A famous saying: “The best among you are those who are most beneficial to humanity” has been an important underlying value that is the basis for Dr Nazir Ismail’s career. He has been active in TB services and research in South Africa for many years. His initial focus was on the microbiology of TB with special emphasis on molecular biology – diagnostics and genotyping. This has now been expanded to include epidemiological surveillance as a core function of the Centre for TB that Dr Ismail now leads. He has also led operational studies jointly with the Department of Health- South Africa, Desmond Tutu TB Centre and the International Union.
Dr Ismail is currently the Head for the Centre for Tuberculosis at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases. His previous positions were: 2011: Principal Pathologist, University of Pretoria and Tshwane Academic Laboratory. 2008: Pathologist (Microbiologist) University of Limpopo and Dr George Mukhari Hospital. 2007: Consultant Microbiologist, Health Services Executive, Ireland.
He is the Councillor for the Colleges of Medicine Pathology Board. He is a member of the following associations: American Society of Microbiologists, International Union of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease and Critical Path to TB Drug Regimens. He is an advisor to the following committees and boards: NHLS TB Expert Committee and Microbiology Advisory Committee, MDR TB, advisory board – National Department of Health, NDoH – Antimicrobial Resistance Working group and WHO – Expert/Technical advisor: Xpert MTB/Rif and pza/fql resistance.
For the collaboration, Dr Ismail will continue active MDR TB surveillance in 4 districts in South Africa (Kenneth Kaunda, Ehlanzeni, NMM and Francis Baard districts) and will continue to collaborate with Professor Churchyard in the evaluation of an automated AFB microscopy system and will study the molecular epidemiology and drug resistant conferring genetic mutation of TB isolates from clinical and interventional research studies conducted by the ACT for TB/HIV consortium.