What is K-RITH?

The KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) is a world class, independent basic science research facility.  Its mission is to conduct outstanding basic science research on tuberculosis (TB) and HIV and translate the scientific findings into new tools to control TB and HIV. 

In addition to its research mission, K-RITH is committed to motivating young scientists to address the crises of TB and HIV by expanding the science education opportunities in the region as well as strengthening the TB and HIV research capabilities of scientists across Africa.

K-RITH was founded in 2009 through a groundbreaking collaboration between the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), with public sector support through the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), the biotechnology investment arm of the South African government.  The unique approach of this collaboration was to build a state-of-the-art research facility that brought cutting-edge scientific technology to the heart of the TB and HIV epidemic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  The combination of a high burden of TB and HIV and advanced laboratory facilities makes K-RITH an important place for scientific discovery and translation of research into diagnostics and treatments to fight these global killers.

K-RITH works in collaboration with UKZN and other academic and clinical institutions in South Africa and around the world.  Its goal is that discoveries made in the heart of the TB and HIV epidemics will drive innovation to control these deadly diseases.

The institute is housed in the K-RITH Tower Building; a state-of-the-art, 4,000 sq. m.(40,000 sq. ft.) research building on the campus of the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. The building contains approximately 600 sq. m. (6,000 sq. ft.) of biosafety level-3 laboratory space to enable the safe handling of HIV and the bacteria that cause TB, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and drug-resistant M. tuberculosis.