Lester Kapanda


I have served research institutions of the University of Malawi more particular under College of Medicine for ten years also. From 2003 to end 2012, I worked for Johns Hopkins University College of Medicine Research Project. This is a joint clinical research project between College of Medicine of the University of Malawi and the Johns Hopkins University – Bloomberg School of Public Health in the USA in response to the huge burden of infectious diseases and other non-communicable diseases in Malawi. Johns Hopkins Research Project mainly carries out international research in infectious diseases ranging from HIV including HIV related cancers like Kaposi’s sarcoma; other diseases such as Tuberculosis and Sexually Transmitted Infections. I have served the project as clinician; sub-investigator and study project coordinator. I was responsible for providing clinical needs of study participants, verifying eligibility of participants as well as reviewing laboratory results of study clients and reporting adverse events. As sub investigator and project coordinator I was mainly responsible for overseeing the conduct of clinical trials by making sure that study procedures are carried out in accordance with protocols as well as international and ethical standards. I was also involved in the development of standard operating procedures and staff training on various study related aspects like protocols. From January 2013, I joined the Malawi Liverpool Welcome Trust Clinical research Program as research scientist and senior project manager for a large Wellcome Trust funded programme grant (VacSurv) where I was directly responsible for the running of several integrated observational case control studies of vaccine effectiveness and a cohort study of vaccine cost-effectiveness. I was responsible for the day to day management of these studies, including managing field activities, hospital based recruitment, compliance with study protocols, standard operating procedures and compliance with all Good Clinical Practice and regulatory requirements, including liaison with several institutional review boards and ethics committees in Malawi, in the UK and the United States of America. I was also heavily involved in community engagement activities and the integration with our Community Liaison Group, local chiefs, Traditional Authorities and critical staff within the health system. My other responsibility was to liaise with laboratory staff to ensure quality laboratory work and seamless integration between the laboratory, clinical and field staff. I had to oversee a team of seventeen local and international researchers, research nurses, field workers and ancillary staff. I was also responsible for chairing management committee of studies. Towards the end of 2014 I was offered part time faculty position within the school of public health and family medicine where I am housed for my PhD studies.