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Dr. Lindi Masson MSc (Med) PhD (UCT)

Division of Medical Virology

Lindi MassonSenior lecturer, NRF Research Career Advancement Fellow and Carnegie Corporation Emerging Academic Leaders Awardee, Division of Medical Virology, Department of Pathology. Associate Member of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT. Honorary Research Associate, Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA).

Lindi Masson’s research group focuses on female genital tract (FGT) immunological and microbiological factors that influence HIV acquisition risk and reproductive health. Her group is currently conducting metaproteomics studies to characterise the human and microbial proteome in the FGTs of adolescent South African women who are at high risk of HIV acquisition. These studies will evaluate the relationship between the proteome and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), vaginal dysbiosis, hormonal contraception, vaginal product use, HIV target cell activation and inflammatory cytokine profiles. The group is also investigating the impact of Lactobacillus species (which predominate in healthy FGTs) on HIV infectivity, dysbiotic bacterial growth and inflammatory responses. Another focus of the group is translational research, developing a point-of-care test to identify women with genital inflammation caused by asymptomatic STIs and vaginal dysbiosis.

The work is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the South African Medical Research Council (MRC), the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa, the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), the Carnegie Corporation, and the Poliomyelitis Research Foundation (PRF).

KEY EXPERTISE: Female genital tract inflammation, metaproteomics, microbiome, sexually transmitted infections including HIV


Selected publications:

Selhorst, Philippe*, Lindi Masson*, Sherazaan D. Ismail, Natasha Samsunder, Nigel Garrett, Leila E. Mansoor, Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Salim S. Abdool Karim, Jo-Ann S. Passmore, and Carolyn Williamson. "Cervicovaginal inflammation facilitates acquisition of less infectious HIV variants." Clinical Infectious Diseases (2017): ciw663. *Contributed equally.

Masson, Lindi*, Jo-Ann S. Passmore*, Lenine J. Liebenberg*, Lise Werner, Cheryl Baxter, Kelly B. Arnold, Carolyn Williamson et al. "Genital inflammation and the risk of HIV acquisition in women." Clinical Infectious Diseases (2015): civ298. *Contributed equally.

Masson, Lindi, Kelly B. Arnold, Francesca Little, Koleka Mlisana, David A. Lewis, Nonhlanhla Mkhize, Hoyam Gamieldien, et al. “Inflammatory cytokine biomarkers to identify women with asymptomatic sexually transmitted infections and bacterial vaginosis who are at high risk of HIV infection.” Sexually Transmitted Infections (2015).

Masson, Lindi, Amy L. Salkinder, Abraham Jacobus Olivier, Lyle R. McKinnon, Hoyam Gamieldien, Koleka Mlisana, Thomas J. Scriba et al. "Relationship between female genital tract infections, mucosal interleukin‐17 production and local T helper type 17 cells." Immunology 146, no. 4 (2015): 557-567.

Roberts, Lindi, Jo-Ann S. Passmore, Carolyn Williamson, Francesca Little, Lisa M. Bebell, Koleka Mlisana, Wendy A. Burgers et al. "Plasma cytokine levels during acute HIV-1 infection predict HIV disease progression." AIDS 24, no. 6 (2010): 819.


Contact details:

Room 3.36.4,  Falmouth Building
Division of Medical Virology
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Cape Town
Observatory 7925
South Africa

Tel:  +27 21 406 6320
Email:  L.Masson@uct.ac.za


Group Members:

Member Position Relationship
Kathryn Norman Project administrator  
Celia Mehou-Loko Clinical Project Coordinator  
Rushil Harryparsad Scientific Officer  
Noluthando Mqaba Research Nurse  
Funeka Busakwe Counselor  
Monalisa Manhanzva PhD student supervisor
Bahiah Meyer PhD student supervisor
Andrea Gillian Abrahams MSc student supervisor 
Nina Radzey MSc student supervisor



Associate Prof Jo-Ann Passmore (Division of Medical Virology, UCT)
Dr Heather Jaspan (Division of Immunology, UCT and Seattle Children’s Hospital, US)
Prof Jonathan Blackburn (Division of Chemical and Systems Biology, UCT)
Prof Nicola Mulder (Computational Biology, UCT)
Dr Matthys Potgieter (Computational Biology, UCT)
Prof Carolyn Williamson (Division of Medical Virology, UCT)
Dr Phillipe Selhorst (Division of Medical Virology, UCT)
Associate Prof William Horsnell (Division of Immunology, UCT)
Prof Edina Sinanovic and Dr Angela Kairu (Health Economics, UCT)
Prof Linda-Gail Bekker (Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation)
Dr Jennifer Deese and Dr Charles Morrison (Family Health International 360, US)
Dr Lyle McKinnon (Medical Microbiology and Community Health Services, University of Manitoba, Canada)
Dr Pamela Gumbi, Dr Lenine Liebenberg, Dr Nigel Garrett, Mr Hilton Humphries, Dr Sinaye Ngcapu, Dr Derseree Archary (CAPRISA, Durban, South Africa)
Prof Koleka Mlisana (Department of Medical Microbiology, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa)
Dr Shaun Barnabas (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa)