Host organisation: Oxford University, UK / Lund University, Sweden

Project title: Viral evolution and innate responses during acute HIV-1 infection and their association with disease pathogenesis

In 2007, Dr Amin Hassan set up a HIV/AIDS longitudinal surveillance aimed at describing characteristics and outcomes of HIV-infected individuals in a rural district hospital in Coastal Kenya. His current project will retrieve archived data and samples from independent acute HIV-1 infection studies from sites in Africa and Europe.

AREF Fellowship research project:

Dr Hassan’s fellowship offered an excellent opportunity for him to spend some time with a collaborator at Lund University to acquire hands-on training and skills in advanced HIV-1 molecular methods. He used data and results from these analyses to generate additional research questions, which will subsequently be put into use to develop award winning grant applications.

After the Fellowship, the knowledge and skills he acquired were transferred back to his parent organization in Kilifi, Kenya, and implemented in new and follow-up projects. This capacity will also be shared more formally through research internships, mentorships and mainstream academic modules in local institutions of higher learning. In the long-term, this fellowship will contribute significantly towards shaping his research career and achieving his ambition of developing into a strong HIV/AIDS research scientist in Africa.