Dr Tracey Jooste awarded Career Development Grant from the National Research Foundation

The National Research Foundation (NRF) and the FirstRand Foundation (FRF) have awarded Dr Tracey Jooste, an Early Career Researcher of the SU Immunology Research Group (IRG) within the Division of  Immunology, a career development grant through the Black Academic Advancement Programme (BAAP)

Dr Jooste is one of 30 Black South African researchers to be awarded the Black Academic Advancement Programme (BAAP) Post-PhD grant for 2024. The programme was established to promote the development of Black South African academics, particularly females and persons with disabilities, equity and transformation redress.

The BAAP provides funding for daily research running costs, international travel and – perhaps most importantly – a teaching replacement to relieve academic staff from their teaching and administrative responsibilities and focus on research full-time. The programme also promotes the attainment of an NRF rating by Black South African early-career academics, to pursue the goal of increasing the proportion of suitably qualified Black African academic staff at South African public universities.

Dr Jooste’s research focuses on using high-throughput technologies, with a specific emphasis on transcriptomics, epigenetics and single-cell sequencing, as well as bioinformatics to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of disease. Her study proposes to identify host DNA methylation patterns associated with TB/HIV co-infection and explore its functional implication in underlying disease pathophysiology, ultimately aiding in alleviating the global health TB burden.

Dr Jooste has this to say about the award: “Participation in this programme not only enables me to establish myself as an independent researcher, but also affords me the opportunity to inspire the next generation of scientists across our continent who will drive the field forward.”

We look forward to following Dr Jooste’s inspirational journey and congratulate her on getting another prestigious award in the bag!