Dr Veron Ramsuran, was awarded the prestigious UKZN Vice-Chancellor’s annual award valued at R150 000.
Dr Veron Ramsuran, was awarded the prestigious UKZN Vice-Chancellor’s annual award valued at R150 000.

UKZN professor bags prestigious award

By Mercury Reporter Time of article published Feb 24, 2020

Share this article:

Durban -  University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN’s) high impact researcher, Dr Veron Ramsuran, was  awarded the prestigious UKZN Vice- Chancellor’s annual award valued at R150 000. 

The award is presented to a pre-eminent  researcher at UKZN in recognition of their outstanding research achievements as well as the  international reputation they’ve acquired within their respective discipline.

Ramsuran graduated with a PhD from UKZN where he examined host factors associated  with the HIV disease. He spent almost 70% of his PhD in two international laboratories,  including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and The University of Texas Health  Science Center at San Antonio. 

After completion of his PhD, he was recruited to join the  Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Massachusetts Institute of  Technology (MIT) and Harvard as a postdoctoral research fellow. After completing five years in  these institutes, Ramsuran returned to South Africa and to UKZN.

He is now a UK Royal  Society Future Leader African Independent Research (FLAIR) Fellow; Group Leader at  KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP); Associate Scientist  at Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA); and a guest  Researcher at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institute of Health (NIH). He has  also been the recipient of numerous honours and awards and serves as an editor on two  leading international immunology journals.

His work is on examining the effect Host Genetics play on the HIV and TB disease. He has a  special interest in examining the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) genes, the epicentre of  disease associations across the human genome, as determined by genome wide  association studies. His recent work examines the effect of differential HLA expression levels  on HIV and TB disease. He is also interested in factors contributing to the differential HLA
expression. 

Ramsuran also recently found out that he has been awarded the Future Leader of African  Independent Research (FLAIR) Collaboration award. This he shares with UKZN’s honorary  scientist at Oxford University, Professor Philip Goulder. The € 50 000 UK Royal Society  award will fund their joint study that aims to find out why female babies have a two-three-fold  increased risk of acquiring HIV when compared to male infants. 

The researchers believe an  epigenetic mechanism (changes not located on the DNA sequence effecting how genes  function) may be responsible for the protection in males and this will be investigated further.

UKZN’s Vice-Chancellor,  Professor Nana Poku,  congratulated Ramsuran on the award. 

"I wish you well and trust that the award  will assist you in your future research endeavours," Poku said. 

The Mercury

Share this article: