Lucy Mupfumi is an FLP awardee from Botswana from the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute/University of Botswana. Lucy’s PhD project is entitled “Active tuberculosis in patients on cART: Incidence, predictive factors and biomarkers”. Lucy chose the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative under Thomas Scriba for her PhD exchange project.

Lucy Mupfumi Report

Training report
FAIS funded trip to SATVI labs
September to December 2019
Cape Town, South Africa

Group picture with from L-R: Tim Reid, A/Prof Elisa Nemes and Prof Thomas Scriba.

Training Goal

I travelled to the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative between September and December 2019 to analyze data on immune activation markers of TB treatment response under the supervision and mentorship of Professor Thomas Scriba and Associate Professor Elisa Nemes. The primary aim of the analysis was to determine the dynamics of Mtbspecific T-cells during combined ART and ATT. To achieve this, l assessed the functional, activation, and differentiation profile of Mtb-specific T-cells in HIV/TB co-infected participants on ART compared to HIV− active TB. I also assessed whether the effects of ATT on immune responses were restricted to Mtb-specific T-cells by adding a Gag stimulation condition as a control for HIV-specific responses.

Skills obtained

I attended weekly journal clubs and presented at work in progress meetings. I also learnt advanced data analysis skills using FlowJo, R and Prism. I attended presentations on panel design and FlowJo data analysis which reinforced my skills. In addition, l had one-on-one meetings with Professor Scriba and Elisa Nemes to discuss the flow plots, analysis plan, and the results of the analysis.

Pathogens 2020, 9, 180; doi:10.3390/pathogens9030180

Output

  1. A manuscript based on the analysis undertaken at SATVI.
  2. Completion of third and final aim of PhD
  3. Thesis submission, March 2020, and graduation November 2020

Conclusions

I am grateful to FAIS-Legacy Project for this opportunity to receive mentorship and training in advanced flow cytometry techniques and data analysis. This equipped me with the necessary skills to successfully defend my thesis as well as become a useful resource on immunology and flow cytometry for our research group in Botswana.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT