​​​​​Centre for Medical Ethics and Law


About us​

Program vision

The goal of building capacity in research ethics in Southern Africa cannot and should not be distinguished from the related goals of improving the health and well-being of populations, combating social injustice, and defending human rights. Over the past decade, due in no small part to NIH/Fogarty and other international research ethics initiatives, the interrelatedness of these goals has become increasingly obvious. Background conditions of poverty, gender inequality, discrimination, inadequate sanitation, lack of food security, political and criminal violence and a host of other factors are determinants of poor health. As the history of South Africa has made abundantly clear, poor population health is not randomly distributed, but is due in large part to political decisions and socio-economic forces. Health research as well as structural interventions are required to improve health conditions, but conducting effective and ethically responsible health research in such circumstances faces numerous challenges. In a setting such as Southern Africa, considerations of social justice and human rights cannot be separated from the endeavor of conducting ethically responsible research nor from the important task of reviewing health research from an ethical and regulatory perspective.

The program will share the research vision of the University of Stellenbosch and University of North Carolina in promoting academic excellence and knowledge partnerships while maintaining social responsibility in the conduct of ethically sound research.

This ethical vision will underlie and inform the curriculum development, education, mentorship and network-building activities of the proposed research ethics capacity-building program.


Expert faculty for the ARESA program and the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research Ethics hail from the Universities of Stellenbosch, North Carolina, Cape Town, Western Cape, Pretoria, Kwa-Zulu-Natal, MEDUNSA and Oxford.

Prof Keymanthri Moodley (Head of the Centre for Medical Ethics & Law, University of Stellenbosch) is the program director. The Co-Principal Investigator is Prof Stuart Rennie (Center for Bioethics, University of North Carolina). Other faculty include Prof Anton Van Niekerk (Centre for Applied Ethics, University of Stellenbosch), Prof Eric Jeungst (Center for Bioethics, University of North Carolina), Prof Michael Parker (Ethox Centre, Oxford University), Prof Nhlanhla Mkhize (SARETI and Dept of Psychology, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal), Prof Landon Myer (University of Cape Town), Prof Jerome Singh (CAPRISA, University of Kwazulu-Natal), Dr Andra Le Roux- Kemp (Centre for Medical Ethics & Law, University of Stellenbosch) Prof Gboyega Ogunbanjo (MEDUNSA), Prof Anneke Hessseling (Desmond Tutu TB Centre, University of Stellenbosch), Prof Soraya Seedat (Department of Psychiatry, University of Stellenbosch), Prof Haylene Nell (Tiervlei Trial Centre, Karl Bremer Hospital), Dr Nandi Siegfried (Research Consultant), Prof Gboyega Ogunbanjo (MEDUNSA), Prof Solly Benatar (Bioethics Centre,UCT), Prof Sue Naidoo (Deputy Dean-Research, University of the Western Cape), Prof Leslie London (UCT).

Advisory Committee

Prof Lesley Burgess (TREAD Research, Tygerberg Hospital), Prof Sue Naidoo (University of the Western Cape), Dr Jack Meintjies (REC Chair, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch), Prof Neil Myburgh (UWC), Dr Terry Fleisher (UCT) and Dr Suzanne Maman (Center for Bioethics, University of North Carolina)