April 18, 17
In 1998, Dr. Bruce Walker visited South Africa obtain specimens from HIV infected infants in order to address the scientific question as to why children fared worse than adults when they became infected. He and his collegues realized there was an opportunity to conduct clinical studies locally, which would not only facilitate progress toward an HIV vaccine but also build local capacity to confront the epidemic and train the next generation of biomedical leadership in Africa. By building a multidisciplinary research center, greater scientific advances could be facilitated and talented African scientists who lacked opportunity to do cutting edge scientific research in Africa could be attracted.
The Doris Duke Medical Research Institute, home of the HIV Pathogenesis Programme in Durban, South Africa.
Within one year of opening the Doris Duke Medical Research Institute (DDMRI), home of the HIV Pathogenesis Programme (HPP), South African researcher with little previous HIV research experience published a paper in Nature magazine. Since then, there have been numerous advances that could only have come from such local HIV studies in a highly endemic area.
The DDMRI and HPP serve as a center for training of African scientists through regular workshops. In addition, approximately 5-10 African students and researchers annually have been sponsored to visit the Ragon Institute for short term training.
University of Kwa-Zulu Natal
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
March 28, 17
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November 29, 16