Reuben Benjamin is a Consultant Haematologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer with an interest in multiple myeloma, stem cell transplantation and cell therapy.
He completed his haematology training at University College Hospital, London and then worked as a postdoctorate research fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY undertaking translational research in CAR-T cell therapy for leukaemia and myeloma.
Since 2014 he has been based at King’s College Hospital, London where he leads the plasma cell disorder service and CAR-T cell programme. He is Chief Investigator of the CALM Trial, the first allogeneic off-the-shelf CAR-T cell study for relapsed adult B-ALL and is also actively involved in offering CAR-T cell therapy for myeloma and lymphoma.
He has an active research group at King’s College London focusing on allogeneic CAR-T cells for leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
Melodie Labuschaigne (formerly Slabbert)
Professor Melodie Labuschaigne is a former Director of the School of Law and Deputy Executive Dean of the College of Law at UNISA. She obtained the degrees BA, BA (Hons), MA and DLitt from the University of Pretoria, and the degrees LLB and LLD (in medical law) from the University of South Africa. She was admitted as an advocate of the High Court of South Africa in 1996. She studied as part of her doctoral research at the Max Planck Institutes in Heidelberg, Freiburg and Munich. She received various international research grants to conduct research in Finland, Germany, Australia, Spain, France, Scotland, the Netherlands and Belgium. During 2001-2002 she lectured medical law and ethics at the Adelaide University Law School in South Australia. She is presently the chairperson of the Inter-University Centre for Education Law and Policy and has served on the boards of the SAMLA and Dignity SA. She is also a board member of, amongst others, the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine at UP, Bone SA (as non-executive director) and the Innocence Project SA.
She has published numerous articles on medical law, focusing on the legal regulation of stem cell research, ethical, legal and social issues relating to genomic research, assisted reproduction and biotechnology law, in local and international law journals and has presented many local and international conference papers. She is the author of the monograph on South African Medical Law for the Encyclopaedia of Law Series (Wolters Kluwer International). She is a recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research from the University of SA, the Women in Research Leadership Award, and the Hugo de Groot Prize. She has been involved with the revision and drafting of health legislation for more than ten years and is regularly approached to provide legal opinions on legal issues relating to medical law. She has graduated more than fifteen postgraduate students on issues relating to stem cell research and therapy, genomic research, and assisted reproduction.
Dr. Brian Custer
Brian Custer is the Director of Epidemiology and Health Policy Science and a Vice President of Research and Scientific Programs at Vitalant Research Institute in San Francisco. He is also a Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, and is an affiliate faculty member in the Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute at the University of Washington, Seattle. He earned his MPH and PhD degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle. He is actively involved in several committees and working groups of AABB, a member of the Transfusion-Transmitted Infectious Diseases Working Party of ISBT, and a leader of the ISBT Academy I TRY IT program. He conducts epidemiology and health outcomes research in blood donors and transfusion recipients, primarily focused on infectious diseases. Dr. Custer is the Principal Investigator of the San Francisco Clinical Site of the NHLBI Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study (REDS-IV-P) and the Brazil Component of the same program. He is also the Principal Investigator for the Laboratory and Risk Factor Coordinating Center of the US Transfusion-Transmissible Infections Monitoring System.
Dr. Britta Lohrke
Britta Lohrke, was born more than 50 years ago in Namibia and has 3 grown-up children scattered all over the world.
Pre-graduate medical studies were completed at the Stellenbosch University.
Blood transfusion post-graduate studies were done through the Bloemfontein University, while working for the Blood Transfusion Service of Namibia (NAMBTS). She started becoming passionate about blood transfusion and haemovigilance in particular, and enjoys sharing this with medical and nursing students while training them on the appropriate clinical usage of blood and blood products.
She has worked in the UK, in the private health sector as a GP, then for NAMBTS and the CDC as Blood safety officer, and is now employed by the Ministry of Health and Social Service in Namibia as senior medical officer for blood transfusion.
Time working at Primary Health Care (PHC) and being the consultant coordinating editor of the 1st and the subsequent edition of the Namibian Standard Treatment Guidelines (STGs), as well as extra-curricular studies in adult basic education, family medicine, advanced health management and alternate health, broadened the horizon.
Dr Lohrke was invited to present at multiple international congresses (WHO, IHN/ISBT and Haema Germany), but has also presented at African and South African congresses.
In her spare time she likes being active outdoors and music.
Dr Charlotte Ingram
Dr Charlotte Ingram is currently the Medical Director and CEO for the South African Bone Marrow Registry (SABMR) based at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town. Prior to this she was the medical director for the South African National Blood Transfusion Service (SANBS). Dr Ingram was the CEO for the clinical trial laboratory division of the Wits Health Consortium, a division of the University of Witwatersrand & previously headed up a molecular diagnostics unit for a reputable commercial business initiative for the sub Saharan African region. Her qualifications include both laboratory and clinical haematology – MMed (Haem) Wits and haematopathology – FCPathHaem (Wits) and a registered HPCSA Haematology clinical sub speciality. She also has a MBA (Wits).
Dr Ingram was actively involved in HIV research & management of HIV disease & anaemia in the antenatal units of the Johannesburg hospital complex for many years. Dr Ingram was the country principal investigator (PI) for the REDS III study for South Africa until she left the organization in 2016 and was also the principal investigator for the SANBS CDC /PEPFAR Blood Safety & strengthening health systems program in South Africa. Dr Ingram has both administrative & previous board experience in relevant blood transfusion services and stem cell / bone marrow transplantation. She is also a member of the SANBS HREC (Human Research and Ethics) Committee and serves on the boards of the WCBS (Western Cape Blood Service) and SATiBA (The South African Tissue Banking Association).
Prof. Christian Erikstrup
Christian Erikstrup is a chair professor and chief physician at the Department of Clinical Immunology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark. He graduated from Aarhus University as an MD in 2002, obtained the PhD degree in 2007 from University of Copenhagen and specialized in clinical immunology in 2013. He is head of blood production and patient blood management in the Central Denmark Region. Furthermore, he is head of HIV/hepatitis testing among patients and donors in Central Denmark and chair of the Danish council of transfusion transmitted infections.
Dr. Erikstrup has worked extensively with HIV immunology and epidemiology in studies from Guinea-Bissau, Zimbabwe and Denmark.
Dr. Erikstrup is a co-initiator and member of the steering committee of the Danish Blood Donor Study (DBDS), a cohort and bio bank with 120,000 participants. The bio bank is linked with the national health registers and information about e.g. diagnosis codes for all hospital contacts and filled prescriptions are known for the participants. DBDS performs studies within blood donor health, general health and transfusion medicine. The very granular data now available can help us take blood donor studies to the next level through a Big Data approach.
Prof. Edward L. Murphy
Edward L. Murphy, MD, MPH is Professor Emeritus of Laboratory Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Senior Investigator at Vitalant Research Institute (VRI). Dr. Murphy obtained his B.S. in Marine Biology from MIT, his M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine and his M.P.H. in epidemiology at University of California Berkeley School of Public Health. Following his residency in Internal Medicine at Boston University Medical Center, Dr. Murphy did a research fellowship in viral epidemiology at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, including field work on HTLV-1 infection in Jamaica, West Indies. Since joining UCSF in 1988 and VRI in 2001, his research program has focused on the epidemiology and pathophysiology of transfusion-transmitted viruses including HTLV-1 and HTLV-2, HIV and hepatitis B and C viruses, as well as clinical research into transfusion safety and availability. He is currently the principal investigator of the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute REDS-III programs in San Francisco and South Africa as well as a NIH Fogarty training grant for HIV research training in haematology and transfusion medicine in South Africa.
Prof. Erica Wood
Professor Erica Wood is head of the Transfusion Research Unit at Monash University and consultant haematologist at Monash Health. She holds an honorary appointment at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Erica is president-elect of the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) and a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel in Transfusion Medicine. She is immediate past president of the International Haemovigilance Network (IHN) and chair of the IHN Advisory Board. IHN brings together haemovigilance systems in 40 countries around the world.
Erica was Chief Examiner in Haematology for the RCPA from 2012-2015 and Associate Chief Examiner from 2008-2012. She is past-president of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion (ANZSBT) and a current member of the ANZSBT Research Advisory Committee. She contributes on the Australian National Haemovigilance Advisory Committee and the TGA Advisory Committee on Biologicals. She is also a member of the editorial group for the International Collaboration for Transfusion Medicine Guidelines.
Erica is a founding member of Blood Matters Program, a partnership between the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and participating hospitals. She serves on its Advisory Committee and the expert group of its Serious Transfusion Incident Reporting (STIR) haemovigilance program, which she chaired from 2006-13. Erica was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2014 to support her work in PBM.
The Transfusion Research Unit manages a number of national and international clinical trials and registries in transfusion and haematology. More information is available at: www.monash.edu/medicine/sphpm/units/transfusionresearch
Judith Chapman was appointed Executive Director of the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) in 2008. Her responsibilities include the effective management of the ISBT Central Office and ensuring delivery of the society’s congresses, policies and strategy. Judith has been involved with ISBT governance since 2004 when she was elected to the Board of Directors as Regional Director for Europe. In 2006 she was elected ISBT Vice President. Judith is also a past President of the British Blood Transfusion Society.
Judith is a biomedical scientist and has an MBA. She has had different roles within the field of transfusion medicine including managing a large haematology and blood transfusion laboratory at a central London University hospital and establishing and managing the Blood Stocks Management Scheme for NHS Blood and Transplant in England, a pioneering project which was founded to monitor and improve blood supply management in the UK. Judith has a passion for blood transfusion and is committed to sharing her knowledge to help improve transfusion practice. She is passionate about getting more young women into science, technology, engineering and medicine (STEM).
Mark Sonderup obtained a B Pharm degree from the University of Port Elizabeth in 1990 and an MBChB from the University of Cape Town in 1995. Following his internship training, his postgraduate training was at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital where he obtained a Fellowship of the College of Physicians in 2002. Between 2002 and 2004, he completed a 2 year fellowship in Hepatology at the UCT/MRC Liver Research Centre and Liver Clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital. He briefly worked in the UK before being appointed as a Senior Specialist in the Department of Medicine and Division of Hepatology at UCT and Groote Schuur Hospital in 2007. He was granted a FRCP (London) in 2018. He is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and Division of Hepatology. He has co-authored the national viral hepatitis guidelines and elimination strategy for South Africa. He currently serves on the WHO Strategic Advisory Committee on Viral Hepatitis.
Dr. Michael Busch
Dr. Michael Busch earned his MD and PhD degrees at the University of Southern California followed by residency training in Pathology, Laboratory Medicine and Transfusion Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is currently Director of Blood Systems Research Institute (BSRI) and Senior Vice President for Research and Scientific Affairs at Blood Systems, a national network of blood centers and donor testing laboratories. He is also a Professor of Laboratory Medicine at UCSF. Dr. Busch’s major research interests include:
1) The epidemiology, pathogenesis and laboratory evaluation of transfusion-associated viral infections, including HIV-1/2; HTLV-I/II, HBV, and HCV, as well as blood safety implications of new and emerging transfusion-transmissible infectious diseases (e.g., Zika virus, West Nile Virus, Dengue and Zika Viruses, chikungunya virus, T. cruzi, babesia, etc.);
2) Development and implementation of new or improved laboratory assays and blood donor screening protocols, clinical evaluation and management, and possible prevention by pathogen inactivation of blood-borne infections, with particular focus on new techniques for mass screening of blood donations using nucleic acid amplification technology (NAT) to reduce the infectious window period and detect new and emerging infectious diseases;
3) Mechanisms and prevention of immunological consequences of transfusions, including transfusion-induced immune modulation, viral reactivation, microchimerism, graft-vs-host disease, transfusion-related acute lung injury and alloimmunization; and
4) Mechanisms of HIV persistence and development, validation and application of novel assays to quantify HIV reservoirs in HIV-suppressed subjects in the context of cure research interventions. Dr. Busch has published ~500 peer-reviewed original scientific articles and over 150 review articles, editorials and book chapters.
Pieter was born and bred in a small town called Prieska somewhere in the Karoo. He is the proud father of two sons and husband to a gorgeous wife. His passions include red wine, mountain bikes and braaing, but as the story goes he is not particularly good at any of those, but that won’t dampen his eagerness. What Pieter is good at is spotting brilliant business opportunities and getting maximum bang for client’s buck by means of finding the right consumers and influencers to perfectly match their brands.
Pieter loves a challenge, which his original trade as a chartered accountant just didn’t provide, but which founding theSALT did. Subsequently the Webfluential SA licence was added into the mix as well as the launch of the first to market in SA employee advocate business, theIntern-ship. By recently adding Nflu#ntial a boutique influencer marketing agency to the mix as well as Echocast, a business helping brands with branded podcasts, he and his team can rightfully claim they are the market leaders in SA in terms of influencer marketing. They are breaking new ground within the fast developing influencer marketing terrain, covering all the different aspects and categories as SA’s Leading Influencer Marketing Group – get in touch with them to find the right influencers for your brand.
My experience with the blood program dates back more then 30 years ago, when I joined the Canadian Red Cross Blood Program as part as of the management team in Montreal.
After being responsible of the Blood Donor Recruitment Services for three years, I was offered the challenge to join the marketing and development services, first in Québec and then for the Eastern Region of Canada. This experience enhanced my overall knowledge and perspective on both the marketing and recruitment sides of our business.
My portfolio since the creation of Héma-Québec in 1998, the organization responsible of the blood supply in Québec, includes the development of new strategies in order to raise awareness, maximize collections, develop donor loyalty and enhance the overall blood donation experience as well as the branding of the Blood and Plasma Centres. More recently, I added some marketing initiatives for the Human Tissues program, the Stem Cell Donor Registry, the Cord Blood Bank and Public Mothers’ Milk Bank.
Finally, since the past decade, I had both the privilege and the opportunity to share my experience around the world, as a facilitator for many training workshops on the different aspects of the blood program such as the development of a Voluntary Non-Remunerated Blood Donor Program. Most of these workshops were held in Africa, under the umbrella of Safe Blood For Africa, gathering all together, more then 275 participants coming from more then 29 sub-saharan countries.
I hold a Bacchelor Degree from the University of Montreal and a Certificate from the Canadian Marketing Association.
Prof Vernon Louw is the Chair and Head of the Division of Clinical Haematology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town since April 2018. Before this, he was in private practice as a Specialist Physician and Clinical Haematologist at Panorama Mediclinic from February 2015 until March 2018. During this period, he was an Affiliated Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of the Free State, Affiliated Lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch and Honorary Professor in the Department of Medicine and Division of Haematology at the University of Cape Town. Before moving to Cape Town, he was Professor and Head of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein since 2013, where he was also Head of Division of Clinical Haematology from 2004 to 2013 before being appointed as the Head of the Department of Internal Medicine. After completing his MBChB and MMed in Internal Medicine at the University of Stellenbosch (both cum laude), he spent three years at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Clinical Haematology. In 2011, he obtained his PhD in Health Professions Education at the University of the Free State, studying postgraduate education in transfusion medicine.
He received numerous awards, grants and bursaries, among which the University of Stellenbosch Andries Brink medal for the best postgraduate student of all health-related disciplines in the year 2000. In 2015 he received the National South African Registrar Association Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research Supervision. He has a special interest in iron-related disorders, both iron deficiency and transfusional iron overload.
He has published more than 80 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters with more than 200 poster and oral presentations at local, national, and international meetings and conferences. He is a member of a number of haematological societies, including the American Society of Haematology (ASH) and the European Haematology Association (EHA).
His vision is to develop online learning platforms for haematology and transfusion medicine that could benefit healthcare in Africa. His series of educational videos on haematological topics can be found on his Vernon Louw MedEd YouTube channel.