Dr. Mizrahi earned her Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of Cape Town in 1983. From 1983 until 1986, she did postdoctoral work at Pennsylvania State University. She subsequently held positions with Smith Kline & French Research & Development, the University of the Witwatersrand, the South African Institute for Medical Research, and the National Health Laboratory Service. She is director of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town; director of the Molecular Mycobacteriology Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council, National Health Laboratory Service and University of Cape Town; and head of the University of Cape Town node of the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and National Research Foundation of South Africa. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the Royal Society of South Africa, a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and an associate fellow of TWAS, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World. She is a recipient of the 2000 Unesco-L'Oréal For Women in Science prize (Africa and Middle East Region), the 2006 DST Distinguished Woman Scientist Award, and the 2006 Gold Medal of the South African Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. In 2007, she was awarded the Order of the Mapungubwe (Silver) for contributions to biochemistry and molecular biology in South Africa. This is her third HHMI award.
RESEARCH ABSTRACT SUMMARY:
Valerie Mizrahi is studying mechanisms of cofactor, DNA, and nucleotide metabolism in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism that causes human tuberculosis. Her laboratory aims to contribute to the discovery of new drugs for TB by understanding mechanisms of metabolic flexibility and identifying metabolic vulnerabilities in this formidable human pathogen.
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Photo: David Rolls