Public Lecture: Doing HIV research in the lab
Topic: Doing HIV Research In The Lab: The Hunt For The Cure Continues With Zakithi Mkhize
Zakithi is a PhD candidate at the HIV Pathogenesis Program (HPP) at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She is also a Sub-Saharan African Network for HIV/TB research excellence (SANTHE) PhD fellow. She is currently working in HIV cure studies, particularly on understanding the dynamics of transcription during HIV infection and latency. Her project focuses on investigating how genetic variation in HIV regulatory protein Tat plays a role in interacting with host transcription factor, positive elongation factor b (P-TEFb). She is passionate about using science to make life changing medical discoveries and is hopeful that we will see a cure for HIV in our lifetime. Zakithi is also an avid science communicator and youth STEM activist. Her YouTube channel BlackGirlScientist is used as a platform where she shares her journey through science, helping others just like her to navigate the field. She says that the COVID-19 pandemic, although devastating in many ways, helped to highlight the important role which scientists play in the world through doing basic sciences.