We Are PEARL

We are dedicated to TB & leprosy elimination in the Pacific

Our Australian team is just one part of our regional team which includes staff and partners in Kiribati, New Zealand and elsewhere in the Pacific region

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Eretii Timeon

Eretii Timeon is the Director of Public Health in the Kiribati Ministry of Health and Medical Services. Eretii leads ministerial support and engagement with the PEARL study in South Tarawa, Kiribati.

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Ben Marais

PEARL study lead Ben is a paediatrician and Professor at Westmead Children's Hospital and the University of Sydney. He co-directs the Sydney Institute for Infectious Diseases and the Sydney WHO collaborating centre for TB.

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Amanda Christensen

The Australian Respiratory Council executive director, Amanda is the PEARL study education coordinator leading Pacific-wide nurse training towards TB & leprosy elimination across the region.

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Jeremy Hill

Jeremy is the medical lead for the PEARL study and is a TB clinician, public health practitioner and epidemiologist. Jeremy runs the PEARL study TB & leprosy screening clinics in Kiribati.  

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Mikaela Coleman

Mikaela is the study coordinator for the PEARL study and is a post-doctoral immunologist and global health researcher. Mikaela manages study operations, data and research for the PEARL study.

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Warwick Britton

Warwick is the co-lead of the PEARL study and head of the Tuberculosis Research Program at the Centenary Institute and leads the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in TB Control. Warwick is an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney and Director of Research at Sydney Local Health District.

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Our Country Partners

The PEARL study is a joint research and public health intervention in collaboration with the Kiribati National TB/HIV and Leprosy Programmes

We are dedicated to TB & leprosy elimination in the Pacific

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Alfred Tonganibeia

Dr Alfred is the Manager of the National TB/HIV and Leprosy Programmes in Kiribati. He is a public health researcher and a study doctor in the PEARL study TB & leprosy screening clinics.

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Image by Peter Fogden

Bereka Reiher 

Bereka is the Nurse Manager of the National TB Program in Kiribati. Bereka leads the NTP nurse and DOT workforce.

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Baraniko Eromanga

Dr Baraniko is a TB/HIV doctor at the National TB/HIV Program in Kiribati. He works in the PEARL study mobile screening clinics providing expert support to our PEARL teams in the field.

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Temea Bauro

Dr Temea is a dermatologist and leprosy doctor at the National Leprosy Program in Kiribati. He works in the PEARL study mobile screening clinics providing expert support to our PEARL teams in the field.

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Image by Peter Fogden

Erei Rimon

Erei is the Nurse Manager of the National Leprosy Program in Kiribati. Erei leads the NLP nurse and leprosy contact tracing workforce.

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Tekaibeti Tarataake

Tekaibeti is the Manager of the National TB Program Laboratory in Kiribati. Tekaibeti oversees all PEARL study PCR analysis and blood chemistry for the diagnosis of TB and safe treatment of TB infection.

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Image by R. du Plessis

Our Leprosy Partners

We are dedicated to TB & leprosy elimination in the Pacific

The PEARL study dovetails with the COMBINE study which combines TB & leprosy screening with mass chemoprophylaxis for leprosy in South Tarawa and contact tracing throughout Kiribati. The COMBINE study is led by the Pacific Leprosy Foundation, New Zealand and is funded by the Leprosy Research Initiative.

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Jill Tomlinson

Jill is the General Manager of the Pacific Leprosy Foundation which has supported the National Leprosy Program in Kiribati since 2012. Jill is an investigator of the COMBINE study and manages leprosy program integration with the PEARL study mobile clinics. 

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Nabura Ioteba 

Dr Nabura is a Kiribati doctor with expertise in leprosy and Public Health based in New Zealand. Dr Nabura is a doctor consultant with the Pacific Leprosy Foundation and leads the  PEARL/COMBINE study leprosy training and monitoring in Kiribati.

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Stephen Chambers

Steve is a physician and professor of Infectious Disease at the University of Otago, Christchurch. He is a board member and researcher with the Pacific Leprosy Foundation and leads the leprosy components of the PEARL/COMBINE studies in Kiribati.

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Arturo Cununan

Arturo is a WHO consultant leprologist and member of the technical advisory group on leprosy. He oversees the clinical diagnosis and management of leprosy patients as well as the integration of the COMBINE project with the national leprosy programme.

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Nick Douglas

Nick is an Infectious Diseases Physician at Christchurch Hospital, Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago, Christchurch and Senior Research Fellow at Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Australia. He is a co-investigator on the leprosy component of the PEARL/COMBINE study

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Our Co-investigators

We are dedicated to TB & leprosy elimination in the Pacific

The PEARL study implements trial-validated disease elimination strategies into a non-controlled, real-world setting. Our investigator team draws together the expertise of global TB and leprosy researchers with Pacific leaders to find Pacific solutions to the threat of TB and leprosy. 

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Guy Marks

Scientia Professor at the University of New South Wales; President of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

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Kerri Viney

Team Lead in the Vulnerable Populations, Communities and Co-morbidities Unit, Global TB Programme, WHO Geneva

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James Trauer

Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Modelling, Monash University; Respiratory physician at Royal Melbourne Hospital

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Tauhid Islam

World Health Organisation,

End TB and Leprosy Unit Coordinator,

Western Pacific Region Office (WPRO) Manila

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Emma McBryde

Professor of Epidemiology and Modelling at James Cook University; Infectious Diseases physician at Townsville Hospital

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Greg Fox

Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Sydney; Respiratory physician at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital; Co-director WHO Collaborating Centre for TB

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Subash Yadav

World Health Organisation

TB technical expert,

WPRO Fiji 

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Bernadette Suanders

Associate Professor of Cellular Immunology at the University of Technology Sydney; TB Research Group Head at the Centenary Institute, Sydney

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Dick Brostrom

United States Centres for Disease Control (CDC) TB Medical Officer for the Pacific Region; Head of the Hawaii TB Program

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Katharina Ronacher

Associate Professor of Infection, Immunity and Metabolism at the University of Queensland; Translational Research Institute group lead

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Phillip Hill

Professor of International Health at the University of Otago, NZ; Public Health & Infectious Disease physician at Auckland Hospital

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Kerrie Shaw

TB Clinical Nurse Consultant of Sydney Local Health District; TB Nurse Consultant at the Australian Respiratory Council

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Rick Stapledon

Head of the TB Reference Laboratory for the South Pacific, Adelaide; TB Consultant Royal Adelaide Hospital

Image by Sarah Lee