Meet Our Researchers

Fabian Cataldo, Research Scientist (MA, MRes, PhD)


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Dr. Fabian Cataldo is a social anthropologist specializing in questions related to health systems and access to treatment and care in low-income settings. Over the past 15 years he has undertaken extensive fieldwork in Brazil, Belgium, Tunisia, Zambia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi.

Fabian received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of London (Goldsmiths College), sponsored by The Wellcome Trust Biomedical Ethics. He also received his Masters of Research and MA in Anthropology from the University of London and studied epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Fabian served as a visiting researcher at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, and he is an honorary research associate with the Research Department of Infection and Population Health at the University College of London, as well as a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. He joined Dignitas International as the organization’s Malawi Research Director in 2010 and currently serves as a Research Scientist. Dr. Cataldo has been awarded several international grant and academic prizes, including the best new writer prize in 2009 by Sociology of Health and Illness.

Fabian’s research interests are rooted in questions around current efforts at global health interventions in the field of HIV/AIDS, including health systems strengthening, community-based interventions, and programs that focus on structural interventions for socio-economically marginalized groups.

Adrienne K. Chan, Medical Advisor (MD, MPH, FRCPC)


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Adrienne K. Chan is an Infectious Diseases physician and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Canada. Currently, Dr. Chan serves as Medical Advisor with Dignitas International and is a staff physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre,Toronto. She holds a cross-appointment to the Clinical Public Health Division at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto, where she teaches on Health Systems Management in International Settings. Over the last 11 years, Dr. Chan has worked in southern Africa with clinical experience in Malawi, Lesotho, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe, and multiple research collaborations with regional and international networks. In 2007, Dr. Chan joined Dignitas International, a Canadian NGO, as the organization’s HIV Clinic Coordinator in Zomba, Malawi, and later became Medical Coordinator for the Malawi country program.

Dr. Chan’s implementation research work with Dignitas International focuses on optimizing health services delivery in low resource settings. She has specific interests in decentralization and roll-out of antiretroviral therapy, and HIV-related services in southern Africa with a focus on: HIV program integration with tuberculosis (TB) and non-communicable disease care, scale up of prevention of mother-to-child transmission service and models of task-shifting to address human resources for health constraints.  She is also interested in context-relevant clinical research, which aims to reduce mortality due to opportunistic infections (specifically TB and cryptococcal meningitis) in HIV patients with severe immunosuppression, and in the long term clinical and health systems sequelae of the West Africa Ebola outbreak.

Edson Mwinjiwa, Senior Coordinator (BSc)


Edson-Mwinjiwa-2Edson Mwinjiwa holds a Diploma in Clinical Medicine from the Malawi College of Health Sciences and a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Shear World University. Before joining Dignitas International, Edson worked with the Malawi Ministry of Health in Chiladzulu District where he served as Clinical Officer.

Edson first joined Dignitas International as an ART Clinical Officer and then worked as HIV Clinical Coordinator at Zomba Central Hospital. He coordinated the CryptoDex study on the management of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) to improve treatment of KS among HIV patients for a year – a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled phase III trial of adjunctive dexamethasone in HIV-infected adults with cryptococcal meningitis.

During his clinical involvement in operations research, Edson co-authored various publications, including, “Burden, characteristics, management and outcomes of HIV-infected patients with KS in Zomba, Malawi.” He also co-authored the publication, “Reasons to accept or decline uptake of HIV testing and counseling and antiretroviral therapy by TB and TB/HIV co-infected patients at Zomba Central Hospital.”

Edson is now the Senior Coordinator for the TSCQ study which aims to determine whether preventative use of the antimalarial chloroquine is associated with reduced morbidity and mortality among ART patients.

Sumeet Sodhi, Research Scientist (MD, MPH)


SumeetSodhi_HeadShot-e1374073423427Dr. Sumeet Sodhi is a Research Scientist at Dignitas International. She is also a staff physician with the Toronto Western Hospital Family Health Team at the University Health Network and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto, where she received her undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. She completed her MD in 1997, family medicine residency in 1999 and low-risk obstetrics fellowship in 2000. As well, she obtained her Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University in 2006.

Sumeet has extensive experience working as a field doctor, program consultant and researcher in global health and resource-poor contexts, primarily in Africa, Asia and Canada’s northern communities. She has been affiliated with Dignitas International since 2006, where she has been instrumental in building operational research capacity in the organization by championing integration of the research and program departments.

Sumeet’s current research interests include evaluating HIV/AIDS and primary care service delivery models in resource-poor settings, developing and evaluating knowledge translation tools to support health care workers in clinical management of HIV/AIDS and primary care conditions, and in observational cohort analysis of patients enrolled in antiretroviral treatment programs in sub-Saharan Africa.

Monique van Lettow, Research Advisor, Epidemiology and Dissemination (MPH, PhD)


vanlettowDr. Monique van Lettow received her PhD in medical sciences from the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands and her Master’s in Public Health from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Prior to joining Dignitas International, Monique served as the Co-Investigator for the Randomized Controlled Trial of Adjunct Micronutrient Therapy for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS study as well as the Program Manager for Johns Hopkins University, stationed in Zomba, Malawi.

Monique has additional research and field experience throughout West and Southern Africa. She joined Dignitas International in 2007 and currently serves as Research Advisor, Epidemiology and Dissemination. Her research interests include TB/HIV integration and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission.

Alemayehu Amberbir, Epidemiologist (MPH, PhD)


Dr-Alemayehu-Amberbir-A-sqDr. Alemayehu Amberbir is a medical epidemiologist with over 10 years of experience in both academia and field research programs in Ethiopia and Malawi. He holds a Masters in Public Health from Jimma University, Ethiopia, and PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. Dr. Amberbir previously held the position of lecturer in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has been involved in the design and implementation of large non-communicable diseases (NCD) surveys focusing on cardiovascular diseases and diabetes in rural and urban Malawi. He currently works as an epidemiologist at Dignitas International based in Zomba, Malawi and is involved in various research efforts, including the Grand Challenges Canada NCD-HIV integration project. His research interests include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases as well as the integration of NCDs and HIV care.

victoriaMeet Our Researchers