Prof. Thumbi Ndung’u, is the Scientific Director of the HIV Pathogenesis Programme (HPP) at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. He is also a group leader for Virology and Immunology research at the Max Planck Institute for Infection biology and an adjunct faculty member of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. While he was a graduate student at Harvard, he became the first scientist to clone the infectious molecular HIV C virus subtype, which is the subtype found in Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa. Due to the groundbreaking graduate research work while at Harvard, Prof. Ndun’gu received the Edgar Haber award for outstanding doctoral thesis research. Prof. Ndung’u is also the Director of the Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence (SANTHE). He was recently awarded USD 2.8 million research grant by Gilead Sciences for his research work. This son of Gathugu, Kiambu graduated with a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. UPDATE: Prof. Ndung’u was recently elected a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS). See a list of other AAS Fellows from Kenya. Hear the Professor talk about his work and goals in a recent interview with SABC News in South Africa. (Photocourtesy:
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