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Science Translational Medicine

Read our study in Science Translational Medicine here. The study shows that one in ten children with HIV do not develop Aids because their immune system 'ignores' the virus.

Check out the 'In the news' section on our group page for interviews and articles about this work.


Philip Goulder is Professor of Immunology at Oxford University. He is also Honorary Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and holds Honorary Consultant Paediatric appointments at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and in the Department of Infectious Disease at Great Ormond St Hospital for Children, London. He is a Fellow at Brasenose College Oxford.

He obtained his first degree in Zoology at Oxford University in 1982, and then qualified in Medicine at Cambridge University in 1986, before completing training in Paediatrics through appointments at Edinburgh, Oxford, Duke University Medical Center in the US and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Melbourne, Australia. His investigative career started in 1993, undertaking a DPhil under the supervision of Andrew McMichael, followed by a post-doc, with appointments at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, working under the mentorship of Bruce Walker. His research group is based at The Peter Medawar Building in Oxford. The focus of this work is the African HIV epidemic. To this end, he leads research groups in Durban and Kimberley, having established long-standing collaborations in South Africa, cofounding the UKZN HIV Pathogenesis Programme in 1998. Goulder is a Research Associate at CAPRISA (Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa), AHRI (The Africa Health Research Institute) and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard.

He received an Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric AIDS Foundation Scientist Award in 1999, a Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellowship from 2002-2015 and a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award in 2015. 

Philip Goulder


Professor of Immunology

My aim is to identify interventions that reduce disease in HIV infection and explore the potential for a cure in infected children.

The overarching goal of my research is to identify interventional approaches that will reduce disease in HIV infection, and to explore the particular potential for HIV cure in infected children. My work has sought to define the role of CTL escape in immune control of HIV, the impact of escape mutations on viral replicative capacity, the principal mechanisms of HLA-mediated control of HIV, and the evolutionary aspects of the epidemic. Our key publications in these areas are listed on the right. 

A particular interest of our work is the paediatric HIV epidemic. Children are highly vulnerable to HIV infection and yet at the same time present unique opportunities to understand mechanisms of HIV disease and the potential for HIV cure. Interventional studies we have led include the first early ART (anti-retroviral therapy) initiation studies in HIV-infected newborn infants in Africa, and a first-in-man Phase I clinical trial testing peptide immunotherapy to augment T-cell responses. More recently, in July 2015, we have started a ‘Baby Cure’ study in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, in which babies who are HIV-infected in utero are diagnosed and ART initiated within hours of birth. The goal of this study is to minimize the latent viral reservoirs in these children, paving the way for subsequent further interventions to eradicate HIV infection entirely.

A major focus of our current work is a group of HIV-infected children aged >5yrs who have never received ART and yet who appear entirely healthy, and indistinguishable in terms of CD4 counts and immune function from age-matched HIV-uninfected children. Unlike the adult ‘elite controllers’, who suppress viral replication via HLA-mediated mechanisms, these paediatric ‘non-progressors’ maintain normal immunity in the face of persistent high viral loads. Understanding the genetic, immune and virologic mechanisms underlying this phenotype is critical to defining novel approaches to minimise HIV disease.


Funding Sources

Goulder has received funding from the Wellcome Trust from 2002-2015 through Senior Clinical Fellowships and since 2015 through a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award, 2015-2020. He has also received RO1 support from the National Institutes of Health since 2000 (most recent RO1 award from 2017-2022).

Key publications

More publications