Division of Medical Ethics and Law


Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research Ethics:​ Trainees 2013

Dr Ashley Ross 
Dr Ashley Ross is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department in Homoeopathy at the Durban University of Technology. He has been teaching homoeopathic philosophy and materia medica for 16 years. In addition to teaching, he is in private practice and engages in clinical and research supervision. He is the Vice-chairperson of the DUT Research Ethics Committee, and has a particular research interest in homoeopathic pathogenetic trials. In 2011 he completed a PhD investigating the relationship of pathogenetic trial data to the scientific and traditional African understandings of medicinal plants. He has delivered lectures and seminars in South Africa, India and the UK, has presented research papers at a number of national and international congresses, and is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice Journal. He is an active member of the International League of Homoeopathic Physicians (LMHI), a member of the National Board of the Homoeopathic Association of South Africa. He is the representative for Homoeopathy on the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) and both Vice-Chairperson of the AHPCSA and Chairperson of its Education Committee.

Dr Christine Wasunna 
Dr Christine Wasunna is a Senior Research Officer at the Centre for Clinical Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and a member of the Biotechnology Research Programme of the institute. Dr Wasunna is broadly interested in understanding the genetic and environmental contributions to variation in susceptibility to diseases. Since 2006 she has focused her attention on biomedical ethics, human subjects’ protections, and has expertise in the ethical conduct of human investigations specializing in genetic studies of African populations. She is currently a member of MALARIAGEN’s International Data Access Committee.  She is the Ag Secretary to the KEMRI Ethics Review Committee and Assistant Secretary to the Scientific Review Committee at KEMRI. She provides ongoing ethics consultation to researchers at KEMRI. As the head of the Ethics Review Committee (ERC) office she strives to build strong relationships between the researchers and the ERC through education and counsel. She promotes compliance with research regulations at KEMRI. She has broad administrative experience in research regulatory affairs including protocol review and post-approval activities, informed consent form development, regulatory compliance and clinical safety. She has been instrumental in the development of the current KEMRI ERC standard operating procedures and the Kenyan clinical trials registry.

Dr Tusubira Evans 
Dr Tusubira Evans is a medical scientist and holds the position of Drug Information Officer in charge of clinical trial regulation at the National Drug Authority in Uganda (NDA). He has an MSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and has worked for Makerere and Kyambogo Universities as a tutorial assistant for two years before joining the regulatory body in 2007. He has been involved in reviewing, authorising and monitoring up to 356 clinical trials in Uganda. Tusubira is a member of the Paediatric medicines Regulators Network (PmRN) hosted by WHO, aiming at promoting appropriate conduct of paediatric clinical trials and a member of the Vaccines Committee of the Uganda National Academy of Science where he provides a decision making framework for vaccines and vaccine use promotion. Besides the above portfolio he coordinates GCP training for all staff involved in clinical trials and is responsible for the introduction of regulatory sciences courses in universities and he takes part in health research ethics training within IRB’s in Uganda.

Dr Alwyn Mwinga 
Dr Alwyn Mwinga is currently the Deputy Director for Programs in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Zambia office and works as a Public Health professional focusing on HIV/AIDS programs.  Prior to joining CDC in 2001 she worked as a clinician, lecturer and researcher based in the Department of Medicine, University of Zambia from 1992 - 2000 where she was responsible for coordinating several large clinical trials in TB/HIV. She has a keen interest in bioethics and served on the University of Zambia Research Ethics Committee from 2000 – 2011. She was one of the founder members of the Pan-African Bioethics Initiative (PABIN). She served as a member of the CIOMS Consultation for the revision of the 1993 CIOMS International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research involving human subjects.  She has also served as reviewer for several journals, reviewed proposals for funding to international organizations and as a member of several data safety monitoring committees.

Mrs Tanya Coetzee 
Mrs Tanya Coetzee is currently working in the Faculty of Science at the Tshwane University of Technology. She has been involved in research administration for the past 19 years, first in the Directorate of Research & Innovation and now in the Faculty of Science.  In her current position she is actively involved in all aspects of research support and higher degrees administration. The socio-economic development of South Africa is of great importance to her.  Her undergraduate studies were in Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria and in Developmental Studies at UNISA. She has a particular interest in the following ethnological and developmental issues:  vulnerable ethnic groups in poor and ill-resourced communities, and protecting the rights of women as individuals and the important roles they play in society. Ms Coetzee has been involved with the establishment of the Faculty Research Ethics Committee in the Faculty of Science.

Dr Liya Wassie Dubale 
Dr Liya Wassie Dubale has been working on TB immunology at the Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI) since April 2005; engaged in different consortium projects including VACSEL/VACSIS, SERO-TB and MUVAPRED, which mainly focuses on the identification of biomarkers in TB that have potential application in the development of new TB vaccines and diagnostics. Currently she is a post-doctoral researcher studying innate immunity in latency to MTB infection in children and adolescents and working in the same institute. While working on these projects, she has gained some academic and technical skills on basic concepts in writing grant applications, basic concepts and practical skills on good laboratory practice (GLP) in handling of human blood specimens for in vitro and ex vivo lab experiments, writing standard operating procedures (SOPs) and data analyses and interpretation. She has also participated in a number of scientific workshops and meetings. She supervises MSc students and assists PhD students as needed in the lab, organizes short meetings, workshops and training activities. Currently, she serves as member secretary of the AHRI/ALERT Ethics Review Committee (AAERC) and member of the national ethics review committee of Ethiopia.

Prof Joyce Tsoka-Gwegweni
Professor Joyce Tsoka-Gwegweni is a member of the University of KwaZulu-Natal Biomedical Research Ethics Committee. She joined the Pan-African Bioethics Initiative (PABIN). She has an interest in research and communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB and neglected tropical diseases and their burden on disadvantaged populations such as pregnant women, children, rural women, refugees and the homeless. She is currently employed as an Associate Professor and Acting Head of Public Health Medicine at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. She is also the School Academic Leader for Teaching and Learning. Previously she held the post of the Deputy Dean of the Medical School. Her previous roles include serving as a Content Advisor for the Portfolio Committee on Health in Parliament of South Africa, Cape Town; Manager for Research Management Division, Senior Scientist and Scientist at the Malaria Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council (MRC). She has qualifications in the fields of Public Health and Health Sciences that include a PhD, two master’s degrees and two honours degrees plus management and leadership qualifications.

Mrs Nanette Briers 
Mrs Nanette Briers is a senior lecturer in the Anatomy Department, University of Pretoria. She teaches clinical anatomy, radiological anatomy and research methodology to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Her research activities include supervision of Honours and MSc students and she serves as a reviewer for international journals. She is currently finalizing her PhD study on the morphological changes of facial characteristics of South African primary school children. She is actively involved in community training activities. She has been a member of the Student Ethics Research Committee for several years and has a special interest in the ethical issues surrounding the use of DNA, human remains and children in research.


Dr Tyson Welzel 
Dr Tyson Welzel graduated from UCT in 2001. He has an interest in all aspects of Emergency Medicine, and has completed courses in Hyperbaric, Diving, Aviation and Expedition Medicine as well as Forensic Medicine, Legal Medicine and Disaster Medicine. For many years he served the dual function of Clinician and Clinical Manager at a District Hospital in Cape Town.He is currently a senior lecturer in the Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of Cape Town and co-ordinator of the MPhil programme in Emergency Medicine. He serves on the research committee of the Division of Emergency Medicine of Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town, the research committee of the Department of Surgery, UCT and the Human Research Ethics Committee at the University of Stellenbosch.


Dr Patrick Kamalo 
Dr Patrick Kamalo graduated with an MBBS degree from the University of Malawi – College of Medicine in 2000. In 2007 he joined the Department of Neurosurgery of the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) in Durban, South Africa as a resident and in October 2010 he qualified as a Fellow of the College of Neurosurgeons of South Africa. He is working on his research for an MMed degree at UKZN.  Patrick is currently employed as a lecturer at the University of Malawi College of Medicine. In October 2011 he was nominated to represent the surgical disciplines in the College of Medicine Research and Ethics Committee (COMREC) where he reviews at least 3 new protocols a month. His exposure to research ethics has included a Summer School for Research Ethics in Oxford in July this year and a 2-day Research Ethics and Good Clinical Practice workshop in Nairobi Kenya. His goal is to contribute to the development of research ethics in Malawi.

Mrs Tumulano Sekoto
Mrs Tumulano Sekoto is a nurse midwife and family nurse practitioner from Botswana. She worked for the Botswana government for 10 years before transitioning to primarily working in HIV/AIDS at Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute (BHP).She is currently working as a Regulatory Coordinator at BHP and assisting researchers to comply with local and international research guidelines.  Her role includes training research staff in human research ethics and Good Clinical Practice (GCP). She also works with the local IRB to ensure that researchers at BHP comply with local regulations. In addition to her nursing background, she holds a BA (Health Sciences and Social Services) and BA Hons (Psychology), both from University of South Africa (UNISA). She completed a Harvard clinical bioethics course in June 2012.  She has enrolled in the ARESA Postgraduate course to enhance her knowledge in the ethical conduct of clinical research and to present research ethics training to others in Botswana.