The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) has awarded Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) PhD student Dr Yumna Moosa a prestigious SAMRC Clinician Researcher Programme scholarship. The three-year scholarship aims to support health professionals like herself to pursue their PhD research full-time. Ultimately, through the programme the SAMRC hopes to increase the number of clinician-scientists in South Africa and foster future leaders in the country’s academic, clinical and research sectors.

The fellowship will support Dr Moosa financially and intellectually as she pursues her PhD. Her doctorate research project seeks to address key knowledge gaps about pathogen spread between hosts, especially in HIV-endemic populations, by combining epidemiological, geospatial, and molecular phylogenetic approaches and taking advantage of AHRI’s unique longitudinal population-based cohort in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

The road ahead is exciting. “I am looking forward to being part of a group of interesting, creative, and talented young scientists,” said Dr Moosa.

Training to become a physician-scientist can come with emotional and financial challenges.

“Being a physician-scientist is a wonderful but challenging job,” said Dr Emily Wong, AHRI Faculty Member and Dr Moosa’s PhD supervisor. “Physician-scientists are essential in the biomedical landscape and fostering the next generation of physician-scientists in South Africa is critically important. I am so thrilled that Yumna has been accepted into this prestigious fellowship that will allow her protected time to fully focus on her PhD work. I’m very proud of her for winning this funding!”

Congratulations, Dr Yumna Moosa!