New appointment - Head of Division: Paediatric Surgery

01 Dec 2023
Prof Sharon Cox
01 Dec 2023

Dear Staff and Student Colleagues 

I am delighted to announce that Professor Sharon Cox is our newly appointed Charles F M Saint Chair in Paediatric Surgery and Head of Division of Paediatric Surgery, UCT, and the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Professor Cox took up her post on 1 November 2023.  I wish to thank Professor Alp Numanoglu for his contributions during his tenure as Head of Division over the past 10 years and wish him well in the next phase of his journey.  

Professor Cox’s MBChB degree was obtained at UCT in 1993. She then specialised in general surgery at Groote Schuur Hospital, and subsequently moved on to Red Cross Hospital where she completed paediatric surgical training in 2005. She has worked at Red Cross Hospital since 2006, was promoted from senior specialist to Head of Clinical Unit in 2014 and was awarded Associate Professorship in 2016 and full professorship in 2021.  

Professor Cox has a long history of caring deeply for the communities she serves. During her time at Red Cross, she has contributed as the clinical lead towards scores of infrastructural projects, including ward refurbishments and the design of the operating theatre complex funded by the Children’s Hospital Trust ― where she sits on the Capital Works Committee.    Professor Cox is the co-convenor of the paediatric surgery course for undergraduate medical students at UCT and trains and supervises both general and paediatric surgical trainees in basic and complex paediatric surgical procedures as well as their research and MMed degrees.   Her research topics include clinical aspects of general paediatric surgery and paediatric tumours, as well as burn wounds and their prevention and healing. Additionally, she has authored multiple peer-reviewed publications in various journals.  She is a co-author of chapters in various paediatric surgical texts on surgical site infections, surgical aspects of HIV infection in children, bilateral Wilms’ tumour, atresias of the bowel, vascular access and the surgeon’s role in lymphoma and burns. She is involved in all aspects of paediatric surgical care and has a special interest in neonatal surgery and paediatric surgical oncology.   Not long ago, Professor Cox completed her second term on the International Paediatric Surgical Oncology group (IPSO) executive committee and headed the IPSO programme committee for the past two years. This is her second term as Africa representative on the World Federation of Associations of Paediatric Surgeons executive.  Professor Cox is the fifth incumbent to occupy the Charles F M Saint Chair in Paediatric Surgery (named after the gifted surgeon), with Sidney Cywes, Heinz Rode, Alastair Millar and Alp Numanoglu being her predecessors.   Congratulations, Professor Cox. I look forward to the promise of this next step in your journey as you take on the leadership of the Division. May your dedication as a clinician scientist continue to impact the work of colleagues and, importantly, the young lives you have chosen to serve.   Kaise ke gangans Associate Professor Lionel Green-Thompson Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences