29 June 2017 SATVI says farewell to Dr Hennie Geldenhuys

28 Jun 2017 - 22:30


From left to right: Dr Justin Shenje, Dr Hennie Geldenhuys, Professor Mark Hatherill and Dr Michele Tameris.

Saying goodbyes

During an informal farewell SATVI Director, Mark Hatherill shared how he and Dr Hassan Mohammed, former Co-Director had recruited Hennie as medical officer ten years ago to join SATVI, by appealing to the motivation of all researchers which is to be curious, the desire to do good and make impact on the TB epidemic. Mark recounted how, over the years Hennie had worked on many studies, including the Rifaquin trial, the Induced Sputum and several other studies, all of which were important studies in providing answers to the question of how to better control TB.

In his farewell address Hennie reflected how nostalgic it was, when clearing his cupboards, he came across some old protocols. “It made me realise how I have changed over the years” he said.  One of the outcomes of his ten year journey at SATVI, has been discovering the passion in working with people on a more personal level. His takeaway message was that each one of us must find that true calling, that thing which pulls you with passion. It does not always mean making big changes, which are difficult at a late stage in one’s life, but sometimes it could start by making small changes, starting with for example the change in perception.
In thanking the many colleagues he had worked with, he said that SATVI had changed “me in a way that has made me a better person, just by working with each one of you, by being in this environment allowing me to grow and find my true passion”.


Hennie has fulfilled the role of Investigator and Principal Investigator on a number of clinical trials, and has published a number of scientific papers. His research interests have spanned over TB drug trials, alternative vaccine administration methods, and clinical trials with adolescents, quality management in clinical trials, and the science of translating research protocols into field practice.


What do you enjoy most about being a clinical researcher?
The diversity of roles - everything from the science, to data analysis, to management, to medical decision making, to people interaction, GCP, and so much more. 

What will you be doing in your new career? 
I'll be doing a whole lot of different stuff. My wife and I run a GCP and clinical research training company. I'm also a qualified life coach, health and wellness coach, transpersonal therapist, mindfulness trainer and clinical hypnotherapist (a mouthful, you may be thinking). I have an Integrated Health Practice where I see individual clients and facilitate training courses and retreats. And some freelance medical monitoring and consultancy here and there (which includes sessions for SATVI so you're not rid of me completely!). 

What will you remember most of SATVI? 
The first day, the last day and most days in between. 

What will you miss of SATVI?
Without a doubt the people, the vibrant collective organism that is SATVI, each individual interacting in intricate ways with the others to make it the deliciously complex biome that it is.