Accredited Research Institutes

Research institutes are elected to drive research in a strategic manner, they have a broad research mandate with a wide-ranging research question that spans across disciplines.

UCT's research institutes have been established either as the result of a competitive selection process or to strengthen institutional, regional, and national priorities.

Cape Heart Institute (CHI)

The Cape Heart Institute (CHI)The Cape Heart Institute (CHI) is a multidisciplinary and interprofessional centre of excellence that concentrates on research activities and expertise relating to cardiovascular risk factors and diseases common to sub-Saharan Africa. Its focus is to consolidate and expand major existing efforts to combat the most serious cardiovascular threats to health and to improve overall prosperity within the region.

The Institute’s strategic intent is the focused application of its extensive array of scientific and research skills and capacities, within a multi-disciplinary environment, extending from the most basic enabling technologies to clinical studies and public health approach. This includes leadership and in global studies. Through its bridge position between laboratory-based research and clinical research, the CHI sees itself as an institution fostering translation and with a strong focus on capacity development by training of post-graduate students. The CHI creates a modern, consolidated and vibrant environment between a number of shared laboratories, facilities and expertise, in which scientific excellence is pursued within a number of laboratory groups. The Institute is led by Prof. Karen Sliwa and each of the Institute’s 8 groups is headed by a scientist of international stature and is facilitated by efficient and effective infrastructure and centralized facilities, thereby enabling local research capacity to prosper in Africa and on a global scale.

Institute of Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine (IDM)

The Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) The Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) was established in 2004 as a trans-faculty postgraduate research institute at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. It is physically and administratively located on the Faculty of Health Sciences campus.

The Vision of the IDM is to be an international centre of excellence where world-class scientists work together to tackle diseases of major importance in Africa. The mission is:

  • To conduct basic, clinical and population health research that is leading-edge and relevant to the needs of African people
  • To develop indigenous scientific capacity in biomedical, clinical and population health research
  • To influence health policy and practice by translating scientific discoveries and applying them in our communities
  • To build partnerships with other Institutes and Centres in South Africa and elsewhere.

Research efforts are focused within and across the following thematic areas:

  • Tuberculosis
  • COVID-19
  • Other infectious diseases caused by viral, parasitic, helminthic and bacterial pathogens
  • Non-communicable diseases, including prevalent cancers, genomic and precision medicine

Underpinning the research are a number of cross-cutting platforms (biosafety level 3 facility; flow cytometry and cell sorting; genomics, bioinformatics and data science; mass spectrometry and bioimaging).

Neuroscience Institute

The Neuroscience Institute (NI) was accredited as an interdisciplinary research institute by the University of Cape Town in 2015, building on a legacy of high-impact research programmes in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Jointly funded by the university, the provincial government, and philanthropic donors, the NI is situated on the Groote Schuur Hospital campus and is integrated with the hospital’s first-rate clinical platform.

This includes the leading children’s hospital in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. This inspirational setting attracts researchers and clinicians from across the region, building a global network addressing the brain-health priorities and challenges of the populations we serve.

In aligning with UCT’s Vision 2030, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we strive to be a world-class research institute, contributing to a better future for Africa’s people. Investigators and their students have access to exceptional clinical resources and state-of-the-art neuroscience methodologies through the NI, with a focus on innovation and mentorship. This is a vibrant interdisciplinary environment housing all relevant clinical disciplines, with shared facilities such as clinics, meeting venues, postgraduate student workspaces, as well as a dedicated research neuroimaging suite that includes both 3T MRI and PET-CT.

We have an established platform for specialised training programmes in the clinical neuro-disciplines. In addition, we have expanding capacity for molecular diagnoses and genomics, a newly-established brain bank (with an adjacent biorepository), and two new laboratories for neuroscience research and innovation.