SANTHE Programme Director, Professor Thumbi Ndung'u, has been appointed Deputy Director (Science) at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) in Durban, South Africa. AHRI is SANTHE's lead institute where the secretariat is based.
This is a new executive position at AHRI, intended to assist the institute's Director in leading its science agenda. Working with our Faculty members, Ndung'u will be responsible for further defining AHRI's scientific programme, ensuring that its Research Departments are aligned with that science agenda, and providing oversight of the Science Office.
Ndung'u is a highly respected scientist, in receipt of a Max Planck Society Fellowship, who has made important contributions in the field of HIV vaccine and pathogenesis research. His work at AHRI is focussed on understanding how HIV and TB persist and replicate in the face of a hostile host immune system – with the goal of aiding the design of a safe, affordable and effective HIV-1 vaccine or effective immune-based therapies. He will continue with his research programme at AHRI as a member of Faculty. He also has a special interest in capacity building for biomedical research in Africa, and will continue in his role as SANTHE's Programme Director. Furthermore, he holds a number of other important research positions and his transition and commitment to this new AHRI leadership role provides an opportunity for further collaboration within the scientific community.