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Fogarty PhD Fellowship in HIV-associated Tuberculosis: Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacogenomics of New Antiretroviral Drugs

14 Sep 2018 - 09:00

The Fogarty HIV-associated Tuberculosis Training Program has been established at the University of Cape Town in partnership with Johns Hopkins University and Vanderbilt University in the US, and aims to develop the next generation of research leaders in this field at UCT. The Program is funded by a 5-year grant from the Fogarty International Center of the US National Institutes of Health. The Program will competitively award a limited number of post-graduate fellowships and run training courses. It will strengthen UCT’s capacity to address knowledge gaps in this field and tackle new scientific questions as the epidemiology and treatment of HIV and TB evolve. The five focus areas prioritized for training are: Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Advanced Epidemiology and Modelling; Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacogenomics; Immunopathogenesis; and HIV-TB Drug Hypersensitivity Reactions. The Program is administered by the Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa) in the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM).

We are now seeking applicants for one PhD fellowship position: the successful candidate will be based within the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at UCT. The incumbent will work under the joint supervision of Professor Gary Maartens, Head of Division, and Professor David Haas, Vanderbilt University, US.

Applicants are required to have:
• Completed a Master’s degree in Genetics, Clinical Pharmacology or related field OR a medical degree (MBChB or equivalent)
• Ability to register in January or February 2019 for full time study
• Computer literacy and excellent communication skills
• Willingness to learn new research skills and methodologies
• Willingness to spend time at Vanderbilt University for a period up to 10 months

Project theme: Dolutegravir and tenofovir alafenamide are next generation antiretrovirals that will soon be used on a wide scale in Africa. This project will determine the exposure of these antiretrovirals from participants in a randomised controlled trial, and will relate genetic polymorphisms to both drug exposures and toxicities. A secondary aim is to explore drug-drug interactions between the antiretrovirals and rifampicin-based anti-tuberculosis therapy. The following techniques will be used during the PhD and prior experience will be an advantage: non-compartmental analysis of pharmacokinetic parameters and genome-wide association studies.

Conditions of Award: The successful candidate will be required to register for full time PhD study in the Department of Medicine, the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Cape Town.

There is currently funding available to provide stipend support to a basic scientist for 3 years of the PhD or to a medically-qualified PhD student for 2 years of the PhD; the annual amounts are aligned with UCT guidelines. The fellowship will be awarded for one year initially; renewal for a second and a third year will be considered and will be contingent on satisfactory academic progress
The PhD fellow will spend a period of 10 months in the laboratory of Professor David Haas at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, US. Applicants must be willing to apply for, and have in place valid travel documents, to allow for such an exchange.
The successful candidate will be required to comply with the approved policies, procedures and practices for funding for the postgraduate sector at the University of Cape Town. The successful candidate will be expected to complete the PhD successfully, to participate in all required training elements of our Fogarty Program in terms of human subjects protection and responsible conduct of research, and attend symposia and meetings of the Fogarty Program at UCT and present their ongoing research at these meetings.

Applications: To apply, please contact Kathryn Wood ( for the application form.

The deadline for applications is 30 September 2018.

Applications will be considered based on academic merit. UCT’s policies on transformation and equity will be adhered to, with preference given to black South African candidates.

The University reserves the right to cancel, withdraw and recover any funds paid out to award-holders who do not comply with the Conditions of Award.