Career Opportunities PhD Scholarship in the Division of Immunology, University of Cape Town

The Division of Immunology in the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) is seeking a PhD candidate to undertake research to investigate the influence of in utero HIV exposure on the development of infant immunity and enteric virome. The candidate will have the opportunity to explore multifaceted approach to understand immune perturbations related to increased risk of infections in young infants. The suitable candidate will be supervised by Dr Heather Jaspan and Dr Sonwabile Dzanibe.

Applicants are required to have:

  • Completed a Master’s degree or equivalent degree in a relevant area (Immunology, Biology, Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics or Biochemistry)
  • Ability to register in 2021 for full time study
  • Ability to collaborate effectively and work well in a team
  • Computer literacy and excellent communication skills
  • Experience in immunological and molecular techniques such as flow cytometry, ELISA and DNA/RNA isolation.
  • Experience in bioinformatics will be advantageous.

Research Project

A PhD scholarship valued at R150,000 p.a is available for three years. Using an existing biobank of infant samples including plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells and stool samples, the candidate will investigate the effect of maternal HIV status on infant enteric virome and its association with innate and humoral immunity development and maturation. This study will generate high-throughput data using mass cytometry by time of flight (CyTOF) and next generation sequencing (NGS) to detail mechanism responsible for higher morbidity and mortality rates in infants born to mothers living with HIV.

Application process

To apply, send your comprehensive CV and motivational letter to either Dr. Sonwabile Dzanibe ( or Dr Heather Jaspan (

The closing date for the application: 11 June 2021