Cancer Research Initiative


Welcome to the Cancer Research Initiative

The Cancer Research Initiative (CRI) was established in 2013 and is housed in the Faculty of Health Sciences at UCT. The aim of the Initiative is to facilitate integrated, interdisciplinary cancer research in the Faculty and beyond. Through collaborative research, the CRI pursues innovative, effective and relevant approaches to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer, placing the Faculty at the forefront of research endeavours to address the alarming cancer burden in Africa.

The CRI connects world-class researchers conducting basic, clinical and population-oriented cancer research in the Faculty and supports partnerships with national and international research institutions, NGO’s and funders. A central focus of the Initiative is the development of research capacity among clinicians, other health professionals and scientists with a view to developing and maintaining a critical mass of expert cancer researchers on the continent. 

Explore our website for information on current news, cancer projects, recent publications and research funding opportunities.

Director: Professor Jennifer Moodley

Latest News

4 April 2019

Launch of CRI Quarerly Newsletter
The CRI is pleased to announce the launch of its first quarterly newsletter for 2019. Please follow the link below to view the newsletter:

View newsletter

28 March 2019

The CRI hosted another successful seminar event on 28 March 2019. Speaker Prof Stefan Barth from the Medical Biotechnology and Immunotherapy Unit presented on "Antibodies as Tools in Cancer."  Dr Zainab Mohamed (Division of Radiation Oncology) and  Dr Dharshnee Chetty (Division of Anatomical Pathology) responded providing for lively discussion and debate. Over 30 students, lecturers and UCT staff attended the seminar with 3 basic science and 3 clinical departments represented. 


6 March 2019


8 February 2019

African women carry a high burden of cancer – early detection and treatment is critical

In South Africa, cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths among women while breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer. One in 26 women are at risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime, mostly presenting with late stage disease, which is associated with a poor prognosis. A unique feature of cancer cases in Africa are the high burden of cancers in women (56%), and late stage at which cancer is diagnosed (46% of breast cancer in South Africa is diagnosed at an advanced stage).

Click here to view the full media release


21 January 2019

South African Medical Research Council/ Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre Hosts Annual Research Indaba
The SAMRC/GCRC will be hosting their annual research indaba this Thursday, 24 January 2019 from 13h00 to 17h00. Cutting edge research from their comprehensive gynaecological cancer research centre will be presented by basic scientists, public health practitioners and clinicians. 

Click here for the official event poster

Click here for the full programme of speakers

25 September 2018

Cancer in the Crosshairs at UCT
The UCT Research and Contracts Innovation Department recently released their 2018 edition of Innovation at UCT. This year the report profiles the numerous and exciting innovations happening at UCT in the fields of cancer research detection and treatment. The CRI is excited to see the diverse collaborations happening across the institution as researchers come together to address South Africa’s growing cancer burden.

Click here to download the full report 


23 July 2018                                                       

CRI director receives prestigious AG Oettlé Memorial Award
The CRI is thrilled to announce that its director, Professor Jennifer Moodley, has been awarded the 2018 AG Oettlé Memorial Award from the Cancer Society of South African (CANSA). This award is in recognition for research excellence in the field of cancer and to acknowledge her contributions to cancer control in SA.The AG Oettlé Memorial Award is presented in remembrance of the late Dr Oettlé, a distinguished cancer researcher and epidemiologist who worked at the South African Institute for Medical Research in the 1960’s.



7 May 2018

CRI is growing!

CRI is pleased to announce that our team is growing. We welcome Mr Linda Mbuthini, our new full-time data administrator, who will be supporting the development of hospital-based cancer registries at the UCT/Groote Schuur/Red Cross Children’s Hospital academic complex.

Linda has a post-graduate diploma in Health Economics, a BSc in Health Promotion and is currently completing his MPH in Health Economics at UCT.

He has worked on various TB and HIV programmes and his interests include cancer surveillance, registration and data quality. In his previous project, Linda was responsible for generating and supporting a population-based cancer registry database that has produced high-quality cancer incidence data for the Eastern Cape.

We are thrilled to welcome Linda to the team!




Past Events

Computational Big Data Analytics in the Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer
30 August 2016

World Cancer Day 2016
6 February 2016

ICGEB-IUBMB Course “Translational Cancer Research” 
12-16 October 2015

Cancer Research Seminar Series:
Not Beyond us: Cancer Genetics and Cancer Control

Jain speaks on her book 
2 Sep 2014

CRI Seminar - Conversations with cancer researchers: toward building an integrated cancer research program
- 17 Apr 2014

Cancer Research Seminar to Mark World Cancer Day
- 12 Feb 2014

Research Professional Africa Cancer Group Introductory Seminar - 19th Feb 2014

Cancer research in FHS: Current situation and future plans
- 27 Nov 2013

World Cancer Day 2014 Presentations

HPV Campaign in the Western Cape: 2014
- Tracey Naledi

Introduction - Human Papillomavirus
- Anna-Lise Williamson

Cancer prevention through HPV vaccination in developing countries
- Lynette Denny