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​​Centre for C​​​ardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA)​​

Meet the Team​


Director: Prof Faadiel Essop (PhD)

+27 76 901 9474

Qualifications: BSc degree (Biochemistry and Microbiology, 1984, UCT), BSc (Med) (Hons) degree (Medical Biochemistry, 1985, UCT), PhD degree (Chemical Pathology, 1992, UCT), BA (Hons) degree (Arabic studies, 2005, UWC).

Research Focus: Cardio-metabolic diseases, HIV-related cardiovascular diseases onset and progression, Stress-related cardio-metabolic diseases onset and progression.

​Prof. Faadiel Essop is currently a professor in the Division of Medical Physiology (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences) at Stellenbosch University (South Africa). He is also the Director (and co-founder) of the Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research Centre in Africa (CARMA) at Stellenbosch University. He moved to Stellenbosch University (2007) where he focused on the so-called 'dual burden of disease', i.e. HIV-related cardiovascular diseases together with the onset of cardiovascular diseases in the general population that is threatening developing countries (emphasis on diabetic cardiomyopathy). He still maintains a strong interest in HIV-related cardiovascular diseases but more recently shifted his focus to also investigate the effects of chronic stress on cardio-metabolic diseases onset. This is a largely understudied research area and very relevant as South Africa is regarded as one of the most stressed nations globally.​​​​


Deputy Director: Prof Hans Strijdom (PhD)

+27 83 444 5366​

Qualifications: BMedSc (US, 1991); MBChB (US, 1994); PhD (US, 2006).

Research Focus: Vascular biology, cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology, cardiovascular risk factors, endothelial function and dysfunction.​

Hans Strijdom is a clinician-turned-academic, and currently Professor and Head of the Division of Medical Physiology and Deputy Director of the Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. His broader research focuses on the physiology and pathophysiology of the cardiovascular system, with a particular interest in vascular and endothelial biology. He is currently investigating the interaction between HIV and cardio-metabolic changes in people living with HIV.​


Management Committee

The management committee is responsible for managing the affairs of CARMA and meets on a quarterly basis. The current members are:

  • Prof. Faadiel Essop - Director
  • Prof. Hans Strijdom – Deputy Director
  • Dr. Erna Marais - Secretary
  • Dr. Bali Sishi – Ordinary member


Advisory Committee

The advisory committee meets on an annual basis with the CARMA leadership to critically review all operations for the preceding year. They also provide useful insights and advice to the CARMA leadership on a variety of fronts, e.g. unique funding opportunities, logistical issues, etc. The current members are:

  • Prof. Nico Gey van Pittius – Joint chairperson (on rotating basis with Prof. Scholtz)
  • Prof. Frikkie Scholtz - Joint chairperson (on rotating basis with Prof. van Pittius)
  • Dr. Theo Nell – Secretary
  • Prof. Barbara Huisamen
  • Prof. Faadiel Essop
  • Prof. Hans Strijdom


Scientific Advisory Committee 

The rationale for the establishment of a CARMA Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) is to afford an opportunity for biomedical scientists and other experts (of national and international standing) to provide high‐level strategic advice and insights on a regular basis to the CARMA leadership regarding the fulfilment of the centre's vision and mission. ​The current members are:

  • Prof. Angela Woodiwiss (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Prof. Gary Sieck (Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, United States of America)
  • Prof. Michael Sack (National Health Institute, Washington DC, United States of America)
  • Prof. Alta Schutte (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)