Host organisation: University of Cape Town (UTC), South Africa

Project title: Investigating heterogeneous African host population responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex lineages causing tuberculosis: implications for host directed therapy

Dr Leopold Tientcheu’s interest in TB research began in 2007 with his Master of Science thesis project. His subsequent doctoral studies at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine were focused on studying the differences between the immune responses of M. africanum and M. tuberculosis infected patients in The Gambia following treatment. 

As a postdoctoral researcher at the MRC Gambia Unit, he has continued to investigate how different M. tuberculosis complex lineages influence TB pathogenesis, host immune responses and outcomes of chemotherapy in both adult and children.

AREF Fellowship research project:

Dr Tientcheu chose to undertake a short AREF Fellowship of three months. The award enabled him to build on the Unit’s TB Program and to strengthen collaboration with his hosts at the University of Cape Town (UCT), a well-established centre that brings together many groups working on different aspects of TB.

During the Fellowship, he worked towards an experimental protocol and a competitive research proposal to submit to a major funding body. His achievement of that demonstrates the extent to which the AREF Fellowship has been a significant stepping-stone in his scientific career.