PhD Degrees

Study in South Africa

The University of Cape Town Faculty of Health Sciences has an active doctoral program with the PhD in Hematology or Public Health awarded upon completion of a research thesis in one of the departments.

Candidates work closely with one or more supervisor(s); the primary supervisor must be a UCT faculty selected by the head of department and must hold the PhD degree, with certain exceptions. Outside faculty are acceptable as secondary thesis supervisors. Our trainees will most often include supervisors who are on the faculty of this program including Drs. Verburgh and Louw in the Division of Hematology and Dr. Myer in the Department of Public Health and Family Medicine.

New PhD students are required to develop a thesis proposal during the first six months of registration. Thesis topics will include HIV-related research in transfusion medicine and hematology and will, in most cases, relate to research opportunities under the REDS-III HIV research network or similar programs.

Entrance requirements for PhD is a Masters degree or equivalent. When a candidate does not have a Masters degree, initial registration for the Masters program will be required with the possibility of upgrading to a PhD in the second year.

To apply contact Ms. Ritu Sehgal [email protected].

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Transcripts of prior studies
  • Summary of prior Masters research
  • Personal references
  • An outline of area of interest as well as potential supervisors

Acceptance to the programme is highly competitive.

PhD Candidates

Katherine Antel

Katherine AntelKatherine Antel is a specialist physician and clinical hematologist, working in Cape Town, South Africa.  During her Fogarty Fellowship she will be doing research in HIV lymphoma.  During her clinical work, and from data reported on lymphoma outcomes in South Africa, she has been concerned about the high proportion of patients with late-stage of disease at diagnosis, and the high rates of misdiagnosis of tuberculous prior to lymphoma.  Late-stage presentation, co-morbid infection with HIV and possible tumor biological factors result in poor outcomes with high early mortality in HIV lymphoma in South Africa.   During her PhD, Dr. Antel will be researching the pathway to diagnosis of lymphoma and implement and assess the impact of a new lymph node biopsy clinic.  The clinic will include new TB molecular diagnostic tests in order to rapidly differentiate TB from lymphoma and other malignancies that cause enlarged lymph nodes.  The aim of this aspect of her PhD is to improve and shorten the time to lymphoma diagnosis.  In order to better understand poor lymphoma outcomes in South Africa, she will be investigating factors related to tumor biology such as macrophage activation in HIV lymphoma and the genetic landscape of HIV + diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Karin van den Berg

Karin van den BergKarin van den Berg is a medical doctor employed by the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) for the past 10 years. Dr. van den Berg heads up the Clinical Services for the Eastern Cape division of SANBS, providing clinical oversight for all blood transfusion-related activities in the area. She is currently responsible for managing research activities at SANBS and is the chairperson of the Scientific Research Committee. She is the lead in-county investigator for the REDS-III Management and Acute Treatment of HIV Study (MATHS), which aims to initiate blood donors with hyper-acute HIV infection on ART during the very early phase of their infection. She is also involved in transfusion medicine training for clinicians both in South African and other sub-Saharan countries such as Kenya, Lesotho and Swaziland. She is a member of several committees and working groups of the AABB and ISBT and is working on her PhD, investigating the intersection of the HIV epidemic and blood donation in South Africa.

Vanitha Rambritch

Vanitha RambritchVanitha Rambritch, has a Master’s degree in Health Professions Education from Stellenbosch. She is currently the Head of Learning and Development at the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape regions. Her responsibilities include strategic planning and goal setting, partnership development and regulatory compliance with health professions and higher education standards. She is a member of the SANBS Scientific Review Committee and of the AABB Global Transfusion Forum for Education. Her PhD research focus is on Patient Blood Management by HIV physicians.