Professor Frank Brombacher

Cytokines and Disease Group

Professor Frank Brombacher PhD (MPI/University of Freiburg) Fellow of UCT

Scientific Coordinator for Immunology and Infectious Diseases, African International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Cape Town; South African Research Chair (SARChI) for Immunology of Infectious Diseases in Africa; Director, Medical Research Council Unit, Immunology of Infectious Diseases, UCT; Visiting Professor, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow; President, South African Immunology Society (SAIS); Full Member, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine & Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT.

Our main research is focused on the understanding of host protective immune responses in relevant human diseases. Here, we are investigating important regulatory mechanisms, including pattern recognition receptors, cytokine network and cellular crosstalk during innate immunity, which may lead to subsequent adaptive immunity or failure thereof. Our strategy is centered around a 'gain of knowledge by loss of function' approach based on deficient mouse models, generated by gene targeting in embryonic stem cells. Four of the top ten WHO declared human infectious diseases are under investigations in our laboratory, including experimental mouse models for tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis as well as helminth infections, schistosomiasis among them. Further on, we have a major interest in allergic diseases, including allergic asthma with special emphasis on food-related allergies.


See publications on Google Scholar.

Contact details:

Werner Beit South Building room S1.27
ICGEB, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Cape Town
Observatory 7925
South Africa

Tel:  +27 21 406 6147
       +27 21 406 6616 
Fax: +27 21 406 6029

Alternate sites:

Group members:

Member Position
Wendy Green Technical Assistant
Munadia Ansarie Laboratory Technologist
George Jacobs Laboratory Assistant
Marlon Petersen Laboratory Assistant
Zarinah Sonday-Jattiem Research Technician
Tiroyaone Brombacher Research Officer
Suraj Parihar Senior Researcher
Sabelo Hadebe Career Research Fellow
Justin Nono Postdoctoral fellow
Ousman Tamgue Postdoctoral fellow
Paulin Essone Postdoctoral fellow
Melissa Govender Postdoctoral fellow
Mumin Otzturk Postdoctoral fellow
Lorna Gcanga PhD student
Zintle Kolo PhD student
Shelby Jones PhD student
Nada Abedelaziz PhD student
Jermaine Khumalo PhD student
Marion Rolot PhD student
Lerato Hlaka PhD student
Jennifer Auret PhD student
Nathan Scott Kieswetter PhD student
Paballo Mosala PhD student
Julius Chia PhD student
Martyna Scibiorek PhD student
Thabo Mpotje MSc student


Collaborations with publications/funding include:

F. Kolbinger, Univ. of Freiburg, Germany; B. Ledermann, Univ. of Zürich, Switzerland; M. Kopf, ETH, Switzerland; M. Kosco-Vilbois, Hoffmann La Roche, Basel, Switzerland; R. Zinkernagel, Univ. of Zürich, Switzerland; J. C. Renauld, Univ. of Brussels, Belgium; P. Nielsen, MPI, Freiburg, Germany; W. Paul, NIH, Bethesda, USA; J. Alexander, Univ. of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK; G. A. Schaub, Univ. of Bochum, Germany; H. Mossmann, MPI, Freiburg, Germany; J.-P. Coutelier, Univ. of Brussels, Belgium; J. DiSanto, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France; A. Satoskar, Univ. of Ohio, USA; R. Locksley, UCSF, USA; G. Alber, Univ. of Leipzig, Germany; A. Duschl, Univ. of Salzburg, Austria; L. Cohn, Univ. of Yale, USA; W. Harnet, Univ. of Glasgow, UK; T. Aebischer, MPI, Berlin, Germany; A. Mountford, Univ. of York, UK; P. De’Baetselier, Univ. of Brussels, Belgium; R. Grencis, Univ. of Manchester, UK; M. Roecken, Univ. of Munich, Germany; A. Hoerauf, Univ. of Hamburg, Germany; K. Erb, Univ. of Wuerzburg, Germany; B. Ryffel, Univ. of Orleans, France; M. B. Markus & J. E. Fincham MRC, South Africa; M. Schwanninger, Germany; S. Gordon, Univ. of Oxford, UK; P. Kaye, London School Hygiene, UK; S. Han, Univ. of Houston, USA; A. Cunningham, Edinborough, UK; M. Kubo, Rieken, Tokyo, Japan; I. Förster, Univ. of Munich, Germany; T. Utermohlen Univ. of Hamburg, Germany; S.A.C. McDonald, Univ. of London, UK; J. Van Snick, Ludwigs Institute, Brussels, Belgium; F. Finkelman, Cincinnatti, USA; D. Erle, UCSF, USA; S. Philips, Univ. of Glasgow, UK; A. Gessner, Univ. of Erlangen, Germany; T. Huenig, Univ. of Wuerzburg, Germany. G. Owens, Univ. of Virginia, USA; V. Bronte, Univ. Roma, Italie; J. Allen, Univ. of Edinburgh, UK; T. Blankenstein, Max-Delbrueck Centre Berlin, Germany; S.M. Collins, Univ. of London , UK; G. Gino, Univ. Roma, Italy; S. Elias, Yale Univ., USA; S. Graefe, Univ. of Hamburg, Germany; K. Haley, Harvard, USA; J. Tepper, USA; E. Kim, USA; A. Kottmann, Columbia Univ., New York, USA; . LaFlamme, Univ. of Wellington, New Zealand; C. Lawrence, Univ. of Strathclyde, UK; T. Maizels, UK; N. Watanabe, Univ. of Tokyo, Japan; M. Rothenberg, Cincinnati, USA; R. Singh, Cincinnati, USA; M. Smyth, Univ. of Melbourne, Australia; G. Waltzl, Univ. of Stellenbosch, South Africa; W. Hide UWC, South Africa; J. Jagi, Univ. of Tokyo, Japan; D. Zipori, Weizmann Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Co-operative research initiatives with industries:

R. Rennick, R. Kastelein, J.D. Sedgwick, DNAX, Palo Alto, USA; M. Bachmann, Cytos Biotechnology AG, Switzerland; S.T. Kanaly, Immunex, USA; A. Kottmann, Psychogenics, New York, USA; K. Teversham, Virogate, South Africa; T. Huenig, TeGenero AG, Wuerzburg, Germany.