Dr Melinda Suchard obtained her MBBCh degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2000 after which she obtained her MMED and FCPath qualifications in clinical pathology. Since 2013 she heads the Centre for Vaccines and Immunology at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases with a joint appointment to Chemical Pathology, University of the Witwatersrand. The Centre for Vaccines and Immunology is the Regional Reference Laboratory for the World Health Organisation for polio, measles and rubella. The centre is one of the few globally with approval to host a Polio Essential Facility for work under high biocontainment towards polio eradication.
Dr Suchard is president of the South African Immunology Society. She holds appointments to national advisory bodies including the National Advisory Group on Immunization, the Immunology Expert Committee of the National Health Laboratory Service and the National Polio Expert Committee. She supervises a number of Masters and Doctoral candidates. The focus of her research is immune tolerance, particularly related to infectious diseases such as HIV and Tuberculosis.