Head of Division: Professor CW Spearman: MBChB MMed PhD FCP(SA) FRCP(London)

Senior Consultant: A/Professor Mark Sonderup: B.Pharm  MBChB  MMed  FCP(SA)  FRCP(London)

Consultant: Dr Neliswa Gogela:  MBChB  FCP(SA)  MPhil (Advanced Hepatology and Transplantation)

Director of the Lennox-Eales Porphyria Laboratory: Professor Peter Meissner: BSc (Med) (Hons)  PhD

Medical Technologist: Brandon Davidson: B. Tech Biomedical Technology

The Division of Hepatology incorporates the General Liver, Liver Transplant and Porphyria Clinics; and inpatient services. We offer highly specialised services including dedicated hepatological expertise, liver transplantation  and an unique porphyria diagnostic and clinical service, coupled with both clinical and laboratory-based research on liver disease and porphyria. The Liver Unit has had a special interest in porphyria extending over 50 years, arising from the pioneering work of Professor Lennox Eales and leading to the discovery of the R59W mutation, the founder gene defect associated causally with variegate porphyria. Hepatology is now a recognised subspecialty and the Division of Hepatology has been accredited by the HPCSA as a training Unit.



The Division provides lectures on liver disease to undergraduate medical students in their clinical years. We also provide teaching on liver disease and porphyria to Medical registrars, most of whom spend 3 months attached to our Division at some stage of their training. The Gastroenterology Fellows spend 6 months in our Unit during their training. We supervise postgraduate students for higher degrees at Honours, Masters and Doctoral level.



Clinical staff undertake regular outreach teaching activities including lectures and seminars on liver disease and porphyria to health professionals at local and national level. The Liver Unit has developed training modules for healthcare workers on Hepatitis B and C.

We run 3 Project ECHO clinics via the ZOOM platform

  1. Viral Hepatitis in Sub-Saharan Africa with the Liver Unit as the expertise Hub interacting with International ‘spokes’ in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, The Gambia and Zimbabwe
  2. UCT ECHO Hepatology Clinical Teaching Clinics: Didactic lectures on liver disease alternating with clinical case presentations by Medical registrars and GIT Fellows
  3. UCT COVID-19 ECHO Webinars addressing local epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations and management of COVID-19.

Professors Spearman and Sonderup were the Lead clinicians responsible for the development of the 2019 National Guidelines for the Management of Viral Hepatitis in South Africa.



The Division of Hepatology has been actively involved in clinical trials for Hepatitis B and C; transplant immunosuppression and autoimmune liver disease. The Liver Unit’s research interests include mechanisms of drug-induced liver injuries, viral hepatitis, haemochromatosis and the clinical/genetic expression of the porphyrias. ​


Clinical services

Outpatient services

The Liver and Porphyria clinics for new patients as well as for the follow-up of patients with established liver disease are on Tuesdays at E57, Groote Schuur Hospital. The Adult and Adolescent E57 Liver Transplant clinics are on Wednesday mornings.


Inpatient services

Patients are admitted directly to the Liver-allocated beds at Groote Schuur Hospital for the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic liver diseases, evaluation for liver transplantation and the management of porphyria.


Consultation services

We provide clinical advice and assistance with the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic liver diseases and porphyria as well as reviewing liver biopsies for our colleagues both in private and public practice.


Contact us

Secretary: Ms Fozia Francis
Liver Clinic no: Tel: +27 (21) 404 5228
Email: fozia.francis@uct.ac.za

New Liver or porphyria referrals and requests for appointments to be emailed to Ms Francis

Porphyria results: +27 (21) 406 6391 or +27 (21) 406 6520

Postal Address:

The Division of Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town 
K Floor, K46 Room 51, Old Main Building, Groote Schuur Hospital, Anzio Rd, Observatory, South Africa 7925

To join our ECHO Clinics: Contact Prof CW Spearman: wendy.spearman@uct.ac.za

  • Viral Hepatitis in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • UCT ECHO Hepatology Clinical Teaching
  • UCT COVID-19 ECHO Webinars

Information on Porphyria for professionals and patients

"Leading with Excellence"

Department of Medicine