Bongiwe Xulu

Phone Number: 
+27 (0)76 375 4757

Bongiwe Xulu

Trainee Type: 

Bongiwe Xulu was born and raised together with nine siblings in Mtubatuba, north-coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and is currently residing in Durban with her husband and their two daughters. As she grew up, she was always interested in biomedical science and hence completed her junior degree in Biochemistry and Chemistry at University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2008 at Pietermaritzburg campus. She then pursued her honours degree in Biochemistry at the University of Zululand in 2009 and as she developed further interest in scientific research, she then enrolled for a Master’s degree in Biochemistry where she was working on assessing selective cytotoxicity of Hypoxoside - an African potato active compound - and its derivatives on non-malignant and malignant breast cancer cell lines. Thereafter, she became interested in understanding human defense responses to diseases and took an opportunity to be a technician at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) in Durban, South Africa, for about four years. During this time she worked on understanding the effect of HIV and TB co-infection on distribution and function of mucosal invariant T (MAIT) cells in the bronchoalveolar and peripheral compartment. As an AHRI technician she says she acquired a maximum amount of cutting-edge scientific research methods. Her PhD project looks at preventing TB transmissions among HIV infected individuals and the project is titled, “Using transcriptomics to understand the compartment specific effect of HIV on immune function in the lung and peripheral blood in latent TB infection.”

Xulu believes, that no matter how small the piece of a puzzle is, the puzzle can never be completed without that piece. She says, “Let’s press on and fight the HIV/TB pandemic.”