Zaza Ndhlovu

Zaza Ndhlovu, PhD

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor

Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard

Associate Professor

Africa Health Research Institute, University of KwaZulu Natal

Assistant in Immunology

Massachusetts General Hospital



Visit Lab Website

Lymphoid tissues, Acute HIV-1 infection, HIV cure

Research Overview

The Ndhlovu lab uses lymph node and large blood donations from a cohort of individuals who initiate therapy immediately upon diagnosis of acute HIV infection to identify where the HIV reservoir resides within tissues and define immune components that mediate HIV reservoir suppression. This work is critical to efforts to develop a cure for HIV.

Using serial excisional lymph node and leukapheresis samples obtained from individuals initiating ART during hyperacute HIV infection, the Ndhlovu lab defines the interplay between early virological and cellular immune responses and the impact of these interactions on viral control, reservoir establishment, cellular distribution, and decay dynamics. By determining the impact that very early ART has on these parameters, we seek to provide guidance for future vaccine and immunotherapeutic strategies not just for early treated individuals but for persons requiring long-term ART.

Recognition and Media

Howard Hughes International Scholar Award Gates Foundation Grand challenges Award


Dr. Zaza Ndhlovu is a viral Immunologist. He received his PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Maryland, and did his post-doctoral training at Harvard University. He is an Assistant Professor at the Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard, Faculty member at Africa health Research Institute, and adjunct Associate Professor at the University of KwaZulu Natal. He is also a visiting scientist at the center for Infectious Diseases in Zambia and an HHMI international research scholar.

Lab Team

Alabi Banjoko

Postdoctoral Fellow

Trevor Khaba

Research Technician I

Bongiwe Mahlobo

Project Coordinator

Thando Mchunu

Graduate Student

Mali Mlaba

Graduate Student

Merantha Moodley

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sibongiseni Msipa

Research Laboratory Assistant

Nitalia Naidoo

Postdoctoral Fellow

Namani Ngema

Research Technician I

Tiza Ngu’ni

Postdoctoral Fellow

Thandeka Nkosi

Graduate Student

Sifundo Nxele

Research Technician I

Uvedhna Padia

Graduate Student

Andrea Papadopoulos

Postdoctoral Fellow