Welcome to the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

EB Group

The Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics leads teaching and research around quantitative research methods in the School and Faculty. Courses taught from the Division include Introduction to Epidemiology, Quantitative Research Methods, Advanced Epidemiology, Evidence-Based Health Care, Clinical Epidemiology, Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, Non-Communicable Diseases Epidemiology, and a range of biostatistics courses (in conjunction with the Department of Statistical Sciences). 

Click here for information about our Masters Programme

The Division assists with undergraduate epidemiology and biostatistics teaching in the MBChB curriculum (including during Semesters 3-5, and as part of the 4th year Public Health teaching programme) and as part of research methods teaching for allied health sciences students.


The Division provides epidemiology and biostatistics teaching at both introductory and advanced levels. Most of the Division's teaching is through the Master of Public Health (MPH) programme, where the Division convenes the Epidemiology and Biostatistics track.

Courses taught by the Division include:

  • Introduction to Epidemiology
  • Advanced Epidemiology
  • Clinical Epidemiology
  • Seminars in Epidemiology
  • Infectious Diseases Epidemiology (taught in conjunction with the Division of Public Health Medicine)
  • Non-Communicable Diseases Epidemiology (taught in conjunction with the Division of Public Health Medicine)
  • Evidence-Based Health Care (taught in conjunction with the Department of Medicine)
  • Biostatistics I (Introduction to Biostatistics)
  • Biostatistics II (Linear & Logistic Regression Modelling)
  • Biostatistics III (Survival analyses and advanced topics) (taught in conjunction with the Department of Statistical Sciences)

Additional teaching takes place on a range of short-courses and special seminars throughout the Faculty. This additional teaching typically focuses on either general research methods (study design, measurement, causal inference, etc) and/or specific advanced topics. Recent topics for short-courses and seminars include:

  • mathematical modelling of infectious diseases
  • structural equation modelling
  • missing data and imputation
  • modelling for causal inference

In addition, the Division offers PhDs in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. While the PhD programme is by dissertation-only, most of our PhD students enter through the MPH, and/or participate in short-courses and seminars programme.


The Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics offers an epidemiology and biostatistics consulting service within the Faculty of Health Sciences. The consulting unit provides services which include the following activities:

  • Advice regarding research design, sample size, questionnaire development and data collection methodologies
  • Guidance for data capturing and data management/cleaning
  • Analysis and reporting of data and assistance with data interpretation
  • Short training courses on request

Clientele include:

  • Postgraduate student research projects (including Honours, research Masters, PhD)
    Postdoctoral researchers
  • Research / academic staff
  • For coursework masters students, assistance is provided only for dissertations and not for coursework assignments


Please note:

  • A brief scoping consultation is provided at no cost prior to formally requesting consulting services.
  • Thereafter, the unit operates on a cost-recovery basis and all billable work is charged for at an hourly rate (currently R500/hour), payable via internal fund transfer within 14 days of the completion of work. Note that we do not charge students directly, supervisors and/or units are responsible for funding statistical support if required by their students and must make initial contact.
  • It is strongly recommended that clients contact the consulting unit prior to the onset of their project.
  • Supervisors wishing to access services for student postgraduate projects are required to make initial request to the consulting unit.
  • The service is provided subject to the availability of consultants. The consulting unit reserves the right to terminate or refuse service.


To request consulting services, please contact the unit via email: epibios.consult@uct.ac.za


Research interests and activities in the Division include:

  • Methods for modelling longitudinal data
  • Infectious diseases epidemiology, including HIV, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted infections
  • Maternal and child health
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Women's reproductive health, including contraception and termination of pregnancy

Researchers in the Division collaborate with investigators in other parts of the School of Public Health (including CIDER) and the Faculty (including the Departments of Paediatrics and Child Health, Clinical and Laboratory Sciences, Psychiatry and Mental Health, Medicine).  Below are some of the projects were are involved in:

Current Projects

Obesogenic Origins of Maternal and Child Metabolic Health Involving Dolutegravir (ORCHID)


Project leaders:
Landon Myer (Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of Cape Town)

Elaine Abrams (Paediatrics & Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, ICAP Columbia University)

Jennifer Jao (Paediatrics & Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, North-western University /Lurie Children’s Hospital)


Collaborating Universities: Columbia and North-western Universities

Funder: NIH

Purpose of project

The central objective of this project is to investigate the impact of DTG in pregnancy and its obesogenic effects on the metabolic health of women living with HIV (WLHIV) and their children, compared to women without HIV and their children. We will enrol 1900 pregnant women in the 1st trimester (633 WLHIV initiating DTG [iDTG] in pregnancy, 633 WLHIV continuing DTG [cDTG] use from pre-pregnancy, and 634 women without HIV) and their children, following them to two years. As part of this, mother-infant pairs will be required to attend up to 10 study visits separate from routine clinic visits, these visits include 3 antenatal visits (£14, 24-28 and 32-36 weeks) and 7 postnatal visits (<2 and 6 weeks, 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months). Additional data on maternal health in pregnancy and birth outcomes will be abstracted from medical records.

Read more

Evaluation of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Initiation, Retention and Adherence in Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women (PrEP-PP)

Project leaders: Landon Myer, Dvora Joseph Davey

Collaborating University: University of California Los Angeles             

Funder: NIMH (R01MH116771) and Fogarty International Center (K01TW011187) 
Clinical trials identifier: NCT03826199

Purpose of project

Pregnant women at very high risk of HIV acquisition and HIV transmission to the infant. PrEP-PP (PrEP in Pregnant and Postpartum women) is an observational study that will determine the distribution of women across the PrEP cascade (i.e. PrEP initiation, continuation and adherence on PrEP) in a cohort of 1200 HIV-negative pregnant and breastfeeding adolescent girls (16+ years) and women. We are recruiting eligible, interested HIV-uninfected pregnant women from one public health facilities in Cape Town (Gugulethu). Women are recruited at their first antenatal visit and followed until 12 months postpartum. Our study will inform national and regional policymakers about the effectiveness of PrEP integration into antenatal (ANC) and postnatal care in high HIV incidence communities.

Study counsellors enrol consecutive eligible, consenting pregnant adolescent girls (>16 years) and women in ANC (1200 pregnant women). The study offers HIV-uninfected pregnant women the choice to take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), an antiretroviral pill, to take daily to prevent HIV up to 99% in women who take it daily. We follow up women every 3 months until their baby is 12 months old. We launched the study in August 2019 and are continuing to follow up 1200 women in a cohort study through 2022.

Past Projects





Project leaders: Tamsin Phillips (UCT), Kate Clouse (Vanderbilt University)


Collaborating university: Vanderbilt University


Funding statement: This study was funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) under grant R34 MH118028. Formative work that led to the development of this study was funded by NIH under grant P30 AI110527 to the TN CFAR.


Purpose of project

Population mobility is common in South Africa, but important research gaps exist describing this mobility and its impact on engagement in HIV care. Postpartum women and their infants in South Africa are known to be at high risk of dropping out of HIV care after delivery and are frequently mobile. In previous work, we developed a beta version of a smartphone application (app) – CareConekta – that detects a user’s smartphone location to allow for prospective characterization of mobility. In this R34 (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03836625) we are adapting and testing CareConekta to conduct essential formative work on mobility and evaluate an intervention – the CareConekta app plus text notifications and phone calls and/or WhatsApp messages – to facilitate engagement in HIV care during times of mobility. During the three-year project period, our first objective is to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and initial efficacy of using CareConekta as an intervention to improve engagement in HIV care. Our second objective is to characterize mobility among South African women during the peripartum period and its impact on engagement in HIV care. We will enroll 200 eligible pregnant women living with HIV and receiving care at the Gugulethu Midwife Obstetric Unit in Cape Town, South Africa.


Left to right: Kate Clouse, Sindiswa Madwayi, Megan Mrubata, Sandisiwe Noholoza, Tammy Phillips


Routine Electronic Mother-Infant Data (Remind) to Support Retention in Postpartum HIV Treatment and Early Infant Diagnosis Services in South Africa



Project leader: Tamsin Phillips


Funding statement: Funding for this project was made possible in full by a CIPHER grant from the International AIDS Society.


Purpose of project


Maternal loss from antiretroviral therapy (ART) and incomplete early infant diagnosis (EID) are common in high HIV-burden settings. The proposed study, centred at a large primary care clinic in Gugulethu, Cape Town, will leverage existing central routine electronic data sources to identify MIPs with key gaps in PMTCT and facilitate linkage back to care. A prospective cohort of 400 peripartum women living with HIV and age 18 or older will be recruited. Them and their babies will be monitored in the routine medical record data through 9 months postpartum to identify gaps in routine PMTCT care.


The specific aims are:

  1. Use a prospective cohort to validate gaps identified by the routine data in i) EID, ii) maternal linkage to postpartum HIV care and regular viral load testing, and iii) linkage of infants diagnosed with HIV to treatment
  2. Implement tracing MIPs with gaps in care and examine potential impact of this approach
  3. Use the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) to explore factors influencing the implementation of the use of routine electronic data to identify gaps in care and the success of MIP tracing.


Improving Chronic Disease Monitoring in Resource Limited Settings: Simulation and Economic Evaluation Approaches

Project leaders:
Maia Lesosky, Elton Mukonda

Funder: NRF (Thuthuka)

Description of main aims/site/purpose of project

This study focuses on the use of simulation models and economic evaluations for the assessment and comparison of a wide range of potential strategies for the management of chronic diseases which may not be feasible to investigate using traditional epidemiological studies due to cost, duration and ethical constraints. Specifically, the study focuses on how chronic disease monitoring can be considered as a complex intervention which can lead to a reduction in costs and an improvement in health outcomes if done effectively. This is a multi-component study that will include a number of approaches including literature reviews, simulation modelling, analytic studies and a formal economic evaluation.

Exploring the Burden and Impact of Cardio-Metabolic Complications During Pregnancy in the Context of High Obesity and HIV Burden in South Africa (CAMP)

Project leaders:
Landon Myer (UCT SPH)


Angela Bengtson (Brown University)


Hlengiwe Madlala (UCT SPH)

Collaborating university: Brown University

Funders: NIH, CFAR

Purpose of project

The central objective of this project is to generate preliminary evidence on the burden and impact of NCDs and HIV in pregnancy and postpartum in LMICs. In a cohort of 400 HIV-uninfected (n=200) and HIV-infected/on ART (n=200) pregnant women in Cape Town, South Africa, we will enrol mother-infant pairs between 24-28 weeks’ pregnancy and follow them through 6 months postpartum. Information on pregnancy outcomes will be collected via medical records. 



The Relationship Between Postpartum Weight Retention and Metabolic Outcomes in HIV-infected and -uninfected Women in Cape Town, South Africa: (P-CAMP)

Project leaders:
Hlengiwe Madlala (UCT SPH)


Landon Myer (UCT SPH)


Angela Bengtson (Brown University)

Collaborating university: Brown University

Funders: NRF Thuthuka, CFAR, Harry Crossley Clinical Research Fellowship

Purpose of project)

The objective of this proposal is to examine the impact of the double-burden of obesity and HIV on metabolic outcomes of women during the postpartum period. As part of this we will investigate body composition, energy expenditure, mitochondrial function, inflammation and oxidative stress as potential mechanistic pathways between HIV and obesity and metabolic function. This is a cross-sectional study for 6-12month postpartum HIV-infected and -uninfected women enrolled into ‘CAMP study’ at a large maternity obstetric clinic in Cape Town, South Africa (n=100 total; 25 HIV-infected women with low postpartum weight retention, 25 HIV-infected women with high postpartum weight retention, and a comparator of 50 HIV-uninfected women).

Inflammation and Immune Activation in Pregnancy: Fetal Inflammation and Maternal Obesity (iMAP)

Project leaders:


Hlengiwe Madlala (UCT SPH)


Landon Myer (UCT SPH)


Jennifer Jao (Northwestern University/Lurie Children’s Hospital)


Marie-Louise Newell (Southampton University),


Thoko Malaba (UCT SPH)

Collaborating universities: North-Western and Southampton Universities

Funder: NIH Fogarty International Centre

Purpose of project

Postpartum weight retention (PPWR) contributes to a range of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in mid-life. The aim of this proposal is to examine the association between inflammatory, immune activation markers and PPWR; and correlation of these maternal markers with their levels in the fetal compartment (cord blood). This is a retrospective cohort study that will utilise repository plasma specimens of women living with HIV from the PIMS cohort which was assembled and followed up from 2015 to 2018. Markers of inflammation and immune activation during the 3 trimesters of pregnancy will be quantified. A total of 100 specimens will be randomly selected within strata of body mass index (BMI) at T1 (< versus ≥ 30 kg/m2), as T1 BMI is a strong predictor of PPWR.


The Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics is offering a variety of R training courses for 2024, and annually thereafter. Each workshop will be approximately 2-3 hours long. The workshops are numbered according to (roughly) the order they should be taken in. Registration and venue details to follow.


Date (Time) Topic Level Registration
Friday, 16 Feb (10:00-13:00) 7. Advanced data handling Advanced https://forms.gle/kWWvoLFnZ6aQdz7H9
Friday, 01 Mar (10:00-13:00) 8. Advanced modelling / analysis Advanced https://forms.gle/BYL6NRmGgCtBz8xz7
Friday, 08 Mar (10:00-13:00) 1. Introduction to R Beginner https://forms.gle/927PxoRh8ohpqU3o9
Friday, 22 Mar (10:00-13:00) 9. Data visualization with R Advanced https://forms.gle/z6PKLoTeiVceAhSG6
Friday, 05 Apr (10:00-13:00) 2. Group summaries and comparisons + epiR  Part 1 Beginner https://forms.gle/apaDYSSQXFVjRD9T7
Friday, 12 Apr (10:00-13:00) 3. Group summaries and comparisons + epiR  Part 2 Beginner https://forms.gle/z3ZzBaXx9tYUQDMu9
Friday, Aug (10:00-13:00) 4. Regression and GLM Intermediate TBA
Friday, Aug (10:00-13:00) 5. Intermediate data analysis Intermediate TBA
Friday, Sep (10:00-13:00) 6. Survival analysis Intermediate TBA

For currently registered staff or students in the School of Public Health there is no fee. For all other participants, there is a R500/course fee payable through internal journal transfer only. You must be a member of UCT (ie have a valid UCT email address) in order to participate. A signed journal or proof of transfer will be required before access is granted.

How to register:
Follow the link for the course you want to register for. It is a small form that collects email addresses. Please use your UCT email address.

Request the internal journal transfer to 232826, PPH1228. Please send proof of payment to: Mikateko Sithole.

You will receive a link to the online meeting venue, plus other information a few days before the scheduled workshop once registered and proof of payment submitted via your UCT email.

Course content:
These courses are mainly aimed at current MPH and PhD students in the School of Public Health, and so are oriented towards serving those groups as they complete their coursework and dissertation. Instructors and content will vary by course. These courses will be offered annually.
If you would like to discuss a bespoke course please email epibios.consult@uct.ac.za

For admin matters please contact Senior Secretary Mikateko.Sithole@uct.ac.za

For other matters relating to the Division, please contact Head of Division Landon.Myer@uct.ac.za


Landon Myer, Professor and Head of Division

Landon Myer

Qualifications: BA Brown MA MBChB Cape Town MPhil PhD Columbia

Areas of interest: Epidemiology, HIV, Non-Communicable Diseases, Women, Reproductive Health, Maternal & Child Health



Phone:  021 406 6661


Lara Dugas, Professor and AXA Research Chair in Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Epidemiology (2021-2026)

Lara Dugas

Qualifications: PhD, MPH, FTOS

Areas of interest: Non-communicable diseases, gut microbiota


Research Gate

Google Scholar






Alex de Voux, Senior Lecturer

Alex de Voux

Qualifications: PhD, MSc

Areas of interest: curable sexually transmitted infections, point-of-care STI testing



Email:  alex.devoux@uct.ac.za

Tamsin Phillips, Senior Lecturer/Research Officer

Tammy Phillips

Qualifications: MPH, PhD

Areas of interest: HIV, continuity of care, patient choice

Google scholar




Hlengiwe Madlala, Lecturer/Research Officer

Hlengi Madlala

Qualifications: PhD, MPH, MBA

Areas of interest: Obesity and metabolic outcomes of pregnant and postpartum women and their children


Email:  Hlengiwe.madlala@uct.ac.za


Elton Mukonda, Lecturer/Research Officer

Elton Mukonda

Qualification: MPhil

Areas of interest: Improving chronic disease monitoring in resource limited settings: simulation and economic evaluation approaches.


Email:  elton.mukonda@uct.ac.za


Thokozile Malaba, Lecturer/Research Officer







Qualifications: MPH, PhD

Areas of interest: Perinatal epidemiology, research methodology, observational research, maternal and child health


Email:  Thoko.Malaba@uct.ac.za


Frissiano Honwana, Assistant Lecturer

Frissiano Honwana

Qualifications: BSc, BSHST, MSc; PhD candidate

Areas of interest: Prognosis, Prediction Models, Biomarkers, Biostatistics



Email:  Frissiano.Honwana@uct.ac.za


Jasantha Odayar, Clinical Research Officer

Jasantha Odayar


Qualifications: MBChB, DipHIVMan, DTM&H, MPH

Areas of interest: Access to care, patient transfer


Email:  Jasantha.Odayar@uct.ac.za

Honorary Professors:

D Bradshaw
S Delaney-Moretlwe
J McIntyre
C Wiysonge

Honorary Associate Professors:

L Dodd
M Rangaka
S Reynolds

Adjunct Associate Professor:

T Tucker

Honorary Senior Lecturers:

Annibale Cois








Qualifications: MEng, MPH, PhD

Areas of interest: Non-communicable diseases and advanced statistical analysis for joint analysis of heterogenous data sources



Dvora Joseph Davey

Dvora Joseph

Qualifications: MPH, PhD

Areas of interest: HIV prevention, pregnant and lactating people, biomedical interventions



Nathan Ford

Kevin Kelly

Melissa Wallace

Jennifer Pellowski

Honorary Research Associate:

Jabulani Ncayiyana






Qualifications: MSc (Med), PhD

Areas of interest: infectious diseases, child and adolescent health, spatial epidemiology and implementation science





PhD Candidates:

Eke Arua

Eke Arua

Qualifications: BA, MA, MPH

Areas of interest: Geospatial methods and disease mapping


Luke Hannan


Phepo Mogoba

Phepo Mogoba

Qualifications: BSc Hons; MPH

Areas of interest: HIV, Adolescent maternal and child health, Implementation science


Mothabisi Nyathi

Mothabisi Nyathi

Qualifications: MPhil; BSc Hons

Areas of interest: child and adolescent health in the context of HIV and TB, Human migration, and longitudinal data analysis


Administrative Staff:

VACANT, Administrative Assistant



Research Staff:

Chad Africa, Research Assistant

Qualifications: BSc Hons, MPH

Research Interests: Non-communicable diseases, physical activity, type two diabetes mellitus, obesity, gut microbiome

Kalisha Bheemraj, Data Analyst


Qualifications: BSc Medical Science, BSc Honours Neuroanatomy, MSc Anatomy, MPH Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Research interests: Health care analytics, HIV prevention and care


Naomi Ndakapara Chitsa, Research Assistant

Qualifications: BSocSc, BA Hons, Project Management Cert, P. Dip, MPH 

Research interest: Maternal and Child Health


Sumaya Dadan, Study Coordinator

Jess Davies, Research Assistant

Jess Davies

Qualifications: BA HMS, BHSc (Hons), MPH

Research interests: Maternal and child health, NCDs, physical activity


Hayli Geffin, Data Analyst

Hayli Geffen

Qualifications: MSc, Biostatistics Specialisation

Areas of interest: Longitudinal data analysis, Survival analysis, Supervised Learning


Yolanda Gomba, Study Coordinator

Yolanda Gomba

Qualifications: MPH: Social and Behavioural Sciences, PhD candidate

Areas of interest: Implementation evaluations of HIV interventions

Lerato Hlatshwayo, Data Assistant

Lerato H

Qualifications: MSc, MPH, BMedSci, BSc

Research interests: Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, Evidence-Based Medicine, and Biostatistics


Nai-Chung Hu, Laboratory Manager

Jack Hu

Qualifications: MSc (Med Virology), MPH

Areas of Interest: Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Clinical Research

Demi Meyer, Study Coordinator

Demi Meyer

Qualification:  MPH

Areas of interest: Spatial Epidemiology, Child/Maternal Health


Dineo Mathabela, Lab Technician

Dineo M

Areas of interest: Public Health and infectious Diseases 


Natasha Moodaley, Project Manager

Natasha M

Qualifications: BSocSc, BEd (Hons), MPhil

Megan Mrubata, Site Coordinator

Megan Mrubata


Ncumisa Msolo, Study Coordinator


Rufaro Mvududu, Study Coordinator

Rufaro M

Qualifications: BSc, BMedSc (Hons); MPH

Areas of interest: HIV prevention and sexual reproductive health

Sandisiwe Matyesini, Study Coordinator


Qualification: MSc

Areas of interest: Public Health, Social Justice, Clinical Research, Wellness


Nuraan Norodien, Research Administrator


Qualification: ND: Human Resource Management


Thabang Serakge, Lab Technician

Qualifications: BSc, BS Hons, MMed, MPH

Areas of interest: Maternal & child health, diabetes, and gut microbiome

Mustafa Shuaib, Data Analyst

Qualifications: BDS, MPH

Areas of interest: Quantitative Epidemiology - Chronic Diseases

Lee-Ann Stemmet, Research Assistant

Lee-Ann Stemmet


Helene Theunissen, Data Manager

Helene T

Qualifications: MPH; BSc (Med)(Hons); BSc

Areas of interest: First-thousand-days, nutritional interventions, non-communicable diseases, Maternal-and-Child Health