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Kerri Viney: a TB-CRE investigator goes to Geneva

Dr Kerri Viney, associate investigator with the TB-CRE, has a new role: Scientist with the Global TB Programme of WHO in Geneva.

Until October, Kerri was at the ANU’s Research School of Population Health, a recipient of a Sidney Sax Research Fellowship from the NHMRC, and also held affiliations to the Karolinska Institutet's Department of Global Public Health Sciences and the School of Public Health of the University of Sydney.

She has now taken a position at the WHO headquarters, joining a group of about 60 staff who make up the Global TB Programme, headed by Dr Tereza Kasaeva. Kerri’s team addresses guidelines and other policy documents on TB prevention treatment and care, with particular emphasis on TB treatment guidelines in her team of six people.

During her career, Kerri has worked in a range of areas in tuberculosis care, including in research, policy development, program

management and clinical care. She was formerly the Acting Manager of the New South Wales TB program, has managed a TB nursing service in London and was formerly a TB Technical Officer for the Pacific Community and WHO’s Regional Office for the Western Pacific.

“When I took this role, I wanted to focus on patient outcomes, and this role is focussed on outputs related to TB treatment guidelines, which I think will have a positive and long-lasting impact on patients,” Kerri said. “Hopefully in this role I can also contribute to the work of other teams, particularly on issues such as catastrophic cost surveys, which I was working on when I was at ANU.” She has also taken on a role as editorial advisor to the WHO Bulletin.

Kerri’s long-standing interest in TB, from both a clinical and a public health perspective, led her to undertake a number of consultancies with the Global TB Programme and other WHO teams over the past five years.

“Prior to joining WHO as a staff member, I was consulting for the Global TB Programme, doing the same type of work that I will be doing now in Geneva,” Kerri said. “I would recommend to anyone with an interest in international policy that it’s useful to consult with the teams you are interested in one day joining.”

She hopes to participate in the development of new approaches to guideline development, so that instead of a whole document being overhauled and published every few years, sections or chapters of that document might be updated as appropriate, leading to policy changes becoming available to end users more quickly.

Before taking up this role, Kerri had been to Geneva for conferences and meetings but hadn’t become very familiar with the city. Her family joined her in Geneva in December 2019 and they are starting to settle into life in Geneva.

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