Professor Thumbi Ndung’u

Thumbi Ndung’u is the Deputy Director (Science) and a Max Planck Research Group Leader at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) in Durban, South Africa. He is Professor and Victor Daitz Chair in HIV/TB Research at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal. He holds the South African Research Chair in Systems Biology of HIV/AIDS. He is an Adjunct Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is the Programme Director of the Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence (SANTHE), a research and capacity building initiative funded by the Wellcome Trust. He graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and obtained a PhD in Biological Sciences in Public Health from Harvard University, United States. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Virology at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa and a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. He is on the advisory board of the Global Health and Vaccination Research Programme (GLOBVAC), The Research Council of Norway, and is a member of the External Advisory Board of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN).

His research interests are host-pathogen interactions, particularly immune mechanisms of HIV and TB control. He has co-authored numerous manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. He has received grant funding from the South African National Research Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Wellcome Trust among others. He is leading a multidisciplinary team of researchers working in the fields of HIV and TB immunopathogenesis, vaccine development and immune-based HIV functional cure strategies. He has special interest in capacity building for biomedical research in Africa.