K-RITH and Africa Centre have joined to form a new interdisciplinary institute, called the Africa Health Research Institute. Click here to read more.



Board of Directors

K-RITH Governance

Alan A. Aderem


A. Aderem is president and director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Research. He is a biologist, specialising in immunology and cell biology, with particular emphasis on the innate immune system. Aderem grew up in South Africa and was part of the anti-apartheid movement. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Cape Town and later joined the faculty of the Rockefeller University in New York. He co-founded the Institute for Systems Biology in 2000 and served as its director until 2011.

Professor Hoosen (Jerry) Coovadia

Professor Hoosen (Jerry) Coovadia is an Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health and Emeritus Victor Daitz Professor of HIV/Aids research at UKZN. Coovadia was chairperson of the Mandela government’s first Commission on Maternal and Child Health to design appropriate policies for a new country. He also has had major interests in pursuing justice, democracy, development and freedom during and after apartheid. He headed the largest International Aids conference to be brought to South Africa and has done much research on prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. Coovadia has published more than 327 papers on maternal child health.

Leo Quayle

For over a decade Leo has specialised in Internal Auditing, Risk Management Consulting and Corporate Governance. Before that, he was in KPMG’s External Audit division where he was a partner and director for over 20 years. Leo has held memberships on the Council of UKZN, The Board of Trustees of the UKZN pension fund, The Board of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Institute of Directors and the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Richard Losick

Richard Losick is the Maria Moors Cabot Professor of Biology at Harvard and an HHMI Professor. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Member of the American Philosophical Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. He studies gene control and cellular differentiation in bacteria.

Rob Slotow

Professor Rob Slotow is Head of the College of Health Sciences at UKZN. An eminent and prolific researcher, Professor Slotow’s work focuses on strategies for the management of ecologically and economically important large mammals such as lion, elephant and rhino as well as processes influencing biodiversity and conservation management. Slotow completed his PhD in Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was appointed full Professor at UKZN in 2007.

Robin A. Weiss

Robin Weiss is a professor of viral oncology at University College London. A well-known virologist, Weiss has done pioneering research into HIV and Aids, most notably the identification of CD4 as the HIV receptor on cells. He has worked on Aids-associated cancers and – for the Gates Foundation – HIV vaccine discovery. From 1980 to 1989, he was director of the Institute of Cancer Research in the United Kingdom. Weiss was also president of the Society for General Microbiology from 2006 to 2009.

Scientific Advisory Board

K-RITH Governance

Barry R. Bloom

Barry R. Bloom is a Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor and Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson Professor of Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. A leading scientist in the areas of infectious diseases, vaccines, and global health and former consultant to the White House, Dr. Barry Bloom continues to pursue an active interest in bench science as the principal investigator of a laboratory researching the immune response to tuberculosis. For more than 40 years, Bloom has been deeply involved with the World Health Organization. Among numerous awards, he received the Robert Koch Gold Medal for lifetime research in infectious diseases.

Stewart T. Cole


Stewart T. Cole is the director of the Global Health Institute. He is an international authority in bacterial genetics and genomics. He was a key member of the team that uncovered the complete DNA sequence of the Aids virus, HIV 1, and of the bacteria that cause TB, among many other important findings. Among the most highly cited TB researchers, Cole is currently leading an international project to discover new drugs to treat TB. Among many international awards, he is a fellow of the Royal Society.

Gilla Kaplan

Gilla Kaplan leads the team that works to accelerate the reduction of TB incidence globally at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Before this, she was a professor of medicine and associate director at the Public Health Research Institute Centre of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She is an authority on the host cellular immune response to mycobacterial infections. Gilla is the recipient of multiple grants from the NIH-NIAID and other foundations for her research.

Valerie Mizrahi

Valerie Mizrahi is a professor at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Director of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine. She is also the Director of the Molecular Mycobacteriology Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council, and head of the UCT node of the South African Department of Science and Technology/National Research Foundation Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research. She is also a senior international research scholar of the HHMI. Mizrahi’s research team is internationally recognized for its work on aspects of the physiology and metabolism in Mycobacterium tuberculosis of relevance to TB drug discovery and drug resistance. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the Royal Society of South Africa.

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