BHP people

Max Essex

Dr Max Essex

Dr Essex is the Lasker Professor of Health Sciences at Harvard University and Chair of both the Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership and the Harvard AIDS Initiative. He received his DVM from Michigan State University, his PhD at the University of California Davis, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Karolinska Institute School of Medicine in Stockholm.

In 1982, Essex hypothesized with Robert Gallo and Lou Montagnier that a retrovirus was the cause of AIDS. For this the three shared the 1986 Lasker Award. With doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, Essex identified the envelope proteins of HIV that are routinely used for diagnosis of HIV/AIDS and for blood screening. His recent research has focused on the use of antiretroviral drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and for the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Essex has published over 580 research papers; more than 40 have appeared in Science or Nature.

Joseph Makhema

Dr Joseph Makhema
Chief Executive Officer

Dr Makhema graduated MB.,ChB, at the University of Nairobi in 1985. He worked at Princess Marina Hospital from 1985 to 1989, then trained in Edinburgh as a Specialist Physician, becoming a Member of the Royal College of Physicians (UK) in 1993. He returned to Princess Marina Hospital as Specialist Physician from 1993 to 1997, when he joined the Gaborone Private Hospital as Consultant Physician. He joined BHP as Senior Clinical Research Manager and Co-Director in 2003. He became BHP Project Director in 2006. When the BHP became an independent limited liability company in 2009, he became the Chief Executive Officer.

He is responsible for the overall development and administration of policy directives, strategic operations, and programme implementation of the BHP. He supervises and oversees management of all clinical research and training projects. In addition to his responsibilities at the BHP, he chairs the Botswana Health Professions Council and is a Member of the University of Botswana Council.

Mompati Mmalane

Dr Mompati Mmalane
Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Dr Mmalane graduated MD at the University of Tübingen, Germany in 1986. He joined Princess Marina Hospital in 1987. He went to Edinburgh for specialization in surgery in 1991 and obtained the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1995. He completed an MSc in Orthopedics at the University College, London in 2001. He subsequently returned to Princess Marina Hospital as an orthopedic surgeon and was appointed Deputy Hospital Superintendent in 2003 and promoted to Superintendent in 2004. In 2005 he was deployed to the Ministry of Health as the Director of Clinical Services, a post he held until his retirement from the civil service in 2008. In 2009 Dr. Mmalane joined the Botswana Harvard Partnership (BHP) and as Co-Director, he is responsible for the strategic objectives of the institute. Dr Mmalane has served on a number of boards, including the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund ofBotswana and the Cheshire Foundation, an NGO whose mission is to rehabilitate children with disabilities.

Ria Madison

Ria Madison
Chief Operations Officer

Ms Madison, Project Administrator of the BHP, was also its first employee. She has been largely responsible for developing the BHP’s administrative and financial framework. Before joining the BHP, she was an administrator for Lazare Kaplan, an international diamond cutting company.

Tendon Gaolathe

Tendani Gaolathe 
BCPP Project Director

Graduated from St Georges U. School of Medicine in Grenada in 1996 and residency in Internal Medicine from Seton Hall University. Dr Gaolathe as a clinician has managed public health programs and conducted observational and clinical trials related to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Botswana since 2001. She joined BHP in 2005 as Director for the Master Trainer Program, BHP’s s flagship training program which has been instrumental in securing success of the Botswana’s Antiretroviral program clinic rollout, task shifting, laboratory decentralization, and national Monitoring and Evaluation efforts. She currently is Project Director for BCPP.

Simane Gaseitsiwe

Dr Simani Gaseitsiwe
Laboratory Director

Dr Gaseitsiwe, a native of Botswana, completed two years of his BSc at the University of Botswana, then obtained a BSc in Medical Laboratory Sciences in 1998 from the University of Pittsburgh (USA). From 2000 to 2005, he was a research assistant for the BHP. In 2001 he was awarded a Fogarty Research Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr Gaseitsiwe received his PhD from the Karolinska Institute (Sweden) in 2009. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, he was appointed the Deputy Laboratory Research Director for the BHP in January 2010. In coordination with the Laboratory Director, his oversees laboratory research activities at the BHP.

Sikhulile Moyo

Dr Sikhulile Moyo

Deputy Laboratory Director

Dr Moyo oversees the design and implementation of the laboratory aspects of clinical trials conducted at BHP, as well as observational and surveillance studies. His interests include characterization of early HIV-1 Infection, estimating HIV incidence, evolutionary bioinformatics, phylogenetics and molecular epidemiology. He has made a number of significant recent advances in the analysis of HIV recency of infection by incorporating HIV diversity refine cross-sectional incidence estimation and over 82 peer reviewed publications. He has worked on various projects including: evaluation of point-of-care viral load and CD4 devices, early infant treatment, community-based prevention studies, Hepatitis, CMV and HPV genotyping, HIV-1 drug resistance. In 2016, he was nominated co-vice chair of the ACTG/IMPAACT Laboratory Technologist Committee.