Zaza Ndhlovu Ph.D.

Lab Info:

Principal Investigator: Zaza Ndhlovu Ph.D.

Lab Staff: Ragon Institute techs: Eleni Stampouloglou, Orestes Mavrothalassitis | HPP UKZN Students: Masters; Faatima lahal, PhD; Nompumelelo Mkhwanazi | HPP UKZN Lab techs: Nikoshia Mewalal, Sannie Mauhungela

Office/Location: UKZN, HPP Programme

Email: zndhlovu@partners.org | ndhlovuz@ukzn.ac.za

Category: Members

Dr. Zaza Ndhlovu’s studies seek to understand the mechanism by which rare people who are able to control viral replication in the absence of therapy (elite controllers) achieve long-term asymp¬tomatic infection. Dr. Ndhlovu and his colleagues have made significant discoveries about key features of HIV-specific killer T lymphocyte subsets that are able to inhibit viral replication and drive immune escape in elite controllers; characterizing these T cell subsets is crucial to the development of T cell based vaccines for HIV and other infectious agents. In addition to contributing vitally to vaccine science, Dr Ndhlovu also conducts scientific reading and grant writing workshops for African scientists at various African Universities.


Dr. Ndhlovu is an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Immunology at Massachusetts General Hospital and an honorary faculty member at the University of KwaZulu Natal HIV Pathogenesis Programme. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from Johns Hopkins University and received his pos-doctoral training at the Ragon Institute in the laboratory of Dr Bruce Walker. He has recently set up his lab at the University of KwaZulu Natal’s Nelson Mandela School of Medicine, HIV Pathogenesis Programme.


Present areas of Investigation

  • High-dimensional immune monitoring models of HIV-1-specific CD8 T cell responses accurately identify subjects achieving spontaneous viral control; Blood Dec 2012
  • T cell receptor usage modulates the antiviral efficacy of protective HLA class I alleles in HIV-1 infection; Nature Immunology April 2012
  • Elite controllers with low to absent effector CD8+ T cell responses maintain   highly functional, broadly directed central memory responses: Journal of virology, April 2012
  • Mosaic HIV-1 Gag Antigens Process and Present HIV CTL Epitopes to Human T cells: Journal of Immunology. June, 2011
  • Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). February, 2010
  • Development of an artificial antigen-presenting cell (aAPC)-based assay for the detection of low frequency virus-specific CD8+T cells in whole blood with application to measles virus: Clinical and Vaccine Immunology Journal, 2009.