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Associate Professor Wendy Burgers PhD (Cambridge)

Division of Medical Virology

Wendy Burgers

Associate Professor, Division of Medical Virology, Department of Pathology and Full Member, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT. Former Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellow in Public Health and Tropical Medicine and EDCTP Senior Fellow.

Wendy Burgers' research group focuses HIV-TB co-infection. They are studying how HIV affects the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis in HIV-TB co-infected individuals, both in blood and at the site of disease, the lungs, with a focus on adaptive immunity. They also study the immunology of HIV pathogenesis, seeking to understand how immune hyperactivation results in ineffective immunity and drives progression to disease.

The work in the laboratory is funded by the Wellcome Trust, the NIH and the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Platform (EDCTP), with additional local funding from the SA Medical Research Council, National Research Foundation and the PRF.


Selected publications:

Riou C, Strickland N, Soares AP, Corleis B, Kwon DS, Wherry EJ, Wilkinson RJ, and Burgers WA. (2016) HIV skews Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific CD4+ T helper subset diversity. Journal of Immunology, 196:3006-18.

Riou C, Tanko RF, Soares AP, Masson L, Werner L, Garrett NJ, Samsunder N, Abdool Karim Q, Abdool Karim SS and Burgers WA. (2015) Restoration of CD4+ responses to co-pathogens in HIV-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy is dependent on T cell memory phenotype. Journal of Immunology, 195:2273-81.

Soares AP, Müller TL, Chege GK, Williamson AL, Williamson C and Burgers WA. (2015) Transient global T cell activation after vaccination of rhesus macaques with a DNA-poxvirus vaccine regimen for HIV. Vaccine, 33:3435-9.

Tongo M, Riou C, Crunchant E, Müller TL, Strickland N, Mpoudi-Ngole E and Burgers WA. (2015) Evaluating potential T-cell epitope (PTE) peptides for detecting HIV-specific T cell responses in a highly diverse HIV-1 epidemic from Cameroon. AIDS, 9:635-9. 

Olivier AJ, Masson L, Ronacher K, Walzl G, Coetzee D, Lewis DA, Williamson A-L, Passmore JS and Burgers WA. (2014) Distinct cytokine patterns in semen influence local HIV shedding and HIV target cell activation. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 209:1174-84.

Riou C, Treurnicht F, Abrahams MR, Mlisana K, Liu MKP, Goonetilleke N, Koup R, Roederer M, Abdool Karim S, de Bruyn G, Williamson C, Gray CM and Burgers WA. (2012) Increased memory differentiation is associated with decreased polyfunctionality for HIV but not for CMV-specific CD8+ T cells. Journal of Immunology, 189, 3838-3847.


Contact details:

Room 3.36.1, Level 3, Falmouth Building
Division of Medical Virology, Department of Pathology
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine
UCT Faculty of Health Sciences, Observatory 7925
South Africa

Tel:  +27 21 406 6090
Fax: +27 21 406 6682


External site:


Kathryn Norman Administrator
Dr Catherine Riou Senior Research Officer
Dr Natalie Strickland Post-doctoral scientist
Tracey Müller Senior Medical Technologist/Lab Manager
Ramla Fatime Tanko PhD student
Mohau Steven Makatsa PhD student
Sherazaan Ismail PhD student
Millicent Fidilia Omondi MSc student
Kopano Valerie Masete BSc(Hons) student



Carolyn Williamson IDM and Division of Medical Virology, UCT
Anna-Lise Williamson IDM and Division of Medical Virology, UCT
Robert Wilkinson IDM and CIDRI, UCT
Gerhard Walzl University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Katharina Ronacher University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Salim Abdool Karim CAPRISA, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Lynn Morris NICD, South Africa
Penny Moore NICD, South Africa
Douglas Kwon Ragon Institute, Harvard, USA
Cecilia Lindestam-Arlehamn La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology, USA