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Dr. Georgia Schäfer PhD Mol Biol (Germany)

Division of Medical Biochemistry & Structural Biology

Georgia SchaferLecturer, Division of Medical Biochemistry & Structural Biology, Dept. of Integrative Biomedical Sciences
Associate Member, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT

Research Focus

  1. Identification and characterization of host factors modulating early steps in HPV infection.
  2. Characterisation of KSHV-driven pathologies and disease outcome in HIV-infected patients in South Africa.
  3. The role of surfactant protein A in immunity to viral infections of the genital tract.
  4. Investigations into the immuno-enhancing effects of garlic and garlic organosulfur compounds in the prevention of cancer.

KEY EXPERTISE: Oncogenic viruses, host-pathogen interactions, cancer biology


Selected publications:

Blumenthal MJ, Schutz C, Meintjes G, Mohamed Z, Mendelson M, Ambler JM, Whitby D, Mackelprang RD, Carse S, Katz AA and Schäfer G (2018). EPHA2 sequence variants are associated with susceptibility to Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus infection and Kaposi's sarcoma prevalence in HIV-infected patients. Cancer Epidemiology 56:133-139. 

Jacobs BA, Chetty A, Horsnell WG, Schäfer G, Prince S and Smith KA (2018). Hookworm exposure decreases human papillomavirus uptake and cervical cancer migration through systemic regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition marker expression. Sci Rep 8(1): 11547.

Schäfer G, Graham LM, Lang D, Blumenthal MJ, Bergant Marušič M and Katz AA (2017). Vimentin modulates infectious internalisation of HPV16 pseudovirions. J Virol 91(16):e00307-17.

Blumenthal MJ, Ujma S, Katz AA and Schäfer G (2017). The role of diabetes type II for the development of pathogen-associated cancers in the face of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Front Microbiol 8:2368.

Ujma S, Horsnell WG, Katz AA, Clark HW and Schäfer G (2017). Non-Pulmonary Immune Functions of Surfactant Proteins A and D. J Innate Immun 9(1):3-11.

Schäfer G, Blumenthal and Katz AA (2015). Interaction of human tumour viruses with host cell surface receptors and cell entry. Viruses 7(5):2592-2617.

Schäfer G and Kaschula CH (2014). The Immunomodulation and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Garlic Organosulfur Compounds in Cancer Chemoprevention. Anticancer Agents Med Chem 14(2):233-240.

Schäfer G, Kabanda S, van Rooyen B, Bergant M, Banks L and Parker MI (2013). The role of inflammation in HPV infection of the oesophagus. BMC Cancer 13:185.

Schäfer G, Guler R, Murray G, Brombacher F, Brown GD (2009). The Role of Scavenger Receptor B1 in Infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a Murine Model. PLoS One 4(12):e8448.

Schäfer G, Jacobs M, Wilkinson RJ, Brown GD (2009). Non-opsonic recognition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by phagocytes. J Innate Immun 1:231-243.

Schäfer G, McEvoy C, Patterton HG (2008). The Saccharomyces cerevisiae linker histone Hho1p is essential for chromatin compaction in stationary phase and is displaced by transcription. Proc Natl Acad Sci 105(39):14838-14843.


Contact details:

Room N2.02, Wernher & Beit Building North
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Cape Town
Anzio Rd
Observatory 7925
South Africa

Tel:  +27 21 406 6263
Fax: +27 21 406 6061
Email: georgia.schafer@uct.ac.za


Group Members:

Member Position
Ms Melissa Blumenthal PhD student
Ms Sinead Carse MSc student
Ms Melissa Marx MSc student



Prof Arieh Katz, IDM, Division of Medical Biochemistry, UCT

A/Prof William Horsnell, IDM, Division of Immunology, UCT

A/Prof Dirk Lang, Division of Physiological Sciences, UCT

Dr Catherine Kaschula, Department of Chemistry & Polymer Science, Stellenbosch University

Dr Claire Hoving, IDM, Division of Immunology, UCT

Prof Graeme Meintjes, Clinical Infectious Diseases Research Initiative, IDM, Department of Medicine, GSH, UCT

Dr. Charlotte Schutz, Wellcome Trust Centre for Infectious Research in Africa, Department of Medicine, GSH, UCT, South Africa

Dr Zainab Mohamed, Division of Radiation Oncology, GSH, UCT

Dr. Inga Hitzeroth, Biopharming Research Unit, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, UCT

Dr. Jeremy Woodward, Electron microscopy Unit, Centre for Imaging & Analysis, UCT

Dr Lawrence Banks, ICGEB Trieste, Italy

Dr Martina Bergant Marušič, Center for Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia

Dr Denise Whitby, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, NIH, USA

Prof. Thomas Uldrick, Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, USA

Prof Thomas Schulz, Hannover Medical School, Germany

Prof Howard Clark, University of Southampton, UK

A/Prof Jens Madsen, University of Southampton, UK