Global Fellows Research Academy
Nationality: South Africa
Institution: University of the Witwatersrand
Country of work: South Africa
What is your motivation for engaging in HIV cure and remission research?
Whilst HIV has become a manageable chronic disease through the development of antiretrovirals, it still causes significant morbidity and impacts on an infected individual's quality of life. I would like to contribute to scientific advances that lead to the eradication of the disease that has had such massive social and economic impacts in Southern Africa. Most HIV cure research takes place in the developed world. Countries in the developing world, that shoulder the brunt of the epidemic, should be at the forefront of HIV cure research so that any advances made can readily be applied to have the biggest impact.
What is your current area of research?
I recently completed my PHD which focused on the role of CD8 T cells in the pathogenesis of AIDS as well as the impact of HIV infection on tuberculosis-specific T cell immunity. I am currently doing my residency in Internal Medicine in Johannesburg, South Africa at Wits University and will do a fellowship in Infectious Diseases thereafter. I am interested in the impact of co-infections on the latent HIV reservoir as well as different potential strategies for HIV remission and cure. I am currently planning a study to investigate the impact of chemotherapy on the latent HIV reservoir in HIV-infected lymphoma patients.