Professor Thumbi Ndung’u
Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence (SANTHE)
Professor Thumbi Ndung’u from the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) leads the Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence, which is strengthening the scientific research base for two diseases that account for a major burden of morbidity and mortality in Africa.
The £7.3 million award to the the network is for expanding basic, clinical and translational research programmes that focus on HIV and TB.
HIV and TB disproportionately affect sub-Saharan Africa, but Africans are under-represented in the scientific effort to tackle these issues. Investing in talented young researchers, and in African institutions, will help accelerate discoveries in these fields and equip the continent to be better prepared for the public health challenges of the future.
In addition to a strong track record in research centred on immune responses to HIV-1 control to support vaccine design, Professor Ndung’u has a commitment to training that complements the expanded training portfolio.
The network links sites in South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia and aims to expand over time.
The programme will benefit from existing HIV and TB research programmes and the wider network of expertise present in the region. Training will be inclusive of all career stages, from interns to postdoctoral fellows, and participants will be equipped with research knowledge and skills from all partners involved.
Innovative approaches, including the provision of collaborative pilot grants and establishing programmes in clinical research and community engagement, will encourage a strong network that supports research excellence in these priority disease areas.