Dr Zaza Ndhlovu was recently awarded an RO1 grant ($760,000.00) by the NIH. Dr Ndhlovu is a researcher and faculty member at both HPP and AHRI. The grant application process was highly competitive therefore, the award is strong recognition that the work Dr Ndhlovu is doing in the field is of the highest scientific merit which is good news for UKZN/AHRI and African science. The title of his study is: ‘the epigenetic control of CD8 T-Cell differentiation in human lymph nodes’ and the award period is from 07 February 2019 to 31 January 2024.
The purpose of the grant is to find out the precise microanatomical location within lymph nodes where HIV hides when a patient is taking medication. The second aim is to engineer a person’s own immune cells to become more efficient at finding hiding places for HIV and kill all the infected cells. The long-term goal is to develop a cure for HIV by achieving complete elimination of all HIV infected cells in the body using a combination of drugs and a patient’s own immune cells.