Al Leslie, Farina Karim and Lerato Ndlovu, from the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) visited VUMC between March 2nd and March 6th, 2020. The VTC partners with the Durban site (AHRI) of the RePORT-South Africa network. In addition, a proposal led by Yuri van der Heijden and John Koethe, between the VUMC CFAR and the RePORT-South Africa AHRI site was funded and will be investigating immune activation and dysglycemia in TB patients with and without HIV. The AHRI team visit to VUMC helped to move along these projects and lay the foundation for new proposals.
Al Leslie, Ph.D., presented the seminar “TB Immunology in the Human Lung” and throughout the week met with Vanderbilt faculty to discuss ongoing projects and future collaborations. Dr. Leslie’s research group at AHRI investigates the innate immune response to TB, HIV and the co-infection of these diseases, and how novel aspects of this response may potentially be exploited to improve patient outcomes. Dr. Leslie completed his PhD in HIV Immunology at Oxford University.
Farina Karim, M.P.H., is the Senior Research Coordinator at KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV. During her time at VUMC, Farina focused on the RePORT South Africa data quality.
Lerato Ndlovu, M.S., is a Ph.D. student at Africa Health Research Institute and in her ongoing research she is investigating immune cells (neutrophils) and their potential as a biomarker for TB disease status. During her visit at VUMC, Lerato and Lauren Peetluk, Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt, worked on building Lerato’s epidemiology skill set. She started learning R (a statistical platform), learned how to critically evaluate epidemiologic studies, and came up with objectives for her project that incorporate epidemiologic and immunologic data.