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Head of Division: Professor Mark Nicol

Divisional Profile

The Division of Medical Microbiology links a state-of-the-art diagnostic microbiology service based at Groote Schuur Hospital to an active research programme based at the Health Sciences Campus as well as within the National Health Laboratory Service. We aim to conduct research that is relevant to the needs of diagnostic microbiology services in South Africa. This includes  a major focus on novel diagnostics for priority programmes such as tuberculosis as well as on the transmission and molecular epidemiology of drug resistant pathogens within our hospitals. A satellite unit of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the Unit for Molecular Epidemiology, is based within the Division.

The Division has been successful in attracting substantial research funding from the Wellcome trust, EDCTP and National Institutes of Health in recent years and has a strong and growing research focus. We aim to have impact on diagnostic service delivery, as demonstrated by recent major contributions to research leading to changes in World Health Organization recommendations for diagnosis of tuberculosis.

The composition of the Division is complex with staff drawn from the University of Cape Town, Groote Schuur Hospital and Red Cross Children’s Hospital and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS). This mix of pathologists, scientists and students offers the opportunity for creative, cross-disciplinary research. 


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