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Michelle J. Groome

Principal Researcher - Epidemiology, Wits-VIDA, University of the Witwatersrand

I have more than 15 years’ experience in the field of infectious diseases and vaccinology, including conduct of clinical vaccine trials, respiratory and diarrhoeal disease surveillance programmes and observational studies assessing vaccine impact, effectiveness, immunogenicity and safety in South Africa.

I qualified as a medical doctor at the University of the Witwatersrand and have a Diploma in Child Health. I obtained a Master of Science in Medicine (in the field Epidemiology and Biostatistics) and a PhD in Public Health from the University of the Witwatersrand.

I hold a joint appointment as Senior Researcher, School of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, where I lecture and supervise post-graduate students. Important public health contributions include providing the first rotavirus vaccine effectiveness data from Africa which was pivotal to inform public health decisions and provide evidence for sustained use of this vaccine in low and middle-income countries, and evaluating safety and immunogenicity of a novel injectable subunit rotavirus vaccine in South Africa.

I have over 100 publications in local and international peer-reviewed journals and am a regular presenter at local and international conferences. I have received several awards including the Emerging Global Leader Award from the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health (2016), and the South African Medical Research Council Scientific Merit Award (2017).


  • 2023–present
    Principal researcher, Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand
  • 2021–2022
    Head of the Division of Public Health Surveillance and Response, National Institute for Communicable Diseases
  • 2005–2020
    Senior Researcher, SAMRC Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit


  • 2016 
    University of the Witwatersrand , PhD (Public Health)
  • 2010 
    University of the Witwatersrand , MSc (Med) Epidemiology & Biostatistics
  • 1999 
    Colleges of Medicine South Africa, Diploma in Child Health
  • 1997 
    University of the Witwatersrand , MBBCh (cum laude)