Industry Collaboration Group member since 2022
Director for Basic and Translational Science
Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI)
Thumbi Ndung’u is the Director for Basic and Translational Science at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) in Durban, South Africa. He is Professor and Victor Daitz Chair in HIV/TB Research at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal. He holds the South African Research Chair in Systems Biology of HIV/AIDS and is Professor of Infectious Diseases at University College London. Thumbi is an Adjunct Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an Associate Member at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, US. He is the Programme Director of the Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence, a research and capacity-building initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.
Thumbi graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, obtained a PhD in biological sciences in public health from Harvard University and was a postdoctoral fellow in virology at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa and a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. He has been a member of the steering group of the IAS Industry Collaboration Group since 2022.
His research interests are host-pathogen interactions, particularly immune mechanisms of HIV and TB control. The ultimate goal of this work is the development of immune-based prophylactic, treatment and cure strategies. He has co-authored more than 250 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. He has received grant funding from the South African National Research Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust, among others. He has special interest in capacity building for biomedical research in Africa.