The clinical research site of the group General Medicine & Global Health (GMGH) is located in the Cape Town suburb of Kensington, about 10 km northeast of the University of Cape Town. The site was established in Kensington to allow us to recruit participants from the Northern suburbs and the Cape Flats. We are currently recruiting from the following primary care clinics: Albow Gardens Clinic, Du Noon Clinic, Factreton Clinic, Langa Clinic, Vuyani Clinic, and Khayelitsha Ubuntu Site B. The clinical research site is headed by Dr Sandra Mukasa.
The GMGH facility offers a large reception with in- and outside waiting areas, consultant rooms for study doctors, consenting, vital signs, and phlebotomy rooms. In addition, we have an EasyOnePro LAB, a lung function machine with multiple-breath nitrogen washout to obtain complete lung volumes, FRC and LCI (lung clearance index), a sputum induction area, and a small laboratory to process samples. The setup is completed by a data entry room, administrative offices and secure filing room. We work in close collaboration with our dispensing pharmacy at Groote Schuur Hospital, the NHLS for blood processing, and CUBIC, UCT's Cape Universities Body Imaging Centre.
Our research laboratory is based at the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine at UCT and is headed by Prof. Reto Guler.
The Lionel Opie Preclinical Imaging Facility (LOPI) is a leading research imaging facility for preclinical studies in Africa. Its vision, as a state-of-the-art imaging facility, is to contribute and translate from bench to bedside. Non-invasive equipment available in the LOPI Facility includes a Vevo 2100 high-frequency ultrasound system and Vivid I high-performance, battery-operated, ultra-portable diagnostic ultrasound system, which allows for in vivo anatomical, function, physiological and molecular data to be obtained simultaneously.
The Cape Universities Body Imaging Centre (CUBIC) is a leading medical imaging research facility focusing on problems specific to South Africa and the African continent. To this end, we strive towards research excellence and innovation, contribute to the development of scarce skills and human capacity, knowledge production and dissemination through publication in peer-reviewed journals as well as extensive national and international collaboration.
CUBIC is a joint initiative between the University of Cape Town (UCT), Stellenbosch University, Medical Research Council of South Africa and Siemens. The research facility is based at UCT's Medical Campus at the Groote Schuur Hospital, housing a 3T Siemens Skyra full-body MRI scanner and a Siemens Biograph mCT 64 flow (PET-CT).
In 2017, the Shaboodien lab established the first South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) approved zebrafish unit in Cape Town, South Africa with the aim to investigate novel genes and genetic variants of unknown significance identified through the IMHOTEP study using the NGS platforms. Through a Newton Funded PhD Partnership project called Developing Genomic Medicine Between Africa and the UK (DGEMBE), students were trained and obtained zebrafish expertise in zebrafish husbandry and CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing at the zebrafish facility at the University of Manchester. This partnership allowed the transfer of expertise to South Africa to further develop their exciting new zebrafish facility and expand capacity for this essential research. The ultimate aim for the Cardiovascular Genetics laboratory is to become the South African diagnostic and research hub for cardiomyopathy genetics where novel genes and new variants are functionally validated in zebrafish models, and can also be used to study disease biology and to identify potential new candidate therapeutic targets.