Dr Katharina Kranzer
Clin Prof Infection Disease Epidemiology
I am a Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at LSHTM l and hold an appointment at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. I am based in Harare, Zimbabwe where I am deputy director of The Health Research Unit Zimbabwe (THRU-Zim), a unit at the Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI) in Harare, Zimbabwe.
My Phd (2008-2011), which was funded by the Wellcome Trust, focused on the role of active TB case finding and antiretroviral therapy for TB control in high HIV prevalence settings. From 2015-2018 I directed the National and WHO Supranational TB Reference Laboratory in Germany, Research Centre Borstel.
Together with Dr Norbert Heinrich I lead an EDCTP-funded TB household contact study (ERASE-TB) with the aim to evaluate new diagnostic tests and algorithms to diagnose TB before transmission occurs, earlier than current diagnostic approaches and to identify those most at risk for developing TB to allow targeted preventive treatment. I am chief scientist for an EDCTP-funded cluster randomised trial (TB-CAPT) led by the Foundation of Innovative Diagnostics (FIND) investigating the effect of near patient TB diagnostics (Omni Xpert/Ultra) on time to TB treatment initiation.
I am involved in a number of studies investigating antimicrobial resistance in Africa. In collaboration with Dr Tom Darton at the University of Sheffield and Dr Justin Dixon we are investigating the effect of the 2019 conjugated typhoid vaccine campaign on antimicrobial prescribing in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Over the past four years I have contributed as a member of the guideline development group to the WHO guidelines on systematic TB screening, nucleic acid amplification tests for detection of TB and drug resistant TB, novel skin tests for Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and target product profiles for TB testing and screening.
I used to be a module organiser and lecturer on the HIV module in London and have contributed as tutor to the distance learning MSc in epidemiology for more than a decade. Furthermore I am a member of the faculty of the NIH Fogarty Training for Research Excellence and Mentorship in Tuberculosis Program (TRENT) in Zimbabwe. I regularly supervise MSc projects and (co)supervise several PhD/DrPH students. Most of them are based and work in Zimbabwe. I am the co-director of the CREATE PhD programme in Zimbabwe and together with Professor Helen Ayles I co-direct the CREATE PhD programme for the matched African fellows.
I am particularly committed to capacity building. In my previous role as the director of the WHO Supranational Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory we partnered with national and regional laboratories in Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Sierra Leone, Pakistan and Ghana. Together with members of my team I regularly conducted supervisory visits in country and delivered teaching on new (molecular) diagnostics, quality managements and laboratory information systems. In Zimbabwe I have established a diagnostic blood and urine culture service at our collaborating institution (Biomedical Research & Training Institute). I conduct bench-trainings, perform regular bench rounds, and provide feedback on SOPs drafted by junior staff members. Laboratory quality management is a continuous process, hence regular teaching, training and refresher courses for staff are of utmost importance.
My research interest is focused on improving diagnosis and treatment of drug susceptible and resistant TB. My particular interest are rapid diagnostics, tuberculosis control, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, HIV-associated tuberculosis and laboratory capacity. I am also interested in implementation research aimed at improving the cascade of care for infectious and non-infectious diseases.