Imperial College London

Dr. Catherine N. Kibirige

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Research Associate



c.kibirige CV




Chelsea and Westminster HospitalChelsea and Westminster Campus





I have been involved in HIV-1 clinical research alongside large epidemiological cohort studies for over 20 years.  My current projects involve the molecular characterization of the HIV Infection event and the subsequent profiling of CD8-mediated killing. Specifically I am developing and optimizing ultra-sensitive HIV-1 total nucleic acid and integrated DNA qPCR assays and integration-site profiling protocols.

One of the specific studies I am currently working on relates to transmitted founder infectious molecular clones with defined replicative capacity, that have been shown to define early HIV-1 pathogenesis. Using a qualitative viral inhibition assay (VIA), a negative correlation has been deciphered between viral replicative capacity and CD8 T cell mediated viral inhibition. I hypothesize that high replicative capacity is associated with higher HIV RNA kinetics and a transcriptomic profile that would indicate greater viral success in hijacking host replicative cellular functions and suppression of host immune recognition.  I am also investigating the differences in integration site profiles between clones with different replicative capacities and between donors with differential responses in the VIA.

My future aims involve commercializing and translating the use of these tools to field and clinical settings, particularly, field-testing an ambient-temperature HIV-1 DNA quantification kit as an alternative low-cost treatment monitoring tool for resource-constrained settings in Africa.  I am currently working with scientists in Uganda and commercialization experts in the UK, to see these kits, as well as kits for other related infectious diseases, assembled and eventually, manufactured in Africa.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Kibirige C, Manak M, King D, et al., 2022, Development of a Sensitive, Quantitative Assay with Broad Subtype Specificity for Detection of Total HIV-1 Nucleic Acids in Plasma and PBMC, Scientific Reports, Vol:12, ISSN:2045-2322

Makinde J, Nduati EW, Freni-Sterrantino A, et al., 2021, A novel sample selection approach to aid the identification of factors that correlate wth the control of HIV-1 infection, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol:12, ISSN:1664-3224, Pages:1-12

N Kibirige C, 2016, White elephants and donor-funded clinical research in developing countries, Journal of Aids & Clinical Research, Vol:07, ISSN:2155-6113

Kibirige C, 2014, Translating Burkitt’sl ymphoma research into viable solutions for developing countries, Austin Journal of Clinical Immunology, Vol:1, ISSN:2381-9138

Kibirige CN, Menendez FA, Zhang H, et al., 2014, Late-emerging strains of HIV induce T-cell homeostasis failure by promoting bystander cell death and immune exhaustion in naive CD4 and all CD8 T-cells, Medical Hypotheses, Vol:83, ISSN:0306-9877, Pages:69-73

Jagodzinski LL, Liu Y, Hack HR, et al., 2014, Discrepant amplification results during the development of an assay leads to reclassification of two AIDS reagent repository HIV-2 isolates HIV-1, PLOS One, Vol:9, ISSN:1932-6203, Pages:e96554-e96554

Kibirige C, 2013, The use of ultra-sensitive molecular assays in HIV cure-related reserach, Journal of Aids & Clinical Research, Vol:04, ISSN:2155-6113

More Publications