Professor Wendy Burgers

SARS-CoV-2 Immunity, COVID-19 Vaccines, HIV/TB Immunology and Pathogenesis

Wendy Burgers is an Associate Professor in the Division of Medical Virology and a full member of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town. Her research group’s current focus is on understanding immunity during HIV-TB co-infection, and in particular the defects in cellular immunity that lead to an increase in TB risk during HIV infection. This work is funded by a Senior Fellowship from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP). Additional studies on HIV cure and T helper cell responses to HIV in her laboratory are funded by the NIH and SA-MRC. In the past, she has worked on HIV vaccine development, and studied HIV immunity and pathogenesis, through funding from the Wellcome Trust and NIH. She sees an important part of her work as inspiring, training and mentoring the next generation of young African scientists, particularly women, to address the infectious disease challenges on the continent. She is currently supervising four PhD students, 2 Postdoctoral Fellows, a Junior Research Fellow, an MSc student, an Honours student and an NRF Intern. 
Prof Burgers obtained an undergraduate degree in microbiology and biochemistry and a Masters in virology at the University of Cape Town. This was followed by a Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, on the molecular mechanisms of gene regulation. For her postdoctoral work she joined the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative (SAAVI)-funded HIV vaccine group at the University of Cape Town and was involved in the development and preclinical immunogenicity testing of two candidate HIV vaccines, which were tested in early phase clinical trials in the US and South Africa. In 2007 she was awarded a Columbia University-Southern African Fogarty Fellowship to train at the Vaccine Research Center, NIH, and in 2009-2012 held an Intermediate Fellowship in Public Health and Tropical Medicine from the Wellcome Trust, UK.

Associated groups:
HIV/TB Immunology Group
IDM link: HIV/TB Immunology Group at the IDM, UCT

Contact details:
Post:     Division of Medical Virology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Anzio Road, Observatory 7925, Cape Town, South Africa