Associate Professor Gonda Perez
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
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.
Prof Ambroise Wonkam
After graduating with an MD from the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé I (Cameroon), he completed a thesis in Cell Biology at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) and a PhD in Human Genetics at the University of Cape Town. His education as a medical geneticist at highly reputable genetics departments in Geneva (Switzerland), and now at the University of Cape Town, have resulted in him practising medical genetics in both European and African contexts.
Prof Wonkam’s research interests are reflected in more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, which are in molecular, clinical, educational and ethical aspects of medical and human genetics. His research focuses on three areas: psychosocial burden and genomics modifiers of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD); the genetics of hearing loss; and ethical and educational issues in human genetics in Africa.
Over the past five years Prof Wonkam has successfully led an NIH/NHGRI-funded SCD project, and as co-applicant, a Wellcome Trust - DELTAS grant to develop capacity in human genetics on the African continent. He has recently been granted US$ 3.7m from the NIH/NHLBI, to establish a Sickle Africa Data Coordinating Centre (SADaCC) and develop various studies in Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana. In addition, under the new round of the H3Africa Consortium, he was Awarded three grants to support the Hearing Impairment Genetic Studies in Africa (HI Genes Africa) from the NIH/NHGRI (US$1.25m) and the AESA/Wellcome Trust (US$2.07m); and another collaborative centre grant from the NIH/NHGRI (US$2.5m) to support the study of Individual Findings in Genetic Research in Africa (IFGENERA).
Adding to the list of Prof Wonkam’s accomplishments are the 2003 Denber-Pinard Prize for the best thesis from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland; and winning the very competitive Clinical Genetics Society International Award for 2014, from the British Society of Genetic Medicine.
His leadership profile includes positions in international organisations: He serves on the steering committees of H3Africa consortium and the Global Genetic Medicine Collaborative (G2MC); as secretary of the African Society of Human Genetics; as board member of the International Federation of Human Genetics Societies, as a council member of the Human Genome Organization, and Associate Editor of the American Journal of Medical Genetics.
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.