Phyllis Kanki has been a professor of Immunology and Infectious Disease at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health since 1999. A virologist with recognized expertise in the pathogenesis and molecular epidemiology of HIV in Africa, she has led AIDS research programs in Senegal for over 20 years.
Collaborative studies with the University Cheikh Anta Diop, focused on the identification and reduced transmission of HIV-2, cross protection between HIV-2 and HIV-1, and the various times to disease development for different HIV-1 genotypes.
Since 2000, Dr. Kanki has directed the AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN), a program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Under her leadership, APIN researchers are modeling their approach to HIV prevention in Nigeria on Dr. Kanki’s long-term collaboration with Senegal, where HIV infection rates have been kept lower than those of the rest of the continent for more than a decade.
In 2004, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funded the Harvard PEPFAR project, “Rapid Expansion of Antiretroviral Therapy Program”. Dr. Kanki is the principal investigator of the program which provides training, capacity building and targeted evaluation in Botswana, Nigeria and Tanzania while currently providing access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for over 155,000 patients.