Current Initiatives

Targeted HDI Drug Discovery Capacity Building

Historically Disadvantaged Institutions (HDI) in South Africa still face the enormous challenge of overcoming historical inequalities to close the gap the research impact of HDIs and world class institutions.

The H3D Foundation supports specific strategic drug discovery projects at HDIs to address this disparity and elevate both the quality of the post graduate training and the infrastructure gaps by providing structured support for post graduate students located at HDIs. The programme will focus on providing the students with access to world class infrastructure and project mentorship while simultaneously improving the research infrastructure and skills at their home institution.

An example of a previous project supported was a pilot project at UCT where the H3D Drug Discovery Centre provided young post graduate drug discovery students from Walter Sisulu University opportunities to access H3D laboratories, including access to world-class equipment and infrastructure to learn new laboratory techniques and skills. The students were immersed in the H3D environment for 4-6-week periods to gain exposure to drug discovery researchers and to accelerate their own projects through the access to specialised equipment and assays. This model has proved effective in terms of hands on drug discovery training and in building a partnership with WSU. This partnership went on to seed a successful research grant application to the US National Institute for Health (NIH) for additional research infrastructure at WSU and 5 years of financial support for a malaria drug discovery collaboration with the H3D Drug Discovery Centre.