UKZN academic, Dr Tivani P Mashamba-Thompson, has completed Clinical Research Training Scholarship at Harvard Medical School with a commendation for her research.

While the maximum completion time for this programme is two years, the School of Nursing and Public Health Academic Leader: Research, completed the programme in one year.

In 2017, Dr Mashamba-Thompson joined the Harvard Medical School’s Global Clinical Scholars Research Training (GCSRT) Programme which provides clinicians and clinician-scientists with advanced training in conducting clinical research and with research leadership skills.

She was one of the four students whose work received special recognition at the graduation by Dr Kenneth B Christopher, one of the GCSRT programme directors and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.

Dr Mashamba-Thompson’s research interest is translational medicine, a discipline in biomedical research aimed at expediting the discovery of new diagnostic tools and treatments by using a multi-disciplinary, highly collaborative, “bench-to-bedside” approach.

‘I am now officially a member of the Harvard alumni and apparently this comes with lots of benefits,’ said a visibly elated Mashamba-Thompson.

She has made good connections with the GCSRT programme directors and there is a possibility that she may soon become a visiting lecturer at Harvard Medical School to teach scoping reviews. Scoping reviews are a type of evidence synthesis research methods aimed at mapping literature to reveal research gaps to guide future research.

‘I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my former line managers, Professor Busisiwe Ncama and Professor Slotow for their continuing efforts on ensuring transformation with excellence in UKZN and for supporting me throughout my training at one of the most prestigious medical schools in the world,’ she said.

Mashamba-Thompson also acknowledges the GCSRT Dean, Dr Ajay K Singh and Dr Kenneth B Christopher, for a well-structured course as well as GCSRT program co-ordinators, Lauren Rocha and Emily Pope, for their patience and efficiency. Finally, she thanked her fellow students, particularly the 2017/2018 GCSRT group 10 for peer mentorship during the course as well as all the GCSRT faculty members for excellent lectures and workshops.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini