Dr Jean Claude Semuto Ngabonziza has been the Division Manager (Ag.) of Research Innovation and Data Science at Rwanda Biomedical Centre since March 2022, and
postdoc fellow at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Rwanda since October 2021. He received his master’s degree in Medical Microbiology from the University of Nairobi, Kenya in 2014 and his PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Antwerp, Belgium in 2021. Concerned by poor diagnosis of rifampicin-resistant (RR-) tuberculosis (TB), as part of his PhD, Dr Ngabonziza investigated the impact of programmatic interventions, persistent diagnostic challenges as well as molecular epidemiology of RR-TB in Rwanda. He showed an unparalleled improvement of RR-TB management (Ngabonziza, 2020; PMID: 32228764), with a substantial impact on (RR-)TB control (Ngabonziza, 2022; PMID: 35146133). Moreover, Dr Ngabonziza identified an important limitation of the rifampicin susceptibility testing component of the Xpert MTB/RIF assay, a decade after its global rollout (Ngabonziza, 2020; https://doi.org/10.1016/S2666-5247(20)30007-0). The findings generated recommendations that were swiftly implemented by the national TB control programme. Besides RR-TB diagnostic challenges, through an ongoing EDCTP-funded diagnostic trial a.k.a DIAMA, Dr Ngabonziza together with collaborators discovered and comprehensively characterised an as-yet-unknown Mycobacterium tuberculosis lineage, named Lineage 8, seemingly restricted to the African Great Lakes region (Ngabonziza, 2020; PMID: 32518235). Dr Ngabonziza is currently focused on understanding the transmission dynamics of RR-TB to further reduce its
burden in Rwanda and beyond.