A large number of research groupings operate across the university. Many of these are informal structures that hinge on the research interests of a particular individual or funding opportunity. These informal groupings come and go as the nature of their work evolves and they are not formally logged on the research information management system. However, several groupings are formally established structures that meet stringent quality assurance criteria and are accredited by the University Research Committee. These groupings undergo external peer-review in a five-year cycle, a process which includes their deans and the URC. Although the accredited groupings are self-sustained, operating on funds raised through external contracts and receiving no ring-fenced funding from the URC, they are promoted as UCT-groupings and benefit from the UCT brand.
At the end of 2010, there were 68URC-accredited research groupings. This number includes nine MRC/UCT groupings as well as sixnew research groupings which received URC-accreditation in the course of the year: Accounting and Accountability in Africa Research Unit, Advancement of Business Competitiveness Unit (both located in the Faculty of Commerce), Nanosciences Innovation Centre, Drug Discovery and Development Research Centre, Nansen-Tutu Centre for Marine Environmental Research (all three located in the Faculty of Science), and Concrete Materials and Structural Integrity Research Unit (Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment).
List of URC-accredited research groupings
ACCOUNTING AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN AFRICA RESEARCH UNIT(AAARU)
The research agenda of the AAARU is directed towards pragmatic, interpretive accounting and accountability, with the aim of developing an understanding of, and insight into, an African perspective. The Unit focuses on critical aspects of conducting business in Africa and key issues facing our society such as entrepreneurial leadership. This focus provides a welcome change from mainstream research which often assumes implicitly Western and Euro-centric thinking, or focuses on Asia.
Director: Stuart Hendry
ADVANCEMENT OF BUSINESS COMPETITIVENESS UNIT
The recently established Unit aims to be the primary source of knowledge and support for the advancement of competitiveness of organisations in South Africa and the rest of Africa in both the private and public sectors. This means that while the grouping will produce and publish peer-reviewed research, the primary agenda of such research output will be to support the advancement of business competitiveness. The research will focus on undertaking surveys to map the current business practices in the various sectors of the South African economy with the aim of benchmarking them against best practices. This initiative will be taken to the rest of Africa. Using cases studies, the grouping will also undertake in-depth investigations of the business practices peculiar to the value chains of the various sectors. Both the surveys and cases studies will generate insights into the potential weaknesses of the value chains which hinder competitiveness in both the private and public sectors.
Director: A/Professor R. Chivaka
CENTRE FOR ACTUARIAL RESEARCH
The Centre for Actuarial Research is the only unit of its kind at an African university. It brings together multidisciplinary teams to build capacity, improve techniques and produce independent research in demography, healthcare financing, social security and HIV/AIDS modelling. The main focus of the Centre is on training and research in demography and modelling the demographic impact of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa.
Director: Professor R.E.Dorrington
ADOLESCENT HEALTH RESEARCH UNIT
Adolescents face a wide range of health problems owing to a combination of biological, social and psychological factors. There is thus a niche for a research facility that focuses specifically on the health needs of adolescents. The Adolescent Health Research Unit builds on existing research and collaborations to co-ordinate, promote and facilitate research into all aspects of adolescent health. The specific aims of the Unit are to facilitate cutting-edge interdisciplinary research that addresses key national public adolescent health priorities; promote networking among adolescent health researchers, practitioners and policy makers; increase the profile of the Faculty of Health Sciences with regard to world-class adolescent health research; provide policy consultation at local, provincial, national and international levels; and increase and improve educational offerings in adolescent health at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Director: Associate Professor A. Berg
AFRICAN CENTRE FOR CITIES
Achieving well-governed and sustainable cities is becoming increasingly important to the future health of the planet. The African Centre for Cities aims to partner closely with African universities and policy-making centres in order to provide an alternative perspective on dealing with critical urban issues. It provides an intellectual base and home for interdisciplinary, urban-related research at UCT, from which relations can be established with selected international think tanks, scholars, social movements and funders.
AFRICAN CINEMA UNIT
The African Cinema Unit was established during 2008. It is an initiative within the Centre for Film and Media Studies which is committed to promoting the study of African Cinemas, taking account of the richness and diversity of the film cultures that have emerged from the countries that make up this vast and complex continent. During 2010, Associate Professor Martin Botha took a sabbatical to finish a 113-year history of South African cinema. Taking an inclusive approach to South African film history, this volume represents an ambitious attempt to analyse and place in appropriate socio-political context the aesthetic highlights of South African cinema from 1896 to the present. This manuscript represents the first broadly based text which encompasses the history of South African cinema in its entirety.
Director: Associate Professor M. Botha
ALBERTINA AND WALTER SISULU Institute OF Ageing in Africa
The Albertina and Walter Sisulu Institute of Ageing in Africa is a cross-disciplinary group within the Department of Medicine and incorporates the divisions of Geriatric Medicine, Geriatric Neuropsychology, Geriatric Neurosciences and Geriatric Psychiatry, and a Gerontology programme. The Institute strives to be an academic and research centre of excellence which addresses critical issues of ageing in Africa, and serves as a catalyst for local, national and regional expertise and a focal point for the development of research services and training. Its mission is achieved through interdisciplinary and cross-national partnerships and research collaboration, human-resource development, and policy information in the national context and in the African continent. Areas in which research projects are currently conducted at the Institute include physical, cognitive and social functioning, and quality of life; vascular risk factors and stroke; falls in older persons and quality of care; and dementia and risk factors for cognitive disorders.
Director: Dr S.Kalula
ANIMAL Demography Unit
The mission of the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) is to contribute to the understanding of bird populations, especially bird population dynamics, and thus contribute to the conservation of avian biodiversity. The ADU achieves these goals through a variety of projects in which para-ornithologists throughout Southern Africa can participate. These projects range from identifying bird species, through undertaking census surveys, to making detailed observations on breeding productivity.
Director: Professor L.G.Underhill
ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND GRAVITATION CENTRE
The Astrophysics, Cosmology and Gravitation Centre (ACGC) is a research centre incorporating members of the UCT Department of Astronomy and the Cosmology and Gravity Group from the UCT Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. The ACGC aims to create a research environment at UCT in which South African-led cutting-edge science projects will be discussed, developed and taken to fruition. Maximising the opportunities for interaction between theorists and multi-wavelength observers is essential for stimulating new approaches to research. The Centre also aims to become an attractive location for postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows, as well as international visitors.
Directors: ProfessorR.C. Kraan-Korteweg and Professor P.K.S.Dunsby
BLAST IMPACT AND SURVIVABILITY RESEARCH UNIT
The Department of Mechanical Engineering has been involved in impact dynamics for over 25 years. In particular, research has focused on experimental and computational techniques to provide solutions for blast and structural impact scenarios. The Blast Impact and Survivability Research Unit (BISRU) has developed experimental facilities, which include a blast chamber, a selection of drop testers, material characterisation systems, and a sled tester for impact biomechanics. This collection of equipment is unique in that no other university laboratory worldwide has this full suite of facilities in one area. The research activities are aimed at promoting the study and understanding of impact dynamics through projects at senior undergraduate level and masters, doctoral and postdoctoral levels. The research objectives are to reduce the risk of injuries and save lives through fundamental principles of science and engineering using experimental, analytical and computational tools and techniques to understand the mechanics and dynamics of blast and impact loads. BISRU currently has several international interactions through collaborative projects with universities in Australia, Argentina, Europe and the USA.
Director: Professor G.Nurick
CENTRE FOR BIOPROCESS ENGINEERING RESEARCH
The Department of Chemical Engineering has been known for its interest in bioprocess engineering for over three decades. Following the formalising of this through the establishment of a UCT research unit in 2001, the activity was upgraded to the Centre for Bioprocess Engineering Research (CeBER) in 2008 in recognition of the range of researchers active in this area, the contribution to research across several interlinked foci, and its role in the development of human capacity in this field. CeBER aims to underpin the growth and exploitation of the biological sciences in South Africa through a national centre of expertise in bioprocess engineering in which the balance between research centred on the fundamental understanding of biological processes at the mechanistic level, the interaction of these processes with their environment and the application of biological principles to bioprocesses of economic, social and environmental importance is maintained. This is underpinned by CeBERs hosting the DST/NRF SARChI Chair in Bioprocess Engineering. The multidisciplinary team brings together expertise in reactor studies, process modelling, biokinetics, microbial ecology, microbial metabolism, biotransformation, micro- and molecular biology and biohydrometallurgy to develop detailed understanding of bioprocess systems. CeBERs key foci include biominerals engineering for the extraction of metals as well as the prevention and remediation of metal-rich effluents, bio-transformation for value addition, bioprocess optimisation through metabolic modelling, reactor modelling, mass transfer optimisation, product liberation and recovery, bioprocess integration, and the role of the bioprocess in sustainable processes.
Director: Professor S.T.L.Harrison
MRC/UCT Cape Heart Centre
This combined research entity is the largest heart research group in South Africa and forms part of the Cape Heart Group that links research between UCT and the other universities in the region. The Hatter Institute which is part of the MRC/UCT Cape Heart Centre isinvolved in the study of the molecular and cellular biology of ischaemic heart disease, as well as the molecular and cellular pathophysiology of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. The goals of the research programme are to contribute to the fundamental understanding of the mechanisms in the development of ischaemic heart disease, cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. The Cardiovascular Research Institute, to which is allied the Medtronics Institute, is studying biocompatible materials for vascular and valvular prostheses. Lipidology is concerned with the research into lipid and lipoprotein disorders in patients in the region and novel treatment strategies for these disorders. Additionally, their research includes new diagnostic assays for local problems in healthcare and lipid peroxidation.
Director: Professor P.Zilla
Cardiovascular Research Unit
The core research pursuit of the Cardiovascular Research Unit centres around the concept of regenerative medicine with the goal of engineered regeneration of diseased structures through co-ordinated and site-directed signalling to facilitate gradual in-situ remodelling of surgically replaced hybrid biosynthetic devices while offering patients an immediate dramatic improvement in quality of life through return to functionality of these diseased structures.
Director: Professor P.Zilla
CENTRE FOR CATALYSIS RESEARCH
The Centre for Catalysis Research concerns itself with both fundamental and applied research and development in the general field of heterogeneous catalysis encompassing all of catalyst synthesis, physico-chemical characterisation and performance evaluation for industrially interesting chemical conversions. The principal fields of investigation include Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, zeolite/acid catalysis (especially as applied to hydrocracking and the transformation of phenols and derivatives) and catalysis by platinum group metals and gold. In addition, the Centre for Catalysis Research is the host laboratory for the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Catalysis (c*change) and the recently established DST Competence Centre in Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Catalysis.
Director: Professor J.C.Q. Fletcher
Research Institute on Christianity and Society in Africa
The Research Institute on Christianity and Society in Africa (RICSA) engages in high-quality research on religion in public health, globalisation, and public theology in Africa. Its primary activity has recently been through the African Religious Health Assets Programme (ARHAP), a multi-institutional, multi-site, interreligious, transdisciplinary collaborative research project co-ordinated at UCT. Initiated in 2003 with colleagues from Emory University, USA, it includes academics from two other centres in South Africa (Wits University and the University of KwaZulu-Natal), has a strong partnership with Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare (a seven-hospital system in Memphis, TN, USA), and works with several other collaborating partners in Africa, Europe and the USA. ARHAP focuses on the interface between religion and public health in Africa in mapping and assessing religious health assets, policy development and practice, and capacity building (especially masters and doctoral research); it plans now to move into health systems research as well. It has built a global network of scholars and practitioners. New work is under way on male interpersonal violence in three sites in South Africa and the USA in conjunction with the Medical Research Council and the UNISA-based Peace and Safety Lead Programme. During 2011 ARHAP will be relocated to the School of Public Health and Family Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences, and renamed the International Religious Health Assets Programme (IRHAP). RICSA, meanwhile, will be launching an innovative heritage project on Black Theology in South Africa with Drs Sibusiso Masondo and Rico Settler. RICSA is also known for its published (UNISA Press, CD-ROM) multi-year, multi-volume project on the Social History of Christianity in South Africa.
Director: Professor J.R. Cochrane
Institute for Comparative Religion in Southern Africa
The Institute for Comparative Religion in Southern Africa (ICRSA) is dedicated to the postcolonial study of religion and religions in South Africa and the Southern African region. In addition to developing resources for the study of religions and reconfiguring the study of religion from a Southern African perspective, ICRSA has participated in international research projects in religious education and cultural heritage. ICRSA houses the peer-reviewed, accredited Journal for the Study of Religion.
Director: Professor D.S.Chidester
CENTRE FOR RESEARCH IN COMPUTATIONAL AND APPLIED MECHANICS
The Centre for Research in Computational and Applied Mechanics (CERECAM) provides a coherent focus and point of interaction at UCT for research in mechanics by promoting and supporting fundamental research, applied research, and industrial interaction in computational mechanics and associated disciplines. Its activities are multidisciplinary, and its membership is drawn from four engineering departments, applied mathematics, and physics. The research interests of the Centre involve the broad field of non-linear problems in solid, structural and fluid mechanics, with a particular emphasis on the application and development of the finite element method. There is a strong emphasis on postgraduate training, at the masters and doctoral levels. The DST/NRF SARChI Chair in Computational Mechanics, occupied by Professor B.D. Reddy, is located within CERECAM.
Director: Professor B.D. Reddy
CONCRETE MATERIALS AND STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY RESEARCH UNIT
The Concrete Materials and Structural Integrity Research Unit (CoMSIRU) at the University of Cape Town has been developing technologies and procedures for the design and assessment of concrete structures for more than 20 years. The unit has had a marked focus on infrastructure performance and renewal, largely in response to industry needs. The key areas of interest are service life prediction, deterioration science, assessment technologies and repair/rehabilitation strategies for concrete structures. CoMSIRU provides consultancy and postgraduate teaching in the areas of concrete material technology, concrete durability, structural health monitoring and repair/rehabilitation.
Directors: Professor M. Alexander A/Professor P. Moyo and Dr H. Beushausen
Centre for Contemporary Islam
The Centre for Contemporary Islam (CCI) was established in 1996 to co-ordinate research conducted at UCT on Islam and Muslim Societies, and disseminates findings to a broader public. The main projects of the CCI include Islam and Public Life in Africa; Sufism, Gender and Islam; and the Timbuktu Manuscript Project. The CCI publishes the annual Journal for Islamic Studies. The Centre is based in the Department of Religious Studies but it has the active participation of scholars from outside the department as well.
Director: Professor A. Tayob
CENTRE of Criminology
The Centre of Criminology (previously the Institute of Criminology), founded in 1977, aims to initiate, co-ordinate and develop research in the broad field of criminology, and to promote public interest in all aspects of criminology. The Centre's research programme focuses primarily on state policing, plural policing, crime prevention and environmental security. Teaching support to the criminology focus within the Department of Public Law and research support is provided by the Centre's Multi-Media Electronic Resource Library.
Director: Professor C. Shearing
CRYSTALLISATION AND PRECIPITATION UNIT
Industrial crystallization research began in the Department of Chemical Engineering in 2000 and the Crystallization and Precipitation Unit was formally accredited by UCT in 2006. Although industrial applications of crystallization and precipitation have a long history, understanding of these processes is still very limited. In this context, the main aim of the Unit is to advance existing fundamental knowledge in the fields of crystallization and precipitation, especially related to mineral processing and extractive metallurgy. Particular interests of the research group are modelling and simulation approaches to industrial research, such as the particle rate process approach for modelling of industrial crystallization processes, aqueous chemistry modelling and computational fluid dynamics modelling. All these modelling techniques are aimed at deepening the understanding of these chemically complex, multiphase processes. The ultimate objective of furthering this scientific understanding is to optimise and control industrial crystallization and precipitation processes, including treatment of effluent streams. Another interest of the research unit is the modelling and treatment of hypersaline brines. The Unit is also involved in the development and presentation of various continuing professional education courses, which satisfy the demand for skills in this area from both an industrial and an academic standpoint.
Director: Professor A.E. Lewis
Desmond Tutu HIV Centre
The activities of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre (DTHC) are underpinned by research and evaluation. It aims to impact on policy and practice both nationally and internationally through relevant research, peer-reviewed publications, and feedback to government, civil society, and the community at large. DTHC is driven by a passion for humanity and a vision of South Africa without AIDS. Over the years, it has become a source of advice for medical practitioners, support for people seeking testing or treatment, and leadership in preventative education. With an experienced and dedicated team of over 165 doctors, nurses, researchers, and community-trained field workers, the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre offers a holistic approach to the HIV epidemic.
Director: Dr R. Wood
Institute of Development and Labour Law
The Institute of Development and Labour Law was established in 1996 through the merger of the Labour Law Unit and the Institute of Development Law. The Institute plays a leading role in development and labour law teaching and research. It is involved with training courses in South Africa and other countries in Southern Africa. It also regularly contributes to training programmes of other organisations and collaborates closely with other leading university centres and NGOs.
Director: Professor E.R.Kalula
DEVELOPMENT POLICY RESEARCH UNIT
The Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU) specialises in socio-economic research with a focus on labour markets, poverty and inequality. Through the application of economic and statistical techniques, the DPRU aims to produce academically rigorous policy analysis. The DPRU's mission is to undertake high-quality policy-relevant research, maintain and develop effective networks with government, civil society and the research community in Southern Africa, engage in training and teaching activities and participate directly in the process of formulating, implementing and evaluating policy.
Director: Professor H.Bhorat
DRUG DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT (H3-D) CENTRE
The Drug Discovery and Development Centre (also known as H3-D) was founded in 2010. The Centre aims to bridge the gap between basic and clinical studies, and to train a new generation of African scientists with key skills required for drug discovery and development thereby integrating medicinal chemistry, biology, pharmacology as well as drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) studies as reflected in the processes of Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion (ADME). H3-D also focuses on beneficiation of clinically used drugs, including generic medicines. Drug beneficiation, amongst other things, involves selection of the optimum form of a solid drug candidate for pharmaceutical development and (re)formulation.
Director: Professor K. Chibale
Electron Microscope Unit
The Electron Microscope Unit (EMU) provides a central microscopy service to all departments of UCT as well as to other universities, research institutions and private companies. The Unit is able to advise users on many aspects of electron microscopy, light microscopy and digital imaging, and can take on joint research. The EMU is a key resource in the South African Structural Biology Initiative and is offering postgraduate degrees in Structural Biology jointly with others at UCT and the University of the Western Cape. In 2007 the Unit took delivery of an FEI Tecnai F20 field emission cryo-transmission electron microscope the first instrument in this class in Africa. This instrument enables the determination of the three-dimensional structures of biological objects, including viruses and protein complexes at high resolution.
Director: Professor B.T.Sewell
ENERGY RESEARCH CENTRE
The Energy Research Centre (ERC) has its roots in the activities of the Energy Research Institute and the Energy Development Research Centre. The staff of the ERC have qualifications in engineering, natural and environmental sciences, urban and regional planning, economics, law, politics, sociology and anthropology. The multidisciplinary ERC conducts high-quality, targeted and relevant research as well as offering postgraduate opportunities at masters and doctoral levels.
Director: Professor K.F.Bennett
CENTRE FOR RESEARCH IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION
The Centre for Research in Engineering Education (CREE) focuses on research in engineering education that informs the development of the learning environment and the educational process, in order to improve student learning and success. CREE has established itself as the leading player in the promotion of engineering education research and development in South Africa and one of the leading such units in the world.
Director: Associate Professor B.I. Collier-Reed
Environmental Evaluation Unit
The Environmental Evaluation Unit (EEU) is an independent, self-funded research, consulting and training unit based at UCT. Founded in 1985, the EEU has established itself as a leader in the fields of integrated environmental and coastal management and sustainable development responding to local, regional and global environmental challenges using an interdisciplinary and participatory approach. During this time, the EEU has undertaken work throughout South Africa and Southern Africa, has participated in global research and policy initiatives, and has provided expertise to leading private and public corporations, research institutions, planning and development organisations, state departments, local authorities and communities. The EEU has implemented a wide diversity of projects that have contributed to academic debates, and informed policy whilst having practical impacts on the ground. The EEU works in five main thematic areas: (1) Integrated environmental planning, management and assessment; (2) Integrated coastal and small-scale fisheries management; (3) Biodiversity use, trade, livelihoods and social justice; (4) Sustainable business and cross-sector collaboration; and (5) Public participation.
Director: Associate Professor M.Sowman
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY RESEARCH UNIT
The Environmental Policy Research Unit (EPRU) was established in 2007 and forms part of the Environment for Development initiative (EfD). EPRU strives to produce and disseminate policy-relevant research of a high academic quality on current environmental economic issues in South Africa. The main objective of the unit is to function as a resource where high-quality information and economic opinion on environmental issues can be sought. It aims to enhance environmental policy-making in South Africa through rigorous research and extension in order to attain sustainable development and poverty reduction. The EfD initiative operates in China, Central America, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania, focusing on environmental economics research, policy advice and teaching. Funding support is provided by the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency.
Director: Dr M.Visser
UCT/MRC RESEARCH UNIT FOR EXERCISE SCIENCE AND SPORTS MEDICINE
The UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine is part of the Department of Human Biology, within the Faculty of Health Sciences. The primary functions of the Unit are to research factors influencing physical performance and health, and to disseminate knowledge and skills through education. Specifically, the research aim is to develop a novel understanding of integrated human function during exercise and to use this knowledge to promote health and well-being; to treat and prevent specific chronic diseases; to treat and prevent injuries and medical conditions associated with sport and exercise; and to optimise exercise performance.
Director: Professor T.D. Noakes
Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit
The mission of this Unit is to improve service provision to victims of violence against women in South Africa through research, advocacy and education. Drawing together established researchers with a strong record of social-action research in disciplines including law, criminology, forensic sciences and pathology, gynaecology, and psychology, this Unit is the first of its kind in South Africa to respond to the pressing need for research and interventions that cross disciplines in support of its efforts to address the alarmingly high levels of violence against women in this country.
Director: Dr L.Artz
Hatter CARDIOVASCULAR RESEARCH Institute
The Hatter Institute of the Department of Medicine and the Cape Heart Centre has two divisions, Heart Protection and Cardiovascular Genetics. The Heart Protection programme aims to promote the scientific education of young South African researchers and the better understanding of heart attacks and heart failure at a molecular and cellular level, and to prevent the adverse effects of diabetes and coronary disease on the heart muscle. These are diseases predicted to increase substantially in South Africa within the next decade. The Cardiovascular Genetics Laboratory aims to discover the genetic basis of inherited heart diseases that cause sudden death. This work involves the study of rare families with monogenic disease (i.e. inherited cardiomyopathies and arrhythmogenic disorders), and the delineation of the genetic architecture of complex traits associated with sudden death (such as cardiac hypertrophy). These studies hold promise of discovering the critical biological pathways that can be targeted by drugs to prevent sudden cardiac death.
Director: Professor K. Sliwa-Hahnle
HEALTH ECONOMICS UNIT
The Health Economics Unit (HEU) was established in early 1990 in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine and was accredited as a formal research entity in the University in 2007. The HEU works to improve the performance of health systems through informing health policy and enhancing technical and managerial capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its foundation is academic excellence in health economics and management. The core objectives of the HEU are: to conduct high-quality research in health economics, health policy and systems; to develop capacity in health economics, health policy and systems research in Africa through postgraduate training and related capacity development initiatives; and to translate research findings into policy and practice.
Director: Associate Professor S. Cleary
MRC/UCT Human Genetics Research Unit
The groups current focus is on the genetics of colorectal cancer, inherited forms of blindness and neuropsychiatric diseases. Recent breakthroughs include identifying the genetic basis of retinitis pigmentosa and developing therapeutics to stem loss of vision in individuals shown to carry the disease-causing mutation. A greater effort is being put into engaging with high throughput technologies and for the mapping of genes for common chronic disorders.
Director: Professor R.Ramesar
MRC/UCT Immunology of Infectious DiseaseS Research Unit
Human infectious diseases are a high-priority area for South Africa and Africa, where they continue to be a leading cause of childhood and adult morbidity and mortality. Thus the MRC/UCT Immunology of Infectious Diseases Research Unit focuses on the understanding of host protective immune responses and the development of effective vaccine strategies for eradication of diseases which are identified as priority areas by the World Health Organisation: tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, helminthis diseases (bilharziosis) and African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). The Unit's mission is to be relevant as an excellent multidisciplinary and international team, embracing both basic and applied research, in order to improve capacity, teaching and training in the immunology of infectious diseases.
Director: Professor F.Brombacher
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine
The Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine aims to be an African Centre of Excellence as a large-scale assembly of highly talented research leaders working in one place in a collegial federation, with many external collaborations and partnerships addressing the common theme of major infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as well as non-communicable diseases such as cancers and genetic disorders. It has a demonstrably strong scientific base that spans most of the major areas of modern biomolecular enquiry (membrane receptors, pumps and trafficking; cellular signaling; enzymology; cancer biology; molecular genetics; bacteriology; virology), linking these to applied biology and biotechnology on the one hand, and public benefit on the other.
Director: Professor G. Hussey
CENTRE FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE EPIDEMIOLOGY AND RESEARCH
The Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research (CIDER) aims to be an African Centre of Excellence in infectious disease epidemiology and related research. The Centre has a strong base that spans a number of disciplines and conducts public health research integrating laboratory, clinical, epidemiological, social science and health systems research into infectious diseases that have high priority in Southern Africa (in particular HIV and tuberculosis) in order to improve the prevention and management of these diseases. The Centre maintains very strong links with health services at all levels in order to identify research priorities, and assists policy makers, programme managers and services managers with the implementation of the results of research. The Centre aims to be a centre of excellence in the surveillance and monitoring of infectious diseases and infectious disease programmes and services, and in the conduct of robust observational research based on routine data sources. CIDER provides extensive postgraduate level teaching and supervision in epidemiology.
Director: Associate Professor A. Boulle
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY CENTRE FOR DEVELOPMENT
The Information and Communications Technology Centre for Development (ICT4D) was established in 2008 to capitalise on UCTs unique position in the ICT domain, namely, producing world-class ICT research but being based in a developing economy. Incorporating researchers from across the University, the Centre looks to create ICT solutions that can be applied in a developing-world context. Being the only such centre in a developing country, we have been able to attract researchers and students from across the globe. The Hasso Plattner Institute Research School in ICT4D, which provides bursaries for African students working in this field, was launched in 2009 and will be based within the wider structure of the Centre.
Director: Professor G.Marsden
CENTRE FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA (CITANDA)
CITANDA is located within the Department of Information Systems. It aims to bring together researchers, projects, funders, and programmes focused on the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the service of national development. CITANDAs current research focus areas include information systems and practices in development contexts, ICT for development projects and evaluation of such projects, ICT for development field studies in Africa, and e-commerce for development studies and evaluation. Through CITANDA, the Department of Information Systems attracts a large cohort of PhD and masters students from across Africa and beyond.
Director: Professor I. Brown
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND POLICY RESEARCH UNIT
The Intellectual Property (IP) and Policy Research Unit assists in developing IP Law and Policy in Southern Africa and aims to contribute to the manner in which this topic is treated in the emerging and developing countries throughout the world. The Unit is in a position to become an influential leader within Southern Africa for research and scholarship in intellectual property law and policy. It seeks to explore many issues facing the changing world of IP and relate these to the needs of society, IP holders and consumers. The Unit is leading research projects in areas such as IP Rights and Innovation, Development, Copyright and Creative Commons, Nanotechnology and New Technologies.
Director: Professor J. Kinderlerer
UNIT for Intercultural and Diversity Studies
Our increasingly interconnected and diverse world requires that people have the insight, skills and capacities to handle human differences constructively. South Africa is no exception, and needs to foster a national culture that values communities of difference in organisational, public and civic life within a context of social equity. The Unit for Intercultural and Diversity Studies (iNCUDISA) aims to contribute to these needs through formal and informal teaching and learning, and contextually sound research into questions of intercultural communication, social identity, co-existence and diversity. As a regional resource centre, iNCUDISA is developing the interface between academic theory and social practice, drawing together expertise in the Southern African region, and linking to other institutions globally that share similar objectives.
Director: Associate Professor M.E.Steyn
Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research
The Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research was established in 1980 under the terms of a gift to the University of Cape Town by the Kaplan Kushlick Foundation and is named in honour of the parents of Mendel and Robert Kaplan. It is an autonomous centre, with its own governing body. The Centre is the only one of its kind in South Africa. It seeks to stimulate and promote the whole field of Jewish studies and research at the University with a special focus on the South African Jewish community. The Centre is multidisciplinary in scope and encourages the participation of scholars in a range of fields including history, political science, education, sociology, comparative literature and the broad spectrum of Hebrew and Judaic studies.
Director: Professor M. Shain
UCT Leukaemia UNIT
The UCT Leukaemia Unit has been established with the objective of fostering basic and clinical research in the area of haematological stem cell disorders and blood malignancies. Some of the current interest includes the marrow microenvironment in multiple myeloma, molecular genetics of acute or chronic leukaemias and clinical studies in lymphoproliferative disorders. As a consequence, a laboratory with a comprehensive array of equipment is available where honours, masters and doctoral students are running research projects. Based on these studies, a number of clinical and laboratory programmes have been developed. In this regard, the only university-based haematopoietic stem cell transplantation programme in the country is located at Groote Schuur Hospital. Parallel studies focusing on haematopoietic stem cell biology and immune reconstitution after transplantation are ongoing.
Director: Professor N. Novitzky
LucyLloyd Archive, Resource and Exhibition Centre
The Lucy Lloyd Archive, Resource and Exhibition Centre (LLAREC) is a research centre aimed at the promotion of the visual as a site of meaning and knowledge. Its focus is on collections and curatorship through which objects are allowed to become both sites of knowledge and mnemonics through which reference can be made to a wider resonance of meaning. At the heart of the Centres curatorial practice is the issue of representation, and many of its projects have interrogated the ways in which the historical, social and medical construction of identity has been revealed through representation. Major projects have included the publication of the Bleek and Lloyd archive, the production of portfolios and artists books and the installation of exhibitions at a variety of venues. LLAREC incorporates the Katrine Harries Print Cabinet and is now part of the Centre for Curating the Archive, which includes major photographic collections and a visual history archive, and projects that curate them.
Director: Professor P.Skotnes
NANOSCIENCES INNOVATION CENTRE
The Nanosciences Innovation Centre, located in the Department of Physics and established in 2010, aims to form a bridge between the nanotechnology innovation chain (basic research and technological innovation), and human capacity development. The Centres scientific focus was initially based on existing activities in nanoscale physics and nanostructured materials. These include the development of advanced nanomaterials characterisation techniques, as well as the development of two technology platforms: printed nanoparticulate silicon electronics; and metallic matrix nanocomposites. The Centres primary function is to serve as an African hub for nanoscience research and postgraduate education, with an orientation towards renewable energy and sustainable development.
Director: A/Professors D.T. Britton and M. Härting
NANSEN-TUTU CENTRE FOR MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH
The Nansen-Tutu Centre for Marine Environmental Research, under the patronage of Nobel Laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, has been set up in 2010 to assist in the worldwide need to develop the capacity to understand, model and predict the state of the ocean and its ecosystems, in a similar way that the meteorological services do for weather and climate. The founding partners of the Nansen-Tutu Centre in Norway and South Africa have the necessary complementary expertise and knowledge to address these challenges in the three oceans around southern Africa. A central theme for the centre will be to undertake research into the science underpinning Operational Oceanography, particularly in numerical ocean modelling, as well as continuing to develop skilled African postgraduate marine scientists. The Centre actively contributes to the OceanSAfrica initiative with partners from DEAs Ocean and Coasts Branch, the South African Weather Service, the CSIR and the South African Earth Observing Network.
Director: Professor F.A. Shillington
MARINE RESEARCH INSTITUTE
The Marine Research (MA-RE) Institute, one of UCTs Signature Themes, serves as an umbrella body to stimulate and co-ordinate marine research across all faculties and departments involved in research into the salty waters around Southern Africa. It also serves as a window between the outside world and UCT for marine research and marine contracts. It hosts the Marine Remote Sensing Unit and the Research Dive Unit. The MA-RE Institute has two SARChI Research Chairs associated with it, and has been instrumental in getting the Africa Centre for Earth System Science (ACCESS) and the Nansen-Tutu Centre for Marine Environmental Research off the ground. It co-ordinates a masters degree in Applied Marine Studies (by course work and dissertation), runs a weekly seminar series, and has initiated bilateral research and teaching exchange agreements with Norwegian, French, British and other European Union institutions, as well as American ones. It has also played an important role in promoting marine research in the South African Global Change Grand Challenge and in the marine component of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA-Ocean) trilateral agreement on science and technology. MA-RE is active in outreach to the public through interactive sessions at schools, the Two Oceans Aquarium and Science Centres. MA-RE also participates in the national Science Festival (Scifest), and in developing curriculum-relevant educational resources concerning the role of the oceans in climate change.
Director: Professor J.G. Field
CENTRE FOR MATERIALS ENGINEERING
The Centre for Materials Engineering strives to educate and train students in techniques and fundamentals in the broad field of Materials Engineering. It also seeks to serve a wide range of engineering activities, giving advice concerning material processing, properties and performance whilst maintaining an international profile for its research. The research activities of the Centre are aimed at addressing national needs in terms of both the provision of technological solutions and the development of skilled graduates.
Director: Professor R.D. Knutsen
MRC/UCT MEDICAL IMAGING RESEARCH UNIT
The mission of the MRC/UCT Medical Imaging Research Unit (MIRU) is to conduct world-class research in medical imaging that specifically concentrates on the healthcare needs of Africa. Research in the Unit focuses on the role of medical imaging in addressing healthcare problems such as brain disorders, trauma, HIV/AIDS, cancer, tuberculosis, neuromuscular disorders, cardiovascular disease, and the effects of alcohol abuse. The Unit has a multidisciplinary approach, attracting talented engineers, physicists, sports scientists, computer scientists and clinicians, and offering postgraduate degrees in biomedical engineering.
Director: Associate Professor T.Douglas
CENTRE FOR MINERALS RESEARCH
The Centre for Minerals Research is a multidisciplinary, interdepartmental research centre based in the Department of Chemical Engineering. The focus of research is on the processes of comminution, classification and froth flotation, arguably the most important unit operations in mineral beneficiation. The primary objective of the Centre is to investigate the above research areas at both an industrial (applied) level and at a laboratory (fundamental) level so as to develop predictive models for describing the performance of industrial units and circuits. In addition the Centre sees as a priority the provision of high-level human resources to the South African mining and mineral processing industry through the production of high-quality postgraduates for the industry. The Centre enjoys excellent international collaborations with all the world's leading mining companies.
Director: Professor C.T.OConnor
CENTRE FOR Occupational and Environmental Health Research
The Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health Research (COEHR) aims to be a principal centre of occupational and environmental health research, teaching and training, occupational medical clinical services, policy advice, technical consultancy services and advocacy, and a source of supportive outreach activities in South Africa, parts of Africa, and internationally. It conducts multidisciplinary research, teaching and service provision integrating laboratory, clinical, epidemiological and policy skills in relation to occupational health problems that have high priority in Southern Africa in order to facilitate identification and improved characterisation of these and other problems and to better understand the determinants of these problems and their solutions. It explores and develops means of maintaining the health of individuals and the environment, especially the work environment, and of preventing the development of health problems in those exposed to injurious environments at work or more generally. Public policy research is conducted into issues ranging from toxic or injurious exposures through to health surveillance, and the functioning of relevant health services. Inter-institutional research, teaching and service (including outreach) collaboration and capacity development are priorities of the Centre, along with fostering local and global networks for occupational and environmental health promotion through collaboration with the United Nations and other agencies, notably the World Health Organisation (WHO). The Centre is currently a WHO Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health.
Director: Professor J.Myers
MRC/UCT OESOPHAGEAL CANCER RESEARCH GROUP
The MRC/UCT Oesophageal Cancer Research Group is an interdisciplinary and inter-institution group (UCT, MRC and the University of Stellenbosch) established by the MRC in 1997. Squamous cell carcinoma of the oesophagus is one of the eight most common cancers worldwide. High-incidence areas include China, Japan, certain hot spots in France, Iran, South America and several South and East African countries. This group is investigating the environmental and genetic factors that predispose South Africans to this disease.
Director: Professor M.I. Parker
Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology
The Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology (affectionately known as the Fitztitute) is housed within the Department of Zoology. The Fitztitute has an international reputation for high-quality research and teaching excellence in African ornithology and conservation biology. The DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Birds as Keys to Biodiversity Conservation at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute is one of the seven National Centres of Excellence in Science and Technology in South Africa. Fitztitute members are committed to developing a greater understanding of the form, functioning and conservation of Africa's rich biodiversity, through the training of postgraduate students and the pursuit of primary research, from evolutionary ecology to conservation biology.
Director: Professor P.Hockey
PLANT CONSERVATION UNIT
The Plant Conservation Unit, located within the Botany Department, undertakes research and teaching directed at improving the conservation status of the Cape Floristic Region, including the Fynbos and Succulent Karoo biomes. Established in 1993 the PCU has four main research programmes which focus on palaeoecology and historical ecology; land use and sustainable development; biodiversity conservation and management; and disturbance and restoration ecology.
Director: Professor M.T. Hoffman
CENTRE FOR POPULAR MEMORY
The Centre for Popular Memory (CPM) is an Africa-focused oral history research, advocacy and archival centre allied to the Historical Studies Department. Research prioritises multilingual approaches to the impact of post-traumatic legacies in Africa and specialises in multi-levelled technology outputs through academic journals, exhibitions, film, including scholarly content for portable media platforms. African Oral History Archive: The CPM has over 3000 oral history recordings in 12 languages, many with full transcripts and translations. These have been preserved, migrated and gathered over 25 years. The CPM concentrates on the analysis of such scholarly collections as critical knowledge systems within South African and international contexts. The African Memory Project: This aims to increase access to and use of oral and visual collections in South Africa and Africa, and collaborates with international leaders in fields of oral history and memory studies to analyse Africa-centred research materials. Bridging the Digital Divide: This award-winning project bridges generational and cultural divisions between apartheid survivors and their descendants, and the IT skills divide. This schools-based project is supported by the Department of Education and includes a UCT-accredited short course which trains educators in oral history and technology.
Director: Dr S. Field
MRC/UCT Receptor Biology Research Group
The mission of the Group is to study the structure and function of G protein-coupled receptors and to apply the research to understanding and treating diseases that have major effects on the social and economic welfare of South Africa. The Group focuses on the gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptors and on the kisspeptin receptor, which are central regulators of the reproductive function, on the prostaglandin receptors and their role in cervical cancer and on the CCR5 chemokine receptor and its role in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) entry and infection.
Co-Directors: Associate Professor A.A. Katz, Dr C.A. Flanagan and Professor R.P. Millar
Centre for Rhetoric Studies
The Centre was founded in 1995 and remains unique on the continent where it has pioneered the emergence of rhetoric studies (as mentioned in Blackwells International Encyclopedia of Communication). It concerns itself with multidisciplinary research in public rhetoric, deliberative democracy and argumentative culture. The Centre engages in three main activities: hosting research fellows, organising academic conferences and registering postgraduate students (masters and PhD). It publishes its findings through the African Yearbook of Rhetoric (AfricaRhetoric Publishing). The Centre has a near 100% success rate in numerous competitively funded international research projects. Complete and detailed information is available on the web site.
Director: Distinguished Professor Ph.-J. Salazar
SASOL ADVANCED FUELS LABORATORY
The Sasol Advanced Fuels Laboratory (SAFL) was set up in 2002 to actualise Sasols future-oriented fuels research relating to combustion and emissions from automotive and aviation engines. A parallel goal was the development of human-resource capacity to meet Sasols and South Africas future technology needs. SAFL activities for the past year are reflected in five MSc graduations and seven conference/journal publications. In addition, the appointment of a senior chemistry research leader has expanded the discipline base at the SAFL from being predominantly mechanical engineering to include a chemistry/chemical engineering capability as well. Capital investment at the SAFL has been substantially augmented with the recent acquisition of a sophisticated single-cylinder test engine that is representative of next-generation automotive technology. A high-pressure shock tube with a novel initiating sleeve-valve system has also been designed and built to enable fundamental auto-ignition studies to be conducted in the sub-millisecond regime. This will provide essential data in support of the current synthetic fuels research activity.
Directors: Professor R.B. Tait and Adjunct Professor A. Yates
SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING RESEARCH UNIT
The Scientific Computing Research Unit (SCRU) was established in 2009 and has as its core mission the development and application of computer code for scientific problems specifically in chemistry, biophysics, physics and engineering. The Unit has made major technical advances in biophysical computational modelling with the development of a generalised Free Energy code called FEARCF. In 2009 the Unit was awarded a long-term development grant from the Nvidia Corporation to advance the SCRU program to port quantum code to Graphical Processing Unit-based computer clusters. The research group has strong links with international groups particularly via its Scientific Computing International Lecture Series programme.
Director: Professor K.J. Naidoo
CENTRE FOR SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH
The Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR) is an interdisciplinary research centre dedicated to conducting and building capacity for systematic, evidence-based, policy-relevant, replicable social science research in South Africa and across Africa. CSSR projects are usually team-oriented, bringing together multiple local and international researchers, and offering postgraduate students significant opportunities for hands-on training. Research findings are presented and discussed at regular weekly seminars and published as CSSR Working Papers. Substantively, the CSSR conducts research in the broad areas of globalisation, industrialisation, democratisation, development, poverty and public health. The Social Surveys Unit conducts research on a range of social dynamics using survey data (especially the Cape Area Panel Survey and the Cape Area Survey) and related qualitative data. The Democracy in Africa Research Unit conducts research on a range of issues around democratisation in South and Southern Africa, using public opinion data but also creating new systematic databases on elections, legislatures and local government. The AIDS and Society Research Unit conducts research on the social impact of HIV/AIDS, including issues of parenting, disclosure, sexual behaviour and public welfare. Finally, the Policy Research on International Services and Manufacturing unit conducts research on globalisation, industrialisation, innovation and the dynamicsof global value chains on developing country industrial sectors.
Director: Professor J. Seekings
SOUTHERN AFRICA LABOUR AND DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH UNIT
The Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) conducts research directed at improving the well-being of South Africa's poor. It was established in 1975 and played a central role in documenting the human costs of apartheid through conferences and the Second Carnegie Enquiry into Poverty and Development in South Africa (19831986). From 1992 to 1994 SALDRU co-ordinated South Africa's first non-racial national living standards sample survey and, in the post-apartheid period, it has continued to gather data and conduct research directed at informing and assessing anti-poverty policy. SALDRU's largest contemporary project is the running of South Africa's first national longitudinal survey of well-being, the National Income Dynamics Study, on behalf of the Presidency. Every year SALDRU offers extensive training in the analysis of survey data to a broad array of South Africa's academics, graduate students and researchers from NGOs and government.
Director: Professor M. Leibbrandt
Centre for Supramolecular Chemistry Research
This group was constituted in 1997 and focuses on the physical chemistry of supramolecular systems. Various host-guest compounds are synthesized, their structures analysed by means of powder and single crystal X-ray diffraction, as well as thermal and spectroscopic techniques, and the results related to their physical properties. Our research efforts concentrate on the beneficiation of drugs through investigation of their polymorphs, solvates, co-crystals and cyclodextrin inclusion complexes, on the synthesis and characterisation of open framework transition metal structures and purely organic porous materials, and on the synthesis and characterisation of large supramolecular assemblies and the study of guest selectivity in organic host-guest systems.
Director: Professor M.R. Caira
CENTRE FOR THEORETICAL AND MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS
The Centre for Theoretical and Mathematical Physics (CTMP) is an interdepartmental research unit devoted to the promotion of interdisciplinary research in these areas. CTMP is part of the National Institute of Theoretical Physics. CTMP has twelve local members from the Departments of Astronomy, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, and Physics. It also has five international members who visit the Centre on a regular basis. Postgraduate students doing theses on related research fields are admitted to CTMP for the duration of their studies. An International Advisory Board of seven internationally acclaimed scientists was appointed in 2006.
Director: Professor I. Barashenkov
UCT-CERN Research Centre
The UCT-CERN Research Centre was established in 2003 out of a confluence of certain research programmes within the Department of Physics. As implied by the name of the Centre, there is extensive collaboration with CERN, the European Centre for Particle Physics, which is one of the most prestigious research laboratories in the world. In particular, the UCT-CERN Research Centre has close collaboration with the next-generation ultra-relativistic heavy-ion experiment at CERN's Large Hadronic Collider (LHC), named ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment).
Director: Professor J.W.A. Cleymans
Womens Health Research Unit
The Women's Health Research Unit (WHRU), established in 1996 in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine, is involved in research, teaching, technical health service support, and advocacy in the areas of women's health and gender and health. It is made up of a multidisciplinary team of researchers with expertise in public health, epidemiology, psychology, sociology and anthropology. The Unit works closely with the national, Western Cape provincial, and City of Cape Town Departments of Health, as well as with other academic institutions and NGOs, in reproductive and womens health. Key research areas include HIV and reproductive health, gender and HIV, health systems research (reproductive health), female cancers, contraception and termination of pregnancy.
Director: Associate Professor D.Cooper and Associate Director: Ms J. Harries