CIDRI-Africa welcomes Professors Ntobeko Ntusi and Liesl Zühlke

20 Jan 2020
Icon of a heart
20 Jan 2020

Prof. Ntobeko Ntusi
Prof. Liesl Zuhlke
CIDRI-Africa welcomed Professors Ntobeko Ntusi and Liesl Zühlke to the ranks of Contributing Investigators at the close of 2019. Both Ntobeko and Liesl bring expertise in cardiovascular research to the Centre’s growing interdisciplinary mix. HIV and its associated treatment may affect a range of aspects of cardiovascular health, leading to cardiomyopathy and heart failure.

Professor Ntusi is Head and Chair of Medicine at the University of Cape Town (UCT), where he has developed a research programme centred on advanced, non-invasive cardiovascular imaging techniques such as cardiovascular computed tomography (CT) and cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR). He has specific interests in cardiomyopathies, inflammatory heart disease (including secondary to infections) and hypertension in Africans.

Ntobeko is Principal Investigator of a case-control study comparing cardiovascular characteristics on CMR in HIV infected and uninfected individuals. Specifically, this study assesses the frequency of myocardial scarring and inflammation in HIV infected patients while also determining the effects of antiretrovirals (ARVs) and common blood pressure medications on this condition. He is also a collaborating investigator on the CIDRI-Africa-supported “HIV MyFi” project (HIV-associated myocardial fibrosis amongst asymptomatic outpatients) looking at myocardial involvement with CMR, complemented by immunophenotyping, in asymptomatic HIV infected individuals and matched controls.

Professor Zühlke is a paediatric cardiologist in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at UCT, and director of the Children’s Heart Disease Research Unit; she is based at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. She conducts research and clinical activities in the areas of congenital heart disease, rheumatic heart disease and HIV- and ARV-associated cardiac disease.

Lisel seeks to integrate research and clinical practice in order to improve the lives of those with congenital and paediatric heart disease through conducting innovative, patient-centred and accountable research with a focus on African areas of need. Liesl is one of the current recipients of the prestigious MRCUK/DFID African Research Leader Awards.

With Professor Mpiko Ntsekhe, Liesl and Ntobeko round out a trio of CIDRI-Africa Contributing Investigators with a focus on cardiovascular research.