The AMR Narrative


The AMR Narrative / Trustees

Dr Francesca Chiara

Chair and Trustee

Dr. Chiara is currently the director of the CIDRAP Antimicrobial Stewardship Project. Her primary focus is on antimicrobial resistance and promoting the effective translation of evidence-based science into sustainable public health interventions that can lead to policy change.

Before joining CIDRAP, she worked at the Wellcome Trust, where she developed the antimicrobial resistance strategy and successfully established an international think tank, the Surveillance and Epidemiology of Drug Resistant Infections Consortium, aimed at strengthening antimicrobial resistance surveillance capacity in low- and middle-income countries. She has led a number of international partnership programs and multi-country research projects to strengthen health systems and improve understanding of the burden of drug resistance infections. In 2019, she launched the AMR Register to increase access to industry-generated antimicrobial resistance surveillance data.

She earned a PhD from University College London, a Master’s in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a Master’s Research Degree in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology from the University of Milan. 

Dr Wendy Thompson

Co-chair and Trustee

Dr Wendy Thompson is an academic general dentist whose research and teaching are about antimicrobial stewardship in dentistry.

She is passionate about public and patient involvement in research and the importance of patient stories in medical education. Based at the University of Manchester (UK), Wendy has national and international leadership roles, including as chair of FDI World Dental Federation’s antibiotics group and Fellow of the International College of Dentists.

Prof. Adrian Brink


Professor Adrian Brink is Head of the Division: Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and the National Health Laboratory Services, Cape Town, South Africa. Prof Brink was the founding President of the Federation of Infectious Diseases Societies of Southern Africa. 

Adrian is the co-founder and co-chair of the South African Antibiotic Stewardship Program (SAASP). He also currently serves on the South African Minister of Health’s Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Antimicrobial Resistance and is a member of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases International Affairs Subcommittee, representing Africa.

Prof. Marc Mendelson


Marc Mendelson is an Infectious Diseases specialist and clinician scientist at Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town.

He has over 10 years of experience working in the field of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) across clinical, research and policy domains.

He works with the South African government to shape national AMR policy, co-founded the South African Antibiotic Stewardship Programme with Prof Adrian Brink, and works with multiple international organisations such as the WHO, World Economic Forum, Access to Medicines Initiative and the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) to help shape strategic development of interventions to mitigate the AMR pandemic.

Prof. Renier Coetzee


Renier Coetzee is a pharmacist by training. He is currently an associate professor at the School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape. He currently serves on various local and national department of health committees, appointed as expert reviewer of the Standard Treatment Guidelines for South Africa. His current research focus is in the area of Patient Safety, with a special interest in Rational Medicine Use and Primary Healthcare Antimicrobial Stewardship.

Using the social accountability framework, he is collaborating with various role players and stakeholders to engage with communities to strengthen the health care systems.

Prof. Esmita Charani


Professor Esmita Charani is a pharmacist and researcher investigating how we use antibiotics in different cultural and social contexts. She works with teams in the UK, India, and South Africa to develop research programmes investigating all aspects of antimicrobial resistance in human populations with a focus in hospital settings.

She has experience in communicating her research with patients and the public through various media including animations, blogs, and educational videos.

Dr Oliver van Hecke


Oliver Van Hecke is a clinical researcher at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford and a General Practitioner (family physician).

His research focuses on ways to optimise antibiotic prescribing and reduce the impact of drug-resistant infections in communities. This broadly encompasses four areas: developing clinical decision-support tools; evaluating rapid diagnostic tests for common infections; promoting cross-discipline efforts to improve antibiotic prescribing; and making antibiotic awareness campaigns more impactful. Through his research, he has been an advocate for primary care clinicians doing their part to optimise antibiotic prescribing in the community. His current research can be viewed here.

He has acted as a panel witness on an All-Party Parliamentary Group at the House of Commons, as an invited speaker at major conferences (e.g. The Economist, Antimicrobial Resistance Summit) and chairperson of the Longitude Prize Symposium on Urinary Tract infections.