Catherine Slack

Catherine Slack (PhD) is a clinical psychologist. She is Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator of several grants awarded to the HIV AIDS Vaccines Ethics Group (HAVEG) at the College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Pietermaritzburg). ( HAVEG is funded by CHVI CIHR to explore and strengthen consent processes in HIV vaccine trials. It is also funded by USAID to explore how to facilitate ‘stakeholder engagement’ through the ethics review process. Previously HAVEG was funded by the NIH to research ethical-legal complexities in adolescent HIV prevention trials, and by the Wellcome Trust to explore ancillary care and ‘standard of prevention’ in HIV vaccine trials. Since 2000, HAVEG has worked with various stakeholders to strengthen such trials, including clinical trialists, Research Ethics Committees, and representatives of participating communities.

Dr Slack’s research interests and publications include ancillary care, informed consent, adolescent participation, and stakeholder engagement. She has researched the ethical-legal framework for HIV prevention research in South Africa and has developed tools to help role-players apply ethical-legal norms. As part of the WHO-UNAIDS Ethics, Law and Human Rights Collaborating Centre of the African AIDS Vaccine Program (AAVP) she was involved in researching the needs of Research Ethics Committees in selected African countries and developing training resources for key stakeholders.

She was part of the expert panel that drafted the UNAIDS/WHO (2007) guidance document: Ethical considerations in biomedical prevention trials. She was a member of the National Health Research Ethics Council (NHREC) in South Africa, established in terms of South Africa’s National Health Act (2003) in order to set national norms and standards for research ethics in South Africa (2007-2016).