Dr. Sahar Saeed is an epidemiologist and CIHR-funded post-doctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. Over the past 15 years, she has developed specialized knowledge and methodological expertise studying inequities among people living with HIV. While completing her doctoral studies at McGill University (2015-2019), she made significant advances uncovering barriers to accessing hepatitis C treatments among people co-infected with HIV. She spearheaded research evaluating the generalizability of clinical trials (CID, 2016); described the impact of patient-level barriers (JIAS, 2017) and system-level barriers (CID, 2019) on access to hepatitis C treatments; and evaluated how curing hepatitis C improved health-related quality of life (JVH, 2018). Additionally, she published two tutorials on quasi-experimental methodologies (IJPH 2018 & 2019) to support public health practitioners in understanding and applying these methods broadly. In the last five years she was awarded 17 competitive fellowships and prizes, including a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Frederick Banting and Charles Best Doctoral Award. Currently, Sahar is expanding her training to include implementation science and employs machine learning methods to characterize psycho-social syndemics and how they relate to disengagement from HIV care in the United States and Zambia.
Mpande Mukumbwa-Mwenechanya currently serves as a Technical Advisor at the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) and heads a PEPFAR funded project that supports the Ministry of Health (MoH) in scaling up Laboratory Services for Viral Load (VL) and Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) across 4 Provinces in the country. She serves on the National Differentiated Service Delivery (DSD) Task Force and builds Zambia’s expertise as a part time lecturer at the University of Zambia School of Medicine for undergraduate Pharmacy students. Her areas of expertise include capacity building and systems strengthening for sustainable delivery of quality health care services. Previously, she led a large implementation science study which used a mixed methods approach with surveys, qualitative methods, ART pick-up and patient retention monitoring. The study evaluated and determined best strategies for implementation of decentralized community group-led HIV prevention, care and treatment services. Mpande is a holder of a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy with further post graduate Masters in Clinical Pharmacy from the University of Zambia and currently pursuing a Masters in Epidemiology with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.