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 a Professor of Diagnostics Research and the current Deputy Dean of Research and Postgraduate Studies at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria.

Prof Mashamba-Thompson is an internationally trained 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 with commendation in recognition of her research excellence. She was also the 2019/2020 CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network international postdoctoral fellow. She completed a course on Exercising Leadership: Foundation Principles at Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Tivani’s research revolves around implementing point-of-care diagnostics for underserved populations in resource-limited settings and evidence synthesis and translation.

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 the following books: Implementation and Scale Up of Point of Care (POC) Diagnostics in Resource-Limited Settings; Implementation Science for Point-of-Care Diagnostics; Implementation of Genomic Medicine in Africa: One Continent, one vision. Tivani has supervised 10 PhDs and more than 20 Masters students to completion in a variety of medical and healthcare disciplines. Her research outputs have informed numerous global health policies.

Tivani served as 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 been recognized nationally and internationally. 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 researcher 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. Tivani is a 2022 SAMRC Scientific Merit Award winner. She has been invited as a guest expert speaker at the following highly racked institutions: Harvard University, Oxford University, University College London and McGill University.

Professor Mashamba-Thompson co-founded the UKZN Early and Mid-career Academics Platform. She served on the Covid-19 Scientific Advisory Committee in the Limpopo Province and currently serving as a member of the Office of Health Standards Compliance Technical Task team in South Africa. She was invited by the National Minister of Health to serve in the National Health Laboratory Services Board, she is also a University of Pretoria Senate and a member of the South African Committee of Medical Deans. She is a member of the University College London Collaboration for the Advancement of Sustainable Medical Innovation (CASMI) as well as a scientific advisor for Abbott International. Tivani serves on the editorial board of the following journals: Lancet’s eBioMedicine; Frontiers in Reproductive Health; Frontiers Human and Medical Genomics; PLOS Global Public Health and 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 research platforms to help to inspire and support transformative research in the Faculty of Health Sciences. She is a founding member of ESR-T@UP, a lead PI of the REASSURED-d@UP and with support from the Research Committee, she established the Faculty of Health Sciences Research Support Hub

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