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Cheryl Cohen, Associate Professor, University of the Witwatersrand

Cheryl Cohen

Cheryl Cohen is Associate Professor in epidemiology at the University of the Witwatersrand and co-head of the Centre for Respiratory Disease and Meningitis at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa. She qualified as a medical doctor at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and is a Fellow of the College of Pathologists of South Africa in the discipline of Microbiology. She obtained an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom and a Phd from the University of the Witwatersrand.

In her position at the NICD she works closely with the South African Department of Health to generate evidence to guide policy with regard to the control and management of respiratory diseases. She led the establishment of a national surveillance programme for severe acute respiratory infections in South Africa in 2009 and is the epidemiology lead for national surveillance for pneumonia and invasive bacterial infections causing pneumonia. She heads up a team with an active research agenda in the field of respiratory diseases with a focus on burden of disease and risk groups for severe illness, as well as assessment of the impact and effectiveness of interventions to reduce respiratory disease burden. She is a member of several national advisory committees as well as several international World Health Organisation working groups mainly related to influenza and other respiratory viruses. She has published more than 70 peer-reviewed papers.