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Professor Valerie Mizrahi PhD(UCT) OMS MASSAf FRSSAf FAAM Fellow of UCT

MRC/NHLS/UCT Molecular Mycobacteriology Research Unit

DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research

Valerie Mizrahi

Director and Full Member, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine; Director, MRC/NHLS/UCT Molecular Mycobacteriology Research Unit (MMRU) which constitutes the UCT node of the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research (CBTBR); Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town; Senior International Research Scholar, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA, until 2017.

Received the L'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science (2000); the Gold Medal from the South African Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for her contributions to the field (2006); the Department of Science and Technology's Distinguished Woman Scientist Award (2006); named to the Order of Mapungubwe (2007); and awarded the Institut de France's Christophe Mérieux Prize for her work in tuberculosis research (2013).

Research in the MMRU is focused on aspects of mycobacterial physiology and metabolism that are of relevance to tuberculosis drug discovery, drug resistance, mycobacterial persistence and tuberculosis transmission. Currently, the Unit is actively involved in studying mechanisms of DNA metabolism, nucleotide metabolism, and cofactor metabolism in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

As a Unit that receives funding through two major grants from the South African government, research capacity development forms a key focus of the MMRU’s work.

The MMRU comprises senior scientists, post-doctoral fellows, and PhD and MSc students, and also participates in several major TB drug discovery consortia funded by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation under the TB Drug Accelerator program (HIT-TB), the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union (MM4TB), and the SHIP programme of the SAMRC.

 


Selected publications:

Warner, D.F., Ndwandwe, D.E., Abrahams, G.L., Kana, B.D., Venclovas, Č., and Mizrahi, V. 2010. Essential roles for imuA’ and imuB-encoded accessory factors in DnaE2-dependent mutagenesis in mycobacteria. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107:13093-13098.

Abrahams, G.L., Kumar, A., Savvi, S., Hung, A.W., Wen, S., Abell, C.A., Barry, C.E. III, Sherman, D.R., Boshoff, H.I.M, and Mizrahi, V. 2012. Pathway-selective sensitization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis for target-based whole-cell screening. Chemistry & Biology 19:844-854.

Warner D.F., Evans, J.C., and Mizrahi, V. 2014. Nucleotide metabolism and DNA replication. In: Molecular Genetics of the Mycobacteria, 2nd Edition (Hatfull, G.F. & Jacobs, W.R., Jr., eds). ASM Press, Washington, ch. 30, pg. 635-656. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.MGM2-001-2013

Warner, D.F. and Mizrahi, V. 2014. Translation of genomics research into control of tuberculosis: lessons learned and future prospects. Genome Biol. 15:514. doi:10.1186/s13059-014-0514-z

Warner, D.F., Koch, A., and Mizrahi, V. 2015. Diversity and disease pathogenesis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Trends Microbiol. 23:14-21. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2014.10.005.

Singh, V., Brecik, M., Mukherjee, R., Evans, J.C., Svetlíková, S., Blaško, J., Blackburn, J., Warner, D.F., Mikušová, K. and Mizrahi, V. 2015. The complex mechanism of antimycobacterial action of 5-fluorouracil. Chem. Biol. 22:1-13.

Evans JC, Trujillo C, Wang Z, Eoh H, Ehrt S, Schnappinger D, Boshoff HIM, Rhee KY, Barry CE, Mizrahi V. 2016. Validation of CoaBC as a bactericidal target in the coenzyme a pathway of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. ACS Infectious Diseases 2(12):958-968.

Singh V, Mizrahi V. Identification and validation of novel drug targets in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. 2016. Drug Discovery Today 22(3):503-509.

 


Contact details:

Room 3.01, Wolfson Pavilion
Anzio Road
UCT Faculty of Health Sciences
Observatory 7925
Cape Town, South Africa

Tel:  +27 21 4066098
Fax: +27 21 4066068

email: valerie.mizrahi@uct.ac.za

 

Related sites:

www.medmicro.uct.ac.za

www.mrc.ac.za/mycobacteriology/mycobacteriology.htm

www.tuberculosis.org.za

 


Group members:

A/Professor Digby Warner  
Dr Joanna Evans Junior Research Fellow
Miss Audrey Jordaan Lab Technologist
Mrs Ronnett Seldon H3-D Screening Technician
Miss Lameeza Jakoet Administrative Assistant
Dr Pooja Agarwal Postdoctoral fellow
Dr Mandy Mason Postdoctoral fellow
Mr Ryan Dinkele PhD (Medical Microbiology)
Ms Irene Gobe PhD (Medical Microbiology)
Mr Terry Kipkorir PhD (Medical Microbiology)
Ms Zela Martin PhD (Medical Microbiology)
Mr Rendani Mbau PhD (Medical Microbiology)
Mr Michael Reiche PhD (Medical Microbiology)
Ms Sophia  van Coller PhD (Medical Microbiology)

 


Collaborations:

Dr. Clifton E. Barry III, NIAID, NIH, USA

Dr. Helena I. Boshoff, NIAID, NIH, USA

Prof. Paul Wyatt & Dr. Simon Green, Drug Discovery Unit, University of Dundee

Prof. Menico Rizzi, Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale, Italy

Dr. Janos Pato, Vichem, Hungary

Prof. Chris Abell, Cambridge University, UK

Prof. Tom Blundell, Cambridge University, UK

Dr. David Ascher, Cambridge University

Prof. Lizbeth Hedstrom, Brandeis University

Prof Kyu Rhee, Cornell University

Prof Erick Strauss, Stellenbosch University

Emer. Prof. Siamon Gordon, University of Oxford

Dr. Fernando Martinez Estrada, University of Surrey

Prof. Rolf Müller, Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research, Saarland

Dr. David Olsen & Katherine Young, Merck Research Laboratories, USA

Prof. Deborah Hung, Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard