Date: June 20, 2017 By:
Ragon Institute Instructor, Zaza M. Ndhlovu, PhD, is one of forty-one scientists from 16 countries who have been chosen as International Research Scholars through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
HHMI, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation developed this award in order to recognize scientific talent from around the world. Each researcher will receive a total of $650,000 over five years. The award is a big boon for scientists early in their careers, and offers the freedom to pursue new research directions and creative projects that could develop into top-notch scientific programs.
Dr. Zaza Ndhlovu is investigating how the immune system is affected when patients with HIV begin combination antiretroviral therapy very early in the course of disease. His goal is to learn whether brief exposure to the virus is sufficient to prime a protective immune response that might one day be boosted by a vaccine.
“The award is a remarkable achievement and a tremendous tribute to my creativity innovation and unique contribution to HIV immunology research,” said Dr. Ndhlovu. “It also goes to show that African institutions have the potential to make significant contributions to science and innovation.”
The scientists selected as International Research Scholars represent a diverse array of scientific disciplines and geographic locations. Scholars hail from research organizations and institutions from across the world, from Tanzania to Cambodia to Chile to Austria. Their research covers a broad variety of biological and medical research areas too, including neuroscience, genetics, biophysics, computational biology, and parasitology.
“This is an outstanding group of scientists who will push biomedical research forward worldwide, and we are thrilled to support them alongside our philanthropic partners,” said David Clapham, HHMI’s Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer.
Dr. Idris discusses what drew her to research, the specifics of her malaria work, as well as what she’s looking forward to in her new role.
Ndung’u was awarded the 2023 Leadership Award in Public Health Practice by the Harvard Chan School as well as the K.T. Jeang Retrovirology Prize from the journal, Retrovirology.
The multinational research group collected samples to understand the immune systems of bats