d43 – ATCHIVR

Community-based research on HIV using critical skills in genomics, bioinformatics & data science to analyse behavioural & biologic interventions for the prevention & treatment of HIV & opportunistic infections.

capacity Building

Build the capacity for the conduct of advanced HIV research through a short-course program in research skills

Support

Supporting through mentorship, networking, Local & International collaboration.

institutional research

Build institutional research capacity through support for mentored health research conducted at postdoctoral level

Our Story

Our over-arching goal of this program is to improve interdisciplinary academic research capacity in Zimbabwe in the conduct of community based research on HIV using critical skills in genomics, bioinformatics and data science to analyze behavioral and biologic interventions for HIV prevention and treatment. We therefore offer Doctoral & Post Doctoral fellowships, Short Courses & Master Courses as a means of developing capacity.

Post Doc and PhD Fellowships

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR POST-DOC FELLOWSHIPS IN COMMUNITY BASED RESEARCH ON HIV, TUBERCULOSIS AND OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTIONS

Two PhD/DPhil fellowship are on offer for a maximum duration of three years

The Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI), a not-for-profit making research and training institution dedicated to building health research capacity in Zimbabwe and the SADC region is inviting applications for postgraduate fellowships sponsored by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA through its International Research Training Award  (Advanced Training in Community Based Research; training in Bio-informatics, Drug Resistance and Pathogenesis programme).

A PostDoctoral Program in HIV Related Infectious Disease Genomics

The Post Doc which are on offer seek to provide multi-disciplinary training to junior scientists to strengthen research capacity and promote high quality, innovative, and locally relevant community-based research on HIV using critical skills in genomics, bioinformatics and data science to analyse behavioural and biologic interventions for the prevention and treatment of HIV, TB and opportunistic infections.

Our Fellows

Dr. Danai Tavonga Zhou, Ph.D. (University of Oslo, Norway, 2017)

Dr. Danai Tavonga Zhou, Ph.D. (University of Oslo, Norway, 2017)

D43 Post-Doctoral fellow

MSc. Clinical Biochemistry (UZ, 2006), BSc. Hons Applied Biology/Biochemistry (NUST, Zimbabwe, 1997),

Currently a senior lecturer of clinical biochemistry and genetics at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Her research area is pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine genomics.Danai’s D43 postdoctoral project is entitled “Pharmacogenetic Study of Patients at PARI® Support Group on Switching from EFV-Based to DTG-based ART Between 2019 & 2020”. Her postdoc research is determining how local human genetic inter-variability in UDP glucuronosyltransferase 1A1 (UGT1A1) and cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) potentially influence dolutegravir metabolism and hence toxicity and treatment outcomes, in a real-life cohort of people living with HIV.

In July 2020, Danai set up a not-for profit mentorship program, the African Excellence in Research Initiative (AFRIESEARCHI), targeting African postgraduate and early career researchers, pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, medicine, and mathematics (STEMM). Together with a consortium of USA alumni, and other female scientists, she was recently awarded a grant, by the USA Embassy, Harare’s Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund, to set up a formalized research mentorship program, in Zimbabwe. Guided by her postdoc mentors, she is also involved in community initiatives including the Harare Pharmacovigilance Study, and the Viral Surveillance and Discovery in Zimbabwe Project

Dr Vinie Kouamou, Ph.D. (University of Zimbabwe, 2020)

Dr Vinie Kouamou, Ph.D. (University of Zimbabwe, 2020)

D43 Post-Doctoral fellow

She is registered as a Clinical Scientist: Chemical Pathologist with the Medical Laboratory and Clinical Scientist of Zimbabwe (MLCSCZ Registration No.512097). She has obtained a Master Degree in chemical pathology from the University of Zimbabwe and joined the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory (IDRL), Department of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe as a Senior Clinical Research Scientist where she has been Conducting both research and routine clinical laboratory assays and in particular molecular diagnostic testing. Her main focus has been flagging up the problems of HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) in the country, defining the genetic correlates and the epidemiology of HIVDR, and the extent of ART cross-resistance in people living with HIV from specific ART regimens. She has also been conducting comparative analysis of low-cost point mutation assay for the detection of HIV drug resistance mutations to standard Sanger Sequencing as well as to develop Next generation sequencing for HIV drug resistance locally and send them off to a commercial entity for the Illumina sequencing reads.  She has also been working on validating and implementing Novel COVID-19 Molecular Assays that can be feasibly done in Zimbabwe

Pinky Manyau, Msc (University of Zimbabwe).

Pinky Manyau, Msc (University of Zimbabwe).

D43 Doctoral fellow

Holds an MSc in Clinical Pharmacology and has with further studied in clinical epidemiology. Currently a member of faculty at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Department of Pharmacy in the Clinical Pharmacy division. A DPhil candidate in the UZ Hematology Unit. She developed an interest in HIV-related lymphoma during her clinical work. This group of patients appeared to have poorer lymphoma treatment outcomes and had limited treatment options. During her pre-doctoral studies, she characterized lymphoma treatment outcomes for patients with HIV-related lymphoma. Her study was supported by the University at Buffalo (UB) and University of Zimbabwe (UZ) HIV-Research and Training Program (UB/UZ-HRTP). She is fascinated by mechanisms, and for her current project, she will be delving into molecular characteristics and pathogenic mechanisms of HIV-lymphoma. She is conducting the study as a doctoral fellow, in the Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI) NIH funded training program in Advanced Training in Community Based Research; training in Bioinformatics, Drug Resistance and Pathogenesis. The project involves collaborations with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Care Center and UB. We hope that we can identify actionable mutations, and novel tumor signatures, which can assist with classification, risk stratification and ultimately improved outcomes for HIV-related B-cell lymphomas.

Tendai Washaya, Msc (University of Zimbabwe).

Tendai Washaya, Msc (University of Zimbabwe).

D43 Doctoral fellow

Tendai Washaya is a first-year doctoral student in HIV Virology at the University of Zimbabwe, College of Health (UZ-CHS) supervised by Dr Justen Manasa. Her dissertation title is “Investigating pan-resistant HIV-1 among highly treatment experienced patients in Zimbabwe”. She studied Biochemistry and Biotechnology for her Bachelors and Masters degrees respectively at the University of Zimbabwe. For her Masters thesis she investigated the use of High-resolution melting analysis for HIV drug resistance diagnosis, a more affordable method that can be used in resource limited settings.  She was awarded a scholarship by DAAD from Germany, which she used for her Masters degree. Her current research interest have grown out of her work experience in HIV drug resistance genotyping and a continuation of her Masters work.  Her research will address key questions in relation to pan-resistant HIV-1 and also provide an affordable HIVDR genotyping method. She was awarded a scholarship by DAAD from Germany, which she used for her Masters degree.

Tafadzwa Madanhire, Msc (University of Zimbabwe).

Tafadzwa Madanhire, Msc (University of Zimbabwe).

D43 Doctoral fellow

Is biostatistician by training from the University of Zimbabwe currently supporting observational and longitudinal musculoskeletal studies at Biomedical Research and Training Institute (BRTI). He is involved in developing statistical plans and performing the subsequent analyses for various HIV based projects at BRTI. He registered as a PhD research fellow at LSHTM with interests in HIV, modelling mechanistic bone pathways and skeletal growth in children. He was awarded a full scholarship for his Masters in Biostatistics by Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa (TIBA) organisation.   He is affiliated to (1) Biomedical Research and Training Institute; (2) University of Bristol, Bristol Medical School, Musculoskeletal Research Unit; (3) University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences

Justin Mayini, Msc (National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe)

Justin Mayini, Msc (National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe)

D43 Doctoral fellow

Justin Mayini is a Laboratory Scientist at BRTI with over 15 years of working experience in various capacities ranging from molecular diagnostics, serology, microbiology, Quality Systems Management etc. He holds a Masters’ Degree in Microbiology & Biotechnology with NUST (2019). Further knowledge and skills have been acquired through numerous professional developmental courses locally and internationally and by virtue of his work experiences in BRTI and its collaborative Institutions. Justin is passionate about molecular diagnostics especially in HIV-1 genomics, drug resistance and biomarker discovery.  Currently, he is mostly involved in HIVDR testing, evaluating molecular tests kits and testing of Covid19 using RT-PCR.  For his Phd work intends to cover the analysis of anti-HIV-1 miRNAs expression profiles in plasma of HIV-1 infected adults as a biomarker for treatment and HIV drug resistance in Zimbabwe

Donald Vhanda, Msc (University of Zimbabwe).

Donald Vhanda, Msc (University of Zimbabwe).

D43 Doctoral fellow

Donald is a holder of a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Sciences (HBMLS, UZ ), Msc in Clinical Biochemistry (MDCB, UZ), Masters in Business Leadership (MBL, BUSE) and a Bachelor of Social Sciences Special honours in Monitoring and Evaluation (HSME,  LSU). He is a Clinical Scientist with 12 years experience spanning between private and public diagnostic sectors. Currently employed as laboratory Manager at a private flagship and teaching laboratory in Harare. Have also been involved in lecturing on a part time basis at the University of Zimbabwe DMLS since 2016. That is when i developed interest to pursue the Dphil route of his career.  He wanted to study infectious diseases. After attending the Advanced Genomics workshops the BRTI d43 project conducted he developed interest in HIV Drug Resistance. Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Drug metabolism has always been an area of interest for me as our population is now living longer on life saving medications. But the complexities of these drug-drug interactions in our population needs to be explored and studied further to produce solutions for our own population. With that he decided to pursue a Dphil study zeroing in on Host genetics, drug drug gene interactions and their associated treatment outcomes in HIV/TB coinfected population. Treatment outcomes he will interrogate include adverse events, toxicity profiles, viral suppression and HIV Drug Resistance

Program Team

Prof. D. Katzenstein, MD.

Programme PI

Dr. S. Munyati, PhD

Programme Co-PI

Dr. J. Manasa, PhD

Programme Co-PI/Training coordinator

Ms. V. M. Pepukai, Msc

Programme Manager

fellowship opportunity awaits

Are you Zimbabwean nationals or permanent residents, who Registered or intend to register with a LOCAL institution of higher learning? We are offering 1 Post-Doctoral  fellow for 1 year. If you think you are the perfect candidate click the button below.