Prof. Caroline Tiemessen heads the Cell Biology Research Laboratory within the Centre for HIV and STIs at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), and holds a joint appointment as Research Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand. In 2005 Prof. Tiemessen was awarded a prestigious Wellcome Trust International Senior Research Fellowship for 5 years to study protective immunity in the context of maternal-infant HIV-1 transmission. In 2013 she was awarded the DST/NRF Research Chair of HIV Vaccine Translational Research in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, was appointed a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Research interests include the study of HIV vaccines and HIV cure (paediatric and adult), with a major focus on the study of natural resistance models for identifying and understanding correlates of protection. These include maternal-infant HIV-1 transmission and adult transmission models for studying protective immunity to HIV-1, and the study of long term nonprogressors and elite controllers to understand natural attenuation of disease progression. Her laboratory is undertaking viral reservoir and host biomarker research studies as part of the NIH U01-funded LEOPARD clinical trial currently being conducted in Johannesburg, South Africa.