IDM

corners
 
 

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS

Anna Coussens

COUSSENS, Dr Anna
Clinical Infectious Diseases Research Initiative (CIDRI)

Main areas of expertise
Immunopathogenesis of TB-HIV, biomarkers of infection, host-directed therapies, 3D models of infection, live-cell imaging

Biosketch
Dr Coussens is an infectious disease immunologist with a keen interest in host-pathogen interaction in tuberculosis (TB), the interaction with HIV-1, and other non-communicable diseases, including vitamin D deficiency and diabetes. Her research focuses on developing host-directed therapies for TB in the context of immunomodulation caused by these co-morbidities and the development of biomarkers of infection, using systems biology approaches to integrate transcriptomic, proteomic, cellular, epigenetic and genetic variables to enable early detection of individuals at risk of developing TB as well as to unravel mechanisms of protective immunity in TB through comparison between blood and site of disease markers. 2014-2015 Sydney Brenner Fellow, awarded by the Academy of Science of South Africa. 2014 elected to the Global Young Academy, where she now sits on the Board and is the southern Africa lead on a project to investigate the Global State of Young Scientists.

research siteemail

Collet Dandara

DANDARA, Prof Collet
Pharmacogenomics, Drug Metabolism and Cancer Research Group

Main areas of expertise
Pharmacogenetics, HIV/AIDS, drug metabolism, cytochrome P450, genetic susceptibility, human genetic variation

Positions presently held
Professor, Human Genetics; Convenor, Human Genetics Honours program; Convenor, Forensic Genetics Honours Program; Chair, Faculty of Health Sciences Transformation and Equity Committee; Faculty of Health Sciences representative on the University Transformations Advisory Committee (UTAC); Member of the Research Ethic Committee of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town

Biosketch
PhD (University of Zimbabwe, 2003), Postdoctoral fellow (UCT, 2003-2007), Lecturer (2007-2009), Senior lecturer (UCT, 2009-2012), Ad hominem promotion to Associate Professor (UCT, 2013), Ad hominem promotion to Professor (UCT, 2015). PI of the Pharmacogenetics, Drug Metabolism and Cancer Research Group.

research site email

Reto Guler

GULER, Dr Reto

Main areas of expertise
Immunology, infectious diseases, tuberculosis, listeriosis, leishmaniasis, identification of host-directed drug targets, transcriptomics, non-coding RNA, microRNA, lncRNA

Positions presently held
Research Officer / Lecturer, Division of Immunology, Department of Clinical and Laboratory Sciences

Biosketch
PhD in Immunology, University of Geneva, Switzerland (2003); Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cape Town (2004-2009); since 2010 Research Officer/Lecturer at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology (ICGEB) and the Division of Immunology, UCT. His research focuses on host-pathogen interactions. This includes the identification of macrophage-specific drug targets in the host cholesterol biosynthesis pathway and non-coding RNA against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the role of classically and alternative activated macrophages in host immunity to TB using genome-wide transcriptome analysis, and novel host protective functions against leishmaniasis using transcriptomics combined with cell-specific gene deficient mice.

research site email

William Horsnell

HORSNELL, Assoc Prof William
Parasite Immune Regulation Laboratory

Main areas of expertise
Immunology, infectious diseases, parasitology, helminth infections, co-infection, acetylcholine signalling in the immune system.

Positions held
Lecturer, Division of Immunology

Biosketch
Applied Zoology BSc (Hons) from University of Leeds (1996), PhD (Cell Biology) Royal Veterinary College, University of London (2001) followed by Post-doctoral position in the Physiological Laboratory, University of Liverpool (2001-2003). Joined Professor Frank Brombacher’s laboratory in the Division of Immunology, UCT in 2003. Appointed lecturer at UCT in 2011.

research site email

Claire Hoving

HOVING, Dr J Claire
Fungal Immunology Group

Main areas of expertise
Basic immunology, host immune responses to disease; HIV-related fungal infections such as Pneumocystis jirovecii; Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Positions held
Lecturer, NRF Research Career Advancement Fellow, Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology; Associate Member of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine; Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town

Biosketch
National diploma: Biomedical Technology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University; BSc, Saxion University Deventer and Academic Hospital Groningen, The Netherlands; BSc (Med) (Hons) Immunology, UCT; MSc (Med) and PhD (Immunology), IDM, UCT under the supervision of Professor Frank Brombacher. From 1999 to 2004 Dr Hoving worked as a biomedical technologist in London and thereafter the NHLS in Cape Town.  She was appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Division of Immunology, IDM (2010-2014) and in 2015 appointed as Lecturer, NRF Research Career Advancement Fellow.

email

Heather Jaspan

JASPAN, Dr Heather

Main areas of expertise
HIV/AIDS, Paediatrics, Vaccines, Adolescent and neonatal HIV prevention.

Positions held
Senior Lecturer, Division of Immunology, University of Cape Town and Senior Scientist, Viral vaccines program, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute.

Biosketch
Heather completed her medical degree and PhD in Immunology at Tulane in USA, thereafter did paediatrics training at the University of Washington/ Seattle Children's Hospital. Upon completion, she returned to Africa, first to Malawi and then back home to South Africa, where she spent 5 years doing clinical HIV prevention research. In 2008, she returned to Seattle Children's to obtain Paediatric Infectious Diseases subspecialty training, returning to basic science immunology research in the laboratory of Don Sodora, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, studying oral HIV transmission. She now holds joint appointments in Immunology at UCT and at Seattle Biomed, but spends a large proportion of her time recruiting cohorts in the clinic, and in the laboratory answering immunological questions around HIV prevention in children via breastfeeding and in adolescents via sexual activities.

research site email

Virna Leaner

LEANER, Prof Virna
Transcriptional Regulation and Cancer Biology

Main areas of expertise
Cancer Biology, Molecular Biology, Gene Expression Patterns, Transcriptional Regulation, Nuclear transport proteins

Positions held
Senior Lecturer, Medical Biochemistry, University of Cape Town
Group Leader, Transcriptional Regulation and Cancer Biology

Biosketch
PhD in Medical Biochemistry (UCT), Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA (1998-2003). In 2004 was awarded an MRC Career Award (SA) and appointed as senior lecturer in the Division of Medical Biochemistry in 2006.  Research interests include; (1) identifying genes associated with the development and progression of cancer, as markers and potential therapeutic targets and (2) investigating the role of transcription factors such e.g. AP-1 and associated signalling events that are altered in cancer cells.

research siteemail

Jackson Marakalala

MARAKALALA, Dr Mohlopheni Jackson
TB Immunopathogenesis Group

Main areas of research/expertise
Host factors driving immunopathogenesis during TB progression using molecular histology techniques; mycobacterial genes for host survival

Positions presently held
Senior Lecturer, Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT; Visiting Scientist (adjunct), Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, USA

Biosketch
BSc (Limpopo), PhD (University of Cape Town). Postdoctoral training 2008-2012 with Professor Gordon Brown, IDM, University of Cape Town on innate Immunology/TB and candidiasis animal and cell culture models; 2012 to 2016 with Professor Eric Rubin, Harvard University on immunology and infectious diseases and molecular biology. Personal awards include SA Medical Research Council Scientific Merit award (Silver medal) October 2016; UCT 2016 College of Fellows Young Researcher Award; Honoured as Fellow of the Next Einstein Forum, awarded to 15 young scientists throughout Africa, who are using science as a platform to solve global challenges, March 2016; Honoured as a World Economic Forum Young Scientist, at the WEF New Champions meeting, Dalian, China. September 2015, and June 2016, Tianjin, China; Sydney Brenner Fellowship awarded by the Academy of Sciences of South Africa 2010-2012; Bronte Stewart Research Prize for the most meritorious PhD thesis in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, 2008.

email

Musa Mhlanga

MHLANGA, Dr Musa
Biomedical Translational Research Initiative (BTRI)

Main areas of research/expertise
Quantitative imaging to "eavesdrop" on cellular events at the single molecule scale including the development of super resolution microscopy tools (e.g. QuickPALM) and the use of such tools to study higher order signalosomes. Focus on understanding the fundamental roles of genome architecture and RNA in spatial control of gene expression.

Positions presently held
Technical Manager, Biomedical Translational Research Initiative (BTRI), Centre of Competence within the IDM; Honorary Research Associate, Division of Chemical Systems & Synthetic Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT; Head, Synthetic Biology Programme & Gene Expression and Biophysics Laboratory, CSIR, Pretoria; Adjunct Faculty, Institute for Molecular Medicine, Lisbon Portugal; Visiting Faculty, Harvard University Chan School of Public Health

Biosketch
Novel imaging technologies including super resolution imaging and automated fluorescent microscopy have dramatically altered the way molecular processes are investigated by cell biologists. Our laboratory uses quantitative imaging to "eavesdrop" on cellular events at the single molecule scale. Our research has focused on understanding how RNA biology and nuclear architecture influence some of the most fundamental processes in cell biology. My graduate career began with David Ho and then with Fred R. Kramer and Sanjay Tyagi (The Rockefeller University and then at New York University School of Medicine). I was then awarded a United States National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship to work in the laboratory of Ulf Nehrbass at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. In late 2008 I moved my laboratory to South Africa.

email

Keren Middelkoop

MIDDELKOOP, Dr Keren
Desmond Tutu HIV Centre

Main areas of expertise
Pathogenesis of tuberculosis and HIV infection.

Positions presently held
Senior Research Officer (Clinical)/ Leader of TB Division, Desmond Tutu HIV Centre

Biosketch
MBChB  PhD (Cape Town) MPH (clinical research). Dr Middelkoop has worked at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation for over 10 years, involved in a number of projects including clinical trials for HIV vaccine candidates and antiretroviral treatment options. Lately she focuses on largely public health and epidemiology research, including running a number of community based studies on the HIV epidemic and its impact on community TB. Her research has been recognized internationally. She has received the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease's Young Investigator of the Year award (2011); and was also winner of the 2014 AU-TWAS (African Union – The World Academy of Sciences) Young Scientist National Award.

email

Catherine Orrell

ORRELL, Assoc Prof Catherine
Desmond Tutu HIV Centre

Main areas of expertise
Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), retention in HIV care and ART drug pharmacology and resistance.

Positions presently held
Project Leader Treatment Division, Desmond Tutu HIV Centre;
CRS leader for the Groote Schuur Clinical Research Site (UCT-CTU).

Biosketch
I am a clinical pharmacologist and HIV physician who has been working with HIV-infected patients in clinical trials and observational cohorts since 1997. I have lead the successful Desmond Tutu HIV Centre Treatment Division and Clinical Trials Unit since 2008. I have been principal and co-investigator on more than 25 clinical trials of antiretroviral drugs, including a range of efficacy, toxicity and dosing studies, both pharmaceutical and investigator-driven. I have in-depth experience of conducting research in both state-of-the-art research facilities at the University of Cape Town as well as in primary health care clinic environments, including playing a central role as site investigator in the design and implementation of the CIPRA-SA trial of nurse- versus doctor-driven community ART services, which has reformed delivery of ART services in South Africa. My particular interests are in HIV pharmacology, adherence/retention in care and resistance to ART and I have an extensive publication record in these fields. My adherence work has contributed to policy in the Western Cape and nationally, as well as to international guidelines.

research siteemail

Joseph Valentino Raimondo

RAIMONDO, Dr Joseph Valentino
Neurophysiology Research Group

Main areas of expertise
Neurophysiology, epilepsy, synaptic transmission, plasticity, neurocysticercosis, patch-clamp electrophysiology, optical imaging, neuronal biophysics

Positions presently held
Research Fellow, Division of Physiology, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT.

Biosketch
MBChB (Cape Town) MSc (Oxford) DPhil Neuroscience (Oxford). Joseph Raimondo is a neuroscientist who investigates brain function and dysfunction using electrophysiological, optical imaging and computational approaches. His career ambition is to produce outstanding research of both local and global relevance, whilst developing African capacity in cellular neurophysiology and computational neuroscience. The primary aim of his research group is to answer the question: 'Why do brains seize?' To do so they examine the cellular and circuit level interactions between brain cells, which result in the development of epileptic seizures. They attempt to utilise a 'first principles approach' to make predictions that can be tested experimentally. They have a strong focus on causes of epilepsy relevant to the African context, such as epilepsy secondary to cerebral tape worm infection (neurocysticercosis).

email

Catherine Riou

RIOU, Dr Catherine
Medical Virology

Main areas of expertise
T cell immunology, Infectious Diseases, HIV/TB co-infection

Positions presently held
Senior Research Officer, Division of Medical Virology,
Department of Clinical and Laboratory Sciences.

Biosketch
PhD in Biochemistry (Lyon, France), Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Montreal, Canada (2000-2006). Dr Riou moved to South Africa in 2007 to study HIV-specific T cell responses from acute to chronic infection. Her current research interests include the impact of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy (ART) on T cell responses to co-pathogens (such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis) with a particular focus on the transcriptional regulation of immune responses.

email

Georgia Schafer

SCHÄFER, Dr Georgia
Medical Biochemistry

Main areas of expertise
Oncogenic viruses, Host-pathogen interactions, Cancer Biology, Transcriptional Regulation

Positions presently held
Research Officer / Lecturer, Division of Medical Biochemistry, Department of Clinical and Laboratory Sciences

Biosketch
PhD in Molecular Biology, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany (2003); Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cape Town (2003-2008); since 2010 Research Officer/Lecturer in the Division of Medical Biochemistry, UCT

research siteemail

Digby Warner

WARNER, Assoc Prof Digby
MRC/NHLS/UCT Molecular Mycobacteriology Research Unit

Main areas of expertise
Mycobacterial physiology, in particular the mechanisms and regulation of DNA repair and replication in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and their role in the emergence of drug resistance, the physiological consequences of drug resistance, and the role of vitamin B12 and related co-factors in mycobacterial pathogenesis.

Positions held
Associate Professor, Division of Medical Microbiology, and MRC/NHLS/UCT Molecular Mycobacteriology Research Unit, DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research (CBTBR).

Biosketch
Digby Warner qualified with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from WITS University in 1994, but returned to university as an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Science, graduating with a BSc and then BSc (Honours) in 1999. In 2000, he joined the laboratory of Professor Valerie Mizrahi and was awarded a PhD in Molecular Biology in 2005. After completing a two-year postdoctoral training period in the same lab, he was appointed to a permanent post at the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) in Johannesburg, a position he held until December 2010 when he moved to the University of Cape Town.

research siteemail

 

top of page

 
corners
top round
HOME MEMBERS NEWS & EVENTS OPPORTUNITIES Core facilities
Welcome Member list News Vacancies Intranet
About us Full members Workshops & conferences Postdoctoral fellowships Contact us
Governance Associate members Seminars Postgraduate studies email  Webmaster
Funders Affiliate members      
Partnerships Adjunct members © Institute of Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine 2017. All rights reserved.
IDM brochure    
Bottom round