Area of Interest
I completed a combined fellowship in infectious diseases and medical oncology in June 2012 at UNC-Chapel Hill. I previously lived and worked in Tanzania from 2007 until 2009, providing care to HIV-infected families. Since August 2012, I have been living in Lilongwe, Malawi, where I am jointly appointed in the Divisions of Infectious Diseases and Hematology-Oncology, based at the longstanding UNC Project-Malawi collaboration with the Malawi Ministry of Health. In this capacity, I participate in the development of cancer-related activities in Malawi as one of the only oncologists in a country of nearly 16 million people. My activities include clinical mentoring and training of Malawian providers, patient care, conduct of basic and translational research, and design and execution of observational studies and clinical trials. My principal clinical and research interests focus on cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, including HIV-related malignancies.
Specifically, I currently serve as principal investigator for one of the largest observational studies of approximately 500 patients with HIV-associated lymphoma, using data from the multicenter Centers for AIDS Research Network of Integrated Clinical Systems (CNICS) cohort, which includes eight major academic HIV treatment centers across the United States and more than 25,000 HIV-infected individuals.
I was also recently awarded a 5-year International Research Scientist Development Award from the NIH Fogarty International Center to develop a large prospective lymphoma cohort in Malawi, as such data is lacking from sub-Saharan Africa presently. Using our UNC Project-Malawi infrastructure, I eventually hope to develop one of the best resources for studying and eventually curing lymphoma patients in sub-Saharan Africa, by using our cohort as a platform to undertake basic correlative studies investigating lymphomagenesis in this part of the world, as well as clinical trials to assess optimal treatment strategies.
I also participate in a larger institutional effort to make our program a world leader in global oncology. I participate in two NIH-sponsored phase III clinical trials for Kaposi sarcoma, which are co-implemented by the AIDS Malignancy Consortium and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, and are currently enrolling patients at multiple sites across sub-Saharan Africa including our program in Malawi. I also work closely with other collaborators in our Lineberger Global Oncology Program on a variety of projects investigating the most common cancers in Malawi, including lymphoma, cervical cancer, breast cancer, esophageal cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, and Kaposi sarcoma, in order to gain biological insights into these tumors as well as to develop treatment strategies having acceptable efficacy, toxicity, and cost, which can be specifically tailored to this challenging setting.
Awards and Honors
1993-1997 Davie Scholar, UNC-Chapel Hill
2001 Hippocratic Oath Ceremony Student Speaker, Duke University School of Medicine
2001 Intern of the Month, University of Michigan Department of Internal Medicine
2004-2005 Chief Resident, University of Michigan Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program
2012 Lineberger Clinical Fellows Award
2012 Fogarty Global Health Fellows Award
2013 AIDS Malignancy Consortium Fellow (inaugural year)