Dr Clive Gray, PhD - SAIS President
Prof Clive Gray is Head of Division of Immunology at the University of Cape Town, Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine and Department of Pathology, with a joint appointment to the National Health Laboratory Service. He holds a Faculty positions as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Immunology, Duke University, North Carolina, USA. Prof Gray’s early research was in transplantation immunology and understanding allo-recognition and innate immunity in solid organ transplantation. Subsequently, he moved into HIV/AIDS research, seeing this as a priority in the South African context. He was awarded the prestigious James Gear Fellowship in 1995, which allowed him to work at the Center for AIDS Research at Stanford University as a Post-doctoral Fellow. Since then he has been actively involved in the scientific agenda of vaccine development in South Africa including directing a SAAVI and HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) southern African Central Immunology Laboratory at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. He has published over 90 papers on various aspects of the immune system. Since moving to UCT, his research has shifted to understanding how HIV exposure impacts on immune checkpoint balance in infants and mucosal/epithelial tissues. He has a keen active interest in implementing novel teaching and learning strategies around immunology and is the creator of Immunopaedia (www.immunopaedia.org), originally funded by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation International Leadership Award. He is the vice chair of the Clinical Immunology Committee of the IUIS and works closely with the Education Committee around devising regional immunology workshops in Africa.


Dr Melinda Suchard, MMED(Clin) - SAIS vice President
Dr Melinda Suchard obtained her MBBCh degree from the University of Witwatersrand in 2000 after which she obtained her MMED and FCPath qualifications in clinical pathology. She heads the Centre for Vaccines and Immunology at the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, The Centre provides laboratory based surveillance for polio, measles and hepatitis and serves as an African region WHO reference laboratory. Dr Suchard's research interests include investigation of immunoregulation in vaccinology and improvement of laboratory methods for monitoring T cell immunity. Dr Suchard is the vice president of the South Africa Immunology Society and hopes to see immunology registered as a specialist medical discipline.

Dr Suvarna Buldeo
Dr Suvarna Buldeo is a Clinical Pathologist at the National Health laboratory services and University of Kwa Zulu Natal, currently working at the Immunology unit, Dept of Haematology, IALCH, KZN. She completed a mini-fellowship in Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology at University of Utah as well as other short courses in immunology. Her specific interests include Primary Immune deficiencies and Allergic diseases. She can be contacted at buldeo.suvarna@nhls.ac.za


Prof Riana Cockeran, PhD
Prof Riana Cockeran obtained her PhD in Medical Immunology at the University of Pretoria in 2003. She is presently the Head of the Department of Immunology at the University of Pretoria and the National Health Laboratory Service, South Africa. Prof Cockeran is an NRF rated researcher, her main research focus has been in the field of infectious disease immunology. The majority of her research involves mechanistic studies where the effects of bacterial toxins on cells of the immune system, as well as the effects of antimicrobial agents and environmental factors on pneumococcal growth, biofilm formation and gene expression are investigated. Prof Cockeran’s teaching, training and supervision experience ranges from undergraduate to PhD level. She has successfully obtained several competitive grant funds, has published multiple manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, and is a member of editorial boards and several institutional and national bodies.


Monika Esser, MMED (Paed)
Prof Monika Esser is a Paediatric Rheumatologist with a special interest in Primary Immunodeficiencies and immune dysregulations. She is the head of the diagnostic NHLS Immunology Unit at Tygerberg Hospital and the consultant in charge of the Paediatric Immunology and Rheumatology Services at Tygerberg Children's Hospital, Stellenbosch University. She coordinates the registrar rotation in Immunology, the Rheumatology Certificate subspeciality and the Immunology Intern Scientist Training. She is founder and board member of the African Society of Immunodeficiencies (ASID) since 2009 and past president of the society. She is a board member of the SAIS since the first congress. She chairs the ALLSA Primary Immunodeficiency work group and serves on the medical advisory boards of the South African Primary Immunodeficiency Network (PiNSA) and the International Patient Organization for Primary Immunodeficiencies (IPOPI) and is scientific advisor for their congresses. Research interests and related publications include the molecular investigation of genetic immune deficits, the South African primary immunodeficiency registry , immune responses of HIV exposed infants and HIV community related research as chairperson of the NGO HOPE Cape Town Association .


Dr William Horsnell, PhD
Dr Horsnell’s research interests focuses on host immunity to parasitic helminth infections. In particular on how immune responses in the lung contribute to control of pathology and pathogens. His research approach focuses on the use of transgenic mouse models to unravel host immunity to helminths influences immunity to unrelated non-infectious (e.g. allergy, cancer) and infectious diseases (e.g. Salmonella, mTB and RSV). He uses a range of infectious scenarios to unravel varying immune influences on the lung. These include how maternal infection effects offspring immunity and differentiation between local and systemic immune responses.


Bojan Korda, MB ChB
Bojan Korda is a recently qualified medical doctor, graduating from Wits University with Honours in 2012. Prior to starting his internship he completed a short course in immunology, thus developing a special interest in the field - he now hopes to play a role in its development as a clinical discipline within South Africa. He currently lives in Johannesburg, and is about to commence his community service year.

Dr Elizabeth Mayne, MMED (Pathology)
Elizabeth Mayne is a specialist haematologist and pathologist with a special interest in immunology and HIV-associated malignancy. She currently runs the leukaemia and lymphoma immunophenotyping and immunohaematology services at the National Health Laboratory Service which provides diagnostic support to a large geographic area including 6 of the 9 provinces in South Africa and neighbouring countries in Sub-Saharan Africa including Namibia and Botswana. She is a national expert on flow cytometric techniques for diagnosis of malignancy. She is extensively involved with training scientists, medical students and residents in benign and malignant haematologic conditions and tumour associated immunology both from South Africa and from other countries in the African continent and has supervised a number of masters projects related to HIV, immunology, haematology and malignancy. She has been involved in national policy formulations for pathology and is committed to providing affordable pathology health care to the largest number of Africans.She is a member of the executive of the South African Immunological Society, a member of the National Expert Committee on Immunology and Chairs the National Committee for Registrar Teaching and training. Dr Mayne is also involved in a number of research projects examining HIV-associated conditions including HIV-associated malignancies, HIV-associated non-communicable diseases and opportunistic infections including Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

jonny peter

Dr Jonathan Peter MB ChB, MMed, FCP (SA), PhD
Dr Jonathan Peter is Head of the Division of Allergology and Clinical Immunology at Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town and the UCT Lung Institute, South Africa. He is the recipient of a number of awards for medical training including the 2009 Suzman medal, awarded by the College of Physicians to the best candidate in the final specialist exams nationally. In 2012, he received the prestigious Oxford Nuffield Medical Fellowship. Current clinical and research interests include: i) primary immunodeficiency, ii) drug allergy, iii) food additive allergy, and iv) diagnostic strategies for resource-poor settings. Jonathan has over 50 publications in high impact factor journals, and H-index of 20. Most recently, he has been awarded a Silver Award as an outstanding early-career researcher by the South African Medical Research Council.