Tawanda Gumbo (1967- )

Gumbo in medical uniform engaging with technical equipment
Tawanda Gumbo at the Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, November 30, 2016
Courtesy Baylor Scott & White Research Institute

Tawanda Gumbo, an infectious disease specialist, was born in the Republic of Zimbabwe on August 31, 1967, and grew up in a rigid political system that upheld racial segregation in the former Rhodesia. He completed his medical degree from the Godfrey Huggins School of Medicine, University of Zimbabwe, in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1991. He then held Residency Internal Medicine at The Metro Health System/Case Western Reserve University from 1993 to 1996 followed by a fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1996 to 1999 where he studied Infectious Disease.

In 2007, Gumbo was named one of the inaugural winners of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award. That year, he was selected from a pool of 29 young scientists nationwide to be named recipients of the $1.5 million award that recognizes the most innovative scientific ideas.

From 2010 to 2014 Gumbo was the Director of Research Programs, at the Office of Global Health at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He left in 2014 to become the director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research & Experimental Therapeutics, Baylor Research Institute at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas. While at Baylor in 2017, Gumbo was named to a World Health Organization (WHO) task force on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of tuberculosis (TB) medicines for developing a first-of-its-kind treatment regimen for children infected with the disease.

In 2017, Dr. Gumbo spearheaded groundbreaking studies on the effects of at least 19 anti-TB drugs and introduced several aspects of mathematical modeling and pharmacogenomics for anti-TB agents. In 2019, he left Baylor Research Institute and the following year was named the Chief Executive Officer of Praedicare Inc. (an end-to-end drug development company that uses preclinical wet lab models mathematically mapped to patients for quantitative prediction of clinical trial outcomes for clinical trial design) in Dallas in 2020.

Dr. Gumbo has authored more than 200 scientific publications and in 2022, he co-authored the study “Omadacycline efficacy in the hollow fibre system model of pulmonary Mycobacterium avium complex and potency at clinically attainable doses” in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Volume 77, Issue 6, and” Novel tuberculosis combination regimens of two and three-months therapy duration” and posted by bioRxiv.

Dr. Gumbo is also the author of The Fire Inside, a novel based on an African folk tale which addresses birth and death, love, betrayal, racial division, and racial unity.