KELLY CHIBALE: LEADING THE WAY IN AFRICAN DRUG DISCOVERY
The rag in Kelly Chibale’s rags-to-riches story is the lit one he used to put into a paraffin-filled tub so that he could study at night. Brought up amid violence and squalor in the Zambian copper belt settlement of Kabulanda — whose name, he says, literally denotes “sadness” — Mr Chibale has fashioned a successful career from a tough start.
UCT’S H3D DIRECTOR, KELLY CHIBALE, WINS SACI GOLD MEDAL AWARD AND IS HONOURED BY ASTMH; WARNS ABOUT THE BRAIN DRAIN OF AFRICAN SCIENTISTS
Professor Kelly Chibale, founder and director of the Drug Discovery and Development Centre, H3D, at the University of Cape Town (UCT), has been awarded the prestigious Gold Medal for 2018 by the South African Chemical Institute (SACI) and honoured by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) with the 2018 Commemorative Fund Lecture.
Prof Kelly Chibale participated in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges meeting held in Berlin, Germany from 15-18 October 2018 and gave a Spotlight talk.
Drug discovery excellence is a critical prerequisite for success in drug development and remains a highly neglected area for the African continent. The lack of market incentives has biased drug discovery efforts globally away from diseases most prevalent in the developing world. Collaborative efforts of multidisciplinary teams – in drug discovery and other fields – shows that success and efficiency increases significantly when individual contributors combine their complementary capabilities. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. State-of-the-art approaches to implementing drug discovery projects, especially when the goal is to also build drug discovery capability on the African continent, need to be supported.
The founder and director of Africa’s first integrated drug discovery centre, Professor Kelly Chibale, has been named as one of Fortune magazine’s World’s Greatest Leaders for 2018.
Chibale, whose H3D centre at the University of Cape Town pioneers world-class drug discovery in Africa, has also become known for his pivotal work on malaria.
45. Kelly Chibale
Scientist, South Africa
In much of Africa, the infrastructure to support scientific research is sorely lacking. But Chibale is working to change that. The Zambian chemist has built H3D, Africa’s first integrated drug discovery center, at the University of Cape Town. His team now includes more than 90 researchers; they work out of state-of-the-art facilities thanks to partnerships with the Gates Foundation, Novartis, and South Africa’s government. H3D already has a potential drug for malaria in human trials.
We chat with Professor Kelly Chibale from the South African Medical Research Council to get an update on Malaria and which hotspots to watch out for over the festive season.
Having grown up in the villages and townships of Zambia, Professor Kelly Chibale became well acquainted with the ravages of malaria at a young age. Now, inspired by a deep spirituality and a love of chemistry, his invaluable contribution to the ongoing battle against this disease – among others – has been awarded an A rating by the National Research Foundation.
MedChemNet and Infectious Diseases Hub were absolutely delighted to attend the first two days of the recent 19th RSC / SCI Medicinal Chemistry Symposium – Europe’s premier biennial Medicinal Chemistry event – focusing on first disclosures of significant new therapeutic agents across all disease areas and new strategies in medicinal chemistry.