Two AHRI researchers are included in the Mail & Guardian’s ‘200 Young South Africans’ feature for 2018.

Dr Alveera Singh, a postdoctoral fellow at AHRI, and Bonisile Luthuli, a PhD candidate, are both named in the national newspaper’s report on under-35s “to watch”.

The newspaper describes their annual feature as profiling “interesting young people who have stood out from the pack and who show us what to look forward to in the country’s future. These under-35s are talented and have shown themselves to be leaders.”

Bonisile is studying towards her PhD in Medical Microbiology.

For her Master’s project she developed the microdialyser, a TB drug susceptibility testing system that uses microdialysis for the injection of antibiotics into a captive population of TB bacteria for quick identification of drug-resistant TB. This device is the size of a postage stamp and can perform 120 TB drug susceptibility tests at a time. The invention was patented and published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS One in 2015. It was the first international patent filed for an integrated microfluidic device developed in Africa. Read Bonisile’s M&G 200 Young South African’s profile here.

Alveera is a postdoctoral fellow at AHRI, where she works on understanding the role of Innate Lymphoid Cells (ILCs) – a certain class of immune cells – during HIV infection.

She hopes this work will contribute to the development of new treatment strategies. Alveera’s PhD project identified important compounds in local medicinal plants that are able to inhibit the growth of different strains of the bacterium that causes TB. Read Alveera’s Mail & Guardian 200 Young South African’s profile here.

Both Alveera and Bonsile are also SANTHE Trainees.