Research project: Herbal medicines as latent HIV activators
Daniella completed her undergraduate degree at UCT majoring in genetics and biochemistry, after which she continued with an honour’s in Human Genetics. She is now an MSc (med) student in the Pharmacogenomics and Drug Metabolism group under the supervision of Prof Collet Dandara and Dr Nicholas Thomford. Her project involves identifying compounds isolated from medicinal herbs, belonging to different regions of Africa, which show potential to reactivate latent HIV. The rationale behind this study is ultimately that the concurrent administration of antiretroviral therapy, which eliminates the active form of the virus, and latency reactivating agents, which activate the latent form of the virus, could facilitate the discovery of a functional cure for HIV.