Cochrane South Africa has appointed Professor Charles Shey Wiysonge as its new Director, effective December 2016.
Originally trained as a physician, Professor Wiysonge has also completed extensive postgraduate training in epidemiology, evidence-based health care, and vaccinology. His previous roles have included serving as Senior Research Officer with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS in Geneva, Senior Scientist with the South African Medical Research Council, Senior Researcher and Programme Manager for the University of Cape Town’s Vaccines for Africa Initiative, and the Deputy Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Health Care at Stellenbosch University. His association with Cochrane dates back to 2001, when he became the inaugural recipient of the Aubrey Sheiham Public Health and Primary Care Scholarship (from 2014 The Aubrey Sheiham Evidence-based Health Care in Africa Leadership Award). In addition to authoring multiple Cochrane Reviews, since 2014 Professor Wiysonge has been on the staff of Cochrane South Africa as Chief Specialist Scientist.
The Founding Director of Cochrane South Africa, Jimmy Volmink, will be stepping down from managing day-to-day operations at the Centre, but will continue to serve as Chair of the Global Organizing Committee for the 2017 Global Evidence Summit.
Cochrane CEO Mark Wilson said, ‘I congratulate and warmly welcome Professor Charles Wiysonge to his new role. This opens a new chapter for the South African Cochrane Centre following the outstanding leadership of Professor Jimmy Volmink over two decades; and I look forward immensely to working with Charles and the great team at Cochrane South Africa in the coming years as it leads efforts to build Cochrane’s impact on health and healthcare decision making across the whole continent.’
Professor Wiysonge, on taking over the Directorship, said, ‘Jimmy has done an outstanding job, and filling his shoes is next to impossible. I am thus indebted to Cochrane South Africa for the trust bestowed on me to draft the next chapter in its history. At the same time, I am humbled by the task before us; the huge task of ensuring that healthcare decision making in Africa is informed by relevant, timely, and high-certainty synthesized research evidence. However, I have no doubt in my mind that with an engaged team at Cochrane South Africa, we shall deliver.’
Please join us in congratulating Professor Wiysonge and Cochrane South Africa as they begin this new era, and wishing them every success for the future.