Zelalem Mekonnen

Zelalem Mekonnen

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Dr. Zelalem Mekonnen is a viral immunologist at the Basil Hetzel Institute, the University of Adelaide. He completed his PhD in 2019 in viral immunology from the University of Adelaide. During his PhD Dr.Mekonnen was trained as a virologist, immunologist and vaccine scientist. Dr. Mekonnen developed and characterised a recombinant adenoassociated virus (rAAV) vaccine against hepatitis C virus in preclinical model.
Currently, Dr. Mekonnen is working as a post-doctoral researcher in the viral immunology group with a focus to develop promising nucleic acid (DNA and mRNA) based vaccines against different viral infections including SARS-CoV-2, hepatitis C virus, HIV, Zika virus and other flaviviruses.
Before joining the University of Adelaide for his PhD, Dr. Mekonnen had vast experience in research and academics that span from 2006 until 2015. He graduated from Addis Ababa University with a M.Sc in tropical and infectious diseases and worked as a lecturer and a researcher at the University of Gondar until 2015. During his tenure at the University of Gondar he supervised more than ten M.Sc students in their research.

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2021 - ongoing TQEH research expo organising committee member Basil Hetzel Reaseatch Institute
    2020 - ongoing Postdoctoral Researcher/Research coordinator University of Adelaide
    2019 - 2019 Research officer The University of Adelaide
    2013 - 2015 Assistant professor University of Gondar
    2010 - 2013 Lecturer University of Gondar
    2006 - 2008 Graduate assistant University of Gondar
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    Amharic Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2015 - 2019 The University of Adelaide Australia PhD
    2010 Addis Ababa University Ethiopia M.Sc
    2006 University Of Gondar Ethiopia B.Sc
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    M.Sc in Tropical and Infectious Diseases Addis Ababa University Ethiopia
    PhD in virology The University of Adelaide Australia
  • Research Interests

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2022 Ryan, F. J., Hope, C. M., Masavuli, M. G., Lynn, M. A., Mekonnen, Z. A., Yeow, A. E. L., . . . Lynn, D. J. (2022). Long-term perturbation of the peripheral immune system months after SARS-CoV-2 infection. BMC Medicine, 20(1), 26-1-26-23.
    DOI Scopus37 WoS36 Europe PMC34
    2022 Garcia-Valtanen, P., Hope, C. M., Masavuli, M. G., Yeow, A. E. L., Balachandran, H., Mekonnen, Z. A., . . . Grubor-Bauk., B. (2022). SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant escapes neutralising antibodies and T cell responses more efficiently than other variants in mild COVID-19 convalescents.. Cell Reports Medicine, 3(6), 23 pages.
    DOI Scopus7 WoS6 Europe PMC6
    2021 Ryan, F. J., Hope, C. M., Masavuli, M. G., Lynn, M. A., Mekonnen, Z. A., Lip Yeow, A. E., . . . Lynn, D. J. (2021). Long-term perturbation of the peripheral immune system months after SARS-CoV-2 infection.
    DOI
    2021 Garcia-Valtanen, P., Hope, C. M., Masavuli, M. G., Yeow, A. E. L., Balachandran, H., Mekonnen, Z. A., . . . Grubor-Bauk, B. (2021). COVID-19 convalescents exhibit deficient humoral and T cell responses to variant of concern Spike antigens at 12 month post-infection.
    DOI
    2020 Gummow, J., Masavuli, M., Mekonnen, Z. A., Li, Y., Wijesundara, D. K., Shrestha, A. C., . . . Grubor-Bauk, B. (2020). Safety profile of a multi-antigenic DNA vaccine against hepatitis C virus. Vaccines, 8(1), 1-15.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS3 Europe PMC4
    2020 Mekonnen, Z. A., Masavuli, M. G., Yu, W., Gummow, J., Whelan, D. M., Al-Delfi, Z., . . . Grubor-Bauk, B. (2020). Enhanced T cell responses induced by a necrotic dendritic cell vaccine, expressing HCV NS3. Front Microbiol, 11, 1-13.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS3 Europe PMC2
    2019 Mekonnen, Z. A., Grubor-Bauk, B., Masavuli, M. G., Shrestha, A. C., Ranasinghe, C., Bull, R. A., . . . Wijesundara, D. K. (2019). Toward DNA-based T-cell mediated vaccines to target HIV-1 and hepatitis C virus: approaches to elicit localized immunity for protection. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 9(APR), 1-8.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS6 Europe PMC3
    2019 Shrestha, A. C., Wijesundara, D. K., Masavuli, M. G., Mekonnen, Z. A., Gowans, E. J., & Grubor-Bauk, B. (2019). Cytolytic perforin as an adjuvant to enhance the immunogenicity of DNA vaccines. Vaccines, 7(2), 14 pages.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS7 Europe PMC5
    2019 Mekonnen, Z. A., Grubor-Bauk, B., English, K., Leung, P., Masavuli, M. G., Shrestha, A. C., . . . Wijesundara, D. K. (2019). Single-dose vaccination with a hepatotropic adeno-associated virus efficiently localizes T cell immunity in the liver with the potential to confer rapid protection against Hepatitis C virus. Journal of Virology, 93(19), e00202-19-1-e00202-19-19.
    DOI Scopus5 WoS6 Europe PMC4
    2019 Grubor-Bauk, B., Wijesundara, D. K., Masavuli, M., Abbink, P., Peterson, R. L., Prow, N. A., . . . Gowans, E. J. (2019). NS1 DNA vaccination protects against Zika infection through T cell-mediated immunity in immunocompetent mice.. Sci Adv, 5(12), eaax2388.
    DOI Scopus31 WoS27 Europe PMC24
    2018 Ayelign, B., Abebe, B., Shibeshi, A., Meshesha, S., Shibabaw, T., Addis, Z., . . . Dagnew, M. (2018). Bacterial isolates and their antimicrobial susceptibility patterns among pediatric patients with urinary tract infections. Turkish Journal of Urology, 44(1), 62-69.
    DOI Scopus14 Europe PMC9
    2017 Tsegay, Y. G., Tadele, A., Addis, Z., Alemu, A., & Melku, M. (2017). Magnitude of cytopenias among HIV-infected children in Bahir Dar, northwest Ethiopia: A comparison of HAART-naïve and HAART-experienced children. HIV/AIDS - Research and Palliative Care, 9, 31-42.
    DOI Scopus6 Europe PMC5
    2016 Garedew, L., Hagos, Z., Zegeye, B., & Addis, Z. (2016). The detection and antimicrobial susceptibility profile of Shigella isolates from meat and swab samples at butchers' shops in Gondar town, Northwest Ethiopia. Journal of Infection and Public Health, 9(3), 348-355.
    DOI Scopus14 WoS12 Europe PMC5
    2015 Shiferaw, B., Gelaw, B., Assefa, A., Assefa, Y., & Addis, Z. (2015). Bacterial isolates and their antimicrobial susceptibility pattern among patients with external ocular infections at Borumeda hospital, Northeast Ethiopia. BMC Ophthalmology, 15(1), 103-1-103-8.
    DOI Scopus32 WoS24 Europe PMC18
    2015 Garedew, L., Hagos, Z., Addis, Z., Tesfaye, R., & Zegeye, B. (2015). Prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of Salmonella isolates in association with hygienic status from butcher shops in Gondar town, Ethiopia. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, 4(1), 7 pages.
    DOI Scopus31 WoS28 Europe PMC17
    2015 Melku, M., Kebede, A., & Addis, Z. (2015). Magnitude of HIV and syphilis seroprevalence among pregnant women in gondar, northwest ethiopia: A cross-sectional study. HIV/AIDS - Research and Palliative Care, 7, 175-182.
    DOI Scopus19 Europe PMC8
    2015 Addis, Z., Adem, E., Alemu, A., Birhan, W., Mathewos, B., Tachebele, B., & Takele, Y. (2015). Prevalence of smear positive pulmonary tuberculosis in Gondar prisoners, North West Ethiopia. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, 8(2), 127-131.
    DOI Scopus9 WoS8 Europe PMC6
    2015 Enawgaw, B., Alem, M., Melku, M., Addis, Z., Terefe, B., & Yitayew, G. (2015). Prevalence and associated risk factors of anemia among HIV infected children attending Gondar university hospital, Northwest Ethiopia: A cross sectional study. BMC Hematology, 15(1), 12.
    DOI Scopus20 Europe PMC15
    2014 Enawgaw, B., Alem, M., Addis, Z., & Melku, M. (2014). Determination of hematological and immunological parameters among HIV positive patients taking highly active antiretroviral treatment and treatment naïve in the antiretroviral therapy clinic of Gondar University Hospital, Gondar, Northwest Ethiopia: A comparative cross-sectional study. BMC Hematology, 14(1), 8.
    DOI Scopus45 Europe PMC36
    2014 Tachebele, B., Abebe, M., Addis, Z., & Mesfin, N. (2014). Metabolic syndrome among hypertensive patients at University of Gondar Hospital, North West Ethiopia: A cross sectional study. BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, 14(1), 9 pages.
    DOI Scopus13 WoS15 Europe PMC7
    2014 Gashaw, M., Abtew, D., & Addis, Z. (2014). Prevalence and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Pattern of Bacteria Isolated from Mobile Phones of Health Care Professionals Working in Gondar Town Health Centers. ISRN Public Health, 2014, 1-6.
    DOI
    2014 Addis, Z. (2014). Prevalence of Some Hematological Abnormalities among HIV Positive Patients on Their First Visit to a Tertiary Health Institution in Ethiopia; A Cross Sectional Study. International Blood Research & Reviews, 2(6), 270-278.
    DOI
    2014 Kibru, D., Gelaw, B., Alemu, A., & Addis, Z. (2014). Helicobacter pylori infection and its association with anemia among adult dyspeptic patients attending Butajira Hospital, Ethiopia. BMC Infectious Diseases, 14(1), 7 pages.
    DOI Scopus26 WoS25 Europe PMC18
    2014 Melku, M., Addis, Z., Alem, M., & Enawgaw, B. (2014). Prevalence and predictors of maternal anemia during pregnancy in Gondar, Northwest Ethiopia: An institutional based cross-sectional study. Anemia, 2014, 108593.
    DOI Scopus80 Europe PMC55
    2014 Mathewos, B., Alemu, A., Woldeyohannes, D., Alemu, A., Addis, Z., Tiruneh, M., . . . Kassu, A. (2014). Current status of soil transmitted helminths and Schistosoma mansoni infection among children in two primary schools in North Gondar, Northwest Ethiopia: A cross sectional study. BMC Research Notes, 7(1), 88.
    DOI Scopus41 Europe PMC30
    2013 Addis, Z., Birhan, W., Derseh, D., Sahle, B., & Gizaw, N. (2013). Physicians' and nurses' satisfaction with the clinical laboratory service of Gondar university hospital, Northwest Ethiopia. American Journal of Clinical Pathology, 140(3), 324-328.
    DOI Scopus8 WoS7 Europe PMC6
    2013 Addis, Z., Yalew, A., Shiferaw, Y., Alemu, A., Birhan, W., Mathewose, B., & Tachebele, B. (2013). Knowledge, attitude and practice towards voluntary counseling and testing among university students in North West Ethiopia: A cross sectional study. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 8 pages.
    DOI Scopus25 WoS19 Europe PMC15
    2013 Mathewos, B., Birhan, W., Kinfe, S., Boru, M., Tiruneh, G., Addis, Z., & Alemu, A. (2013). Assessment of knowledge, attitude and practice towards post exposure prophylaxis for HIV among health care workers in Gondar, North West Ethiopia. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 6 pages.
    DOI Scopus34 WoS34 Europe PMC28
    2013 Alemu, A., Shiferaw, Y., Addis, Z., Mathewos, B., & Birhan, W. (2013). Effect of malaria on HIV/AIDS transmission and progression. Parasites and Vectors, 6(1), 8 pages.
    DOI Scopus73 WoS62 Europe PMC47
    2013 Molla, A., Gelaw, B., Addis, Z., & Gelaw, A. (2013). Marriage Patterns and Sero-prevalence of HIV Infection at Gambella Administrative Region, Southwest Ethiopia. Journal of Behavioral Health, 2(3), 223.
    DOI
    2013 Wondimu, H., Addis, Z., Moges, F., & Shiferaw, Y. (2013). Bacteriological safety of blood collected for transfusion at university of gondar hospital blood bank, northwest ethiopia.. ISRN hematology, 2013, 308204.
    DOI Europe PMC4
    2013 Kahsu, G., Birhan, W., Addis, Z., Dagnew, M., & Abera, B. (2013). Renal Function Impairment and Associated Risk Factors among Human Immunodeficiency Virus Positive Individuals at Flege Hiwot Referral Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia. Journal of Interdisciplinary Histopathology, 1(5), 252.
    DOI
    2012 Mekonnen, Z., Haileselassie, H., Medhin, G., Erko, B., & Berhe, N. (2012). Schistosomiasis mansoni focus in mekele city, Northern Ethiopia. Ethiopian Medical Journal, 50(4), 331-336.
    Scopus6 Europe PMC6
    2012 Tadewos, A., Addis, Z., Ambachew, H., & Banerjee, S. (2012). Prevalence of dyslipidemia among HIV-infected patients using first-line highly active antiretroviral therapy in Southern Ethiopia: a cross-sectional comparative group study. AIDS Research and Therapy, 9(1), 8 pages.
    DOI Scopus37 WoS30 Europe PMC28
    2011 Alemu, A., Atnafu, A., Addis, Z., Shiferaw, Y., Teklu, T., Mathewos, B., . . . Gelaw, B. (2011). Soil transmitted helminths and schistosoma mansoni infections among school children in zarima town, northwest Ethiopia. BMC Infectious Diseases, 11(1), 7 pages.
    DOI Scopus117 WoS93 Europe PMC83
    2011 Alemu, A., Shiferaw, Y., Getnet, G., Yalew, A., & Addis, Z. (2011). Opportunistic and other intestinal parasites among HIV/AIDS patients attending Gambi higher clinic in Bahir Dar city, North West Ethiopia. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, 4(8), 661-665.
    DOI Scopus61 WoS54 Europe PMC40
    2011 Addis, Z., Kebede, N., Worku, Z., Gezahegn, H., Yirsaw, A., & Kassa, T. (2011). Prevalence and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella isolated from lactating cows and in contact humans in dairy farms of Addis Ababa: A cross sectional study. BMC Infectious Diseases, 11(1), 7 pages.
    DOI Scopus74 WoS49 Europe PMC40
    - Addis, Z., Birhan, W., Alemu, A., Mulu, A., Ayal, G., & Negash, H. (n.d.). Treatment Outcome of Tuberculosis Patients in Azezo Health Center, North West Ethiopia. International Journal of Biomedical and Advance Research, 4(3), 167.
    DOI
    - Assefa, A., Mathewos, B., Alemu, A., Addis, Z., Alem, M., & Gizachew, M. (n.d.). Hepatitis B and C viral infections among blood donors at Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences, 2(3), 624.
    DOI
    - Garcia Valtanen, P., Hope, C. M., Masavuli, M. G., Yeow, A., Balachandran, H., Mekonnen, Z. A., . . . Grubor-Bauk, B. (n.d.). 'One Year Later' - SARS-CoV-2-Specific Immunity in Mild Cases of COVID-19.
  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2022 Co-Supervisor A Trivalent Vaccine for Clinically-Important Flaviviruses. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Ryan Santos
    2021 Co-Supervisor The development of 'next generation' DNA-based vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Zahraa Nima Saeed Al-Delfi

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