HPP Graduates Four PhD and Five Masters Students

HPP Graduates Four PhD and Five Masters Students

May 06

On April 18, 2013, the HIV Pathogenesis Programme (HPP) graduated nine students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) graduate program. Over the past recent years, the HPP program has consistently had students mentored by HPP and Ragon faculty represented in the UKZN College of Health Sciences graduation program, a culmination of a productive education partnership between HPP and the Ragon Institute.

From left: Dr Ravesh Singh; Dr Dshanta Naicker; Professor Maryln Addo, collaborative partner from Harvard Medical School; Dr Eshia Moodley-Govender and Dr Vinod Patel.

From left: Dr Ravesh Singh; Dr Dshanta Naicker; Professor Maryln Addo, collaborative partner from Harvard Medical School; Dr Eshia Moodley-Govender and Dr Vinod Patel.

 

The students, mentored by Ragon Institute and HPP faculty are:

 

  • Ravesh Singh, PhD
    Study title: Regulation of TRIM E3 Ligases and Cyclophilin A and the Impact on HIV-1 Replication and Pathogenesis
  • Eshia Moodley-Govender, PhD
    Study title: Cellular Immunity, immune activation and regulation in HIV-1 infected mother-child pairs: What are the determinants of protective immunity?
  • Dshanta Naicker, PhD
    Study title: Effects and Mechanisms of Interleukin-10 Promoter Polymorphisms on HIV-1 Susceptibility and Pathogenesis
  • Vinod Patel, MD, PhD
    Study title: Utility of newer and novel technologies for the diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis
  • Nasreen Ismail, Master of Medical Medicine
    Study title: Characterization of HLA-B*4201-Restricted Responses in HIV-1 Clade C Infection
  • Pamla Govender, Master of Medical Medicine- Cum Laude
    Study title: Characterisation of the CD161+CD4+ T cell population in HIV and MTB infected individuals
  • Akilimali Ngomu, Master of Medical Medicine
    Study title: The role of Leukocyte Immunoglobulin (Ig)-Like Receptors (LILRs) in Mtb/HIV co-infection
  • Serron Wilson, Master of Medical Science- Summa Cum Laude
    Study Title: Impact of p2/NC Cleavage Site Polymorphisms on HIV-1 Subtype C Viral Fitness
  • Sinaye Ngcapu, Master of Medical Science
    Study title: Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors-associated Mutations in the RNase H Region of HIV-1 isolates in South African Adults and Children failing Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy

 

Three of the PhDs revealed new mechanisms of HIV-1 immune control by the body and laid a foundation for how to boost the immune system to overcome HIV through vaccination or novel therapies. Another has validated laboratory and clinical approaches for the rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis meningitis which, if implemented, will reduce costs and save lives.

 

Learn more about the HPP graduates and their research focus

 

Most of these graduating students have spent time in Boston at the Ragon Institute or collaborating Harvard CFAR institutions, learning techniques and technologies and collaborating with faculty and students as part of the HPP/Ragon partnership. Their success is testament to the power of collaboration between institutions, funders and philanthropists who have supported the longstanding partnership between HPP and the Ragon Institute.

 

“We are incredibly proud of the graduates’ achievements and congratulate the HPP leadership and faculty,” said Dr. Marylyn Addo, Ragon Institute Director of International Programs and thesis co-mentor for one of the PhD graduates. “It was a real honor to participate in this very festive graduation event for these promising young scientists, whose growth and successes under the mentorship of Ragon and Harvard CFAR affiliates Prof. Thumbi Ndung’u, Victoria Kasprowicz, and other faculty we were privileged to follow over the past years.“

 

These nine new South African graduates join their colleagues in the fight to improve the health and well-being of their countrymen. They are living proof of the goal of HPP to produce and empower world-class African researchers and doctors.