Thobakgale Recognized by Wellcome and South African Academy of Science

Thobakgale Recognized by Wellcome and South African Academy of Science

Jan 06

Dr. Christina Thobakgale, senior lecturer and researcher at the Ragon-affiliated HIV Pathogenesis Programme (HPP) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, was recently recognized for two prestigious awards.


In November, Dr. Thobakgale was nominated into the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS). Every year, only 10 new members are selected from across South Africa, so acceptance is quite prestigious.  Preference is given to those young scientists who are directly contributing solutions to the important national and global challenges facing South Africa.  SAYAS members have the opportunity to directly influence policy decisions at a national level.


In December, Dr. Thobakgale received the Research Training Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine by the Wellcome Trust.  This program provides researchers from developing countries who are at an early stage of their research careers with opportunities to build experience and receive high-quality training in public health and tropical medicine.  The primarily goal of the award is to build capacity in research areas that have the potential for increasing health benefits for people in low and middle income countries.


Dr Thobakgale will work with Prof Thumbi Ndung’u at HPP in Durban, South Africa and in collaboration with Prof Marcus Altfeld’s laboratory at the Ragon Institute.  The focus of her study of NK cells will be to understand the mechanisms of HLA/KIR induced polymorphisms in clade C HIV infection and their impact on viral control.


Along with her previous nomination as a top female scientist in South Africa, Dr. Thobakgale is having a busy year!   The Ragon Institute is honored to have had a role in mentoring such scientific talent and wishes Dr. Thobakgale continued success in the future.