Dr. Ruanne Barnabas

Chief of Infectious Diseases at MGH

Dr. Ruanne Barnabas

Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital



Dr. Ruanne Barnabas is a South African physician scientist and the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Over that last 15 years her research has focused on interventions for HIV and STD treatment and prevention, and, more recently on COVID-19 prevention. She is particularly interested in novel approaches that increase access to services and has led clinical trials with companion health economic modeling to assess the potential impact of interventions as, for example, in the Delivery Optimization for Antiretroviral therapy (DO ART) Study, which evaluates the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of decentralized, community-based ART initiation compared to clinic-based care. She also leads work assessing innovative strategies to increase access to care including lottery incentives and home delivery and monitoring of ART. She is the Protocol Chair of the KEN SHE Study to assess the impact of single-dose human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in Kenya. Recently, her work has extended to COVID-19 prevention within households. The ultimate aim of her work is to identify effective and scalable HIV, HPV, and infectious disease treatment and prevention strategies to increase access across diverse communities and promote equity in health.

In addition to leading clinical trials and companion health economic modeling as an independently funded investigator, she is also serves as an advisor to the World Health Organization and UNAIDS on cervical cancer elimination and treatment and prevention of HIV. She is on the planning committee for the AIDS 2022 conference. She was honored as a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in 2020. She has over 130 peer reviewed publications.

Dr. Barnabas is a graduate of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she received her medical degree. She received her research doctorate in medicine and clinical epidemiology from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She completed residency in South Africa and her fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington where she joined the faculty and was promoted to Professor of Global Health and Medicine prior to joining MGH in January 2022.