Ndung’u: African Collaboration for Innovation in HIV/TB Prevention
This funding will leverage an existing African-led scientific consortium to develop a new network focused on innovation in HIV and TB prevention. The Sub-Saharan African Network for TB and HIV Research Excellence (SANTHE) consortium, founded in 2015, now consists of 7 institutional members: Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) in Durban, South Africa (the lead partner); KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) in Kilifi, Kenya; Centre de Recherche sur les Maladies Emergentes et Re-Emergentes (CREMER) in Yaoundé, Cameroon; Uganda-Case Research Collaboration (UCRC) at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda; Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group (RZHRG) in Kigali, Rwanda and Lusaka, Zambia; Collaborative Clinical Research Centre (CCRC) at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare, Zimbabwe; and the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP) in Gaborone, Botswana. Although the African Collaboration for Innovation in HIV/TB Prevention will benefit from the wider SANTHE infrastructure, it will be a new network, with a narrow focus on vaccine research and development and novel approaches to HIV/TB prevention. The new network will lead locally relevant, innovative, and internationally competitive research; facilitate professional development of African scientists; and strengthen research ecosystems in the fields of HIV and TB prevention research.
Key tools that will be utilized by the African Collaboration for Innovation in HIV/TB Prevention to achieve its mission include trainee fellowships; small grants to support innovative concepts; funding for south-to-south collaborations; web-based and in-person research forums; participation in strategic meetings; commitment to gender equity; community and public engagement; an advisory committee for trainees; professional leadership development; and specific awards (e.g. Path-to-Independence and Mini Career Development awards). This integrated approach will expand the pan-African network of research excellence in the areas of HIV and tuberculosis prevention, increasing the visibility of investigators for new and continued strategic partnerships.
Dr. Thumbi Ndung’u will lead the African Collaboration for Innovation in HIV/TB Prevention as Program Director, with Dr. Harriet Mayanja-Kizza serving as Assistant Director.
The specific goals of this investment are:
1) Increased emphasis on Africa-led and Africa-focused research
2) Globally competitive African scientists and research groups
3) Enhanced intra-Africa research and capacity building collaborations
4) Production and dissemination of high-quality, impactful scientific research in the area of HIV/TB prevention
5) Development of scientific leadership skills of African scientists
6) Strengthened research ecosystems to effectively enable optimal and sustainable scientific research and translation into practice and policy