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  • Opening doors for structural biology in Africa

    The HIV Virology Laboratory, headed by CAPRISA research associates Professors Lynn Morris and Penny Moore, at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) recently became part of the Synchrotron Techniques for African Research and Technology (START) grant which is a UK-Africa partnership that aims to strengthen structural biology in Africa.

    The grant consists of structural biology laboratories across different South African institutions in partnership with the Diamond Light Source, UK. The first collaborators meeting took place in Cape Town  at the beginning of June 2018. Among others, START aims to provide training to African structural biologists, mentorship and access to the various Diamond Light Source beamlines. African scientists will be able to screen and solve crystal and cryo-EM structures at the Diamond Light Source. Through this collaboration, Morris and Moore will  have beamtime at the synchrotron in August this year to screen various HIV Fab-gp120 complex crystals that we have optimized.  

    Photo: (L-R) Colleagues from the NICD— Prof. Penny Moore, Prof. Lynn Morris,  Dr. Thandeka Moyo and Dr. Nigel Makoah

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Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa

CAPRISA was created in 2001 and formally established in 2002 under the NIH-funded Comprehensive International Program of Research on AIDS (CIPRA) by five partner institutions; University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Cape Town, University of Western Cape, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, and Columbia University in New York. CAPRISA is a designated UNAIDS Collaborating Centre for HIV Prevention Research. The main goal of CAPRISA is to undertake globally relevant and locally responsive research that contributes to understanding HIV pathogenesis, prevention and epidemiology as well as the links between tuberculosis and AIDS care.