Launch of SAMRC Extramural Unit: Antibody Immunity Research
Prof Lynn Morris from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) was recently awarded a SAMRC Extramural Antibody Immunity Research Unit. The official launch took place on 4th September and was attended by Dr Joe Phaahla, the Deputy Minister of Health and Mr Mmboneni Muofhe, the Deputy Director-General from the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). Also in attendance were Dr Kamy Chetty, acting CEO of the NHLS, Prof Glenda Gray, President and CEO of the SAMRC and Prof Jeffrey Mphahlele, Vice President of the SAMRC.
The mission of the MRC/Wits/NICD AIRU is to apply the team’s extensive knowledge and experience of immunology to study the antibody responses to HIV as well as other viral pathogens. There are 3 key focus areas; namely identifying antibody correlates of protection by vaccines, uncovering the genetic diversity in the African antibody repertoire and discovery and engineering of antibodies for passive immunity. In this way, the Unit will help to design better vaccines and antibody treatments for the African region which bears the largest burden of infectious diseases.
Photo: (L-R) Dr Joe Phaahla and Prof Glenda Gray handing over the EMU name plaque to Prof Lynn Morris.