Seminar #37

An Integrated Laboratory Response to Global Health Securities: Exploring the Gaps in Laboratory Capacity and the Tools and Resources a Community of Practice for Laboratories through Global Health Laboratories can Provide

The Global Health Network

No invitations necessary; open to all conference registrants

Wednesday, 7 December
CTICC room location: 2.4


The target audience include Laboratory Directors, Research Scientist, Technicians, Policy Makers, Epidemiologist, Laboratory Developers and all that can make a contribution to developing a Community of Practice for Laboratories allowing Laboratories to respond more effectively to Global Health Threats.


The seminar will be chaired by Sebastian Gelderbloem
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Revised International Health Regulations (IHR) of 2005 provides the legal framework for countries to strengthen the public health system in order to be able to respond to any public health threat. The regulations call on countries to meet 8 core public health capacities, one of which is laboratory testing. High-quality laboratory testing is an essential component of initiating a public health response to e.g. emerging threats, epidemics, etc. Although considerable improvement have been made to laboratory infrastructure over the years more is needed to implement laboratory plans, improve quality laboratory services, to improve response to clinical research to effectively deal with infectious disease threats. 1.8 Million people still die of TB and 1.2 Million people still due of HIV/AIDS every year. In 2014 during the Ebola crisis, lack of guidance for handling possible infectious samples and gaps in laboratory biosafety programs were identified as threats to an effective response to the disease. Laboratories play an exceptionally important role in response to disease threats and clinical research. In order to effectively respond to the needs it is important to understand the existing gaps and how the needs can be met through existing tools.
We aim to have four 10 minute presentations followed by a panel discussion and a Question and Answer (Q&A) session. The presentations will aim to:

  1. Identify gaps in and needs for laboratory capacity development in countries with disease threats like, TB, Malaria, Ebola, etc., (TBC)
  2. Identify tools and resources needed to participate in clinical research and development in developing countries, (Dr Elisa Nemes)
  3. Identify minimum requirements that encourage linkages between clinical and laboratory staff participating in clinical research. (Dr Delva Shamley)
  4. Identify how GHN and GHL can address these gaps and needs for capacity development through it digital platform method. (Dr Francois van Loggerenberg)

We aim to use the presentations, panel discussion and Q&A outcomes to develop a guidance document that will be posted on the GHN, GHL site as a guidance tool for laboratories to develop their capacity to respond to clinical research and disease threats like TB, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Ebola to mention but a few that has plagued developing countries.


  • Identified gaps in laboratory responses to global health threats.
  • Linkages between clinical and laboratory staff responding to global health threats.
  • Identified tools to respond to global health threats.
  • Knowledge of the available Global Health Network resources and tools and knowledge of development of a sustainable community of practice for response to global health threats.
  • Guidance document for laboratories building global health threat response capacity.

Sebastian Gelderbloem, Mr
Sebastian J. Gelderbloem is currently Director of Laboratory Capacity Development and Partnership at Aeras Africa and a Consultant for Global Health Network where he coordinates the Global Health Laboratory space. He led and supported developing the Aeras Africa office for 6 years. He has over 25 years of experience in vaccine and other biological research and laboratory capacity development. He has a strong capacity development background. He has held senior management positions with Clinical Pathology Laboratories where he was involved in bone marrow transplant research and the South African TB Vaccine Initiative where he managed all laboratory activities for vaccine trials and a staff of 13 as part of Aeras and other organization sponsored work. His responsibilities have encompassed clinical trials management, capacity development, budget forecasting, protocol reviews, assay development, training laboratory staff, development of proficiency panels, management of sponsor/collaborator relations and public health applications of biologics and diagnostics. He has co-published extensively on his work in clinical trials research on immunological outcomes and epidemiology. He is has done extensive work in reviewing TB research organization in South Africa and the impact of their research in changing health policy. He has developed a number of laboratories currently being utilized in Aeras sponsored studies. He has developed several tools that assist in assessing, training and monitoring laboratory performance as part of clinical research. He has a strong project management and public relations back ground and very good leadership qualities as demonstrated by the groups he has managed. He forms part of the Global Health Clinical Consortium Leadership Team where he also leads the Laboratory Working Group and contributes to the development of e Lab Learning tools. He is also a consultant for Global Health Network where he coordinates the Global Health Laboratory space. Outside of Aeras he has a strong youth development background where he supports community youth. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Bio Medical Technology from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, a Project Management certificate and Public Relations certificate from the University of Cape Town, a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science (Science and Technology) from University of Stellenbosch and is currently completing an MBA at the Australian Institute of Business.

Dr Elisa Nemes
Dr Nemes trained (M.Sc and PhD) in T cell immunology in the context of HIV infection at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, and at the University of Paris VI, France. In 2008-2010 she worked as post-doctoral scientist in Cameroon, in the framework of an Italian Cooperation Program to support the startup of research projects and to reinforce the technology transfer at CIRCB (“Chantal Biya International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management”), where she contributed to research projects focused on paediatric immune responses to HIV and M. tuberculosis.

Dr Nemes moved to South Africa in 2011, where she joined the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) at the University of Cape Town as post-doctoral scientist first, and currently as Senior Scientist. She is involved in the scientific supervision of clinical trials of new tuberculosis vaccines, development of immunodiagnostics of M. tuberculosis infection and basic immunological studies on adaptive and innate immunity to M. tuberculosis in HIV infected and uninfected children. Dr Nemes is centrally involved in collaborative projects aimed at defining immune correlates of risk of TB disease in BCG vaccinated infants and correlates of risk of BCG/TB IRIS in HIV+ children.

Dr Delva Shamley
Dr Shamley is currently the Director of the University of Cape Town’s Clinical Research Centre. She has worked in academia for 26 years, 13 of which were spent in Oxford and Dorset in the UK. She has experience and knowledge of many research designs and has run departments and centres for research in the UK and SA. She has a track record of postgraduate student supervision, publications and grant success. Dr Shamley setup and ran a Clinical Trails Unit in the UK and has subsequently established the Clinical Research Centre at UCT in South Africa. External consultancies include peer reviewing for journals, grant reviewing for the HTA (UK), NIH (SA) and EDCTP (EU).  Dr Shamley brings knowledge and experience of research design, management, governance and ethical oversight. These she has used to great advantage in supporting developing research units in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Francois van Loggerenberg
Dr Francois van Loggerenberg originally trained as a research psychologist. From 2002 to 2012 he was employed at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine in Durban, South Africa, initially as the study coordinator on an HIV pathogenesis study at the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA). Subsequently he was appointed to the roles of study coordinator, study director, co-investigator, and principal investigator of various HIV prevention, pathogenesis and treatment trials. His PhD work was on behavioural interventions to enhance adherence to antiretroviral therapy (2011, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). Post-doctorate he was appointed Scientific Lead on the Global Health Network, University of Oxford. The Global Health Network is a collection of online research communities set up for and by researchers, focusing on specific therapeutic areas (e.g. respiratory disease), types of research (e.g. diagnostics), or as crosscutting research support communities (e.g. research ethics). They are currently involved in a program of methodology research to determine barriers to conducting health research in low- and middle-income countries, and using Internet technologies to overcome these.