Elna van der Ryst
Senior Director, Clinical Research , Pfizer Global Research and Development
Sandwich, United Kingdom
NGO Partner: 
Assignment Location: 
Pretoria, South Africa
September 2009 – March 2010
Fellowship Title: 
Senior Director, Clinical Research
Fellow Biography: 

Elna is a physician with a doctorate in virology. She has significant clinical experience in the management of HIV and has done extensive scientific research in the HIV field. She joined Pfizer in February 1999 to work on the CCR5 antagonist development program. She was the exploratory clinical leader for the Maraviroc program and acted as clinical leader for the European Union and beyond during the full development program. In her current role in Clinical Research, she supports the early clinical development of antiviral compounds. On her Fellowship assignment with USAID/PEPFAR, Elna will be working with the Foundation for Professional Development in Pretoria, South Africa providing specialized technical assistance (including information, education, communication and research) in areas relating to primary prevention of HIV and behavioral change in HIV-infected patients. From her GHF experience Elna hopes to acquire more experience working in resource-constrained environments. She also believes that she will return from her assignment with a renewed passion for her work in delivering medicines to treat infectious diseases.

U.S. Agency for International Development (PEPFAR, USAID) is an independent United States government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State. USAID supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting economic growth, agriculture and trade; global health; and democracy, conflict prevention, and humanitarian assistance. The Office of HIV/AIDS at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has primary responsibility for leading the Agency's efforts executing the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a $15 billion multi-faceted approach to combating the disease in more than 120 countries around the world.