Fellow Bios

Health Professions Education

Professor Saul Cobbing

Professor Saul Cobbing is a Physiotherapist and Biokineticist, and currently is an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Physiotherapy, School of Health Sciences, UKZN. His research interests are in the rehabilitation for people living with HIV and disability and Health Education. His experience includes working as a biokineticist and physiotherapist in both South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Dr Diane van Staden

Dr Diane van Staden is the Academic Leader for Teaching and Learning within the School of Health Sciences. An academic and researcher at UKZN. She has served the profession of optometry for the past 20 years in various capacities and is passionate about the advancement of eye health on the African continent.

Professor Khathutshelo Percy Mashige

Professor Khathutshelo Percy Mashige trained as an Anatomist at the University of Witwatersrand and an Optometrist at the former University of Durban Westville. He is the current Dean and Head of School of Health Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Ms Zandile Shezi

Ms Zandile Shezi is a lecturer in aural rehabilitation in the Discipline of Audiology, UKZN. She is a qualified Audiologist with public sector experience. Ms Shezi’s research interests include aural rehabilitation, early intervention, HIV/AIDS and Audiology, paediatric audiology, electrophysiology and auditory implantable devices.

Professor Rowena Naidoo

Professor Rowena Naidoo is an Associate Professor and the academic leader of the Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences Department, UKZN. As a registered biokineticist, Prof Naidoo has worked and travelled with various sports teams internationally and locally. Prof Naidoo’s research interests are in physical activity and sport among children with disabilities, workplace wellness, and anti-doping interventions for adolescents.

Ms Hayley Velayudam

Ms Hayley Velayudam is a Biokineticist and a lecturer at UKZN. She has a keen interest in research, sports conditioning and orthopedic rehab and injury prevention.


Professor Bongani Nkambule

Professor Bongani Nkambule is a Medical Biological Scientist in the Discipline of Haematology. He is currently an Associate Professor and Academic Leader of Molecular & Cellular Diseases in the Discipline of Human Physiology, School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, UKZN.

Dr Wendy Dhlomo-Mphatswe

Dr Wendy Dhlomo-Mphatswe is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and a Developmental Lecturer in the Discipline of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at UKZN. She has spent the majority of her professional career in the field of HIV/AIDS research.

Dr Sherika Hanley

Dr Sherika Hanley is a research clinician and specialist in family medicine who works for the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) based at UKZN. She has participated as a co-investigator in multiple clinical trials.

Dr Themba Nxumalo

Dr Themba Nxumalo is a professional nurse in the iLembe Health District: Ndwedwe Community Health Centre, KZN. His role involves the assessment, diagnosis and management of chronic and minor ailments, implementing standards, practices, criteria and indicators for quality nursing and participation in training and research.

Dr Alvin J Munsamy

Dr Alvin J Munsamy is an academic from the College of Health Sciences, Discipline of Optometry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He joined UKZN after spending 15 years in private practice; he lectures Ocular Disease and Binocular Vision.

Health Systems Strengthening

Professor Varsha Bangalee

Professor Varsha Bangalee holds a BPharm, MPharm (Pharmacoeconomics) and PhD qualifications, all obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is currently an associate professor in the Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). She additionally has a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management (UKZN), a Professional Diploma in Pharmacovigilance and Pharmacoepidemiology (James Lind Institute) and a Post Graduate Certificate in Health Economics for Health Professionals (University of Aberdeen).

Dr Mbali Mhlongo

Dr Mbali Mhlongo is a senior lecturer in the School of Nursing & Public Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She is a nurse with expertise in training, facilitation, leadership and supervision. She has facilitated training in a number of priority programmes for the Department of Health including Primary care nurse training, Multi-Drug resistant TB, HIV&AIDS counselling, Clinical HIV/AIDS training programme, Syndromic management of sexually transmitted infections and Sexual & Reproductive health.

Professor Verusia Chetty

Professor Verusia Chetty is a Professor in the Discipline of Physiotherapy, School of Health Sciences, and the academic leader of teaching and learning in the School of Health Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). She has practiced as a physiotherapist both nationally and internationally. She is a fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Her research has a broader impact on society influencing policy and practice, most notably the development of a model of care suitable for serving adults and children with chronic conditions such as HIV.

Dr Shelley Wall

Dr Shelley Wall is a surgeon and runs the Burns Unit at Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg (KZN). She has been working in the burns unit since 2015 and has decided to focus her career trajectory in the management of burn-injured patients.

Dr Velisha Perumal-Pillay

Dr Velisha Perumal-Pillay is a registered pharmacist and an academic at the Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Health Sciences, UKZN. She lectures and supervises at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her field of research is Pharmaceutical Policy Analysis and Access to Medicines with a focus on essential medicines for maternal and child health and those for non-communicable diseases.

Ms Santhana Gengiah

Ms Santhana Gengiah is Public Health Specialist at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has over 12 years of experience in the field of HIV and TB research. Her current interest is in health systems strengthening with a particular focus on optimizing delivery and enhancing the quality of integrated TB and HIV services in public health settings.

Mr Sithembiso Blose

Mr Sithembiso Blose is a Physiotherapist in KZN DOH at a district hospital for the past 5 years; Coordinator for Disability/Rehabilitation and Mental Health Services for Ilembe district (5 years); Provincial coordinator for Disability & Rehabilitation services for KZN (6 years) and a Lecturer in the Discipline pf Physiotherapy. His research interest is on Community Rehabilitation, with a special focus on disability.

Ms. Vivian Naidoo

Ms. Vivian Naidoo is a pharmacist at Maternal, Adolescent and Child Health (MatCH). Her research interests are in healthcare system strengthening especially with the current South African healthcare system re-engineering.

Mr Mahlomola Kutoane

Mr Mahlomola Kutoane is a nurse and former officer in the Lesotho Defence Force (army). He is currently the Emergency and Medical Coordinator at Storm Mountain Diamonds Kao Mine in Lesotho. His PhD research focuses on developing an intervention for managing professional isolation among emergency nurses working in Lesotho, an action research approach.

Mental Health

Dr Thabisile Mpofana

Dr Thabisile Mpofana is a Neuroscientist and is interested in Neuroscience research, neurodegenerative disorders, and the study of addiction. Her focus has largely been on animal models of Parkinson’s disease. She is a lecturer in the Discipline of Physiology at the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences at UKZN.

Dr Desiree Govender

Dr Desiree Govender is a physiotherapist and the Chief Physiotherapist at GJ Crookes Hospital in Scottburgh, KZN. In her role, she oversees the day to day management of the physiotherapy department. She is a clinical supervisor in the decentralised training programme for physiotherapy undergraduate students. She has gained invaluable experience working with community outreach programmes at GJ Crookes Hospital and is an advocate for the concepts of Primary Health Care, Health Promotion and Universal Health Coverage.

Dr Ruwayda Petrus

Dr Ruwayda Petrus is a Senior Lecturer in Industrial Psychology in the discipline of Psychology in the School of Applied Human Sciences at UKZN; she is also currently the Academic Leader: Teaching and Learning within the School. She has been involved in work focused on Health Systems Strengthening interventions for the integrated provision of mental health care in low and middle-income countries.

Health Research Ethics

Dr Pamela Pillay

Dr Pamela Pillay is an early career academic and a scientist anatomist in the Discipline of Clinical Anatomy. She is also the Academic Leader of Teaching and Learning in the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences. She lectures and supervises research at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She serves as a council member of the Anatomical Society of Southern Africa.

Dr Brenda De Gama

Dr Brenda De Gama is a senior lecturer in the Discipline of Clinical Anatomy and the academic leader of research in the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, UKZN. Dr De Gama’s research interests are indigenous knowledge and how this influences perspectives on body donation for medical and health professions education; belief systems; body donation and the treatment of the dead.

Ms Abigail Wilkinson

Ms Abigail Wilkinson is a project researcher for the HIV/AIDS Vaccines Ethics Group (HAVEG) and an ad-hoc lecturer in the Discipline of Psychology at UKZN. Her PhD focuses on how stakeholder engagement in biomedical HIV prevention trials can be strengthened through ethics review.