Medical Physiology
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Division of Medical Physiology

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​MSc Students​​​

Class of 2022


Joshua MATTHEE

Email:  19382650@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc (Human Life Science); BSc (Hons) (Medical Physiology)​

Research Group:  ​Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA).

Project: Aspalathus linearis as possible SGLT2 inhibitor - its effects on myocardial mitochondria.

Supervisor: Professor B Huisamen




Sarah HARRIES​

Email: 18951457@sun.ac.za 

Qualifications: BSc (Human Life Sciences with Psychology), BSc Hons (Medical Physiology)

Research Group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA)

Project: The anti-ageing effects of buchu and its role on ATM protein kinase signaling in ageing and cardiovascular disease.

Supervisors: ​Prof B Huisamen and co-supervisor Dr M Blignaut.​

>>Research Outputs


Kriston BASSON

Email: 20010834@sun.ac.za 

Qualifications: BSc in Human Life Sciences (SU), BSc Honours in Medical Physiology (SU).

Research Group: Stellenbosch University Reproductive Research Group (SURRG).

Project: The effect of diet induced obesity on fertility: A comparative study between male and female Wistar rats.

Supervisors: Dr Bongekile Skosana and Co-Supervisor: Dr Shantal Windvogel.​

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Ilze Verona WILLEMSE

Email: 15171701@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc (Humanlife sciences with Physiology Genetics and Microbiology), BSc Hons (Medical Physiology), PGCE

Research Group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA)

Project: Asphalathus linearis as a possible SGLT2-inhibitor: Investigating the anti-hypertensive effects of Green Rooibos extracts.

Supervisors: ​Prof B Huisamen, Dr E Marais and Dr S Windvogel




Dintle MOLOPI

Email: 20035233@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc (Medical Sciences), BSc Hons (Medical Physiology)

Research Group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA)

Project: The vascular and endothelial effects of HIV-1, Antiretroviral therapy and Rooibos - functional effects and mechanism.

Supervisors: ​Dr Amanda Genis and Dr S Windvogel




Michael RABELA

Email:  20872267@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc (Chemistry and Biochemistry), BSc hons (Biochemistry..

Research Group:  Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA).

Project: The role of ATM in aged, obese adult rat aortic endothelial cells and cardiomyoblast.​.

Supervisor: Prof B Huisamen. Co-supervisors: Dr M Blignaut




Jacques VAN HEERDEN

Email: 21538816@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: B.Tech and Hons in Clinical Technology: Pulmonology (CUT), B.Tech and Hons in Clinical Technology: Critical Care (CUT).

Research Group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA) and Internal Medicine (Pulmonology).

Project: The Impact of SARS-CoV-2 On Respiratory Function.

Supervisors: Prof H Strijdom and Prof C Koeglenberg (Int Med: Pulmonology).



Michaela DE KOCK

Email: 18363830@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc Sports Science (SU),  BSc Hons. in Biokinetics Cum Laude (SU)

Research Group: Neuroscience

Project:  An Investigation on the Role of Oxytocin in Chronic Neuropathic Pain in a Wistar rat model​.

Supervisors: Dr L Qulu




Chelsi FORTUIN

Email: 18276407@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc Medical Bioscience (UWC), BSc Hons Medical physiology (SU)

Research Group: Neuroscience

Project: Investigate whether exposure to sexual violence alters social behavior via maladaptive HPA axis system.

Supervisors: Dr L Qulu




Saiuree GOVENDER

Email: 20308590@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: Bsc Human Life Sciences and Hons Medical Physiology

Research Group: Experimental Pharmacology

Project: The therapeutic efficacy of Ascorbic acid 2 phosphate, N-acetylcysteine and Metformin against diabetes mellitus associated cellular senescence​.

Supervisors: Dr M vd Vyver and Prof R Johnson (SAMRC)


Anri KOTZE

Email: 19222114@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc (Human Life Science), BScHons (Medical Physiology).

Research Group: Maternal methyl donor nutrients and fetal epigenetic programming of breast cancer risk in female Wistar rat offspring.

Project: Maternal methyl donor nutrients and fetal epigenetic programming of breast cancer risk in female Wistar rat offspring.

Supervisors: Dr L Mabasa (MRC)



Carmen-Marie PAYNE

Email: 20785135@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc Human Life Sciences with Psychology, BScHons Medical Physiology

Research Group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA)

Project: Delineating the involvement of disrupted mitochondrial pathways in the progression from Tuberculosis to Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in a South African cohort.

Supervisors: Dr G Maarman and Dr S Windvogel 



Barend GROENEWALD

Email: 20697163@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc Human Life Sciences (SU); BScHons Medical Physiology (cum lauded) (SU)

Research Group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA)

Project title: Establishment of a novel, insulin resistant, high throughput H9c2 cardiomyoblast spheroid model​.

Supervisors: Dr M Blignaut, Dr Chellan & Prof B Huisman​



​Sara SHABOODIEN​

Email: 21304637@sun.ac.za

Qualification: BSc (Human Life Science), BSc Hons. (Medical Physiology - Cum Laude)

Research: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA)

Project: The novel effect of Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) on platelet derived growth factor-induced proliferation of rat pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (RPASMC)

Supervisor: Dr G Maarman and Dr E Marais​​




Hannah FOKKENS

Email: 21992649@sun.ac.za 

Qualifications: BMedSci Physiology (UKZN), BSc Hons Medical Physiology (SU) 

Research group: BRIP Cardio-metabolic group 

Project title: Understanding the genetic basis of hypertension in an African population. 

Supervisors: Prof R Johnson, Dr JR Sharma​





Dr Steve JACOBS

Email: steve04jacobs@gmail.com

Qualifications: MBChB (Stellenbosch), BSc Hons (Medical Physiology)

Research group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA)

Project title: Investigating the involvement of pro-inflammatory and endothelial dysfunction markers in the progression of tuberculosis to pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Supervisors: Dr Gerald Maarman​


Yashthi RAMSUNDER

Email: 21911886@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc (Human Life Sciences) and BSc Hons (Medical Physiology).

Research group: Stellenbosch University Reproductive Research Group (SURRG).

Project title: The effect of stress on male fertility.

Supervisors: ​Dr. B Skosana.




Corné GROBLER

Email: 21555168@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc (Human Life Sciences with Psychology), BSc Hons (Medical Physiology)

Research group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA)

Project title: The activation of ATM in response to exercise: evaluation of cardiac ATM expression in a male Wistar rat model of exercise compared to no exercise fed a normal or high fat diet.

Supervisors:​​ Prof. B. Huisamen and co-Supervisor: Dr. M. Blignaut



Candice FEBRUARIE

Email: Februariec@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc Hons Molecular Biology

Research group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA) and VuyoLab

Project title: Molecular mechanisms of first line TB-drug induced cardiotoxicity in a differentiated H9c2 rat ventricular cardiomyoblast model.

Supervisors:​​ Dr V Mavumengwana  (SAMRC) and Co-supervisors: Dr Lucinda Baatjies, Dr Marguerite Blignaut and Mr Kudzanai Tapfuma.



Caitlin ODENDAAL

Email: 21606005@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc Human Life Sciences (Biology); BSc Hons. Physiology

Research group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA)

Project title: Getting to the heart of chronic stress: an assessment of the effects on mitochondrial function and dynamics
Supervisor:​​ ​Prof MF Essop and Co-supervisors: Dr G Maarman; Dr D Joseph


Ayesha Rasheed SHAIK

Email: 20150113@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc Human Life Sciences (SU), BSc Hons Physiology (SU).

Research group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA) and Biomedical Research and Innovation Platform (BRIP).

Project title: Investigating DNA methylation of metabolic and inflammatory genes with therapeutic potential for obesity: A cohort study in South African women.
Supervisors:​​ Dr T Willmer (SAMRC) and Co-supervisors: Prof C Pheiffer (SAMRC) and Prof MF Essop (CARMA).


Cassidy O'BRIEN
Email: 20880081@sun.ac.za or cassidyobrien4@gmail.com

Qualifications: Certificate in entrepreneurship, BSc human life sciences (with psychology), Hons physiological sciences.

Research group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA)

Project title: Explaining the role of nonoxidative glucose pathways in terms of stress-related rat endothelial dysfunction.

Supervisors:​​ Prof. MF Essop

Rudzani RAMASHIA

Email: 25505963@sun.ac.za ​

Qualifications: BSc (Biochemistry and Microbiology), BSc Hons (Molecular Biochemistry)​.

Research group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA).​

Project title: Investigating the efficacy of novel curcumin derivatives on skeletal muscle insulin resistance. ​

Supervisors:​​ Dr Babalwa Jack (SAMRC), Prof Carmen Pheiffer (SAMRC), Dr Shantel Windvolgel (SU), and Prof Salam Titinchi (UWC).


Logan SMITH

Email: 21166978@sun.ac.za​

Qualifications: BSc Human Life Sciences with Psychology, BSc (Hons) Physiological Sciences​​.

Research group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA).

Project title: Establishing a specific, accurate, high-throughput and reproducible method for the ID of novel biomarkers which links chronic psychosocial stress and disease onset.​​

Supervisors:​​ Prof MF Essop; Co-supervisors: Dr Mare Vlok, Dr Danzil Joseph​.
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Minette VANWYK

Email: Minette@vanwykmail.co.za ​

Qualifications: BSc Human Life Sciences with Psychology; BSc (Hons) Physiological Sciences​

Research group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA)

Project title: Establishing and validating an in vivo model of chronic restraint stress in male and female wistar rats ​​

Supervisors:​​ Prof MF Essop; Co- supervisor: Dr Danzil Joseph




Thato KGATLA

Email: 20442807@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: BSc (Molecular and Life Sciences), Honours (Physiology, Cum Laude)

Research group: Centre for Cardio-metabolic Research in Africa (CARMA)

Project title: Investigating the novel role of metallothioneins in Rooibos-induced cardioprotection using a cardiomyoblast model of Angiotensin-II induced hypertrophy and apoptosis..

Supervisors:​​ Dr Gerald Maarman and co-Supervisor: Prof R Johnson (SAMRC)


Sharnay NAIDOO

Email: 19358784@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: 

Research Group: 

Project: 

Supervisors: Prof R Johnson


Kauthur PARKER

Email: 20276028@sun.ac.za

Qualifications: 

Research Group: 

Project: 

Supervisors: Dr S Riedel (MRC)


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