Dr Anna Coussens

Dr Anna  Coussens

South Africa

University of Cape Town

Pathology

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Work and Research

My research is in the field of tuberculosis (TB) immunology, developing host-directed interventions, to correct immunological dysfunction for prevention and treatment of TB co-morbidities to reduce morbidity and mortality. In the design of my research I focus on identifying the immunological dysfunction caused by known TB risk factors, such as HIV-1, vitamin D deficiency and type 2 diabetes, which are co-prevalent in the communities I work in, in order to identify targets for intervention. I have a special interest in biomarker discovery to identify novel diagnostics for identifying individuals infected and at risk of disease on which we can then test novel interventions for disease prevention and resolution.

Fields Of Expertise

Tuberculosis
HIV
Vitamin D

Research Profiles

Anna Coussens

I am a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where I lead a translational clinical research program on tuberculosis and HIV-1 immunology focused on the discovery of biomarkers of infection and host-directed interventions for the prevention and treatment of disease. I am based within the recently established Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa) within the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM).  I have expertise in developing pre-clinical cellular models of host-pathogen interaction on which we test interventions to prevent pathogen replication, cell death and matrix destruction. This allows us to reverse-translate our clinical findings in order to investigate mechanisms of immune pathology and develop novel interventions for further clinical testing    

I am working on ways of transforming my research outcomes into changes in health guidelines for South Africa, for the prevention of TB and to decrease HIV-associated morbidity. I work in close contact with clinicians to ensure the clinical translation of my research to improve the health of people suffering form these diseases. As a part of my involvement in the Global State of Young Scientist (GloSYS) workgroup within the Global Young Academy (GYA),  I am the Southern Africa Regional Champion for the GloSYS Africa project which aims to investigate the state of young scientists within Africa which will feed back into the main GloSYS project, to continually inform decision makers regarding the career paths of early career researchers, globally.