Erik van Widenfelt

Senior Database Programmer

I received a BA from the University of Michigan in Cellular and Molecular Biology. From there I am mostly self-taught in software engineering and clinical trial data management. I followed straight from university into volunteer work in Botswana with the US Peace Corps. In Botswana I started a small IT and software consultancy to support various businesses and NGO’s in the country.

In the midst of the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic, I came to the attention of Max Essex and Richard Marlink then of the Harvard School of Public Health.

I agreed to a full-time position to build and manage a data management centre to support ongoing and future clinical trial research. The collaboration lasted for many years through more than 25 clinical trials. I came to know my colleagues at LSTM through a recent collaboration with LSHTM.

Member, Association of Computer Machinery 

Selected publications

  • E. van Widenfelt, O. Pharatlhatlhe, C. Kgathi, T. Setsiba, T. Mokane, U. Chakalisa, E. Kadima, S. Moyo, M. Tafila, F. Chilisa, L. Kepaletswe, G. Rasenyai, T. Gaolathe, J. Makhema, M. Essex, K. Powis.. Simplifying data management for household-level combination prevention research in resource-limited settings with reusable open-source software: developing and deploying an electronic research data system for the Botswana Combination Prevention Project. IAS 2016, Durban. Poster.THPEE621.

    E. van Widenfelt, R. Ransom, S. Tekie, G. Ussery, W. Abrams, A. Desta, T. Mokane, G. Rasenyai, J.A. Miller, O. Pharatlhatlhe, T. Chebani, T. Togara, J. Makhema, M. Essex, T. Gaolathe. Stand-alone health data systems in remote ART clinics in Botswana can be centralized over inexpensive low-bandwidth connections: The example of the Botswana Combination Prevention Project Research Data Network. IAS 2016, Durban. Poster. THPEE622.

    Makhema J, Wirth KE, Pretorius Holme M, Gaolathe T, Mmalane M, Kadima E, Chakalisa U, Bennett K, Leidner J, Manyake K, Mbikiwa AM, Simon SV, Letlhogile R, Mukokomani K, van Widenfelt E, Moyo S, Lebelonyane R, Alwano MG, Powis KM, Dryden-Peterson SL, Kgathi C, Novitsky V, Moore J, Bachanas P, Abrams W, Block L, El-Halabi S, Marukutira T, Mills LA, Sexton C, Raizes E, Gaseitsiwe S, Bussmann H, Okui L, John O, Shapiro RL, Pals S, Michael H, Roland M, DeGruttola V, Lei Q, Wang R, Tchetgen Tchetgen E, Essex M, Lockman S. Universal Testing, Expanded Treatment, and Incidence of HIV Infection in Botswana. N Engl J Med. 2019 Jul 18;381(3):230-242. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1812281. PubMed PMID: 31314967; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6800102.

    Ajibola G, Leidner J, Mayondi GK, van Widenfelt E, Madidimalo T, Petlo C, Moyo S, Mmalane M, Williams PL, Cassidy AR, Shapiro R, Kammerer B, Lockman S. HIV Exposure and Formula Feeding Predict Under-2 Mortality in HIV-Uninfected Children, Botswana. J Pediatr. 2018 Dec;203:68-75.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.08.009. Epub 2018 Oct 11. PubMed PMID: 30318370; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6252117.

    Gaolathe T, Wirth KE, Holme MP, Makhema J, Moyo S, Chakalisa U, Yankinda EK, Lei Q, Mmalane M, Novitsky V, Okui L, van Widenfelt E, Powis KM, Khan N, Bennett K, Bussmann H, Dryden-Peterson S, Lebelonyane R, El-Halabi S, Mills LA, Marukutira T, Wang R, Tchetgen EJ, DeGruttola V, Essex M, Lockman S. Botswana's progress toward achieving the 2020 UNAIDS 90-90-90 antiretroviral therapy and virological suppression goals: a population-based survey. Lancet HIV. 2016 May;3(5):e221-30. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3018(16)00037-0. Epub 2016 Mar 24. PubMed PMID: 27126489; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5146754.

    Shapiro RL, Kitch D, Ogwu A, Hughes MD, Lockman S, Powis K, Souda S, Moffat C, Moyo S, McIntosh K, van Widenfelt E, Zwerski S, Mazhani L, Makhema J, Essex M. HIV transmission and 24-month survival in a randomized trial of HAART to prevent MTCT during pregnancy and breastfeeding in Botswana. AIDS. 2013 Jul 31;27(12):1911-20. doi: 10.1097/qad.0b013e32836158b0. PubMed PMID: 24180000; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3987116.

    Thior I, Lockman S, Smeaton LM, Shapiro RL, Wester C, Heymann SJ, Gilbert PB, Stevens L, Peter T, Kim S, van Widenfelt E, Moffat C, Ndase P, Arimi P, Kebaabetswe P, Mazonde P, Makhema J, McIntosh K, Novitsky V, Lee TH, Marlink R, Lagakos S, Essex M. Breastfeeding plus infant zidovudine prophylaxis for 6 months vs formula feeding plus infant zidovudine for 1 month to reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission in Botswana: a randomized trial: the Mashi Study. JAMA. 2006 Aug 16;296(7):794-805. doi: 10.1001/jama.296.7.794. PubMed PMID: 16905785.