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Our History

SATVI was founded in 2001 by Professor Greg Hussey and Maurice Kibbel. It was initially known as the ‘BCG study unit’, and was located within the Child Health Unit of the School of Child and Adolescent Medicine of the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Health Sciences.  

SATVI has achieved international recognition as a world-leader in the evaluation of the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of novel TB vaccines. SATVI’s research mandate spans both clinical vaccinology and TB immunology, including the search for correlates of risk for TB and correlates of vaccine-induced protection against TB. The group’s focus on this research agenda has underpinned SATVI’s academic success, in terms of research funding secured, students graduated, and papers published.


SATVI has been extraordinarily productive in the clinical trials arena, having conducted more than a dozen Phase I-IIb trials of seven novel TB vaccine candidates, among more than 3,000 research participants. Additionally, the group has enrolled more than 20,000 participants in observational and immunological TB studies and clinical trials of BCG vaccine. The SATVI postgraduate program has produced many PhD and Masters graduates since 2006. The group has a prolific publication output with a number of high-impact and highly cited papers. To review our publication output, click here.SATVI published the findings of the first efficacy trial of a new infant TB vaccine (MVA85A) in almost 50 years (Tameris/Hatherill, Lancet 2013).

A history of SATVI was featured in the South African Medical Journal in June 2012 in a journal article titled "SATVI – after 10 years closing in on a new and better vaccine to prevent tuberculosis" and SATVI was profiled in The Lancet in 2013 in an article titled "Profile: SATVI-a leading light in tuberculosis vaccine research"..