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Prof. Gavin J. Churchyard – Principal Investigator

Prof Gavin Churchyard
Principal Investigator

Prof Gavin Churchyard is a specialist physician, internationally-renowned for his contributions in tuberculosis (TB). He is the founder and CEO of The Aurum Institute NPC, an independent, not for profit, proudly South African, public benefit organization that focuses on TB and HIV service delivery, management and research. He is an Honorary Professor at the University of Witwatersrand, School of Public Health and an Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine. He is the Chair of the WHO/TDR Disease Reference Group for TB, Leprosy and Buruli Ulcer (2009-2012) and a member of the WHO Stop TB Research movement, both of which set global research priorities for TB. He is also the Chair of the WHO Task Force for developing policy for new TB drugs, a member of the WHO Strategic Technical Advisory Group for TB that advises WHO on policy for TB, a member of the WHO expert committees for TB preventive therapy and TB screening and a member of the WHO Working Groups for TB/HIV, MDR TB and infection control. He is the co-Chair of the NIH HIV Vaccine Trials Network-TB vaccine working group, Vice Chair of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group Transformative Science Group for TB, Co-Chair of a Fogarty Global Infectious Disease training grant for MDR TB. He is the principal investigator on a number of TB trials being conducted in South Africa. He has contributed to industry, national and international guidelines for TB and HIV, and has published widely in the areas of TB and HIV treatment and prevention.

For the collaboration, Prof Churchyard will co-lead trials to evaluate new treatment shortening regimens for drug susceptible TB as well as lead/co-lead two therapeutic TB vaccine trials evaluating ID93 and H56/IC31; Aurum and collaborators are exploring leading the South African development of a heat killed MTB vaccine (RUTI, Archival Farma) and a new multi antigen, lentiviral vector TB vaccine developed by the Pasteur Institute. Churchyard is leading a multi country evaluation of levofloxacin for treatment of presumed latent TB infection with MDR TB among MDR TB exposed household contacts and a novel strategy of annual short course TB preventive therapy for HIV-infected adults.

He will lead the HVTN109 trial evaluating various combinations of DNA, NYVAC and adjuvants (MF59, ASO1b) in prime boost regimens. Transformative science is essential to advance understanding of the host pathogen interaction and will be embedded into clinical trials and implementation research conducted by the ACT for TB/HIV collaboration.

Professors Kana and Churchyard also propose to study the physiology of viable but non-culturable tubercle bacteria in HIV infected and uninfected TB patients and to expand their collaboration to assess drug tolerance in RPFd bacteria and to gain insight into some of the clinical phenomena associated with TB Disease.