Steyn, associate professor in the UAB Department of Microbiology, is the first investigator for the new KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) in Durban, South Africa, a collaboration between the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. HHMI has committed $60 million to the initiative.

Worldwide, somebody dies every 10 seconds from TB, but the statistics are much worse in South Africa, Steyn says. “In some regions, the TB incidence is extremely high — about one in 100 people are affected. Many who are HIV-positive also have TB; obviously that is a major concern.”

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