Head of Division
Assoc Prof Virna Leaner
Tel: +27 21 406 6250
PhD in Medical Biochemistry: University of Cape Town, South Africa 1998
Postdoctoral Fellow: National Cancer Institute, NIH, Maryland, USA 1998 - 2003
MRC (SA) Career Award Fellow: University of Cape Town 2004 to July 2006
Senior Lecturer: University of Cape Town, Aug 2006
Prof Arieh A Katz
Tel: +27 21 406 6268
Arieh Katz received his Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel in 1990. Thereafter, he moved to California Institute of Technology, U.S.A. for post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Professor Melvin I. Simon. There, he spent 4 years working on the identification and characterization of G-protein subunits which activate phosphoinositide specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC) and showed that the Gβγ subunits, as well as certain Gα subunits, activate PI-PLC. In 1995, Arieh Katz moved to the Department of Chemical Pathology at University of Cape Town to join the research group of Professor R.P. Millar. There, he got involved in studying the GnRH receptor which is a G protein-coupled receptor that signals via PI-PLC. In 1997 Arieh Katz was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship in Medical Science which enabled him to set up his own research group and in 1998 Arieh Katz joined the Division of Medical Biochemistry. In 2001 Dr. Katz together with Dr. Colleen Flanagan established the MRC/UCT Research Group for Receptor Biology.
Prof Trevor Sewell
Research page [ IDM member site ]
Prof Iqbal Parker
Tel: +27 21 406 6259
Fax: +27 21 406 6060
Iqbal Parker obtained his PhD in Biochemistry in 1979, completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Gary Stein in the USA and returned to join the Department of Medical Biochemistry in 1981 where he was subsequently appointed as the DG Murray Chair of Cancer Research. He was also promoted Ad Hominem to full Professor in Medical Biochemistry. He has been Director of the MRC Oesophageal Cancer Research Unit since 1998 and was awarded the DST/NRF Research Chair in Cancer Biology in 2007.
Professor Parker is a Professor in the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Structural Biology at the University of Cape Town. He is the founding Director of the Cape Town Component of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (2007-2016). Prior to accepting this position, he was Head of the Department of Medical Biochemistry and the Director of Research for the Health Science Faculty at the University of Cape Town.
He is a founder member of the Academy of Science of South Africa and served as General Secretary (2000-2004) and Vice President (2010 – 2016), a fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS). He served on the international jury panel for the Loreal/UNESCO Awards for Women in Science (1997-2002) and is currently a member of the International Scientific Advisory Committees of the UNESCO International Centre for Biotechnology in Nsukka, Nigeria and the UNESCO Biotechnology Centre in Tripoli, Libya. He is a Peer Reference Group Member for the International Science Programmes (ISP) funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). He is a former President of the South African Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is the former Secretary General and current treasurer of the Federation of African Societies of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and served on the Executive Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB) as the Chair of the Committee on Symposia, Chair of the Wood/Whelan Travel Fellowships Committee and Chair of the Mid-Career fellowships Committee (2009 and 2015).
In 2003 he was awarded National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) award for "Outstanding Contributions in Science, Engineering and Technology", in 2004 he was awarded the South African Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Gold Medal for his contributions to Biochemistry and the Oettle Medal in 2009 by the Cancer Association of South Africa for significant contributions to cancer research.
Assoc Prof Denver Hendricks
Tel: +27 21 406 6269
Fax: +27 21 406 6061
Denver Hendricks was awarded a BSc cum laude (with majors in Biochemistry and Zoology) at the University of the Western Cape, in South Africa in 1981. He transferred to the University of Cape Town where he was awarded a BSc Med Hons First Class in Medical Biochemistry (1982), and a PhD in Medical Biochemistry (1989) on "HDL and LDL metabolism in HepG2 cells". Thereafter he held a Senior Lectureship in the Biochemistry Department, at the University of the Western Cape (1989 - 1995). In 1996 (up to 2000) he held an International Exchange Scientist and Visiting Fellow position in the laboratory of Michael Birrer at the National Cancer Institute, NIH, USA. Whilst there he examined the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of gynaecologic cancers (mostly ovarian and cervical cancers). In 2001 he joined the Department of Medical Biochemistry at UCT, as a Senior Lecturer, where he has been involved in his research programme exploring the molecular mechanisms of cancer and teaching medical biochemistry to medical students and BSc Hons students.
Dr Zenda Woodman
Tel: +27 21 406 6480
Dr Georgia Schäfer
Tel: +27 21 406 6263
PhD in Molecular Biology, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany (2003); Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cape Town (2003-2008); since 2010 Research Officer/Lecturer in the Division of Medical Biochemistry, UCT
Dr Pauline van der Watt
Tel: +27 21 406 6266
Pauline van der Watt received her PhD in the Division of Medical Biochemistry at the University of Cape Town in 2009. After 4 and a half years of postdoctoral research, aimed at identifying novel nuclear import inhibitors with anti-cancer activity, she received an NRF Research Career Award, allowing her the opportunity to develop her own research group and interests. Her current research focuses on the circadian clock and understanding its role in cancer development.
Prof Peter Meissner
Tel: +27 21 650 3171
Emeritus Prof Robert Millar
Tel: +27 21 406 7712