CAPRISA participates at the DST-NRF Centres of Excellence Directors’ Forum

1 October 2017

As a designated DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in HIV Prevention, CAPRISA participated in the annual Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) Centres of Excellence (CoEs) Directors’ Forum on 31 August—1 September held in Port Elizabeth. The theme Triumvirate Transformation in the CoEswith special reference to the three pillars of People, Knowledge Enterprise and Engagement with Society resonated in the keynote address delivered by the Honourbale Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Naledi Pandor. She highlighted the need for social transformation and taking the lead in knowledge generation on the African continent. CAPRISA’s associate scientific Director Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim was an invited speaker and delivered an address entitled: “How HIV prevention research can achieve an AIDS free generation of young women in Africa”. She said that reducing HIV in young women could change the course of the epidemic in Africa and reverse current poor global progress in HIV prevention. Whilst several promising technologies were in development the root cause of vulnerability among women was gender-power disparities, she said. The impressive list of speakers at the Forum included the former Vice-Chancellor of UCT Dr Mamphela Ramphele and Prof Barney Pityana, former Vice-Chancellor of UNISA. Learners from disadvantaged and urban schools attended the open sessions and participated in the interactive exhibits showcased by the Centres of Excellence.

The DST-NRF CoE in HIV Prevention offers scholarships to postgraduate students at Honours, Masters, doctoral and post-doctoral levels which has supported the training of 120 postgraduate and 95 medical students since 2015.

Photo L—R: The Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Naledi Pandor visits the CAPRISA stand and discusses the progress of the CAP 256-VRC26.25 bNAbs studies with Profes-sor Salim Abdool Karim, Director CAPRISA. Also present are, Nigel Makoah from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases and Dr Sinaye Ngcapu, CAPRISA Research Associate.