Zilungile Mkhize-Kwitshana is an Associate Professor in the School of Laboratory Medicine & Medical Sciences, Medical Microbiology’s Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She holds a PhD in Immunology. She is an NRF-C3 rated medical scientist registered with the Health Profession’s Council of South Africa. Her interest is on the immunology of co-infections with Neglected Tropical Diseases. She has worked in this field for more than twenty years. Based on her research work on the ability of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) to modify immune responses to other priority diseases such as HIV, TB, HPV and recently SARS-Cov-2, as well as interaction between Immunity, Infection, Nutrition, Microbiome and Cancer, she has published peer-reviewed scientific articles in international journals; two book chapters and presented 28 scientific papers in international conferences.  She has supervised and graduated several Masters and Doctoral students. Prof Mkhize-Kwitshana is a recipient of the Fellowship award for the International UK CIU Trust Travelling Fellowship in Immunology, a DVC Research Innovation and Engagements ’s Inaugural Gold award for the most productive researcher; a Silver Award for the highest research grant funding received and an Honorary Fellowship Award for contribution in the field of Medical Microbiology (MUT). Prof Mkhize-Kwitshana ‘s strategic leadership roles include two terms as an SAMRC Board EXCO member, she is a former Board member of Charles James Hospital Board; is a founder member of the National NTD Coordination Committee, and is currently a member of the South African Immunology Society regional representative. She is the Editorial Board member for the International Journal of Maternal and Child Health and Aids (IJMA); also serves as a reviewer for several international scientific journals, such as Lancet Infectious Diseases, also a reviewer for funding agencies such as NRF, the SAMRC and DHET. She is also a former Head of Department of Biomedical Sciences at MUT where she was instrumental in the establishment of the first 4- year Bachelor of Health Sciences degree in 2018, producing the first graduates recently in 2022. She is also a former Deputy Head of Chemical Pathology Department at Edendale Pathology Laboratories.

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