Karen is Research Professor at the Wits School of Public Health and since 2009, Director of PRICELESS SA (Priority Cost Effective Lessons for Systems Strengthening) www.pricelesssa.ac.za. She leads policy research to evaluate interventions that provide the biggest return on investment for health both within the health system and across other sectors.
Under Karen’s leadership, PRICELESS research has impacted policy and future life expectancy in SA. This includes regulations in 2014 on the salt content of processed food and the 2017 sugary beverage tax legislation. The Min of Health also adopted PRICELESS evidence on Best Buys for Maternal and Child Health for the MDG countdown. Karen has been a member of several ministerial work streams including NHI and Childhood Obesity.
A Wits medical graduate, a board-certified paediatrician and clinical geneticist, Karen spent a decade on faculty at Johns Hopkins school of Medicine and subsequently served as Policy Director at the US Fogarty International Center at NIH. She has consulted for WHO /PAHO and has more than 100 publications and chapters on global health in peer reviewed journals. She is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa ( ASSAf) and in 2016 was honored by the Public Health Association of South Africa with their Annual Award.