Professor Carolyn Williamson

HIV Diversity and Pathogenesis Research Group

Professor Carolyn Williamson PhD (UCT) MASSAf FRSSAf Fellow of UCT

Member of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM);  Research Associate of the Centre for AIDS Research in South Africa (CAPRISA).

Carolyn Williamson leads the HIV Diversity and Pathogenesis Group which has a research focus on HIV vaccine development and prevention science.  Her research areas of interest include: elucidating genetic and biological features of the transmitted virus; HIV adaptation and understanding features of HIV-1 subtype C viruses that impact on antibody and cellular immune recognition; HIV-1 superinfection; characterisation of HIV-1 reservoirs. She is also involved in characterising HIV-1 breakthrough infections in large vaccine and microbicide trials.   She has designed and developed candidate DNA and MVA HIV vaccines which have undergone early clinical evaluation for safety and immunogenicity in the USA and South Africa. 

Carolyn participates in numerous multi-centre national and international studies including the Centre for AIDS Programme for Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD), the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), and the Medical Research Council (MRC) Strategic Health Innovation Partnerships (SHIP).


Selected publications:

See publications and profile on Google Scholar.

Contact details:

Division of Medical Virology
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine
UCT Faculty of Health Sciences
Observatory 7925
South Africa

Tel: +27 21 406 6683
Fax: +27 21 406 6682

Alternate sites:


Group members:

Member Position
Prof Carolyn Williamson HODiv
Dr Colin Anthony Lecturer
Dr Melissa-Rose Abrahams Lecturer
Dr Bruna Galvao Project Manager
Ms Zainonesa Hartley Senior Secretary
Ms Ruwayhida Thebus Senior Scientific Officer
Ms Nonkululeko Ndabambi Scientific Officer
Ms Asanda Gwashu-Nyangiwe Scientific Officer
Ms Catharina Liebenberg (Combrinck) Scientific Officer
Mr Deelan Sudhir Doolabh Scientific Officer
Ms Lynn Tyres Scientific Officer
Ms Talita York Scientific Officer
Mr Nthambeleni Steven Gadisi Scientific Officer
Mr David Matten Bioinformatician
Mr Dean Kayton Bioinformatician
Mr Robert Ketteringham Software Developer
Dr Walter Nevondo Postdoctoral fellow
Mr Daniel Sheward PhD Student
Ms Sherazaan Ismail PhD Student
Mr Murray Logan PhD Student
Mr Samuel  Kairiuki PhD Student
Ms Denzhe Singo MSc Student
Ms Temhlanga Mndzebele MSc Student



South Africa University of Cape Town
National Institutes for Communicable Diseases
Perinatal Research Unit, University of Witswatersrand
Centre for the AIDS programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA),
University KwaZulu Natal
South African National Bioinformatics Institute, University of the Western Cape
Aurum Health, Orkney
Medical University of Southern Africa (MEDUNSA)
Desmond Tutu HIV Centre
United States of America University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Duke University Medical Centre, Durham, North Carolina
University of Alabama, Birmingham
University of Washington, Seattle
The Statistical Center for HIV/AIDS Research & Prevention (SCHARP), Seattle