Dr Keertan Dheda, Associate Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Cape Town, is the recipient of the 2010 Union Scientific Award, bestowed by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD). The annual global award honours a researcher under the age of 45 who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of tuberculosis and/or lung disease.
Dr Dheda’s research focuses mainly on poverty-related lung disease, including TB, HIV and pneumonia. The IUATLD said in its citation for Dr Dheda: “He is particularly recognised for his expertise on drug-resistant TB and is considered one of the experts in South Africa on TB drug-resistance, providing frequent advice and consultation nationally on drug-resistant cases … Of particular note, Dr Dheda has co-developed a programme offering training and clinical services related to drug-resistant TB at the two designated XDR-TB hospitals in the Northern and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa … His work has influenced decisions or recommendations made by the South African National TB Programme and other leading international TB and health organisations. He is internationally recognised for his work in TB diagnostics, TB immunology and drug-resistant TB, and holds a patent related to new diagnostic technologies for which he has received a grant from the South African Department of Science and Technology to develop further.”
Dr Dheda is Associate Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Director of the Lung Infection and Immunity Unit in the Department of Medicine at UCT. He also holds a faculty position at the Centre for Infectious Diseases and International Health at University College London, as part of the UCL-UCT Diseases of Poverty Collaboration Initiative, which aims to facilitate the training of African post-graduate students to improve global health.
The mission of the IUATLD is to bring innovation, expertise, solutions and support to address health challenges in low- and middle-income populations. Its scientific departments focus on tuberculosis, HIV, lung health and non-communication diseases, tobacco control and research.
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