Contributor: Professor Anna Kramvis
Professor Anna Kramvis is a long standing researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand. After completing her BSc Hons at Wits, she went further in her science career and graduated with her PhD in 1986. She was researcher and then lecturer in the Department of Microbiology at Wits until 1991. Currently, Professor Kramvis is a Reader in Molecular Virology, heads the Hepatitis Virus Diversity Research Programme (HVDRP) in the Department of Internal Medicine and has also been recently appointed as a Wits representative on the ACGT advisory committee. She has worked in the field of viral hepatitis for over 15 years and is NRF B-rated scientist.
As a molecular virologist, the impetus of her research has been to characterize the genome of the African strains of Hepatitis B Virus and to determine whether there are mutations or variations in the isolates from Africans with and without disease, which may contribute to disease progression. She has been involved in the comparative analysis of hepatitis virus strains from various geographic regions of the world, in order to shed light on the origin, transmission and pathogenesis of viral-induced disease. To date, she and her team have characterised HBV isolates from HIV-negative individuals in our local population and are now carrying out parallel research in HIV-positive individuals.
This research holds promises in the development of diagnostics and in custom designing of molecular antiviral and anti-tumour therapies. The progress in sequencing techniques, in computers and information technology has provided powerful tools in the analysis of the molecular evolution of viruses. In 2007, she was awarded the senior bioinformatics fellowship by the National Bioinformatics Network. She has published over 40 peer reviewed articles in international journals and regularly serves as an ad hoc reviewer for scientific journals.
The HVDRP provides a platform for the training of research scientists and clinicians in scientific planning, methodology and interpretation in a molecular biology environment. The extensive and ongoing national and international collaborative networks established with laboratories in South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Gambia, the United States of America, Japan, China, Hong Kong Sweden, Belgium, Greece and Australia is proof of the importance of hepatitis virus research and its relevance both nationally and internationally.
Prof Anna Kramvis, Tel: +27 11 488 3100