Achievements in the first six years of the Fogarty HIV-associated TB Training Program at UCT

05 Aug 2023
05 Aug 2023

The Fogarty HIV-associated Tuberculosis Training Program (HATTP; D43TW010559) was established at the University of Cape Town (UCT)  in partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU), in September 2017, following the award of a Fogarty International Centre D43 Training Program grant.

  • Following re-application, the D43 grant was renewed for a further 5-year period from 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2027.

UCT Principal Investigator: Professor Graeme Meintjes (Deputy Head: Department of Medicine)

Administrative and Co-ordinating Committee members:

UCT: Associate Professors Jonny Peter (Head of Division of Allergy and Immunology), Sipho Dlamini (Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine), Phumla Sinxadi (Head of Division of Clinical Pharmacology), Dr Mpho Tlali (School of Public Health), Professors Gary Maartens (Division of Clinical Pharmacology), and Andrew Boulle (School of Public Health).

Vanderbilt Medical Centre co-investigators: Professors David Haas and Tim Sterling

Johns Hopkins co-investigators: Professors Jonathan Golub and Richard Chaisson

Training Program Administrator based at UCT: Kathryn Wood

The aims of the program are to:

  1. Provide strategic training opportunities at each step on the trajectory toward research independence, including attracting medical students to HIV-TB research, supporting entry into research, fellowship training towards PhDs, and post-PhD support.
  2. Increase the number of clinician researchers/scientists undertaking research in HIV-TB clinical epidemiology and translational science.
  3. Develop specific capacity in analytical techniques for pharmacogenomics applicable to HIV-TB treatment, molecular and immune pathogenesis of drug hypersensitivity reactions in HIV-TB, and mathematical modelling of the HIV-TB epidemic and interventions.
  4. Strengthen UCT’s institutional capacity to address knowledge gaps in this field and tackle new scientific questions as the epidemiology and treatment of HIV and TB evolve.
  5. Create training opportunities to accelerate the demographic transformation of HIV-TB researchers at UCT, by creating opportunities for black South Africans, to redress persistent disparities created by apartheid.

We awarded 16 fellowships during the first 5-year grant (4 postdoctoral, 9 PhD, 3 Masters level) and supported and mentored these emerging HIV-TB researchers at UCT.

  • Fogarty Fellows achievements to date:

Three Postdoctoral fellowships completed:

Dr Chacha Issarow – completed August 2019

Research Title: Developing a phylodynamic model to describe the evolution and transmission of rifampicin resistant TB in a high HIV prevalence setting in SA

Supervisor: Associate Professor Helen Cox


Dr Mahmoud Abdelwahab – completed March 2022

Research Title: Populations pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of drugs for the treatment of HIV-infected adults with tuberculous meningitis

Supervisor: Associate Professor Paolo Denti


Dr Hygon Mutavhatsindi – completed March 2023

Research Title: Investigation of the immunological signatures of the TB spectrum from infection to disease

Supervisor: Associate Professor Catherine Riou


Five Doctoral graduates:


Dr Simon Mendelsohn Clinical PhD – graduated in December 2022

Research title: Evaluation of parsimonious host blood tuberculosis transcriptomic signatures in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected individuals

Supervisors: Professors Mark Hatherill and Thomas Scriba


Dr Ashar Dhana – Clinical PhD - graduated in March 2023

Research title: The evaluation of different strategies to improve the diagnosis of tuberculosis in people living with HIV in resource-limited settings

Supervisors: Professors Gary Maartens, Graeme Meintjes and Dr David Barr


Dr Mmamapudi Kubjane PhD – graduated in December 2022

Research title: Modelling the effect of tuberculosis risk factors (HIV, diabetes and over-crowded living conditions) on the South African tuberculosis epidemic and the impact of interventions to modify these risk factors

Supervisor: Dr Leigh Johnson


Dr Zinhle Cindi  PhD -  graduated in March 2023

Research Title: Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacokinetics of dolutegravir and tenofovir among Southern Africans living with HIV

Supervisors: Associate Professor Phumla Sinxadi, Professor Gary Maartens (UCT) and Professor David Haas (Vanderbilt)


Dr Isaac Singini PhD – graduated April 2021

Research Title: Diagnostics for joint models for longitudinal and survival data

Supervisor: Professor Freedom Gumedze


Masters graduate:

Mr Tafadzwa Chimbetete – graduated March 2023

Research Title: The immunological profile of the skin in DRESS and SJS/TEN reactions to first-line tuberculosis drugs in HIV infected patients.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Jonny Peter


  • 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2027


In the renewal period (2022-2027) our Program will provide 3 Master’s, 8 PhD and 4 post-doctoral fellowships supervised by Program mentors, in the following Training Focus areas

  1. Clinical epidemiology and biostatistics, including HIV-TB diagnostic research
  2. Advanced epidemiology and modelling of the HIV-TB epidemic and interventions
  3. Pharmacokinetics, pharmacogenetics and genetic epidemiology of HIV and TB drugs
  4. Translational studies of the immunopathogenesis of HIV-TB co-infection and disease
  5. Clinical epidemiology and molecular/immune pathogenesis of HIV-TB drug hypersensitivity
  6. Clinical epidemiology and immunology research of the interaction between HIV and COVID-19