UCT has a well-established international reputation as a leader in the field of HIV-TB research. This Training Program aims to support the career development of the next generation of research leaders in this field at UCT. The vision of the Training Program is the establishment of a multidisciplinary, highly successful trainee cohort who are retained at UCT and function as a collaborative community (during and beyond their Fogarty training) so as to sustain the quantity, quality and impact of HIV-TB scientific output from UCT. To this end, 15 fellowships will be awarded over the 5 years to clinician researchers, basic scientists and epidemiologists, helping each to either obtain a PhD or undertake post-doctoral study towards research independence.
The five research focus areas prioritized for training are:
Clinical epidemiology and biostatistics
Advanced epidemiology and modelling
Pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenomics
Immunopathogenesis of TB in the setting of HIV co-infection
HIV and TB drug hypersensitivity reactions
Personal Individual Development Plans with annual review will be a strong focus. The Program also includes periods in the US for certain fellows to obtain specific skills, short courses at UCT, distance learning via web-based courses, a schedule of research seminars for trainees, and an annual symposium. The Program will organise an annual seminar for medical students in 5th and 6th year to introduce them to HIV-TB research and discuss funding and career opportunities in this field.
The Program will build on existing collaborative links between UCT, JHU and VUMC. UCT and VUMC researchers have recently collaborated on the establishment of a multidisciplinary drug hypersensitivity clinical platform in Cape Town that will facilitate a research collaboration in this field.
Outcomes of the Program will include:
Development of the next generation of HIV-TB research leaders at UCT, particularly increasing the number of clinician researchers undertaking HIV-TB clinical epidemiology and translational science research.
Enhanced UCT capacity to collaborate as an equal partner with institutions in the Global North in planning, conducting and analysing studies involving high-level analytical approaches.
Accelerated transformation of the demographic composition of the research platform at UCT. Emerging black researchers will be prioritised for the fellowship opportunities.
Develop further UCT’s capacity to deliver high-impact contributions to understanding and altering the co-epidemic of HIV and TB.
The Program will be administered by the Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa) in the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), led by Professor Graeme Meintjes (Principal Investigator, Member of the IDM), together with the UCT members of the Co-ordinating Committee Associate Professor Jonny Peter, Associate Professor Sipho Dlamini, Professor Gary Maartens, Professor Andrew Boulle and Ms Kathryn Wood. Other members of the Co-ordinating Committee are: Professor Richard Chaisson (JHU), Associate Professor Jonathan Golub (JHU), Professor David Haas (VUMC), and Professor Tim Sterling (VUMC).