Dr Maryam Shahmanesh is an Associate Professor in Clinical Epidemiology at the UCL Institute for Global Health, faculty of the Africa Health Research Institute, and a sexual health and HIV Consultant. In the past she has held a Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellowship and a Walport Clinical Lectureship. In 2017 she received a National Health Institute early investigator R01 award to develop and evaluate a peer navigator intervention to improve uptake and retention of adolescents and young adults in biological, behavioural and structural interventions in South Africa. She also leads a large postgraduate teaching portfolio.
Her key strength is being able to work in the interdisciplinary space between social science, clinical medicine and epidemiology. Following work with marginalised populations and sex workers in India and Burma, she now leads a large programme of work to develop and evaluate complex sexual health and HIV prevention interventions for adolescents and young adults in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The programme, funded by a National Institute of Health, Medical Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Councils, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 3ie, and UNITAID, includes evaluating the scale-up of complex interventions (DREAMS and MTV-Shuga); and developing innovative uses for social networks, digital technology, Sexually Transmitted Infection near patient testing, and peer-support, to improve engagement of young people in HIV care and prevention, including antiretroviral based prevention (universal test and treat and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis).