DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Virus-Host Dynamics for Public Health
Prof. Penny Moore, Senior Scientist at the NICD and Research Associate at CAPRISA, was awarded a DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Virus-Host Dynamics for Public Health on 2 September 2015. The South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) is a government intervention to strengthen and improve the scientific research and innovation capacity of South African public universities and was established in 2006 by the Department of Science and Technology and managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF).
Penny studies the dynamic interplay between HIV and host immune responses. Her current focus is on HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies, likely to be required for an HIV vaccine. These antibodies only develop after years of chronic infection, in an ongoing “arms race” between virus and antibodies. Understanding how the changing virus initiates these antibodies, and drives them towards breadth is a key research question. Future research will extend platforms and technologies developed for HIV to other viral pathogens of public health significance.