SANTHE trainees win awards at international immunology symposium

Sunday, 10 September, 2017

Award winners pictured from left to right: Amanda Ardain (AHRI), Sharon Khuzwayo (SANTHE/AHRI), Rabiah Fardoos (AHRI), Alveera Singh (SANTHE/AHRI), Lerato Ndlovu (SANTHE/AHRI), Doty A’chieng (SANTHE/UKZN).The IUIS-IDA-SANTHE (International Union of Immunological Societies - Infectious Diseases in Africa/SANTHE) Immunology Primer and IDA Symposium was held in Gordon’s Bay, Cape Town, South Africa, from 1-9th September this year. Attended by 29 students from most SANTHE sites, as well from The Gambia, Benin, Uganda, Morocco, Malawi, Tanzania, the course focussed on strategies of immune escape in HIV, TB and malaria. Emphasis was also placed on grant writing skills which saw students grouped together to write proposals and four SANTHE trainees walking away with prizes for their efforts.

SANTHE trainees Alveera Singh (Post-doctoral), Sharon Khuzwayo (PhD) and Lerato Ndlovu (PhD) - all based at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) - as well as Doty A’chieng (PhD), based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) - presented posters and talks on their research. Together the group won, "Best Grant Writing Idea" for a proposal titled, "MAIT depletion in the blood of macaques in response to SIV: to understand the mechanism by which peripheral MAIT (Mucosal Associated Invariant T cells) cells are depleted in SIV infection."

Singh then won 2nd place for her poster presentation on, "How HIV infected children have life-long depletion of all circulating Innate Lymphoid Cells (ILCs), but respond to infection through tissue resident ILCs."

Ndlovu won a 3rd for her oral presentation