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Academic Staff

Francesca Little

Office: PD Hahn 5.36
Tel: +27 21 650 3225

Research Interests: Biostatistics; Generalized linear and nonlinear mixed effect models; Survival Analysis

Position: Associate Professor and Head of Department

Courses Taught

  • Course Convenor of Statistics Honours
  • Biostatistics Honours
  • STA5055Z – Biostatistics II
  • STA5056Z – Biostatistics III
  • STA3043S – Decision Theory and Generalised Linear Models

Biographical Information

Details of Employment

  • Since January 2009 , Associate Professor, Department of Statistical Science, University of Cape Town. Before that Lecturer from January 1996 and Senior Lecturer from January 2001.
  • During period from January 1988 to June 1991 Medical Statistician (12 months), Senior Medical Statistician (12 months), Head of Statistics (18 months) at Parexel International Limited, London, UK
  • From March 1986 to July 1987, Lecturer in Quantitative Methods, Dept. of Business Science , University of Cape Town.
  • From January 1984 to February 1986, Assistant Biometrician at S.A. Medical Research Council.From April 1982 to December 1983 , Assistant lecturer, Department of Mathematical Statistics, University of Cape Town.

Professional Membership:

Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and Chartered Statistician (CStat) status

International Biometrics Society

South African Statistical Association

Research Interests

My research activities originate from my collaboration with the Health Sciences and I currently have the following main areas of interest as detailed below:

(i) Simulation models for infectious diseases.
(ii) Nonlinear mixed effect modelling
(iii) Casual modelling in observation studies
(iv) Model for time-to-event data
(v) Zero-inflated mixture distributions for discrete data

My collaborations are mostly in the area of Infectious disease, specifically the analysis of data from TB, HIV and Malaria research.

Publications since 2007

  • Jaspan HB, Liebenberg LJ, Little F, Hanekom W, Burgers WA, Coetzee D, Williamson AL, Myer L, Coombs RW, Sodora D, Passmore JS .“Immune activation in the female genital tract during HIV infection predicts mucosal CD4 depletion and HIV shedding.” Journal of Infectious Diseases,2011, 204(10), 1550-1556.
  • Lawn SD, Campbell L, Kaplan R, Little F, Morrow C, Wood R. “Delays in starting antiretroviral therapy in patients with HIV-associated tuberculosis accessing non-integrated clinical services in a South African township.” BMC Infectious Disease,2011,11 , 258 (9 pages).
  • Lawn SD, Campbell L,Kaplan R,Boulle A, Cornell M, Morrow C, Little F, Egger M, Wood R. “Time to Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy Among Patients with HIV-Associated Tuberculsois in Cape Town, South Africa. ” J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr,2011,57, 136-140.
  • Roberts, L, Passmore JS, Williamson C, Little F, Bebell LM, Mlisana K, Burgers WA, Van Loggerenberg F, Walzl G, Djoba Siawaya JF, Abdool Karim Q, Abdool Karim SS“Plasma cytokine levels during acute HIV-1 infection predict HIV disease progression.” 2010, AIDS 24(6 ), 819-831.
  • Hatherill M, Hanslo M , Hawkridge T , Little F, Workman L , Mahomed H, Tameris M, Sizulu Moyo S, Geldenhuys H, Hanekom W, Geiter L, Hussey G. “Structured approaches for the screening and diagnosis of childhood tuberculosis in a high prevalence region of South Africa.” Bull World Health Organ ,2010,88, 312–320.
  • Nyunt MM, Adam I, Kayentao K, Van Dijk J, Thuma P. Mauff K, Little F, Cassam Y, Guirou E, Traore B, Doumbo O,Sullivan D, Smith P, Barens KI. “Pharmacokinetics of Sulfadoxine and Pyrimethamine in Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Malaria in Pregnancy.” Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2010, 87( 2), 226-234.
  • Raman J, Little F, Roper C, Kleinschmidt I, Cassim Y, Maharaj R, Barnes K. Five years of large scale dhfr and dhps mutation surveillance following the phased implementation of artesunate plus sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine in Maputo province, southern Mozambique. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 82(5),2010, pp788-794.
  • Distiller BD, Little F, Barnes KI. Nonlinear mixed effect modelling of gametocyte carriage in patients with uncomplicated malaria. Malaria Journal, 2010,9:60.
  • Roberts L, Passmore JS, Williamson C, Little F, Bebell L, Mlisana K, Burgers W, Van Loggenberg F, Walzl G, Siawaya JFD, Karim QA, Karim SSA. Plasma cytokine levels during acute HIV-1 infection predict HIV disease progression AIDS, 2010,24:000-000
  • Watkins DA, Hendricks N, Shaboodien G, Mbele M, Parker M, Vezi B, Latib A, Chin A, Little F, Badri M, Moolman-Smook JC, Okreglicki A, Mayosi BM. Clinical Features, Survival Experience and Profile of Plakophylin-2 Gene Mutations in Participants of the Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy Registry of South Africa. Heart Rhythm, Vol 6, Issue 11, Supplement, S10-S17, 2009.
  • Leisegang R, Cleary S, Hislop M, Davidse A, Regensberg L, Little F, Maartens G. Early and Late Direct Costs in a Southern African Antiretroviral Treatment Programme: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis. PLOS Medicine 6(12): e1000190,2009.
  • Allen EN, Little F, Camba T, Cassam Y, Raman J, Boulle A, Barnes KI. Efficacy of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine with or without artesunate for the treatment of uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria in southern Mozambique: a randomized controlled trial. Malaria Journal,8, 141. 2009.
  • Lawn SD, Little F, Bekker LG, Kaplan R, Campbel E, Orrell C, Wood R. Changing mortality risk associated with CD4 cell response to antiretroviral therapy in South Africa. AIDS 23:335-342, 2009
  • Mansoor N, Scriba TJ, De Kock M, Tameris M, Keyser A, Abel B, Little F, Soares A, Gelderbloem S, Mlenjeni S, Denation L, Hawkridge A, Boom H, Kaplan G, Hussey G, Hanekom WA. HIV-1 infection in Infants Severely Impairs the Immune Response Induced by Bacille Calmette-Guerin Vaccine. Journal of Infectious Diseases,199:982-990, 2009.
  • Sharma TS, Hughes J, Murillo A, Riley J, Soares A, Little F, Mitchell CD, Hanekom WA. CD8+ T-cell Interleukin-7 Receptor Alpha Expression as a Potential Indicator of Disease Status in HIV-infected Children. PLoS One,3(12) e3986, 2008.
  • Abel B, Mansoor N, Scriba T, Hughes J, De Kock M, Tameris M, Mlenjeni S, Denation L, Little F, Gelderbloem S, Hawkridge A, Boom H, Kaplan G, Hussey G, Hanekom W. Significantly skewed memory CD8+ T cell subsets in HIV-1 infected infants during the first year of life. Clinical Epidemiology, 2008.
  • Hawkridge T, Hatherill M, Little F, Goetz MA; Barker L, Mahomed H, Sadoff J, Hanekom W, Geiter L, Hussey G. A randomized trial comparing the efficacy of percutaneous versus intradermal BCG in the prevention of tuberculosis disease in infants and young children. BMJ, 2008.
  • Orrell C, Little F, Smith P, Folb P, Taylor W, Olliaro P, Barnes K. Pharmacokinetics and tolerability of artesunate and amodiaquine alone and in combination in healthy volunteers European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 2008
  • Barnes KI , Little F, Mabuza A, Mngomezulu N, Govere J, Durrheim D, Roper C, Watkins W, White NJ .Increasing post-treatment gametocytemia: an early parasitological indicator of emerging sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine resistance in falciparum malaria. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 197, 1603-1613,2008
  • Ward CL, Mertens JR,Flisher AJ, Bresick GF, Sterling SA, Little F, Weisner CM. Prevalence and correlates of substance use among South African primary care clinic patients. Substance Use and Misuse,43,1395-1410, 2008

Selected Conference Proceedings

  • Little, F, Erni B, Ntrampeba D. (2011). Modelling growth patterns of the swift tern using nonlinear mixed effect models . Poster presentation at International Workshop in Statistical Modelling, Valencia, Spain, July 2011.
  • Little F, Hussey G, Buys H. (2010) Statistical methods for dealing with missing data due to informative censoring and with time-dependent confounding when comparing the effect of three nutritional supplementation programs on the well-being of HIV-infected infants. Oral presentation at International Biometrics Conference, Florianopolis, December 2010.
  • Little, F., Petousis, T. (2010). Parametric survival models in the presence of informative censoring. International Workshop in Statistical Modelling, Glasgow July 2010
  • Little, F., Distiller, G., Katshunga, D. (2009). Statistical Methods for the analysis of gametocytes in patients with malaria. ISI conference, Durban.
  • Little, F. (2008). A Markov Decision analytic model to determine the effects of delayed BCG vaccination in a highly endemic setting for TB disease. SASA, Pretoria.
  • Little,F., etal. (2006). Longitudinal Modelling of the Incidence of Infectious Morbidity to assess the impact of micro-nutrient supplementation on HIV+ children. Sacema Epidemiological modelling conference, Stellenbosch.

Postgraduate Projects

I have projects available for Masters and PhD students who are interested in research topics in Medical Statistics.