Dr Zaahida Sheik Ismail

Senior Research Scientist | Enzymology

Zaahida is a biochemist with experience in both HIV and mycobacterial research.


She obtained her PhD degree in biochemistry from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2022, at the Protein Structure-Function Research Unit (PSFRU). Her thesis focused on investigating a novel South African HIV protease containing two amino acid insertions, specifically investigating the effect on drug binding, enzyme kinetics, structural alterations and molecular dynamics. She obtained her Masters of Science (MSc Med) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2018, under the supervision of Professor Bavesh Kana, at the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research (CBTBR). She has lectured second year biochemistry at the University of Johannesburg and been involved in the training of postgraduate students. She was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stellenbosch University, which used targeted next-generation sequencing to assess drug resistant profiles of Mtb clinical isolates.


Dr Sheik Ismail joined H3D Enzymology team as a Senior Research Scientist in November 2022. She is involved in TB drug discovery through the utilization of biochemical assays.