The Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa) fosters investigator-led approaches via the overarching scientific objective of combatting infection, especially HIV-1 and tuberculosis, through clinical and laboratory research. In the future, CIDRI-Africa will expand its portfolio to include support for research on the interaction between communicable and non-communicable diseases, especially where the latter impact susceptibility to infection, or arise as a consequence of infection. In addition, CIDRI-Africa will improve understanding and management of the challenges of antiretroviral therapy (ART) such as metabolic complications and antiretroviral drug resistance.
CIDRI-Africa was established at the University of Cape Town to augment acknowledged strengths in the basic and clinical aspects of infectious diseases research in the Faculty of Health Sciences. The prestigious award of centre status from the Wellcome Trust is unique, as CIDRI-Africa is the only Wellcome Centre outside the United Kingdom. Three interlinked platforms support clinical studies in the community (Clinical Research), improve the depth of laboratory investigations for infected materials (Basic Science) and advance cutting-edge integration of high-dimensional, big data (Biomedical Data Integration). Each platform is led by an established internationally recognised investigator based in the Faculty of Health Sciences, supported by a Platform Academic.
The CIDRI-Africa Director, Professor Robert J Wilkinson, is supported and advised by a Steering Group consisting of the Platform Leads—Professors Mizrahi, Mulder and Boulle, and Meintjes—other senior academics in Infectious Diseases, and faculty representatives. In turn, the Steering Group is advised on scientific direction and strategy by an Expert Advisory Board of senior scientists with experience of the African research context.