Colleen Hanrahan, PhD
Assistant Scientist, Epidemiology
The main focus of my research is on understanding the impact of interventions to control tuberculosis, particularly within the context of the HIV pandemic. TB is largely a story of implementation failures. We have good tools for prevention, treatment and diagnosis, but their implementation is sub-optimal in ways that result in a reduction or absence of impact on individual and population-level health. As new tools become available during the current exciting era of TB research, my goal is to understand, refine and improve the implementation of these tools (and existing ones) in order to significantly bend the curve of the epidemic. In particular, I am interested in using operational research to examine the impact and appropriate implementation of both new and existing diagnostic tests, active or intensified case finding strategies, new and existing preventive therapy regimens, and health systems-level interventions to retain patients in the cascade of TB care. I am also interested in the impact of local, national and international TB control policies on TB epidemiology. I employ a mix of standard epidemiologic methods as well as implementation science, stated preference methods (e.g discrete choice experiments) and economic evaluation in my work. A secondary research interest area is evaluating the effect of differentiated care strategies on retention in care for people living with HIV in high burden settings. These strategies offer care that is tailored towards the needs of specific populations in order to achieve long term virologic suppression and favorable clinical outcomes. Interventions include medication adherence clubs, fast tracks and community ART pickup points. Most of my research is in South Africa, where I have worked for over a decade.