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Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Dr Feriel Azibani

‚ÄčEmail:  feriel.azibani@uct.ac.za

I was born and raised in Algeria. In 2007, I obtained my biology engineer diploma at the University Houari Boumedienne (Algiers). Then I moved to Paris, where I obtained my master degree in Cellular Physiopathology. I then joined the team of Pr. Alain Cohen Solal (Inserm U942 – Hospital Lariboisiere) to work on the role of cardiac aldosterone in cardiac remodelling during hypertension. In 2012, I obtained my PhD in physiopathology at University Pierre et Marie Curie – Paris 6 and I joined the Myology Centre ( Hospital Pitie Salpetriere) as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow where I worked on gene therapies in Congenital Muscular Dystrophies related to LMNA gene mutations.

Since September 2015, I joined the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa (University of Cape Town) as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. My current research project focuses on the role of hypertension in heart disease during pregnancy

 

Dr Graham Chakafana

‚ÄčEmail:  graham.chakafana@uct.ac.za

I was born and raised in Zimbabwe. My undergraduate training was in Biotechnology and I also obtained an MSc in Microbiology. I later on did my PhD in Protein biochemistry, where research work was conducted between the Protein Biochemistry of Malaria (ProbioM) research group at the University of Venda and the PSFRU at the University of the Witwatersrand. My PhD work mostly focused on protein structure and function and as such, my major research interest in proteomics.

In 2020, I joined the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa (University of Cape Town) as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow under the mentorship of Profs Karen Sliwa and Ntobeko Ntusi. My current research project focuses on the role of heat shock proteins in peripartum cardiomyopathy.

 

Dr Frederic Nduhirabandi

Email: frederic.nduhirabandi@uct.ac.za  Tel: 0214066088

BMedSc, BSc (Hons) MedBioSc, MScMedSc, PhD

I obtained my Bachelor degree in Bio-Medical Sciences from the Medical Faculty of the University of Lubumbashi (UNILU, DRC), after which I did my BSc (Honours) in Medical Bio-Science at the University of the Western Cape (South Africa) where I was also a part-time tutor assistant and practical demonstrator  in Human Biology and Microbiology. Later on, I joined the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University (Division of Medical Physiology) as a Research Assistant and, in the same time, completed my Master’s degree (cum laude) and PhD in Medical Physiology. During my PhD, I investigated the role of the pineal gland hormone melatonin in cardioprotection in obesity with a particular focus on the mechanisms involved in glucose homeostasis, microvascular endothelial function and mitochondrial function in normal and insulin resistant states.

Since February 2014, I joined the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa (University of Cape Town) as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. My current research focuses on the role of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and the mechanisms of actions of melatonin in cardioprotection.

Membership

Physiology Society of Southern Africa (PSSA), South African Heart Association, South African Society for Cardiovascular Research (SASCAR), European Society of Cardiology (ESC)/Working Group on Cellular Biology of the Heart.

 

Dr Evelyn Ngwa Lumngwena (PhD)

Email:  EN.Lumngwena@uct.ac.za

I am a Cameroonian born and raised in Cameroon. I obtained my Undergraduate and M.Sc degrees in biochemistry from the Universities of Buea and Yaounde I, Cameroon. I registered at the University of Cape Town in 2012 to do a PhD in HIV virology. During my PhD, I investigated the role of HIV Subtype C Envelope N-glycosylation in DC-SIGN mediated modulation of dendritic cell responses via modulation of inflammatory cytokine secretion.

I completed my PhD in March 2017, and joined Prof Ntobeko Ntusi's research group April 2017 as a postdoctoral fellow to work on the differential protein expression in the heart tissues and blood of patients with rheumatic heart disease. Our group (the Ntusi research group) became part of the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Research in Africa since November 2017 till now.

 

Dr Aqeela Imamdin

aqeela.imamdin@uct.ac.za

I completed my BSc in Biochemistry and Genetics at the University of Cape Town and went on to complete my Honours, Masters and PhD in Medicine at UCT Medical school as part of the Hatter Institute. 

My areas of research have been diverse, covering aspects of biochemistry, physiology, genetics and clinical medicine. My fields of interest include metabolism and the way that it changes with cardiac function and pathology, the genetics of metabolism, heart failure, and the linkages between diseases in different organs. My work in the field of cardiovascular research has been alongside and/or under the guidance of Professor Sandrine Lecour, Prof Karen Sliwa-Hahnle, Emeritus Prof Lionel Opie, Dr Feriel Azibani, Dr Gaurang Deshpande, Dr Kishal Lukhna. 

I enjoy the research that I have done as a part of multiple teams at the Hatter thus far, and looking forward, I hope to venture into streams of research that can teach me new things. The universe is fascinating - the more I know, the more I know I don't know. 

Affiliations:

South African Heart Association (SA Heart) Member

South African Society for Cardiovascular Research (SASCAR) Member 

Physiology Society of South Africa (PSSA)

Postdoctoral Association (PDA), University of Cape Town

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