Prof. Monika Esser

My interest in Immunology started with vaccine laboratory research time spent in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at St Louis Children’s Hospital. After my Paediatric registrarship at Tygerberg Hospital at the start of the HIV epidemic, research on neonatal susceptibility to infections and potential interventions, was followed by work in early HIV trials and the formation of a first primary immunodeficiency (PID) clinic for primary/genetic causes and shortly thereafter the paediatric rheumatology service. HIV exposed but uninfected infants (HEU) became another research focus emerging from the immunology clinic and later the selective Mendelian susceptibility to Tb focus with formation of a dedicated PID Genetic Working Group. I instituted a first national registry for PID and as founder member of the African Society for Immunodeficiency Diseases, I hold the portfolio for establishing an African PID registry. With the NGO HOPE Cape Town I am involved in supervising translational research. My work as medical advisor to the local as well as the international patient organization for PID focusses on access to earliest diagnostic and treatment. Collaboration between clinic and laboratory for earliest diagnosis and targeted patient care have remained my focus.