Dr. Georgia Schafer, new Group Leader, Virology - Emerging Viruses, ICGEB Cape Town

Virology Group Leader joins Cape Town

Dr. Georgia Schäfer will shortly join ICGEB Cape Town as Group Leader to head the “Virology – Emerging Viruses” laboratory.

Dr. Schäfer arrives at ICGEB Cape Town following a PhD in Molecular Biology from Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, and postdoctoral training at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa.

Her research focus is on oncogenic viruses relevant in the Sub-Saharan African context, an area that is additionally burdened by an HIV/AIDS epidemic. Dr. Schäfer’s particular interest is on host-pathogen interactions of Kaposi’s sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) and Human papillomavirus (HPV), both viruses being associated with AIDS-defining malignancies, with the long-term aim of developing novel preventative and diagnostic tools.

With a research repertoire that comprises both basic laboratory-based in vitro and in vivo studies as well as clinical studies involving national and international collaborations, Dr. Schäfer’s research has been funded by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership EDCTP, the South African National Research Foundation NRF, the South African Medical Research Council SAMRC, Cancer Association of South Africa CANSA, and the Poliomyelitis Research Foundation PRF.

Based on her expertise in virology and in response to the recent Covid-19 outbreak, her Group has supported the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, UCT, in setting up a diagnostic pipeline to ramp up national SARS-CoV2 testing capacities.

She is expected to commence operations at the ICGEB in Cape Town by September this year and ICGEB is delighted to have her as part of the international scientific faculty of the Organisation.