Dr Kaelo Seatla, a PhD student in Medical Science in the Faculty of Health Sciences has received a highly competitive and prestigious one-year Harvard University Center for AIDS Research (HU CFAR) Developmental Award grant valued at US$60 000 (around P600 000).
Dr Seatla is also a SANTHE Fellow based at the Botswana Harvard Partnership site. He received the grant for his project entitled, “Genotyping/Phenotyping subtype-C HIV-1 from patients failing DTG-ART, Botswana”.
The main aim of the study is to perform a complete genotypic and phenotypic characterisation of HIV subtype-C viruses from individuals failing dolutegravir (DTG)-based regimens.
The study has potential to unravel novel DTG drug resistance mutational pathways specific to HIV subtype-C virus and improve patient care. This study is an extension of the current PhD work that Dr Seatla is doing.
Dr Seatla will have the opportunity to work in Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes’ laboratory in USA where he will learn novel phenotypic HIV drug resistance testing assays that he hopes to transfer to Botswana for use in scientific research and patient care.
Dr Seatla is grateful to Dr Shahin Lockman (Harvard University), Dr Simani Gaseitsiwe (BHP), Professor Ishmael Kasvosve (UB), Dr Ava Avalos (BHP) and Dr Sikhulile Moyo (BHP) for their support and mentorship.
The HU CFAR welcomes proposals for Developmental Awards for research in all HIV-related disciplines on an annual basis. The awards provide both salary and research support for promising early-career investigators who are transitioning to independent funding.