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Aurum staff appointed to Vanderbilt University

Aurum staff appointed to Vanderbilt University

The Aurum Institute is proud to announce that 10 senior staff members have been appointed in various adjunct positions at the Department of Medicine in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

The appointments come as part of Aurum’s efforts to build partnerships with academic institutions around the world. The relationship with the US university was initiated by Dr Dave Clark, Aurum Group Chief Operating Officer and Professor Roy Zent, Vice Chair of Research for the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt.

“One of the areas we felt that we could forge a great partnership was the joint academic appointments. Roy and several other leaders and luminaries in research from the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, have all come out to see what Aurum can do so that we can find ways of working together. We hope that this relationship will bring more joint appointments, projects, and applications for grants and other joint opportunities to share our expertise with one of the leading universities in data science and public health,” said Clark.

Distinguished visitors

Vanderbilt is a 147-year old top-ranked university in Nashville, Tennessee. It prides itself on attracting the world's brightest students, faculty and distinguished visitors from across all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.                  The following Aurum staff members now join their ranks.

Dr Dave Clark, Group COO / CEO: Southern Africa                               - Adjunct Professor

Dr Robert Wallis, Chief Scientific Officer                                                - Adjunct Professor

Dr Regina Osih, Senior Technical Expert: TB/HIV                                   - Adjunct Associate Professor

Dr Dino Rech, Regional COO: Health Programmes                                - Adjunct Associate Professor

Dr Violet Chihota, Senior Researcher: TB                                               - Adjunct Associate Professor

Dr Emilio Valverde, Country Director: Mozambique                             - Adjunct Assistant Professor

Dr Craig Innes, Clinical Director - Clinical Research Division                - Adjunct Assistant Professor

Ms Tanya Nielson, Managing Director: Clinical Research Division      - Adjunct Instructor

Dr Nii Norton Hanson-Nortey, Country Director: Ghana                    - Adjunct Instructor

Dr William Brumskine, Clinical Research Site Leader: Klerksdorp      - Adjunct Instructor

Aurum recently appointed Dr Yuri van der Heijden, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, as a Senior Researcher at Aurum.

All the appointees will have access to Vanderbilt’s vast academic resources and opportunities to engage, consult and discuss their work, particularly during the weekly virtual lectures with their Vanderbilt colleagues.

Dr Dino Rech said he was honoured by his appointment. “This allows for expansion in the networking of ideas and innovation between The Aurum Institute and Vanderbilt University. Ultimately, I hope that this contributes to further breakthroughs in our health care service delivery improvement and access, as well as better patient outcomes,” he said.

Dr Craig Innes echoed these sentiments, noting that he hoped it would also extend Aurum’s impact on public health into the worldwide arena.

For, Tanya Nielson, this cements the power of collaborations. “It is an opportunity to build on existing strengths of both organisations to increase the health impact in the communities we care about.”

Project Remedi

There are several collaborations between Aurum and Vanderbilt already in place. Project Remedi- which stands for Repurposing Essential Medicines Internationally- is a major project to repurpose existing drugs for new uses in ways that can dramatically improve access to medicines by billions of people throughout the world. It was among the top 100 proposals for the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition for a $100 million grant to help solve the world’s most critical societal challenges. The proposal is also being considered by the World Health Organisation.  

“In Mozambique we have already a small joint program to create and capacitate implementation science research unit in the Eduardo Mondlane University School of Medicine,” said Dr Emilio Valverde.

Growing partnership

Congratulating the staff members, Group Chief Executive Officer Professor Gavin Churchyard said this is a “wonderful acknowledgement of the individual contributions of the appointees, but also a strong sign of the growing partnership between Aurum and Vanderbilt University. We look forward to the contributions to global health that we can make together with Vanderbilt and are extremely grateful to them for considering these appointments to one of the leading universities in the United States.”