Professor Sharon Prince

Interim Deputy Dean: Research

Sharon Prince is a Professor in Cell Biology and currently the Head of the Department of Human Biology at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She obtained a BSc degree, a BSc (Hons) degree with distinction and a PhD in Cell Biology, both from UCT. Following her PhD, Sharon’s research was initiated through a prestigious Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral fellowship, which enabled her to spend time at the Marie Curie Research Institute in the United Kingdom. On her return to South Africa, she established an independent research programme in cancer biology at UCT in 2002, was appointed as lecturer in 2005 and was promoted ad hominem to Senior Lecturer in 2008, Associate Professor in 2012 and full Professor in 2016.

Sharon is an internationally renowned researcher in the field of cancer biology where she has made significant contributions to the understanding of the role and regulation of the developmentally crucial T-box transcription factors, TBX2 and TBX3, in cancer. She is well recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in the field of T-box transcription factors and their role in cancer aetiology. Her international reputation rests on her pioneering work in identifying the potential of T-box factors as novel targets in the development of effective anticancer therapeutics in addition to the use of organometallic compounds as cancer drugs, and the repurposing of existing non-cancer drugs for cancer therapies. Sharon’s work has been published in more than 80 high-impact international journals and she has co-authored two book chapters and has one patent. She is regularly invited to give lectures at national and international meetings and is a regular reviewer for journals and funding bodies. She has successfully attracted both local and international funds for her research in highly competitive focus areas.

Integral to Sharon’s research is her highly effective training of postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows; this includes 16 postdoctoral fellows; 22 PhD; 18 MSc and 29 Honours students. Her group currently consists of 3 postdoctoral fellows; 7 PhDs; 5 MSc and 1 Honours student. Her commitment to education and training is highlighted by her students and postdoctoral researchers frequently winning awards at national and international research meetings. Sharon is regularly invited to give public talks on cancer and actively contributes to advocacy and highlights the burden of cancer in our society. Her laboratory also regularly hosts learners from disadvantaged schools and organises and hosts a CANSA Shavathon annually, which helps to increase awareness around this debilitating disease.