Dr. Lee Fairlie, MBChB, DCH, FC Paeds (SA), MMED

Dr. Lee Fairlie is the Director of Maternal and Child Health at Wits RHI and has worked as a pediatrician in the HIV and infectious diseases (specifically TB) field since 2006. She is a member of the IMPAACT Treatment Scientific Committee and is part of the P1090 and IMPAACT 2010/VESTED protocol teams. She is also the Wits RHI Shandukani CRS Leader and co-chair of MTN 042/DELIVER.

Dr. Lee Fairlie
Dr. Lee Fairlie

What have you most enjoyed about working with the IMPAACT Network?

I enjoy being able to work with children, adolescents and pregnant/breastfeeding women as part of the studies that we conduct. It is exciting to be at the cutting edge of research which aims to optimize treatment and prevention for TB and HIV in these populations.

What milestones and successes have you experienced working with our studies?

The team has been exposed to many new drugs, different study designs and procedures within IMPAACT. It has been wonderful to be part of landmark studies which have led to guideline and policy changes such as P1060. Conducting studies such as P1093 and P1090, which have led to registration of drugs such as dolutegravir and etravirine in children, has been a success. As part of these studies, we have had several audits which although stressful have been successful, and the learnings have strengthened the site! We have also used new tools such as video-observed directly observed therapy in IMPAACT 2009 - it was very exciting to bring our research into the digital era! 

What has been the most defining experience so far in your career?

Probably receiving an IMPAACT Young Investigator award in 2011 where I was given the opportunity to collaborate with, and be mentored by, world-renowned colleagues from the U.S. This set me on a research path which I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy!

We just passed another decade. What is your hope for maternal child health with regards to HIV and/or TB in the next 10 years?

Hopefully we will eradicate HIV in children in the next decade! We need to ensure that pregnant and breastfeeding women have choices in terms of HIV and TB prevention, and if they are HIV-positive, they can enjoy optimal health with no risk of HIV transmission to their infants.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

Spending time with my wonderful family (we have twin girls) - we have taken several trips in fairly remote parts of sub-Saharan Africa which has been a real privilege. I love running, and reading is my passion!