Participants of the Workshop

Workshop in Durban

July 9, 2018: HPI collaboration with African partners extended

Monday, 09. July 2018

The specific mechanisms by which differences in viral and host factors lead to differential HIV-1 disease outcomes are still not fully understood. Many questions remain unresolved: For example, how antenatal HIV-1 and antiretroviral treatment impact immune development in HIV-1-exposed but uninfected children of HIV-positive mothers. To facilitate the gain of knowledge in this field, the HPI research department “Virus Immunology” (Head: Prof. Marcus Altfeld) and several African research partners recently enhanced their collaboration activities:

The HPI and research partners from South Africa, Kenya, Cameroon and Zimbabwe submitted a joint German-African application within the “German-African Cooperation Projects in Infectiology” call by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The aim of their project is to get new insights into the mechanisms underlying HIV-1 pathogenesis, especially into the mechanisms by which viral and host factors determine the outcome of HIV-1 infection. “Our joint German-African project application has now reached the second round. Not only does this promote the internationalization of the HPI, but it also facilitates the establishment of new research networks. Those are indispensable, especially in the field of HIV-1 research”, says Prof. Marcus Altfeld.

Moreover, Prof. Kerina Duri from the University of Zimbabwe in Harare currently visits the HPI as a guest scientist. The focus of her work is the investigation of the immune system of HIV-1 infected mothers and their children. Together with Dr. Madeleine Bunders from the HPI research department “Virus Immunology” she has already received the permission for a second HPI visit later this year. This is made possible due to a joint funding by the DFG and the “The World Academy of Sciences” (TWAS).

“The research collaboration between the University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences and the HPI provides a great opportunity to address research questions relevant to the African setting and to facilitate training of African investigators”, says Prof. Kerina Duri.

Prof. Kerina Duri & Dr. Madeleine Bunders