Professor, The Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School |
Professor Ben Marais is a paediatrician and paediatric infectious diseases specialist with an interest in global health. He is internationally renowned for his work on childhood and multi drug-resistant (MDR)-tuberculosis (TB). He serves on the executive committee of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Tuberculosis Control and is a founding member of the Australasian Tuberculosis Forum. He is a strong advocate for Australia to take a leadership role in coordinating enhanced TB and MDR-TB control efforts in the Asia-Pacific region. More broadly, as deputy-Director of the Marie Bashir Institute he works toward creating a dynamic multi-disciplinary research community in infection, immunity and biosecurity.
Professor Marais trained as a paediatrician in South Africa and worked in the UK, the Netherlands, Canada and USA. He described the natural history of childhood TB from the pre-chemotherapy literature and conducted a large, prospective cohort study to document TB incidence and disease diversity among children in Cape Town. As Acting Director of the Ukwanda centre for Rural Health at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, his interest in the health of underserved populations inspired a comprehensive review of health care delivery in rural and remote areas. Professor Marais was one of three lead authors of the LancetTB series (2010), which assessed key challenges in global TB control, highlighted the neglected burden of childhood TB and emphasised the need for more holistic and integrated approaches. The final ‘Call to Action’ manuscript that he led, informed the WHO post 2015 global TB control targets and action plan.