Home > 2014


CIDRI sponsored pre-congress symposium
AT THE 16th International Congress on Infectious Diseases
2nd to 5th April 2014 - CTICC, Cape Town, South Africa

The Clinical Infectious Diseases Research Initiative hosted a pre-congress symposium for "Emerging African Investigators" on 2nd April 2014, preceding the opening ceremony of the 16th International Congress on Infectious Diseases.

Interested delegates submitted abstracts on their research projects for consideration for the bursaries offered by CIDRI. These bursaries covered the return flights to Cape Town, accommodation at the Southern Sun Cullinan Hotel next door to the Convention Centre as well as the conference registration fee. Twenty abstracts were selected on scientific merit, 18 for oral presentations and 2 for poster presentations.

The awardees were:

Name Institute Area of research
Nalwonga Amina Rakai Health Science, Uganda Viral hepatitis
Edith Chepkorir International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology, Kenya Tropical Viral Infections – Dengue-2
Oumar Faye Institut Pasteur, Senegal Tropical Viral Infections – Zika virus
Ngiambudulu Francisco University of Cape Town, South Africa Tuberculosis
Eduardo Gudo National Institute of Health, Mozambique Tropical Viral Infections – chikungunya
David Kamgang Institut Pasteur de Bangui, Central African Republic Tropical Viral Infections - chikungunya
Henry Kyobe Bosa African Union Mission,
Tropical Viral Infections - Dengue
David le Roux University of Cape Town, South Africa Childhood Pneumonia
Nombulelo Magula University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa Diabetes and HIV
Junior Matangila University of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo Tropical Parasitic Infections – Plasmodium falciparum
Jeffrey Mphahlele University of Limpopo, South Africa Viral hepatitis
Nontobeko Mvubu University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa Tuberculosis
Njingang Nansseu Mother and Child Centre, Cameroon Blood borne infections in blood donors
Harr Njai Medical Research Council, The Gambia Viral hepatitis
Boris Njeambosay University of Yaounde, Cameroon Tropical Parasitic Infections – anopheles inoculation rates
Luke Nyakarahuka Makerere University, Uganda Tropical Viral Infections – Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever
Okechukwu Ossai Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, Nigeria Tropical Parasitic Infections - schistosomiasis
Bhavani Poonsamy National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa P. jirovecii infection
Mengistu Seid University of Gondar, Ethiopia Tropical Parasitic Infections - leishmaniasis
Caroline Tigoi International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology, Kenya Tropical Viral Infections - Arboviruses

The symposium was well attended with 500 registered delegates. Feed back from the CIDRI awardees expressed their appreciation for the sponsorship and the opportunity to attend this important meeting on infectious diseases.

We left Cape Town last Sunday afternoon and arrived safely in Yaounde yesterday afternoon, happy to have attended the 16th ICID. I would like to thank the CIDRI for this opportunity they have given us to take part in this prestigious scientific event despite the fact that we did not present as early wished...
Njingang Nansseu

I trust you are well and thank you for making arrangements for the CIDRI sponsored delegates.
Nombulelo Magula

Thank you so much for the photo and your assistance to attend the conference. It was a very productive and insightful conference.
Nonto Mvubu


ICID CIDRI Symposium

CIDRI sponsored delegates at the Emerging African Investigators Symposium


ICID CIDRI Symposium

The Symposium was chaired by Professor Marc Mendelson (FIDSSA President and Chair of the Local Organizing Committee) and Professor Graeme Meintjes (CIDRI Steering Group member and member of the Local Organizing Committee)


Conference delegates who attended the Emerging African Investigators Symposium

Symposium delegates

Prof Marc Mendelson (SA), Prof Eric Summers (USA)
and Prof Eskild Petersen (Denmark)

Symposium delegates

Dr Mengistu Seid (Ethiopia) and Dr K Getso (Nigeria)


Symposium delegates

Dr Ngiambudulu Francisco (centre)

Symposium delegates

Dr Cari Stek, Mr Artjom Levitski
and Prof Graeme Meintjes (SA)


Wellcome Trust Governors' Visit TO IDM
11th to 13th February 2014

The Director of the Wellcome Trust in the United Kingdom asked Professor Robert J Wilkinson to host the Cape Town sector of the Trust's combined visit to the Africa Centre in Kwazulu-Natal and the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) at the University of Cape Town. The visit to UCT took place from 11th to 13th February 2014.

Dr Jeremy Farrar was recently appointed to the position of Director of the Wellcome Trust and with the Chairman of the Trust, Dr William Castell, led a team of ten Governors, seven members of the Executive Board, nine senior administrative staff and five directors of other African Initiatives, in visits to both centres of Wellcome funded research activities. Professor Gavin Screaton, the Vice Dean of Academic Development at Imperial College in London also attended the meeting in Cape Town.

All the delegates arrived on the afternoon of 11th February 2014 and attended a reception at the Vineyard Hotel to which many members of the health sector in Cape Town were invited. Some of the guests included:

  • Dr Max Price – Vice Chancellor UCT
  • Professor Wim de Villiers – Dean Faculty of Health Sciences UCT
  • Professor Valerie Mizrahi – Director of the IDM at UCT
  • Professor Robert J Wilkinson – CIDRI Director
  • Mrs Judith MacGregor – British High Commissioner
  • Dr Tracey Naledi – Director Health Impact Assessment Programs Department of Health
  • Dr Mamphela Ramphele – Leader of AGANG political party
  • Professor Craig Househam – Head of Department of Health Western Cape
  • Professor Kelly Chibale – Director UCT Drug Discovery and Development Centre
  • Dr Tom Ellman – Southern Africa MSF Medical Unit Director
  • Dr Thomas Auf der Heyde – Department of Science and Technology, South Africa

Wellcome visit

Dr Yolande Harley, Professor Robert J Wilkinson, Dr Jeremy Farrar, Professor Wim de Villiers
Behind on left: Professor Valerie Mizrahi and Professor Deenan Pillay from the Africa Centre

The following day a symposium was held in the IDM. The Wellcome Trust delegation was welcomed by Dr Max Price (UCT Vice-Chancellor), followed by Professor Wim de Viliiers (Dean of Health Sciences) and Professor Valerie Mizrahi (Director of the IDM). Professor Robert J Wilkinson (Director of CIDRI) presented an overview of CIDRI and its role within the IDM and the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Presentations of current research projects funded by the Wellcome Trust and CIDRI were given by:
   Associate Professor Graeme Meintjes – Intermediate Wellcome Trust Fellow
   Dr Hanif Esmail- Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellow
   Dr Liesl Zuhlke – CIDRI Fellow
   Ms Ursula Rohlwink – CIDRI PhD candidate

A site visit to Khayelitsha Site B and the Khayelitsha District Hospital followed, where aspects of the clinical research were presented.
The afternoon sessions were held back at the IDM where presentations were given on platforms for rural and urban health research, by Professor Heather Zar, Professor Alex Ezeh and Associate Professor Andrew Boulle. This was followed by a session on the H3Africa initiative, led Dr Jimmy Whitworth, Professor Ayesha Motala, Professor Bongani Mayosi and Professor Nicola Mulder.
Dr Jeremy Farrar (Wellcome Trust Director) closed the meeting, thanking all for an informative and successful day.
On Thursday 13th February, a group of Wellcome Trust Governors and staff attended a meeting with Dr Tracey Naledi and colleagues from the Department of Health, at the IDM. A parallel session, open to the whole of the Faculty of Health Sciences, was held in the IDM lecture theatre, where Wellcome Trust staff presented the funding options offered by the Wellcome Trust. They also answered questions and spent time in informal discussion with interested applicants.

The final event of the visit was a tour of the IDM facilities including the laboratories where departmental representatives described and demonstrated pieces of equipment that were funded by CIDRI. This equipment was funded through applications for capacity developing equipment that will benefit multiple users in the IDM and the Faculty of Health Sciences.

During the lunch hours, 9 posters describing Wellcome Trust and CIDRI research were available for viewing and discussion with the authors, the visitors and other interested researchers.

Wellcome visit