Tuberculosis Special Issue - Guest Editors

Dr. Richard Chaisson

Guest Editor, PLOS Medicine Tuberculosis Special Issue

Richard E. Chaisson, M.D., is Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and International Health and directs the Center for AIDS Research and the Center for Tuberculosis Research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD, USA.  He received his BS and MD degrees from the University of Massachusetts and trained in internal medicine, infectious diseases, and clinical epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco. He is was director of the Johns Hopkins AIDS Service from 1988-1998 and Medical Director of the Baltimore City Health Department Tuberculosis Control Program from 1991-1999.  He founded the Johns Hopkins Center for TB Research in 1998.

His research interests focus on tuberculosis and HIV infection, including epidemiology and natural history, clinical trials, diagnostics and public health interventions.  He has been a Principal Investigator in the CDC’s TB Trials Consortium since its inception in 1994, leading clinical research sites in Baltimore, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Soweto, South Africa.  From 2002-2014 he organized and led the Consortium to Respond Effectively to the AIDS-TB Epidemic (CREATE), a research consortium studying novel public health approaches to reduce the burden of HIV-related TB.  From 2011-2017 he was the inaugural chair of the TB Transformative Science Group of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, leading the development and implementation of this NIH-funded network’s TB clinical trials portfolio.  In 2012 he reestablished the Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), revitalizing a multidisciplinary program to catalyze innovative HIV research, with a special focus on combatting the Baltimore epidemic. He co-chairs the South African REgional Prospective Observational Research on TB (RePORT) Consortium Steering Committee.  Dr. Chaisson has published over 490 scientific papers and chapters, and his Handbook of Tuberculosis, co-edited with Jacques Grosset, was published in 2017.

Competing Interests: Dr. Chaisson has consulted from Otsuka Pharmaceutical, and received a speakers fee from Jannsen Pharmaceuticals. His wife is a stock holder of Merck & Co.

Dr. Claudia Denkinger

Guest Editor, PLOS Medicine Tuberculosis Special Issue

Claudia Denkinger (MD, PhD, MSc, DTMH) leads the tuberculosis program at the Foundation of Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND). She completed her medical school training, PhD thesis in immunology and Master in Tropical Medicine and International Public Health at the Julius-Maximilians University, Würzburg, Germany, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. Her postdoctoral fellowship at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, focused on tuberculosis epidemiology and impact assessment as well as mathematical modelling of tuberculosis diagnostics. Claudia specialised in internal medicine and infectious disease at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Harvard Medical School, USA. In Boston, Claudia was also a chief medical resident and built a Global Health Program for resident. She has worked in non-governmental organizations in HIV and tuberculosis care in South Africa and South America. Most her of research has focused on tuberculosis diagnostics development and clinical trialling. She has been at FIND for the last four years, and in addition to her work with tuberculosis, also established a new hepatitis program. For her excellent work on tuberculosis diagnostics, Claudia has been given the Gertrud Meissner Award of the European Society of Mycobacteriology in 2016.


Competing Interests: FIND is a non-for-profit foundation, whose mission is to find diagnostic solutions to overcome diseases of poverty in LMICs. It works closely with the private and public sectors and receives funding from some of its industry partners. It has organizational firewalls to protect it against any undue influences in its work or the publication of its findings. All industry partnerships are subject to review by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee or another independent review body, based on due diligence, TTPs and public sector requirements. FIND catalyzes product development, leads evaluations, takes positions, and accelerates access to tools identified as serving its mission. It provides indirect support to industry (e.g., access to open specimen banks, a clinical trial platform, technical support, expertise, laboratory capacity strengthening in LMICs, etc.) to facilitate the development and use of products in these areas. FIND also supports the evaluation of prioritized  assays and the early stages of implementation of WHO-approved (guidance & PQ) assays using donor grants. In order to carry out test validations and evaluations, has product evaluation agreements with several private sector companies for the diseases FIND works in which strictly define its independence and neutrality vis-a-vis the companies whose products get evaluated, and describes roles and responsibilities.


Dr. Mark Hatherill

Guest Editor, PLOS Medicine Tuberculosis Special Issue

Dr. Mark Hatherill is Director of the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) and a Professor in the Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Trained in paediatrics and critical care, his research focuses on clinical development of new tuberculosis vaccines and translational application of host biomarkers. He has worked with nine novel tuberculosis vaccines in more than 20 clinical trials and has authored key papers reporting tuberculosis vaccine efficacy findings in infant, adolescent and adult populations. He and collaborators are currently testing host blood diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers to target preventive and curative therapy against tuberculosis. He is a member of the South African TB Think Tank, Co-Chair of the RePORT South Africa consortium, and member of the WHO Working Group on New TB Vaccines.


Competing Interests: Dr. Hatherill is funded by multiple institutional grants to the University of Cape Town. Research funders include the US National Institutes of Health, European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Aeras, and the South African Medical Research Council; clinical trial sponsors include the developers of several candidate tuberculosis vaccines.