The University of Cape Town, South Africa

UCT LogoThe University of Cape Town (UCT) is based in Cape Town, South Africa, and is a designated Center of Excellence for the United Health Group and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the NIH, and a member of the Chronic Disease Initiative (CDIA). This site focuses on improving primary health care and reducing the burden of chronic disease in South Africa and in the integration of non-communicable diseases care into the community through increased training and education of community health workers. CDIA draws multidisciplinary researchers from three major tertiary academic institutions in Cape Town (the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and the University of the Western Cape), the South African Medical Research Council, Harvard University, and Shree Hindu Mandal Hospital, Tanzania, as well as representatives from local and national Departments of Health. UCT also has long standing collaboration with Dr. David Henderson and colleagues in the area of mental health research, and is a site for T32 program at BU and Harvard on global mental health.

The Site Director

Picture of Dr. Naomi LevittDr. Naomi Levitt

Dr. Naomi Levitt, Director, Chronic Disease Initiative for Africa; Professor and Head of Division of Diabetic Medicine and Endocrinology in the Department of Medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital and University of Cape Town. Areas of research include the burden of diabetes, health services research for chronic diseases particularly diabetes, metabolic consequences of antiretroviral therapy and pathogenesis of obesity.

Site Mentors:

Picture of Ashraf KageeAshraf Kagee, Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University

Professor Kagee’s work is broadly located at the nexus of psychology and public health and is specifically focused on mental health among persons living with HIV and psychological and structural factors influencing adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART). His work currently involves training patient advocates in providing psychosocial support to ART and in testing models of problem solving aimed at helping patients overcome structural barriers to ART adherence. His other interests include stress and trauma, mental health and chronic illness, and evidence-based practice and scientific thinking in psychology.


Picture of Gary MaartensGary Maartens, Head, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Groote Schuur Hospital

Broad areas of main research are HIV-associated tuberculosis, and antiretroviral therapy (adherence, pharmacokinetics, pharmacoeconomics, effectiveness and toxicity)



Picture of Mpiko NtsekheMpiko Ntsekhe, Helen and Morris Mauerberger Professor Cardiology, University of Cape Town

Mpiko Ntsekhe MD PhD F.A.C.C currently serves as the Hellen and Morris Mauerberger Professor and Chair of Cardiology, at the University of Cape Town and Head of Clinical Cardiology at Groote Schuur  Hospital. His interests include the interface between infectious diseases and the cardiovascular system with a focus on HIV and tuberculosis.


Tolullah OniPicture of Tolullah Oni, Senior Lecturer, University of Cape Town

Tolu Oni completed her undergraduate medical training at University College London, postgraduate medical training in internal medicine in the UK and Australia, and medical specialisation in Public Health Medicine in South Africa. Her research focuses on understanding the interaction between commonly co-occurring chronic conditions (HIV, TB, non-communicable diseases (NCD)), upstream health determinants, the unplanned urban environment, and the impact on health outcomes; with a view to developing integrated inter sectoral public health interventions.


Soraya SeedatPicture of Soraya Seedat, Distinguished Professor and Executive Head of Department, Department of Psychiatry, Stellenbosch University

Soraya Seedat is a distinguished professor of psychiatry and holds the South African Research Chair in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder from the Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation. In addition, she co-directs the Medical Research Council Unit on Anxiety and Stress Disorders. Professor Seedat’s interests include Psychiatry Traumatology Anxiety Disorders Trauma Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Psychopharmacology Brain Imaging.


Picture of Dan Stein

Dan Stein, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry & Mental Health
University of Cape Town

Dan J Stein is Professor and Chair of the Dept of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town, Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Unit on Anxiety Disorders, and Visiting Professor of Psychiatry at Mt. Sinai Medical School in New York. He is interested in the psychobiology and management of the anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and related, and traumatic and stress disorders. He has also mentored work in other areas that are of particular relevance to South Africa and Africa, including neuroHIV/AIDS and substance use disorders.


Picture of Graeme MeintjiesGraeme Meintjes, Professor of Medicine, Second Chair and Deputy Head of the Department of Medicine; DST/NRF SARChI Chair in Poverty-related Infections; Adult Infectious Diseases Physician; Member of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine; and Lead of the Clinical Platform of the Wellcome Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town (UCT).

Graeme Meintjes leads a research programme that focuses on the clinical conditions affecting patients with advanced HIV disease including disseminated HIV-associated tuberculosis, the tuberculosis-associated immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (TB-IRIS) and cryptococcal meningitis. His group also investigates drug-resistant tuberculosis and diagnostics for TB. He has been the PI or local PI of several clinical trials and conducts observational cohort studies that address questions related to disease pathogenesis.