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Cape Town, Western Cape

Fig. Table Mountain and surrounding city, Cape Town, South Africa


The South African arm of the NeuroDev study is lead by Kirsty Donald, a Professor in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Cape Town.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) is South Africa's oldest university, and is one of Africa's leading teaching and research institutions. The university has 6 faculties - Commerce, Engineering & the Built Environment, Law, Health Sciences, Humanities and Science – which are all supported by the Centre for Higher Education Development, which addresses students' teaching and learning needs. Among its more than 100 000 alumni are the late Professor Christiaan Barnard, the world-renowned heart surgeon, and 3 Nobel laureates, Sir Aaron Klug, the late Professor Alan MacLeod Cormack and JM Coetzee.

UCT also has more than 80 specialist research units that provide supervision for postgraduate work and is home to more than a third of South Africa's A-rated researchers – academics who are considered world leaders in their fields.

Fig. University of Cape Town, South Africa Photographer: University of Cape Town / Michael Hammond




Built in Cape Town in 1956, the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (Red Cross Hospital) is South Africa's only dedicated child health institution and offers a comprehensive range of specialist paediatric services to children. It is a centre of excellence for the training of all categories of child health professionals and sees children from all of South Africa, and from all over the African continent. Red Cross Hospital is regarded as South Africa's leading centre for postgraduate specialist paediatric medical and surgical training. The hospital's tertiary facility provides comprehensive dedicated paediatric services with a full range of sub-specialties at quaternary, tertiary and secondary levels of care. Red Cross Hospital has established an enviable reputation among the people of the Western Cape, as well as national and international recognition for the quality of patient care, paediatric research and paediatric training practised at the institution, and boasts, amongst many others, the first open heart surgery on a child in 1959, the first separation of conjoined twins in 1964, and the first and only Paediatric Neurosurgery department.


This hospital operates in the Tygerberg Eastern Health District of the Metro Region, and services a drainage area in the Western Cape with a population over 3.4 million people. Drainage areas include Northern Metro sub-districts, Khayelitsha north of Spine Road, Eastern Tygerberg, West Coast, Cape Winelands and Overberg rural districts. The hospital was officially opened in 1976 and is the largest hospital in the Western Cape and the second largest hospital in South Africa, with the capacity for 1899 beds, including  331 beds for the Tygerberg Children’s Hospital.  More than 107 215 are admitted and more than 492 670 outpatients visit the hospital annually. It acts as a teaching hospital in conjunction with the Stellenbosch University 's Health Science Faculty.




NeuroDev SA stores extracted DNA from a portion of samples in-country at the UCT Human Genetics Laboratory for future-use for UCT researchers and scientists. 

The UCT Department of Human Genetics undertakes research into inherited disorders which are a major cause of childhood handicap in the populations of South Africa. These include genetic conditions which cause blindness and neuromuscular disease. Our investigations include clinical, genealogical and laboratory molecular studies. The projects interlock with our out-reach genetic clinics and our aim is to bring the benefits of these service-orientated developments to all sections of the community.

Young scientist looking through a micros
technician hands scanning barcodes on bi


The NSB is the intermediary Laboratory between South Africa and USA. The NSB has a long-established history of working together with RUDCRs in USA, and is responsible for prepping and shipping samples from South Africa to USA for analysis. 

The NSB, based in Tygerberg Hospital, is a university-based repository built under the H3Africa initiative in collaboration with Stellenbosch University, NHLS, the South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI – University of Western Cape), the Scripps Research Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Rutger’s University (RUCDR). NSB offers advanced technologies and robust quality control in sample processing and storage, including DNA processing and PBMC isolation. NSB uses RUCDR accredited standard operating procedures for tracking samples and laboratory procedures.


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