Thes Palanee Phillips

Affiliate Associate Professor, Epidemiology


MMed Sci Biochemistry/Physiology, University of Natal, 1998
PhD Biochemistry, University of KwaZulu-Natal , 2004
MSc Clinical Trials, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (UK), 2015


View Website »


Dr Palanee-Phillips is a South African medical scientist whose research has focused on sexual and reproductive health with emphasis in the areas of  biomedical HIV prevention with microbicides, vaginal rings, oral and injectable PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and through this work increasing uptake of HIV/STI testing in marginalized populations including adolescent girls and young women (AGYW), men who have sex with men and transgender women. Trained as a medical laboratory scientist, she has expanded her expertise to include designing and implementing clinical trials and integrating complex laboratory components as well as qualitative, behavioral, and implementation science-framed questions into clinical trials and investigator driven research. She has a particular interest in questions that bridge HIV prevention with sexual and reproductive health and barriers and facilitators that impact  access to services. She has expertise in conducting clinical trials and investigator driven research initiatives leading a number of Phase 2/3  investigational new drug clinical trials, and co-leading NIH R34 and  NIH R01-supported research projects. The R34 is exploring opportunities for STI self-testing and diagnosis to trigger pre-exposure prophylaxis restart in AGYW and the  R01  is assessing opportunities to improve STI testing and treatment to reduce STI recurrence among a cohort of cisgender adolescent girls and young women in South Africa. Dr. Palanee-Phillips is Director for Clinical trials at Wits RHI, Deputy Director of a five year USAID award called MATRIX : Microbicide R&D to Advance HIV Prevention Technologies through Responsive Innovation and eXcellence (MATRIX), Associate Prof at the University of the Witwatersrand and  an investigator with the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN).  In addition to her research, Dr. Palanee-Phillips supervises post graduate students at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Research Interests

• HIV and STI prevention
• HIV risk prediction
• Hormonal contraception
• Laboratory based diagnostics of infectious disease
• Intimate partner violence risk mitigation
• Women, men who have sex with men, transgender women
• Africa

Recent Publications (PubMed)

Show complete publication list

In the News

No news articles at this time.