About Prof Tivani Mashamba-Thompson




“I am conscious of the complexities of the context in which we conduct our research and I would like to encourage our staff and students to conduct transformative research that contributes to social action and social justice.”

- Prof Tivani Mashamba-Thompson



Professor Tivani Mashamba-Thompson is the current Deputy Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies at the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Prof Mashamba-Thompson is a Y2 NRF-rated Medical Scientist (Molecular Biology) registered with the Health Profession Council of South Africa. Tivani completed her Master of Medical Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences graduating summa cum laude from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and completed her PhD in Public Health two years later at the same institution. After her PhD, she completed a year-long Harvard Medical School Global Clinical Scholars Research Training (GCSRT) program, where she was recognized for her excellence in research. She was also the 2019/2020 CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network international postdoctoral fellow. Tivani’s research revolves around evidence synthesis and implementing point-of-care diagnostics for underserved populations in resource-limited settings

Since joining academia in 2014, Tivani has co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications in accredited journals including high impact journals such as the Lancet and Nature. She has co-edited and co-authored one book, entitled, Implementation and Scale Up of Point of Care (POC) Diagnostics in Resource-Limited Settings. Tivani has supervised and mentored more than 25 postgraduate students to completion in a variety medical and healthcare disciplines.

Tivani is a co-investigator on a national Covid-19 study aimed at optimizing the implementation of new Covid-19 point-of-care tests in South Africa, with her research work on point-of-care diagnostics has being recognized nationally and internationally. Tivani is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. She is one of two young South African Researchers who were awarded the 2019 National Research Foundation and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science HOPE fellowship award. In 2020, Tivani was the most published female researchers and one of the top five most cited researchers at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  She was listed as one of Mail and Guardian’s most powerful women in 2020 under the guiding women category. 

Professor Mashamba-Thompson co-founded the UKZN Early and Mid-career Academics Platform. She serves on the Covid-19 Scientific Advisory Committee in the Limpopo Province. She is a member of the Office of Health Standards Compliance Technical Task team in South Africa,  the National Health Laboratory Services Board, the University of Pretoria Senate and a member of the South African Committee of Medical Deans. She is also a member of the University College London Collaboration for the Advancement of Sustainable Medical Innovation (CASMI) as well as the Antenatal Care/PMTCT Global Advisory Board. Tivani is on the editorial board of the Lancet’s eBioMedicine journal and an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Reproductive Health, Frontiers Human and Medical Genomics, PLOS Global Public Health as well as a Guest Editor for Diagnostics Journal.

Tivani is passionate about research and research capacity building. Since joining the University of Pretoria (UP) in January 2021, she has established the research clusters in the implementation of point-of-care diagnostics and evidence synthesis research methods. She is collaborating with research methodologists and library services at UP, as well as researchers from McMaster University, to raise awareness on evidence synthesis research methods and stimulate transformative research in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

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