Melissa-Rose Abrahams

Melissa-Rose is a lecturer in the Division of Medical Virology at UCT. Her postgraduate studies in virology, also at UCT, began in the characterization of poxviruses and later transitioned to the dynamic field of HIV. She obtained her PhD in 2014, investigating the evolution of transmitted HIV-1 in five women from KwaZulu-Natal with differing disease progression profiles.

She is currently a developing, early career investigator who is part of the Department of Higher Education and Training’s New Generation of Academics Program, and now has over a decade of experience in the characterization of HIV in African women. Her work includes key studies on the HIV transmission bottleneck and most recently a breakthrough study on the establishment of the latent viral reservoir that currently hinders development of a cure for HIV. She is keenly involved in striving to inform strategies to achieve control of HIV in the absence of treatment.