharm, DPhil candidate, University of Zimbabwe

Fellowship Program: UB-UZ HRTP

As the first UB-UZ HRTP fellow, Mr. Tinashe Mudzviti applied and was accepted as a postgraduate fellow in 2009. Mr. Mudzviti has completed two mentored training periods at UB, and has returned to Zimbabwe, where he completed his research project for his Master of Philosophy degree from UZ. The UB-UZ HRTP fellowship program has afforded him an opportunity to combine his ICOHRTA fellowship to make significant scientific development. He has published a number of abstracts that were also presented at scientific conferences locally and internationally. Mr. Mudzviti is responsible for running the Parirenyatwa Opportunistic Infections Clinic’s adherence and pharmacovigilance program. He has supervised at least six undergraduate students whom he coordinates with the Pari Support Group, a community-organized patient recruitment and retention project. With these undergraduate students he has been able to publish a manuscript and several other abstracts that have been presented at various conferences.

In November 2010 Mr. Mudzviti was thrust into the chairmanship of the Newlands Clinic Research Unit, where he is working on increasing the research agenda. He is taking up further work in pharmacovigilance and therapeutic drug monitoring. During the year 2012, Tinashe fulfilled his training requirements with the UB-UZ HRTP, which included two visits to UB and two years of mentored follow-up as specified in the original training plan. Tinashe’s main aims were to develop grant writing skills, to complete his MPhil project (Determining the Rate, Nature and Predictors of Adverse Drug Reactions Associated with the Use of HAART in a Resource-Limited Setting). These activities lead to the conceptualization of a DPhil research proposal that would be registered with the College of Health Sciences’ Higher Degrees Committee. Following his AITRP training, he was awarded a Southern Africa Consortium for Research Excellence small grant to run a research protocol. Through this award he was able to register the protocol titled, Prevalence and risk factors of pre-cancerous cervical lesions in HIV infected women, with the Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe. This protocol is currently in the data collection phase. During the year Tinashe drafted a review article titled, Implementation science research in the concomitant use of traditional herbal medicines in patients on antiretroviral therapy, for submission to the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. As part of a team, Tinashe contributed to a workshop proposal for the 17th Congress of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, as well as an abstract submitted to IAS2013. Tinashe also completed and fulfilled all of the requirements of the Master of Philosophy degree which he was consequently awarded mid-2012. Tinashe’s goal for 2013 is to ensure that the DPhil proposal that he submitted in 2012 is approved by higher degrees committee to ensure that he builds on what he has achieved in previous years as an HRTP fellow.

 

Tsitsi Grace Monera MPhil, DPhil candidate, University of Zimbabwe                                                          

Fellowship Program: UB-UZ HRTP

Ms. Tsitsi Grace Monera applied and was accepted as a pre-doctoral fellow in the UB-UZ AITRP in 2011. The goal of Tsitsi’s research is to evaluate the effect of Moringa oleifera on the pharmacokinetics of efavirenz and nevirapine in-vivo. Ms. Monera is also working on the validation of the assay methods that she will use to assay the rat and human plasma samples. Ms. Monera plans to return to UB for six weeks and travel to the University of Cape Town, where she will spend an additional six weeks to receive additional training finalize her data analysis plans. Recently, she attended the 7th International Microbicides Conference (M2012) Sydney, Australia, 15 to 18 April 2012 and The International Pharmaceutical Federation Centennial Congress (FIP2012) Amsterdam, Netherlands, 3 to 8 October 2012, where she presented three abstracts:

Monera TG, Thebe M. Knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of pharmacists in Zimbabwe on their role in the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases. FIP 2013: Accepted for poster presentation.

Monera TG, Tapfumanei P. Lifestyle Interventions for Cancer Health Promotion: Assessing Attitudes, Perceptions and Awareness among Community Pharmacist in Harare. FIP 2013: Accepted for poster presentation.

Monera TG, Gwekwe N. Herbal medicine use in dysmenorrhea: determining extent of use and the commonly used herbs. FIP 2013: Accepted for poster presentation.

 

Tsitsi Hamandawana BPharm, MPhil candidate, University of Zimbabwe

Fellowship Program: UB-UZ HRTP

Ms. Tsitsi Hamandawana applied and was accepted as a pre-doctoral fellow in the UB-UZ HRTP in 2012. The goal of Tsitsi’s research is to evaluate the effect of nutrition status on the adverse drug reaction profiles of antiretroviral and anti-tuberculosis drugs in HIV-1 infected paediatric patients. She had her first UB visit between August and November 2012 where she developed her research proposal with the assistance of the UB team. When she came back to UZ, she finalized the requirements and submitted her application to gain approval from the Joint Research and Ethics Committee (JREC). In 2013, following approval of her project from the UB IRB, Tsitsi will begin reviewing medical records to collect a complete dataset for analysis. She plans to return to UB for mentoring in data analysis and development of her HRTP project. She will return to Zimbabwe to continue courses and research toward her MPhil.

 

Dexter Chagwena BSc Nutrition, MPhil candidate, University of Zimbabwe

Fellowship Program: UB-UZ HRTP

Mr. Dexter Chagwena applied and was accepted as a pre-doctoral fellow in the UB-UZ HRTP in 2011. Dexter’s research goal is to compare the response to cART among malnourished and well-nourished paediatric patients. Dexter completed his initial training period at UB in May 2012 and has used the knowledge for his daily research and teaching at UZ. Some of his accomplishments during this year include receiving an in-country scholarship from the German Exchange Service programme (DAAD). This is an in-country research training grant for one year that supports postgraduate students from developing countries.

Mr. Dexter Chagwena, a pre-doctoral fellow, returned to Buffalo for his second training visit during summer 2013. Dexter has been working on his research project aimed at evaluating the influence of nutritional status on outcomes of cART among pediatric HIV and TB infected patients receiving ARVs. His primary goals for the second visit include developing analysis tools for dietary evaluation of HIV pediatric patients on cART through the assistance of Dr. Peter Horvath's nutrition team. Dexter is also developing an in-depth nutritional pharmacology research agenda that include both laboratory nutrition biomarkers assay development that can be used to predict HIV adverse outcomes and nutrition clinical outcomes assessed to improve efficacy of ART among pediatric patients. Dexter has been involved in mentoring other UB and UZ students with interest in nutrition pharmacology mainly focusing on traditional herbal remedies and how they impact ARV drug metabolism among malnourished and well-nourished patients.

 

Marvelous Sibanda BPharm, MPhil candidate, University of Zimbabwe

Fellowship Program: UB-UZ HRTP

Mr. Marvelous Sibanda applied and was accepted as a pre-doctoral fellow in the UB-UZ HRTP in 2011. The goals of his research are to study factors influencing AST/ALT levels and nevirapine plasma concentrations in HIV-infected children on cART in a resource limited setting, to study the effects of age, nutritional status, herbal medicines, HBV and/or HCV on AST/ALT levels and nevirapine plasma concentrations, and evaluate any significant relationship between AST/ ALT plasma levels with plasma nevirapine concentrations in HIV-infected children stable on cART.

 

Dr. Admire Dube PhD, Monash University

Fellowship Program: UB-UZ HRTP

Dr. Admire Dube applied and was accepted as a pre-doctoral fellow in the UB-UZ HRTP in 2012. Dr. Dube research project is titled, Multimodal nanoparticle systems for tuberculosis chemotherapy. During his UB visits, Dr Dube formulated Chitosan (CS) shell, poly(lactide)co-glycolide (PLGA) core nanospheres functionalized with 1,3-β-glucan (Glu-CS-PLGA) to provide enhanced intracellular rifampicin concentrations with concurrent immunomodulation through stimulation of ROS/RNS and pro-inflammatory cytokine release in human alveolar like macrophages (ALM).

 

Tariro Sithole BPharm, MPhil candidate, University of Zimbabwe

Fellowship Program: UB-UZ HRTP

Ms. Tariro Sithole applied and was accepted as a pre-doctoral fellow in the UB-UZ HRTP in 2012. Tariro completed her UB training visit in October 2012, which was shortened to six weeks due to academic and employment obligations. Her objectives were to learn different methods of making nanoparticles, nanoparticle characterization methods and HPLC assay development and validation. In May 2012, she submitted an MPhil proposal for registration with the University of Zimbabwe and her research was titled “Nanoparticle delivery systems for the enhanced bioavailability of the antimalarial compound Artemether”. As a result of her initial training visit at UB, she changed her topic to, “Super-paramagnetic nanoparticles for the enhanced intracellular concentrations of drugs used in HIV/AIDS and TB.”  Since her return to UZ from UB, she has drafted a new proposal for submission to the University of Zimbabwe for registration. The proposal is currently being reviewed by her supervisor. She also hopes to travel to UB in the second half of the year to carry out her laboratory experiments and receive mentoring on formulation and characterization of the nanoparticles, investigation of intracellular uptake by macrophages and CD4+ cells, pharmacokinetics of the drugs in the cells, in vitro drug release at different pHs and HPLC assay method development and validation. She also hopes to begin statistical analysis of her results.

 

Faithful Chingombe BSc Applied Biology & Chemistry, MPhil candidate, University of Zimbabwe

Fellowship Program: UB-UZ HRTP

The UB Translational Pharmacology Research Core (TRPC) is pleased to welcome Ms. Faithful Chingombe.  Ms. Chingombe is a MPhil candidate at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and a Fellow in the UB-UZ AIDS International Training & Research Program (UB-UZ AITRP). She is currently receiving mentored research training at the TPRC for her research project, “Development of a Nanoformulated Antiretroviral Triple Combination and Investigation of In-vitro Uptake by Macrophages.”

 

Dr. Fatai Fehintola

Fellowship Program: UB-NU HRTP

Dr. Fatai Fehintola completed a customized HIV Clinical Pharmacology module in 2009 as part of a collaborative program between the UB AITRP, the Northwestern University AITRP and the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. This training module was developed to meet the needs of an investigator with a focus on HIV-malaria treatment research, and has led to an entire new program of collaboration. During 2010, the UB AITRP continued to collaborate with Dr. Fehintola to produce a manuscript, which has now been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal Current Drug Metabolism, and to submit a grant application to the NIH. Dr. Fehintola has also written a protocol to evaluate drug interactions between HIV medications and malaria medications. The project has IRB approval, is fully enrolled and the samples assayed.

 

Dr. Onyeadumarakwe Reginald Obiako

Fellowship Program: UB-NU HRTP

Dr. Reginald Obiako is a physician/neurologist at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) in Zaria, Nigeria. He also has a MS in pharmacology and is a Fellow in the West African College of Physicians for both internal medicine and clinical pharmacology. He is an active clinician at the ABUTH HIV clinic, with which NU provides clinical support through the Harvard PEPFAR program, is head of clinic's toxicology and ARV switch committees, and is actively involved with the hospital's pharmacovigilance efforts. His current research interest include the evaluation of drug interactions between ARVs and carbamazepine in HIV-infected patients with new-onset seizure disorders. Dr Obiako joins us at the UB TPRC for additional training in clinical pharmacology to support his efforts to establish a clinical pharmacology facility in his own university. 

The UB-NU AITRP collaboration provides a mentored training experience for clinical pharmacologists from Nigeria here at UB and at NU. This collaborative initiative is funded by a recent NIH grant from the Fogarty International Center for an AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP). The AITRP collaboration will also contribute to the development of a new clinical pharmacology laboratory at Ibadan University in Nigeria.

Currently Dr. Obiako is a fellow at the Nigerian National Postgraduate Medical College, Head of Neurology Unit and acting head of Clinical Pharmacology Unit of ABUTH Zaria.

 

Mr. Martin Zende

Fellowship Program: UB-UZ HRTP

Mr. Martin Zende received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and his Master of Science in Tropical Resource Ecology from the University of Zimbabwe. Mr. Zende was working with an HIV patient support group called PARI SG in Harare, Zimbabwe where he directed members in completing various agricultural projects. The agricultural projects were aimed at increasing food security, thereby improving patient retention in care, treatment and medication adherence. Mr. Zende began working with the PARI SG in Zimbabwe in May 2011. In this program, he provided training and education PARI SG members on organic vegetable production. Together, they produced vegetables such as covo (a green leaf vegetable), rape (an oilseed plant of the mustard family), onions, potatoes and tomatoes. Mr. Zende was also providing training & education to PARI SG members on chicken production, most recently on producing broiler chickens. All these programs were a way of retaining patients in the PARI SG, which improves patient care and treatment, medication adherence, and improves members’ personal economic state since any surplus products can be sold. Mr. Zende’s goals during his Buffalo visit included training in methods of patient retention, scientific writing, grant writing, and research protocol development.

 

 

Dr. Titilayo Fakeye

Fellowship Program: IPERI

Dr. Titilayo Fakeye completed a short-term training experience at the UB TPRC under the UB International Pharmacotherapy Education & Research Initiative (IPERI) in 2011, and is currently teaches Bachelor of Pharmacy students in topics including documentation of patient’s care activities, patient review process, clinical pharmacokinetics lectures such as pharmacokinetics of drugs in liver and renal impairment; pharmacotherapeutics of selected tropical diseases, and pharmacy laws & ethics. At the postgraduate MSc (Clinical Pharmacy) level, she teaches selected clinical pharmacokinetic topics, documentation and methodology of research activities.

Her research focus includes surveys into drug use among different populations, attitude of patients to use of herbal agents, and tendency to co administer conventional and herbal medicines. The need to evaluate and note herb use when a patient’s drug medication history is being taken, and proper counseling of patients on herb use when drugs are being dispensed has been unearthed. Her team is also trying to relate some of the adverse drug reactions to the use of non-prescribed medicines and herb use. Ongoing studies involve evaluating the mechanism of these interactions with emphasis on those suspected to be due to activity of cytochrome P450 isozymes.

Recent publications include:

Fakeye TO, Adisa R, Olatunji A. (2010) Self medication among hospitalized patients in selected secondary health facilities in south western Nigeria. Pharmacy Practice   Oct-Dec;8(4):233-237

Adisa R, Fakeye TO, Fasanmade O. Medication adherence among ambulatory patients with type 2 diabetes in a tertiary healthcare setting in southwestern Nigeria. Pharmacy Practice (In press)

 

Dr. Sarah Nanzigu

Fellowship Program: IPERI

Dr. Sarah Nanzigu completed a short-term training experience at the UB TPRC under the UB International Pharmacotherapy Education & Research Initiative (IPERI) in 2010, and is currently an Assistant Lecturer in the Pharmacology Department of the Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Uganda.  There she does health service training and provision as well as clinical research.  Her interests include HIV and other diseases endemic in her area.  The two journal articles she has published in 2011 are: CD4-T-Lymphocyte reference ranges in Uganda and its influencing factors. Journal of Lab Medicine 2011 and HIV/AIDS patients display lower efavirenz relative bioavailability compared to healthy volunteers.  Journal of Clinical Pharmacokinetics in press 2011.

 

Mr. Jackson Mukonzo

Fellowship Program: IPERI

Jackson K Mukonzo is a pharmacist in Uganda, a Lecturer at Makerere University, Kampala- Uganda and a PhD candidate at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm- Sweden. Jackson’s research project proposal is titled, “The role of pharmacogenetics in treatment of infectious diseases, with emphasis on Ugandan population.” During his training visit at UB, Jackson will receive training and mentoring in principles and practical aspects of Pharmacokinetic / Pharmacodynamic modeling. Jackson has about ten years work experience as a clinical pharmacist in the field of infectious diseases, has participated on a number studies including the cellulose sulphate Microbicide trial and the on-going WHO TB-HAART study. Jackson has also worked as consultant pharmacist to the Department of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Disease, Ministry of Health Botswana, where he participated in the development of the National strategy for HIV prevention and treatment for the government of Botswana, and The Global Fund where he executed a consultancy on how to mitigate loss and mismanagement of the Global Fund Health Products in Uganda. Jackson also participated as founder member of Mbarara- Mulago Joint AIDS program (M-JAP), which initiated integrated HIV treatment in public hospitals in Uganda and currently provides care to about 12 000 HIV patients.