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Professor Clive Gray MSc PhD(WITS)

HIV Immunology Group

Clive Gray

Chair and Head of Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, & Member, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT; Visiting Professor, South African National Bioinformatics Institute, University of the Western Cape; Visiting Professor, Department of Immunology, Duke University, North Carolina, USA

Clive Gray has published numerous papers on identifying T cell responses to HIV in early and acute infection. His particular interest lies in understanding the immunopathogenesis of HIV and what constitutes survival and differentiation of antigen-specific memory CD4 and CD8 T cells, and what would be required with vaccine-induced immunity.

During his postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for AIDS Research, Stanford University, USA, Clive was one of the first to do research on the restoration of immunity in HIV-infected individuals receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy and then to examine the specific nature of T cells using MHC tetramers. He returned to South Africa in 1998 and built up an internationally recognised immunology laboratory at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg. Clive played a formative role in the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI) and has been part of the SAAVI development team for the DNA and MVA candidate vaccines that have now completed clinical trials in the USA and South Africa. He was the Principal Investigator for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) immunology laboratory in Southern Africa, where he was responsible for measuring vaccine immunogenicity in clinical trials in the region.

In 2004, he received the International Leadership Award from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation for developing Immunopaedia, an on-line learning website to simplify immunology for paediatricians and clinicians in general (

Projects in the HIV Immunology Group focus on different properties of T cells, the epitopic regions that are recognized during early infection, how they contribute to homeostatic balance and ultimately how this balance is disrupted upon HIV exposure and infection. The projects are highly collaborative within the IDM/UCT and across multiple international groups and the overall focus is on defining biological risk factors for HIV acquisition.


Recent publications:

Ferrian S, Manca C, Lubbe S, Conradie F, Ismail N, Kaplan G, Gray CM, Fallows DA. Combination of baseline plasma immune markers can predict therapeutic response in multidrug resistant tuberculosis. PLoS ONE (2017) 12 (5):e0176660.

Coetzee B, Tomlinson M, Osawe S, Amibiku A, Kagee A, Rosenthal KL, Abimiku A, Gray CM, Cameron DW, Ball TB, Jaspan H, Burgener A, Blackburn J, Kagee A, Tomlinson M, Singer J, Kiravu A, Osawe S, Datong P. Barriers to and facilitators of adherence to exclusive breastfeeding practices among HIV infected and non-infected women in Jos, Nigeria. Maternal and Child Health Journal (2017) 21(4):953-960.

Chege GK, Burgers WA, Müller TL, Gray CM, Shephard EG, Barnett SW, Ferrari G, Montefiori D, Williamson C, Williamson AL. DNA-MVA-protein vaccination of rhesus macaques induces HIV-specific immunity in mucosal-associated lymph nodes and functional antibodies. Vaccine (2017) 35(6):929-937.

Sharma S, Aralaguppe SG, Abrahams MR, Williamson C, Gray C, Balakrishnan P, Saravanan S, Murugavel KG, Solomon S, Ranga U. The PTAP sequence duplication in HIV-1 subtype C Gag p6 in drug-naive subjects of India and South Africa. BMC Infectious Diseases (2017) 17(1):95.

Chopera DR, Ntale R, Ndabambi N, Garrett N, Gray CM, Matten D, Karim QA, Karim SA, Williamson C. Early evolution of human leucocyte antigen-Associated escape mutations in variable Gag proteins predicts CD4R decline in HIV-1 subtype C-infected women. AIDS (2017) 31(2):191-197.

All publications


Contact details:

Division of Immunology
Department of Pathology
Falmouth Building
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine
UCT Faculty of Health Sciences
Anzio Road, Observatory 7925
South Africa

Tel:  +27 21 406 6356
Fax: +27 21 406 6029


Alternate sites:


Group members:

Dhuraiyah Abdullatief Administrator
Nyaradzo Chigorimbo-Tsikiwa Research Fellow
Sue Ford Supervisor
Berenice Allinde Technologist
Enock Havayarimana Technologist
Trishana Nundalall Technologist
Nobomi Dontsha Lab assistant
Jeremy Burgess Technical assistant
Bangani Nonzwakazi Technical assistant
Antony Rapulana Technical assistant
Sonwabile Dzanibe Postdoctoral Fellow
Kyle O'Hagan Postdoctoral Fellow
Nadia Chanzu Postdoctoral Fellow
Nonhlanhla Lunjani PhD student
Elvis Kidzeru PhD student
Michael Zulu PhD student
Melinda Fox PhD student
Yamkela Qumbela MSc student
Heller Madeleine MSc student
Stefanus Rautenbach MSc student
Rachel Esra MSc student



Name Institution
Guido Ferrari, Barton Haynes, Marcella Sarzotti-Kelsoe Duke University, Durham NC
Julie McElrath, Steve de Rosa, Helen Horton University of Washington, Seattle
Carolyn Williamson,
Cathal Seoighe, Anna-Lise Williamson
University of Cape Town
Win Hide University of the Western Cape
Rick Koup Vaccine Research Center, NIH
Mike Betts University of Pennsylvania
Guy de Bruyn, Glenda Gray University of the Witwatersrand: Perinatal HIV Research Unit
Gavin Churchyard Aurum Health Institute
Salim Abdool Karim University of KwaZulu-Natal
Thumbi Ndung'U CAPRISA
Tammy Meyers Harriet Shezi Clinic, Soweto
Gayle Sherman Coronation Hospital, Johannesburg
Markus Maeurer Karolinska Institute, Sweden
Rafick Sekaly University of Montreal