Associate Professor Helen Cox

Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa: CIDRI-Africa

Associate Professor Helen Cox BSc MPH PhD (Melbourne)

Associate Professor, Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences; Contributing investigator, Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa), University of Cape Town. Winner of the 2015 Union Scientific Prize, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.

Helen Cox is an epidemiologist and public health researcher with extensive experience in the epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB) and specifically in drug-resistant TB. Helen has been based in Cape Town since 2008. Research interests over this time have ranged from the molecular epidemiology of drug-resistant TB, through assessing the impact of new diagnostics for TB to appropriate models of care for drug-resistant TB treatment. Further research interests include: the use of new and repurposed drugs in novel treatment regimens for drug-resistant TB, cost analysis of different approaches for drug-resistant TB treatment and the application of a human rights approach to improving the effectiveness of, and access to treatment. A key aim of Helen’s research is direct translation of research findings into policy.

Current research projects:

  • The molecular epidemiology of drug-resistant tuberculosis in Khayelitsha, South Africa.
  • Evaluation of novel diagnostics for TB and TB drug susceptibility testing.
  • Implementation of contact management for individuals exposed to TB and drug-resistant TB in Khayelitsha.
  • The impact of HIV on the risk of acquisition of TB drug resistance during first-line TB treatment.
  • Investigating pathways through care for individuals with TB in the Western Cape, South Africa.

Selected publications:

See publications and profile on Google Scholar.

Contact details:

Division of Medical Microbiology
Department of Pathology
Room 5.24, Falmouth Building
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town
Observatory, 7925
South Africa

Tel: +27 21 406 6378
Cell: +27 76 716 9702
Fax: +27 21 406 6068

Alternate site:


Prof Robin Warren, Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa: Molecular epidemiology of drug-resistant TB in Khayelitsha
Prof Sebastien Gagneux, Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology and the Tuberculosis Research Unit, Swiss Tropical and Public Health institute, Switzerland: Molecular epidemiology of drug-resistant TB in Khayelitsha
Evaluation of decentralised drug-resistant care in Khayelitsha: Médecins Sans Frontières, South Africa
Prof Mark Nicol, Division of Medical Microbiology and Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town:Optimising decentralised care for drug-resistant TB in South Africa