Ndung'u Thumbi

Ndung'u Thumbi was elected as an AAS Fellow in 2016. As a fellow, Ndung'u Thumbi contributes to the development of the Academy’s strategic direction through participation in AAS activities and governance structures. . This gears the Academys vision of transforming african lives through science.

Year elected
Medical & Health Sciences

Thumbi Ndung’u is the Deputy Director (Science) and a Max Planck Research Group Leader at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) in Durban, South Africa. He is Professor, the Victor Daitz Chair in HIV/TB Research and Scientific Director of the HIV Pathogenesis Programme at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal. He holds the South African Research Chair in Systems Biology of HIV/AIDS. He is Professor of Infectious Diseases at University College London. He is Adjunct Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is the Programme Director of the Sub-Saharan African Network for TB/HIV Research Excellence (SANTHE), a research and capacity building initiative funded by the African Academy of Sciences and the Wellcome Trust. He graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and obtained a PhD in Biological Sciences in Public Health from Harvard University, United States. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Virology at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. His research interests are host-pathogen interactions, particularly immune mechanisms of HIV and TB control. He has co-authored more than 200 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. He has received grant funding from the South African National Research Foundation, the US National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust among others. He is leading a multidisciplinary team of researchers working in the fields of HIV and TB immunopathogenesis, vaccine development and immune-based HIV functional cure strategies. He has special interest in capacity building for biomedical research in Africa