Wendy BurgersProf Wendy Burgers PhD

South Africa


Occupational Information

Job title: Associate Professor in Medical Virology at UCT's Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine

Professional History

Professor Wendy Burgers PhD 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 has supervised PhD students, Postdoctoral Fellows, Junior Research Fellows, MSc and Honours students and an NRF Intern.

Prof. Wendy 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


Masters degree in Medical Virology from the University of Cape Town
PhD from Cambridge University
UK Postdoctoral Research Fellowship awarded by the Medical Research Council in South Africa


2006 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow

Additional Search Tags: Science, scientist, infectious disease, HIV, virology, TB, tuberculosis,vaccine,



About AFLI




The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.