​​​​​​​​​Centre for Global Surgery​​

The Team

Prof. Kathryn Chu
Director and Professor of Global Surgery

Prof. Chu is a general and colorectal surgeon. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University. She completed her medical degree and general surgery residency at the University of California- San Francisco. She was a Fulbright scholar at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where she received a Master's degree in Public Health and Developing Countries. She is an adjunct professor at University of Botswana (Department of surgery), a Board member of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health and the inaugural director of the Centre of Global Surgery.​​

Ms. Tamlyn Mac Quene
Research Fellow​

Ms. Mac Quene is a global/public health and infectious diseases specialist. She received her undergraduate degree in molecular biology followed by her honour's degree in Immunology and Infectious diseases from the University of Cape Town. She completed her Master in Infectious Diseases and Public Health at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands. She has a keen interest in interdisciplinary research and work relevant to global surgery and improving equitable access to care. Currently, she works on the Equi-Injury project focused on understanding how to improve access to quality care for the injured in low-and middle-income countries.

Dr. Ntombekhaya Tshabalala
Post-Doctoral Fellow 

Dr Tshabalala is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the Equi-Injury project. She founded Imijelo yophuhliso Foundation after completing her PhD in Disability Studies at the University of Cape Town. Her keen interest is in using photo-voice and cartoons as Participatory Action Research tools to raise consciousness while mobilising community groups into social action, inclusive and compassionate leadership. Her major interests include that of contributing towards disability and financial inclusion, achieved through the establishment of Financial Resource Centres, the contact points where, in their communities, people collaboratively interrogate socio-economic challenges, receive support and mentoring on sustainable ways of addressing identified challenges.

Ms. Yonela Mali
Research Assistant

Ms. Mali completed her undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Fort Hare. She has previously worked as a research assistant on the Water and Sanitation Project in the Eastern Cape at Fort Hare Institute of Social & Economic Research. She has a keen interest in development studies and socio-economic research. Currently, she is working as a research assistant on the Equi-injury project which aims to improve access to quality care for people who are injured in low and middle-income countries.​

. Zola Tshabala
Research Assistant 

Mr. Tshabalala holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Admin & Sociology. He worked as a Youth Projects Coordinator at Imijelo, and has been involved in facilitating community engagement and participation in collaborative research as a strategy to addressing identified social challenges and disability inclusion.  Currently, he is working as a research assistant on a Equi-injury project which aims to improve access to quality care for people who are injured in low and middle-income countries. He is passionate about nurturing inclusive communities and youth empowerment.

Ms. Faieeza Khalfe
Research Assistant

Ms. Khalfe holds a Bachelor of Social Science/Arts Undergraduate degree in English Literature and Psychology, an Honours Psychology degree in Psychology and is pursuing a MA master's degree in Psychological Research, all through the University of Cape Town. She has a keen interest in research relevant to improving systems to give people equitable access to healthcare. Currently, she is working as a research assistant on a Equi-injury project which aims to improve access to quality care for people who are injured in low and middle-income countries.

Mrs. Olwethu Nodo
Research Assistant 

Mrs Nodo is completing her Master's Degree in Research Psychology at the University of the Western Cape. She completed her internship in 2022 under the Institute for Life Course Health Research at Stellenbosch University where she formed part of qualitative, quantitative and feasibility studies. She is passionate about community engagement, health-related research and community development. She values research studies that help improve knowledge and the quality of life for all. Currently, she is working as a research assistant on a Equi-injury project which aims to improve access to quality care for people who are injured in low and middle-income countries

Johnelize Louw.jpg

Ms. Johneliz​e Louw
Doctoral student

Ms. Louw is a virology and cancer science professional. She received her undergraduate degree in Chemical Biology, followed by an honour's degree in Medical Virology. She then completed her Master of Philosophy in Cancer Science, at the African Cancer Institute. All of her degrees were completed at the University of Stellenbosch. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Health Systems and Public Health.​

Anronel Stofberg.jpg

Dr. Anronel Stofberg
Master's student

Dr. Stofberg is a medical doctor working as a medical officer/investigator at Tygerberg Hospital. She received her medical degree from the University of Stellenbosch and is currently enrolled at the University of Cape Town as a Public Health master's student. She is pursuing a career in clinical research and is passionate about evidence-based medicine to improve quality of life.​

Anronel Stofberg.jpg

Mrs. Mercia Companie

Mrs. Companie completed her BSc Life Science degree at the University Of South Africa. She has a keen interest in health care provision particularly research around diabetes and health equity. She is currently a DSI- HSRC intern within the Centre for Global Surgery​

Extraordinary Staff​

Tiffany Chao

Dr. Tiffany E. Chao
Extraordinary Senior Lecturer

Dr. Chao is a general surgeon at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and a Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery (affiliated) in Stanford Hospital's Department of Surgery. At Stanford, she teaches undergraduate and medical student courses on global health and serves as a Faculty Fellow with the Center for Innovation in Global Health. Dr. Chao's research interests are in global surgery, including cost-effectiveness analysis, surgical device innovation, and expansion of surgical delivery for low-income populations through surgical workforce and infrastructure development.​

Justine Davies.jpgProf. Justine Davies
Extraordinary Professor 

Prof. Davies is the Professor of Global Health at the Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham. Her academic interest includes producing evidence to build systems for improved and equitable access to quality health care, particularly in diseases amenable to surgery (including trauma) or in cardiovascular diseases. Her research covers disciplines from epidemiology to qualitative research, health service assessment, predictive modeling, economics, and implementation science. Currently she works with partners in Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Malawi, South Africa, and Ethiopia on projects with local institutes and academics to ensure capacity building.  

Dr. Lucia D'Ambruoso
Extraordinary Senior Lecturer

Dr. D’Ambruoso is a senior lecturer in Global Public Health, Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, University of Aberdeen. She is a social scientist and health policy and systems researcher interested in service organisation and delivery, the social determinants of health, and participatory theory and method. She has 20 years of international work with universities, research agencies and networks, UN organisations, and governments at different levels. Presently, she investigates child and adolescent mental health, injury and trauma care in South Africa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana and Pakistan.​

Dr. Jakub Gajewski
Extraordinary Senior Lecturer 

Dr. Gajewski is a health sociologist with extensive research experience. He has been involved in several population-based studies, including studies of young people's well-being, diabetes and epilepsy. For nearly a decade he has been the lead researcher on several implementation research projects focusing on building the surgical capacity of district hospitals in Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. Currently, he is working as Programme Director for Research at the Institute of Global Surgery in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.​​

Dr. Owolabi​
Extraordinary Senior Lecturer 

Dr. Owolabi is a nurse/midwife and an emerging and enthusiastic nurse scientist and global health researcher. Currently, she is a presidential postdoctoral fellow at Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, USA, and a Research fellow at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Dr Owolabi’s research is primarily focused on reducing disparities in diabetes and other chronic diseases prevention, management, and outcomes through community-engaged and health systems research.​

Wren.pngProf. Sherry Wren
Extraordinary Professor 

Professor Wren is the Director of Global Surgery at the Center for Innovation and Global Health, Stanford University School of Medicine. She is a general surgeon with specialty interests in hepatobiliary, gastrointestinal oncology, and robotic surgery. She has work and research experience in both humanitarian surgery in conflict zones and education/capacity building through a collaboration with the College of Surgeons of East, Central, and Southern Africa.  Currently, she serves as the Secretary of the American College of Surgeons.

The Management Committee and Gov​erning Board​

Management Committee

  • Prof. Kathryn Chu, Director: Centre for Global Surgery;
  • Prof. Taryn Young, Executive Head: Department of Global Health;
  • Prof. René English, Head: Division of Health Systems and Public Health;
  • Prof. Elmin Steyn, Head: Division of General Surgery.

​Governing Board

The Governing Board plays a role in strategic direction, fostering international partnerships, fundraising and governance for the Centre.

Board members:

  • Prof Kathryn Chu (Director of the Centre for Global Surgery)
  • Prof Taryn Young (Executive Head: Department of Global Health)
  • Prof Elmi Muller (The Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences,
  • FMHS)
  • Prof. Nico Gey van Pittius (Vice Dean of Research, FMHS)
  • Prof René English (Head: Division of Health Systems and Public Health)
  • Prof Elmin Steyn (Head: Division of General Surgery)
  • Dr Giovanni Perez (Chief Director, Metro District Health Services, Western Province
  • Department of Health)
  • Prof Abebe Bekele (The Dean of the School of Medicine, University of Global Health Equity)
  • Prof John Tarpley (Head: Department of Surgery, University of Botswana) ​