Deputy Deans

Associate Professor Gonda Perez 
Undergraduate Education

Gonda Perez graduated with a Masters degree in Dentistry (M.Dent) in Community Dentistry at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1998. She has teaching, research and service experience in the area of dental health with publications in the fields of Health and Human Rights and Public Health as well as research in the areas of transformation and occupational health.

Her work experience also includes working as the Director of Health Promotion and Communication in the Department of Health and Head of Ministerial Services, Welfare and Population Development, Department of Health, was Chief Director in Communication and Ministerial Services in the Public Service and Administration. As a health activist Gonda was active in various health committees, forums and conferences responsible for and contributing to formulating health policy within South Africa. 

She started working at Health Sciences Faculty at UCT in 2002 as the Transformation Officer, held the position of Interim Dean and currently holds the position of Deputy Dean within the faculty with a focus in the area of undergraduate education. 

Professor Susan Kidson 
Postgraduate Education

She was appointed as a part-time Deputy Dean, Postgraduate Affairs, in July 2009 and is also a member of staff in the Department of Human Biology. Prior to taking up the Deputy Dean position, she was the Head of Department of Human Biology for 6 years.

Prof Kidson is a PhD graduate from the University of the Witwatersrand with a specialisation in cell and developmental biology. In addition to her deputy dean duties, she continued to run a research lab and train postgraduate students, and her area of interest is stem cell biology in the skin and the eye.

She was appointed as interim Dean from January 2013 for 7 months after the retirement of former Dean Professor Marian Jacobs at the end of December 2012.



Professor Karen Sliwa-Hahnle 

Prof. Karen Sliwa is the Director of the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa, based at UCT.  She was born in Germany, where she studied Medicine after which she trained as a physician and cardiologist in a number of countries. She has lived in South Africa since 1992.

Her research focusses on cardiovascular disease in pregnancy and postpartum. Her research in understanding the underlying pathophysiology of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy, has led to great progress in awareness and management of the disease. She formed with others, and subsequently chaired, the ‘Peripartum Cardiomyopathy Study Group’ of the Heart Failure Association of the European Cardiac Society.  The aim of this initiative was to better coordinate efforts, resulting in the establishment of a large international registry under the EuroObservational Programe on Peripartum Cardiomyopathy.

In South Africa, she conducted a population study called the ‘Heart of Soweto Study’ to investigate the prevalence, presentation and management of cardiac disease in an urban African population. This study, on more than 8000 patients, highlighted the high prevalence of hypertension, obesity and cardiac disease in women of childbearing age. She recently expanded her population studies (under the umbrella of the ‘Heart of Africa studies’) to other African countries, including Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya and Sudan.

She has designed a number of innovative research programs and leveraged funding for several major research projects, not only in South Africa and the rest of Africa, but also internationally. She has published more than 230 Articles and her work is highly cited.

In recognition of her work Prof Sliwa has received several awards, including the South Africa/Germany Year of Science Celebrations Award (2012), German Cardiac Society Paul Morawitz Award for Exceptional Cardiovascular Research (2013) and the CPP award (2014) and the Africa’s most influential women in Business & Government life-time award (2015 & 2016).

Karen Sliwa serves on a number of editorial boards and is also an editorial consultant to ‘The Lancet’. Furthermore, she is the past president of the South African Heart Association and on the board of the South African Heart Failure Society, which was established under her leadership in 2005. She is president-elect of the World Heart Federation ( 2017-2019), serves on the European Cardiac Society International Affairs committee and is board member of the Pan African Society of Cardiology.

Dr Reno Morar 
Health Services and Operations

Reno Morar was appointed as Health Services Advisor to the Dean in January 2008, and is currently the Deputy-Dean for Health Services at the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Cape Town. 

He is a Public Health Specialist with a Diploma in Health Management, Economics and Financial Planning; a Master in Medicine (Public Health) from UCT; and is a Fellow of the College of Public Health Medicine (South Africa).  He has a Certificate in Professional Coaching Practice from the University of Stellenbosch Business School. Reno has served as Board member on a number of regulatory Councils, Ministerial Advisory Committees, and currently serves as a Board member of several Non-Governmental Organisations. 

He has over twenty years of experience in health service related practice, policy development processes and policy implementation within the private and public health sectors.  He is currently Vice-Chairperson of the Medical and Dental Professions Board of the Health Professions Council of South Africa and of the National Medicines Pricing Committee.

As Deputy Dean, Reno manages and provides strategic advice and support to the Dean relating to the relationships between the Faculty of Health Sciences and National and Provincial Departments of Health, the National Health Laboratory Services, and other public and private health services partners.  The Faculty of Health Sciences at UCT has the oldest medical school in Southern Africa.  The Faculty’s mission is to address the broad health challenges facing our society by promoting quality and equity in health care services, educating health practitioners for life and undertaking research relevant to Africa’s needs.