Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

New Director Named for Leading HIV Research Centre in South Africa

Published: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Professor Pillay will take up his post on secondment from UCL on 1 November 2013.

Deenan Pillay, Professor of Virology at UCL (University College London), is named as the new Director of the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, one of the Wellcome Trust’s major overseas programmes.

The Africa Centre is part of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and is based within a rural population with one of the highest burdens of HIV in the world.

There, it carries out research into the impact of the virus on the local community and, in partnership with the local Department of Health, runs one of the region's largest rural, primary-care-level antiretroviral therapy programmes.

It also has a strong capacity-building programme, providing opportunities for staff to study towards university degrees, including Master's degrees and doctorates, and for community members to gain other skills-based training.

Deenan Pillay is Professor of Virology, and Co-Director of the Division of Infection and Immunity, at University College London. He is a clinical virologist, having trained in London, Newcastle and San Diego, and has a long standing research and clinical interest in HIV virology, particularly related to the study of global HIV drug resistance and transmission.

He helped establish the Bloomsbury Research Institute, a partnership between infectious disease research groups from UCL and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Dr Ted Bianco, Acting Director of the Wellcome Trust, says: "We are delighted that Deenan Pillay has agreed to take up the role of Director of the Africa Centre. Deenan is a highly respected clinical investigator in the research and public health communities. He has shown great leadership in creating partnerships amongst researchers and institutions, as illustrated by the Bloomsbury Research Institute. Such experience will prove extremely valuable in building the collaborative relationships that will maximize the value of the Africa Centre."

Professor Pillay says: "This is a very exciting new challenge. The potential to answer some of the key remaining questions relating to spread of infections such as HIV and TB is immense. To do so in the dynamic setting of South Africa, with its rapidly emerging biomedical research strength, is a tremendous privilege."

Professor Nelson Ijumba, UKZN's Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, says: "UKZN would like to congratulate Professor Pillay on his appointment and hope that, through his leadership, the Africa Centre will continue to be at the forefront of knowledge production and community empowerment in HIV/AIDS."

The Africa Centre was established by the Wellcome Trust in partnership with the South African Medical Research Council in 1998 and employs around 350 people, including around 25 scientists.

The cornerstone of its research programme is a biannual household demographic survey that since 2000, has collected data on births, deaths, marriage and migration events, as well as household economics. The survey covers a population of around 90,000 people in 11,000 households.

An additional annual HIV surveillance study, established in 2003, covers adults 15 years and older, collecting data on HIV status, sexual behaviour and relationships, and other health issues.

The Centre also has a virology laboratory at the Medical School in Durban, with research relating to the dynamics of HIV in breast milk and population viral phylogenetics.

The Centre has been behind several high profile research papers recently, including two papers in the journal Science this year demonstrating for the first time the positive impact of antiretroviral therapy on the rate of new HIV infections in a community setting and that such therapies are a highly cost-effective investment for the people of South Africa.

Professor Pillay will take up his post at the Africa Centre on a secondment from UCL on 1 November 2013. His appointment follows the decision by Professor Marie-Louise Newell to return to the UK to take up a position at the University of Southampton. Professor Newell has been Director of the Africa Centre since 2005.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Autolus Launches With £30m Investment
UCL cancer immunotherapy company, Autolus is launches to develop T-cell therapies for haematological and solid tumours.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Scientific News
Genetic Basis of Fatal Flu Side Effect Discovered
A group of people with fatal H1N1 flu died after their viral infections triggered a deadly hyperinflammatory disorder in susceptible individuals with gene mutations linked to the overactive immune response, according to a recent study.
Developing Drug Resistance may be a Matter of Diversity for Tuberculosis
Researchers have probed the bacteria that causes tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, to learn more about how individual bacterial cells change and adapt while in the human body.
Surprising Trait Found in Anti-HIV Antibodies
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have new weapons in the fight against HIV.
Some Gut Microbes May Be Keystones of Health
University of Oregon scientists have found that strength in numbers doesn’t hold true for microbes in the intestines. A minority population of the right type might hold the key to regulating good health.
Essential Component of Antiviral Defense Identified
Infectious disease researchers at the University of Georgia have identified a signaling protein critical for host defense against influenza infection.
Single Vaccine for Chikungunya, Related Viruses May be Possible
What if a single vaccine could protect people from infection by many different viruses? That concept is a step closer to reality.
Is Allergy the Price We Pay for Our Immunity to Parasites?
New findings help demonstrate the evolutionary basis for allergy.
Blocking the Transmission Of Malaria Parasites
Vaccine candidate administered for the first time in humans in a phase I clinical trial led by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, with partners Imaxio and GSK.
Mucus – the First Line of Defence
Researchers reveal the important role of mucus in building a good defence against invaders.
Antibody Targets Key Cancer Marker
University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have created a molecular structure that attaches to a molecule on highly aggressive brain cancer and causes tumors to light up in a scanning machine.

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos