Vivek Naranbhai

When Dr Vivek Naranbhai was 12 he accompanied his father to the paediatric unit of Durban’s Addington Hospital, where he met many sick children. It was then that he decided he wanted to be a doctor. He went on to study simultaneously for a medical degree and an honours degree in Medical Microbiology. Now, at 26, he is doing his doctorate in Clinical Medicine on a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. Using modern genetic tools he is working to understand why some people get HIV or TB and others don’t, in order to find new ways of preventing the diseases. He was deputy director of the Vaccine Programme at the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa at the time that the organisation was working on the clinical trial of a microbicide gel that was found to prevent 39% of infections. — Ilham Rawoot