EMCR Special Interest Group

INHSU’s Early-Mid-Career Researchers (EMCR) Special Interest Group brings together early and mid-career researchers from across the globe who are interested in the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs, harm reduction, human rights, hepatitis C, and other harms that can occur from drug use and prohibitionist drug policy. 

The EMCR Special Interest Group meets regularly throughout the year to collaborate, share knowledge, and address challenges facing early-mid-career researchers.

Help shape the future of INHSU EMCR

If you are a researcher within 10 years of finishing your latest degree, or currently studying in a field related to the health or human rights of people who use drugs and would like to play an active part in shaping the future of the INHSU EMCR Special Interest Group, please join today. 


How to join INHSU EMCR

  • If you’re already an INHSU member, email [email protected] and request to join INHSU EMCR. You will be sent your personal login link
  • If you are not an INHSU member, join INHSU here, and click ‘Join INHSU EMCR’ during the sign-up process. 

The INHSU EMCR Executive Committee

The INHSU EMCR Special Interest Group is led by an Executive Committee. Special Interest Group members can get involved in INHSU EMCR initiatives simply by participating, or by joining working groups to help organise specific activities. Contact [email protected] for more information and to join a working group, or put forward new ideas.


Adelina Artenie, Chair

MSc, PhD CIHR Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Population Health Science
University of Bristol

Adelina is an epidemiologist and her research is focused on the prevention of hepatitis C, HIV and other drug-related harms. Currently, her work is focused on exploring strategies for measuring and reducing HCV and HIV transmission in different risk groups using epidemic modeling, evidence synthesis and longitudinal methods.


Brendan Harney, Vice-Chair

MPH, PhD Student & Research Assistant
Burnet Institute & Monash University 

Brendan is a final year PhD student at Burnet Institute and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. His work to date has focused predominantly on hepatitis C elimination among gay and bisexual men and people who inject drugs.


Urvisha Bhoora

Clinician and Researcher
University of Pretoria

Urvisha is a specialist Family Physician with the University of Pretoria. She is the clinical head of the Community Oriented Substance Use Programme (COSUP) in Tshwane, Pretoria and is responsible for the clinical oversight in COSUP including strengthening access to healthcare services for displaced people through street medicine initiatives.

Brendan Jacka

Senior Research Associate, Therapeutics and Vaccines Research Program
Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney 

Brendan completed his PhD at the Kirby Institute and was awarded Canadian Network on Hepatitis C (CanHepC) post-doctorate fellowship which he undertook at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre before moving to Brown University School of Public Health. Brendan’s research focus is on novel therapeutics and models of care for treatment of infectious disease.


Kennedy Kipkoech Mutai

PhD Student
University of Cape Town and University of Bristol

Kennedy is a final year cotutelle (dual) PhD student at UCT and UoB. His research interest focuses on the use of epidemiological methods, statistical and mathematical modelling approaches to understand transmission dynamics and control of infectious diseases. In particular, the evaluation of the impact of programme interventions on HIV and viral Hepatitis.


Tamar Mgebrishvili

Addiction Research Center Alternative Georgia

Tamar is a researcher and holds a master’s degree in Addiction studies. She has extensive experience working with PWUD, including women. Tamar coordinates the service, aiming to distribute drug-checking kits via Syringe Vending Machines among PWUD. She is also an assistant in the project which aims to strengthen the person-centered integrated care system in Georgia. She is a member of Georgian Addictologist Association.


Isaac Olushola

Global Fund Project Manager, Global Health Focus, Research Assistant
Youth RISE International 

Isaac has a professional and academic background in Public Health and extensive experience in drug policy reform advocacy and contextual harm reduction in the African setting. He has a commitment to bringing justice to health and providing equitable access to healthcare for marginalized and vulnerable populations, including people who use drugs, refugees, and young people.


Aïssata Sako

Program Director, Clinical Epidemiological Research, M.S. Student, Sociology
University of Montreal

Aïssata designs and builds programs, manages research projects, and stewards implementation and knowledge translation. Recent highlights of her work include impactful COVID-19 initiatives for OAT, the OPTIMA and M2HepPrEP trials. She is completing a graduate degree (M.Sc) in Sociology at the University of Montreal.


Shelley Walker

Research Fellow
Burnet Institute and the National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University

Shelley is a social science researcher. Her work is focused on the health and wellbeing needs of people who use and inject drugs, people with hepatitis C, and people involved in the criminal justice system. Shelley is passionate about human rights and social justice issues and giving voice to marginalised populations, to ensure they have a say in the solutions designed to address their needs.

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