Alex Sigal

I am a faculty member at the  Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) and a Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology (MPIIB) in Berlin, Germany. My training is in cell and quantitative biology with expertise in the interface between clinical and basic science.

Sandile Cele

Laboratory Technologist

Sandile Cele holds a Masters degree in Biochemistry from UKZN. He previously worked as a research scientist intern at the Technology Innovation Agency, Institute for Diagnostic Research. Sandile’s key responsibilities at AHRI include the maintenance and upkeep of BSL3 and BSL2 laboratories, processing and storage of human samples, performance of lab experiments pertaining to immunology and molecular biology, as well as the development of SOPs.

Dami Collier

PhD student

I am a Infectious disease clinician doing my PhD with Ravi Gupta and Alex Sigal on the CNS as an HIV reservoir site for persistence and replication.

Kaylesh Dullabh

Senior Clinical Scientist

Dr Kaylesh Jay Dullabh is Senior Cardiothoracic Resident at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital, KwaZulu-Natal. His current surgical interests include inflammatory pleural, pulmonary and pericardial disease, particularly in an immune compromised host. Kaylesh’s research interests involve understanding HIV suppression, TB/HIV drug concentrations in blood, fluid and tissue in the thoracic cavity.

Isabella Ferreira

Master’s Student

Isabella Ferreira completed her undergraduate at the University of Cape Town and her Honours in Genetics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her Master’s project is investigating the cellular HIV reservoir in lymph nodes, which is thought to be critical for HIV replication and persistence in antiretroviral treatment suppressed individuals.

Yashica Ganga

Laboratory Technician

Yashica Ganga holds a Masters degree in Medical Science (Physiology) from UKZN. Her work is in the field of HIV and HIV Associated Neurocognitive Diseases, namely HIV Associated Dementia. She is currently working on drug sensitivity in HIV cell-to-cell spread in primary cell lines. Her other duties include processing and storage of clinical samples, administrative duties, general lab duties and routine BSL3 and BSL2 maintenance and upkeep.

Jessica Hunter

PhD Student

Jessica Hunter completed her Honours in Medical Microbiology through UKZN in 2014. During the second half of 2014 she also worked as an intern in the Sigal Lab. Jessica is currently pursuing her PhD under the supervision of Dr Alex Sigal. Her project investigates the number of proviral integrations per cell in cell-to-cell spread of HIV.

Shi-Hsia Hwa

PhD Student

Shi-Hsia Hwa did her undergraduate degree at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, and Masters at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She then worked at Inviragen/Takeda Vaccines. Shi-Hsia Hwa is interested in the role of antibodies in modulating TB infection.

Laurelle Jackson

PhD Student

Laurelle completed her Honours and Masters degrees in Biochemistry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and did her research on vaccine strategies for trypanosomosis. Laurelle is interested in what determines the patterns of HIV evolution to drugs and neutralising antibodies.

Gila Lustig

Research Associate

Gila Lustig obtained her PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science on the role of phospholipase D in cancer cell signalling and did her postdoc with Patricia Johnson at UCLA on the factors involved in the pathogenesis of Trichomonas vaginalis. Gila is interested in understanding the role of cell-to-cell spread of HIV in creating a reservoir of infection and the possible interactions with other STIs in HIV transmission.

Ana Moyano de las Muelas

PhD Student

Ana Moyano de las Muelas has a degree in Biology from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and a Masters in Microbiology from the Universidad de Alcalá. Her Masters research focused on viral determinants of HIV progression. Ana joined the Sigal Lab in 2016 as a research intern. She is now doing her PhD focusing on finding the cellular determinants of HIV progression.

Hylton Rodel

Master’s Student

Hylton completed his undergraduate and honours degree at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, showing interest in the regulatory genetic processes that govern early eye development. He is currently focussed on understanding the role that host cell death plays during a tuberculosis infection.