Phylogenetics And Networks for Generalised HIV Epidemics in Africa


Governance Overview

The Consortium comprises of the Principal Investigator, the Executive Committee, the Project Management Team, the Steering Committee and Consortium associates, all of which may be members of one or more Work Package (WP). External scientific advice to the consortium is provided by the International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB). The Steering Committee is the decision making body of the project. It is chaired by the Principal Investigator who reports to ISAB and who is also a member of the Executive Committee. Members of the Executive Committee chair the different Work Packages (WPs). The WPs interact with each other and interact and report to the Project Manager who is part of the project management team. The Project Manager reports to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Steering Committee and works closely with the Executive Committee. The interactions between the various committees are shown in Figure 1 below. 


Executive Committee

The Executive Committee maintains oversight of the project and is constituted by five members of the Steering Committee, namely Professor Deenan Pillay, Professor Andrew Leigh-Brown, Professor Christophe Fraser, Professor Paul Kellam and Professor Tulio de Oliveira.

Deenan Pillay


Professor Deenan Pillay is a clinical academic in virology, with a research interest in HIV and its treatment. Having obtained a PhD in Biochemistry, he subsequently studied Medicine, and then undertook post graduate training in virology in London and San Diego. He took up a Consultant Virology position in Birmingham in 1994, soon becoming Head of a newly developed national reference centre in antiviral drug resistance. In 2004, he moved to UCL, and was appointed Professor of Virology and subsequently Head of the Division of Infection and Immunity.  In 2013, he was appointed Director of the Africa Health Research Institute (formerly the Africa Centre) in South Africa, as a secondment from UCL.

Andrew Leigh Brown


Professor Andrew Leigh Brown, has been analysing sequence evolution in HIV for over 25 years. For much of that time he has been trying to link viral phylogenetics with epidemiology to study the virus transmission. His group developed the technique now known as single genome sequencing in 1990 and used it to demonstrate the clonal nature of HIV infection in 1993. Analysing the population genetics of individual infections, in 1997 he showed the effective size of the virus population to be surprisingly low, revealing a possible role for stochastic effects in within-patient viral evolution. He has worked in the UK, Uganda and the USA and makes use of very large patient databases to reconstruct the transmission network of HIV in infected communities and estimate epidemic dynamics. In 2007 the group showed that HIV epidemics in men who have sex with men (MSM) in the UK were episodic, comprising many smaller-scale clustered outbreaks. More details on Professor Andrew Leigh Brown’s research can be found on http://www.hivbio.org. Christophe Fraser 


Professor Christophe Fraser heads the Evolutionary Epidemiology at Imperial College London. He first trained in theoretical particle physics in the 1990s, and converted to mathematical biology, and has been professor of epidemiology since 2009. Current topics of major interest are HIV virulence; HIV treatment as prevention; pneumococcal genomics; antibiotic resistance. For example, the group is modelling a cluster-randomized trial of HIV prevention strategies (HPTN071/PopART) that include universal test and treat in a population of 1.2 million people at high risk.  The group is involved in several initiatives to generate global samples of HIV whole genomes, with a focus on biological and epidemiological analysis. The group has also been involved in responses to outbreaks, such as SARS in 2003, H1N1pdm in 2009, and more recently MERS and Ebola.  More details on Professor Christophe Fraser can be found on http://www.imperial.ac.uk/AP/faces/pages/read/Home.jsp?person=c.fraser&_adf.ctrl-state=4za1g1fka_3Paul Kellam


Paul Kellam is Professor of Viral Pathogenesis at University College London and the Virus Genomics team leader at the Welcome Trust Sanger Institute where he established the Virus Genomics laboratory in 2009. His research focuses on investigating genetic variation of hosts and viruses and to determine the molecular and pathogenic consequences on virus pathogenesis. Professor Paul Kellam’s laboratory combines molecular biology, virology and genetics with computational research to address basic biological questions in infection and immunity. In particular, the laboratory uses next-generation sequencing of virus genomes such as HIV, influenza virus, coronaviruses and human herpesviruses and next-generation sequencing of the human genomes from people infected with these viruses.  More details on Professor Paul Kellam can be found at https://www.sanger.ac.uk/research/faculty/pkellam/.   Tulio D’Oliveira


Professor Tulio de Oliveira is a bioinformatician that has been working with HIV research since 1997. He has received his PhD at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN, South Africa. He was a Marie Curie research fellow at the University of Oxford, U.K., where he received in depth training on virus genetic analysis and molecular evolution. He is currently the director of the Genomics Programme at Wellcome Trust Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, Mtubatuba, South Africa. More details on Professor Tulio de Oliveira can be found at http://www.bioafrica.net/people.php?peopleid=1

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is the decision making body of the project. It must ensure the appropriate governance of the data generated through the Consortium and, as such, all analysis proposals must be approved by this committee before any Consortium datasets are released. 

The Steering Committee also aims to promote the interaction between consortia associates and external groups who share similar research aims.

The Steering Committee consists of the Executive Committee, the Project Management Team and representatives from the Africa Health Research Institute (South Africa), the Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute (Uganda), Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University and the University of North Carolina (United States of America), and Imperial College, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University College London and the University of Edinburgh and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (United Kingdom).

International Scientific Advisory Board

Independent oversight of the project is provided the International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB). It comprises of the following appointed members:

Prof Goosby Prof Eric Goosby
Prof Hay Prof Simon Hay
Prof Johnson Prof Dame Anne Johnson
Prof De Cock

Prof Kevin M De Cock
Prof Dieffenbach Prof Carl Dieffenbach
Prof Ray Prof Stuart Ray
Dr Wasunna Dr Christine Wasunna http://sun025.sun.ac.za/portal/page/portal/Health_Sciences/English/