Ziyaad has been studying at UCT since 1999 where he completed all subsequent degrees in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
He received a BSc degree majoring in Microbiology and Biochemistry in 2001.
Postgrad degrees were under the supervision of Prof EP Rybicki's molecular virology lab.
BSc honours was obtained in 2002 working on a SAAVI funded molecular virology based project, which involved using recombinant TMV to transiently express HIV Rev in Nicotiana benthamiana plants for reagent purposes.
An MSc was obtained in 2005 also working on a SAAVI funded molecular virology project, which involved producing and testing a candidate HIV vaccine which consisted of a TMV virion decorated with the HIV V3 loop neutralizing antibody epitope.
For his PhD in 2008, once again working on a SAAVI funded project, he investigated the ability of the HIV virus like particle candidate vaccine to inadvertently function as a foreign nucleic acid transmission vector.
Ziyaad started post-doctoral research in 2009 at UCT medical school under Prof C Williamson (with the HIV diversity group), where he investigated the incidence of multiple variant HIV transmission events in women with breakthrough infections participating in the South African tenofovir-based microbicide trial.
His current research interests are HIV drug resistance and respiratory virus nosocomial transmission and diversity.