We have pleasure in announcing the appointment of our new director Dr Edina Sinanovic commencing in August 2012. Associate Professor Sue Cleary has just completed her term as director (she was financial director from January 2006 to July 2007 and director from July 2007 to July 2012).
Commenting on her plans for the future, Sue notes that, “while I have been doing research as director, I look forward to having more time to focus on developing new research interests in the area of Health Policy & Systems”.
We thank Sue for all her hard work and dedication in directing the unit, and wish her luck with her new research interest. We also welcome Edina to her new role as director.
Originally from Croatia, Edina has completed a Masters in Health Economics at UCT, and a PhD in Health Economics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She has worked at the Health Economics Unit since 1997.
Edina has now become a well-recognised expert in conducting economic evaluations of priority disease areas such as TB, cervical cancer and HIV/AIDS.
This year, she helped secure funding from the Gates Foundation to analyse the cost-effectiveness of introducing the GeneXpert MTB/RIF for the diagnosis of TB. Xpert MTB/RIF could potentially help in reducing the transmission of TB by diagnosing TB and drug resistant TB much faster than smear microscopy which then allows for timely initiation of appropriate TB treatment for the people with the disease. This new intervention includes the broader TB control programme and the health systems that supports it.
When she is not researching, you will find her training health economists through our postgraduate programmes. And it is not unusual to hear her name mentioned at capacity-building workshops in sub-Saharan Africa, as potential course applicants longingly describe their wish to study health economics at UCT under the guidance of teachers like Edina.
Her influence extends into policy and practice. For example, she used her research to help the TB/HIV Care Association in South Africa to advocate for the implementation of community-based delivery of Directly Observed Treatment for TB.
Internationally, Edina has been invited to provide input into expert working groups and was recently also made a Scientific Advisor to the World Health Organisation where she will look at health economics issues related to vaccines in low- and middle-income countries.
Her experience and participation as a member of senior management at the unit will undoubtedly serve her well in her new role as director.