On 5 May CAPRISA hosted a Roundtable discussion with Dr Francis Collins, Director of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) on building international excellence in medical research. Senior officials and scientists from the South African Medical Research Council, the National Research Foundation, Africa Health Research Initiative, Maternal, Adolescent and Child Health, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and CAPRISA had an opportunity to interact with Dr Collins and Dr Robert Eiss, the senior advisor Fogarty International Centre NIH, and to participate in a robust discussion on what is needed to build research excellence, with a special emphasis on what the NIH should do. In his position as Director Dr Collins oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research. A physician-geneticist, Dr Collins is noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book.
Present at the roundtable discussion were: Front Row - seated (L-R): Richard Gordon, Gansen Pillay, Nesri Padayatchi, Robert Eiss, Salim Abdool Karim, Francis Collins, Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Sabiha Essack, Koleka Mlisana, Tanuja Gengiah.
Back row – standing (L-R): Frank Tanser, Ayesha Kharsany, Jeffrey Mphahlele, Eliza Govender, Halima Dawood, Kogie Naidoo, Andries Steyn, Cheryl Baxter, Desh Archary, Alex Pym, Arthie Ramkissoon, Gita Ramjee, Nombulelo Magula, Leila Mansoor, Kathy Mngadi, Pamela Gumbi, Sinaye Ngcapu, Bonginkosi Mfuze.
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