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Georgia Schäfer group

Research interests

  1. Characterisation of host cellular molecules modulating HPV entry mechanisms
  2. Assessing the impact of Ephrin Receptor A2 polymorphisms KSHV infectivity and Kaposi's Sarcoma incidence and severity in HIV/AIDS patients in South Africa.
  3. Investigations into the immuno-enhancing effects of garlic and garlic organosulfur compounds in the prevention of cancer

Students/Postdocs – past and present

Ms Melissa Blumenthal

Current PhD student

Ms Sylvia Ujma

Current MSc student

Ms Sinead Carse

Current BSc(Med)(Hons) student

Dr. Lisa Graham

Previous Post-Doc

Dr. Beverly van Rooyen

Previous Post-Doc

Ms Siti Kabanda

Previous PhD student

Ms Tamlyn Shaw

Previous PhD student

Ms Jessica Hitchcock

Previous MSc student

Mr David Scott

Previous MSc student

Ms Shani de Beer

Previous BSc(Med)(Hons) student

Ms Vandana Gupta

Previous BSc(Med)(Hons) student



Schäfer G, Graham LM, Lang D, Blumenthal MJ, Bergant Marušič M and Katz AA (2017). Vimentin modulates infectious internalisation of HPV16 pseudovirions. J Virol (in print)

Siyo V, Schäfer G, Hunter R, Grafov A, Grafova I, Nieger M, Katz AA, Parker MI and Kaschula CH (2017). The cytotoxicity of bisPMB in WHCO1 oesophageal cancer cells is mediated by CHOP/GADD153. Molecules 22(6). pii: E892. doi: 10.3390/molecules22060892.

Ujma S, Horsnell WG, Katz AA, Clark HW and Schäfer G (2017). Non-Pulmonary Immune Functions of Surfactant Proteins A and D. J Innate Immun 9(1):3-11.

Hoving JC, Nieuwenhuizen NE, Schäfer G, Katz AA and Brombacher F (2016). IL-13 signals independent of IL-4 receptor-alpha chain to drive ovalbumin-induced dermatitis. J Invest Dermatol 136(6):1286-1290.

Schäfer G, Blumenthal and Katz AA (2015). Interaction of human tumour viruses with host cell surface receptors and cell entry. Viruses 7 (5): 2592-2617.

Kaschula CH, Hunter R, Cotton J, Tuveri R, Ngarande E, Dzobo K, Schäfer G, Siyo V, Lang D, Kusza D, Davies B, Katz AA and Parker MI (2015). The Garlic Compound Ajoene Targets Protein Folding in the Endoplasmic Reticulum of Cancer Cells. Mol Carcinog 55(8):1213-1228.

Schäfer G, Hitchcock JK, Shaw TM, Katz AA and Parker MI (2015). A novel role of Annexin A2 in human type I collagen gene expression. J Cell Biochem 116(3):408-417.

Vogelsang M, Paccez JD, Schäfer G, Dzobo K and Parker MI (2014). Aberrant methylation of the MSH3 promoter and distal enhancer in oesophageal cancer patients exposed to first-hand tobacco smoke. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 140(11):1825-1833.

Hitchcock JK, Katz AA and Schäfer G (2014). Dynamic Reciprocity: The Role of Annexin A2 in Tissue Integrity. J Cell Commun Signal 8(2):125-133.

Schäfer G and Kaschula CH (2014). The Immunomodulation and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Garlic Organosulfur Compounds in Cancer Chemoprevention. Anticancer Agents Med Chem 14(2): 233-240.

Wang Y, Vogelsang M, Schäfer G, Matejcic M and Parker MI (2013). MicroRNA Polymorphisms and Environmental Smoke Exposure as Risk Factors for Oesophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma. PLoS one 8(10): e78520.

van Rooyen B*, Schäfer G*, Leaner VD and Parker MI (2013). Tumour cells down-regulate CCN2 gene expression in co-cultured fibroblasts in a Smad7- and ERK-dependent manner. Cell Commun Signal 11: 75.

Schäfer G, Kabanda S, van Rooyen B, Bergant M, Banks L and Parker MI (2013). The role of inflammation in HPV infection of the oesophagus. BMC Cancer 13: 185.

Duncan K*, Schäfer G*, Vava A, Parker MI, Zerbini LF (2012). Targeting neddylation in cancer therapy. Future Oncology 8(11): 1461-1470.

Graham LM, Gupta V, Schäfer G, Reid DM, Kimberg M, Dennehy KM, Horsnell WG, Guler R, Campanero-Rhodes MA, Palma AS, Feizi T, Kim SK, Sobieszczuk P, Willment JA, Brown GD (2012). The C-Type lectin receptor CLECSF8 (CLEC4D) is expressed by myeloid cells and triggers cellular activation through Syk kinase. J Biol Chem 287(31): 25964-25974.

Schäfer G, Guler R, Murray G, Brombacher F, Brown GD (2009). The Role of Scavenger Receptor B1 in Infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis in a Murine Model. PLoS one 4 (12): e8448.

Schäfer G and Brown GD (2009). Generation of retroviral macrophage cDNA expression libraries and functional screening for surface receptors. Methods Mol Biol 531: 1-15.

Schäfer G, Jacobs M, Wilkinson RJ, Brown GD (2009). Non-opsonic recognition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by phagocytes. J Innate Immun 1: 231-243.

Schäfer G, McEvoy C, Patterton HG (2008). The Saccharomyces cerevisiae linker histone Hho1p is essential for chromatin compaction in stationary phase and is displaced by transcription. Proc Natl Acad Sci 105 (39): 14838-14843.

Schäfer G, Wißmann C, Hertel C, Lunyak V, Höcker M (2008). Regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor-D by orphan receptors HNF-4α and COUP-TF1/-2. Cancer Res 68(2): 457-466.

Schäfer G, Smith EM, Patterton HG (2005). The Saccharomyces cerevisiae linker histone Hho1p, with two globular domains, can simultaneously bind to two four-way junction DNA molecules. Biochemistry 44: 16766-16775.

Strowski MZ, Cramer T, Schäfer G, Juttner S, Walduck A, Schipani E, Kemmner W, Wessler S, Wunder C, Weber M, Meyer TF, Wiedenmann B, Jons T, Naumann M, Hocker M (2004). Helicobacter pylori stimulates host vascular endothelial growth factor-A (vegf-A) gene expression via MEK/ERK-dependent activation of Sp1 and Sp3. FASEB J 18(1): 218-220.

Benckert C, Jonas S, Cramer T, Von Marschall Z, Schäfer G, Peters M, Wagner K, Radke C, Wiedenmann B, Neuhaus P, Höcker M, Rosewicz S (2003). Transforming growth factor beta 1 stimulates vascular endothelial growth factor gene transcription in human cholangiocellular carcinoma cells. Cancer Res 63(5):1083-1092.

von Marschall Z, Scholz A, Cramer T, Schäfer G, Schirner M, Oberg K, Wiedenmann B, Höcker M, Rosewicz S (2003). Effects of interferon alpha on vascular endothelial growth factor gene transcription and tumor angiogenesis. J Natl Cancer Inst 95(6):437-448.

Schäfer G, Cramer T, Suske G, Schlag PM, Kemmner W, Wiedenmann B and Höcker M (2003). Oxidative Stress Regulates Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A Gene Transcription through Sp1- and Sp3-dependent Activation of Two Proximal GC-rich Promoter Elements. J Biol Chem 278(10): 8190-8198.

Raychowdhury R*, Schäfer G*, Fleming J, Rosewicz S, Wiedenmann B, Wang TC and Höcker M (2002). Interaction of Early Growth Response Protein 1 (Egr-1), Specificity Protein 1 (Sp1), and Cyclic Adenosine 3’5’-Monophospohate Response Element Binding Protein (CREB) at a proximal response element is critical for gastrin-dependent activation of the chromogranin A promoter. Mol Endocrin 16(2): 2802-2818.


List of Collaborators


Prof. Arieh Katz

Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), and Division of Medical Biochemistry, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences (IBMS), UCT

A/Prof. William Horsnell

Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), and Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, UCT

A/Prof. Dirk Lang

Division of Physiological Sciences, Department of Human Biology, UCT

Dr. Catherine Kaschula

Department of Chemistry & Polymer Science, Stellenbosch University

Dr. Claire Hoving

Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), and Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, UCT

Dr. Sumir Panji

Division of Computational Biology, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences (IBMS), and H3ABioNet, UCT

Prof. Graeme Meintjes

Clinical Infectious Diseases Research Initiative, Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM), and Department of Medicine, GSH and UCT

Prof. Marc Mendelson

Division of Infectious Diseases & HIV Medicine, Department of Medicine, GSH and UCT

Dr. Zainab Mohamed

Division of Radiation Oncology, Department of Medicine, GSH and UCT


Dr. Lawrence Banks

ICGEB Trieste, Italy

Dr. Martina Bergant Marušič

Center for Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia

Dr. Denise Whitby

Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, NIH, USA

Prof. Thomas Schulz

Hannover Medical School, Germany

Prof. Howard Clark

IDepartment of Child Health, University of Southampton, UK

A/Prof. Jens Madsen

Department of Child Health, University of Southampton, UK