Dr Michelle Groome is currently the Head of the Division of Public Health Surveillance and Response at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. She has 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.
She qualified as a medical doctor at the University of the Witwatersrand and has a Diploma in Child Health. She obtained a Master of Science in Medicine (Epidemiology and Biostatistics) and a PhD in Public Health from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Michelle holds a joint appointment as Senior Researcher, School of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, where she lectures and supervises post-graduate students. She previously led the diarrhoeal disease portfolio at the SAMRC: Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit. 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.
Dr Groome has over 70 publications in local and international peer-reviewed journals and is a regular presenter at local and international conferences. She has 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). She has a South African National Research Foundation C1 rating.