Physiotherapy
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Division of Physiotherapy

Staff

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Head: Division of Physiotherapy​

Assoc. Prof C Joseph

Bsc Physiotherapy, Summa Cum Laude (UWC); MSc Physiotherapy (UWC); PhD (Karolinska Institute, Sweden)​

+27 21 ​938 9618

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Room: 4096B

Conran Joseph is an Associate Professor and Head of the Physiotherapy Division. He has been involved in undergraduate and post-graduate teaching for the past 10 years and his teaching interests include I) applied neurological physiotherapy, II) functioning and disability, and III) global health competencies. Prof Joseph's research interests are closely linked to his teaching where his main projects include Injury Epidemiology (SCI and TBI), functioning epidemiology in SCI, and rehabilitation in persons with stroke and Parkinson's disease. He often collaborates with colleagues in both teaching and research. ​

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Senior Lecturer

Dr Y Brink

BSc Physiotherapy 2002; MSc Physiotherapy 2008, PhD (Physiotherapy) 2012

+27 21 ​938 9301

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Room: 4093

Dr Yolandi Brink is a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Physiotherapy. She teaches Human Biomechanics and other themes in neuromusculoskeletal health and is involved in clinical supervision. She supervises both undergraduate and postgraduate research projects. She is the co-chairperson for the Undergraduate Programme Committee and holds the Quality Improvement portfolio. Since 2018, she serves on the Health Research Ethics Committee. Dr Brink has a keen interest in applied human biomechanics and the interpretation thereof in clinical settings. She obtained her doctoral degree in 2012 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship (2013-2014). She is a NRF rated researcher and her research field includes child and adolescent spinal health, focusing on sitting posture. She also conducts research on the postural stability and motor control of children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Her research projects often include 3D motion analysis.​​​​​

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Senior Lecturer

Mrs M Burger

BSc Physiotherapy 1990; BSc Honnours Physiotherapy (Pediatric Neurology) 1993; MSc Physiotherapy 2007

+27 21 ​938 9303

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Room: 4098

Mrs Marlette Burger is senior lecturer at the Division of Physiotherapy at Stellenbosch University. Her main research interest is paediatric neurology with a special interest in early human neurodevelopment and the assessment of high-risk infants. She is currently a final year PhD student in the field of maternal mental health and infant neurodevelopment. She has completed the advance training in Prechtl’s General Movements Assessment (GMA) of high-risk infants in Austria and are involved in the assessment and neurological follow-up of all high-risk infants at the Neonatal High-Risk Outpatient Clinic of Tygerberg Children's Hospital. She has extensive teaching experience and is currently the portfolio manager of undergraduate student support at the Physiotherapy Division.​​​

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Senior Lecturer

Assoc. Prof D Ernstzen

BSc Physiotherapy (Cum Laude) (SU); MPhil (Higher Education) (SU); PhD Physiotherapy (SU)

+27 21 ​938 9304

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Room: 4101

Dawn Ernstzen is a Associate Professor and Postgraduate Coordinator at the Division of Physiotherapy at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She previously chaired the Physiotherapy Undergraduate program committee, clinical portfolio, and student support portfolio. Dawn worked as a physiotherapist in South Africa and in the United Kingdom. She teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate level. Her teaching and research topics include chronic pain management, health professions education, neuro-musculoskeletal rehabilitation, and patient empowerment. Dawn and her collaborators developed a contextualised clinical practice guideline for the primary healthcare of chronic musculoskeletal pain in South Africa. She is involved in the delivery of the regional Patient Education and Empowerment Program for people with persistent pain.​​​

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Professor​

Prof S Hanekom

+27 21 ​938 9496

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Room: 4087


Susan Hanekom is Associate Prof within the Division of Physiotherapy. She previously served as Undergraduate programme chair, Postgraduate programme chair and Head of the Division. She currently serves as chair of the Clinical Services and Social Impact portfolio. She is rated as an established researcher by the National research foundation of South Africa and was appointed as a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19 in 2020. She worked as a clinician in a variety of national and international clinical settings before entering academia. Susan has a track record in supervision of postgraduate students (successfully graduated 40 M and PhD students); attracted both national and international research funding and established research networks nationally and internationally. Her areas of research interest include health systems; upscaling of rehabilitation in low resource settings; optimal management of non-communicable disease and critical care throughout the continuum of care. 

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Professor​

Prof Q Louw

+27 21 ​938 9667

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Publications
Room: 1008

Prof Louw has been an academic in South African universities for over 20 years. She is a Distinguished Professor in the Division of Physiotherapy (Stellenbosch University), National Research Foundation Research Chair in Innovative Rehabilitation and head of the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Her specialist field is evidence-based, innovative rehabilitation that is fit for local context. She has more than 200 publications including in the Lancet and other leading rehabilitation journal. She has a strong track record in postgraduate training (supervised more than 80 masters and doctoral students), securing competitive national and international grants, enhancing research infrastructure and generating fourth income streams. She is currently developing the new research methods course for undergraduate students in the department.
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Lecturer

Dr A Lupton-Smith

BSc(Physio) (UCT); PhD (Paediatrics) (UCT)

+27 21 ​938 9084

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Room: 4086

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Alison Lupton-Smith is a full-time lecturer in the Division of Physiotherapy (SU). Alison qualified as a physiotherapist from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2007 and went on to obtain her PhD at UCT in 2017. She is currently enrolled in the MPhil (Health Professions Education) programme at SU. Prior to joining SU, she worked as a clinician in private practice. Alison currently serves and represents physiotherapy on several national and international committees. She has a strong clinical, research and teaching interest in both paediatric and adult cardiorespiratory physiotherapy, critical care and pulmonary rehabilitation. Her current research includes understanding long-term outcomes of critical illness, musculoskeletal dysfunction in critical illness, exercise testing in chronic respiratory disease and pulmonary rehabilitation in South Africa. She is passionate about learning and sharing knowledge at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, with the aim of developing change agents and impacting health care within South Africa.​

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Senior Lecturer

Dr N Pefile

​​+27 21 ​938 9617

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Room: 4082


Ntsikelelo Pefile is a qualified physiotherapist (University of the Western Cape, South Africa). He has worked as a physiotherapist at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital from 2001 to 2003. In 2003, he joined Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (former MEDUNSA) as a junior lecturer in the Department of Physiotherapy. He obtained a postgraduate diploma n Public Health (Health Policy and Management) at Wits University in 2005. He later joined Proactive Health Solutions as an Incapacity/Disability Management Consultant and a Knowledge Management Consultant in 2006 and 2008. He continues to serve Proactive Health Solution as an Incapacity Consultant. He also obtained a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Studies from Stellenbosch University. He rejoined academia as a Lecturer at the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal until December 2019. In May 2021, he joined the Department of Rehabilitation and Health Sciences (Division of Physiotherapy) at Stellenbosch University as a Senior Lecturer. He is responsible for leading the Clinical Services and Social Impact Portfolio, undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in Neurological Rehabilitation and Research Methods. He has supervised to completion of 9 masters students. He has published eight peer-reviewed articles in both national and international journals. His main research interests include clinical education using social justice and transformative learning theories. He is also interested in the participation of people with disabilities in life situations (employment) He is currently pursuing a PhD degree at UKZN, looking at developing a model to guide employment outcomes for people with spinal cord injuries in South Africa. He is interested in the following research areas: Ageing and Spinal Cord Injuries Incapacity in the workplace Participation, Quality of Life and Spinal Cord Injuries (Labour participation) Health Systems Research and Policy Analysis in Rehabilitation, Neurosciences bases of Adult Neurological Interventions, Social Justice and Clinical Education in Rehabilitation.

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Lecturer

Mrs S Schmutz

BSc Physiotherapy 1997; MPhil in HPE 2017

+27 21 ​938 9084

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Room: 4086

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San Schmutz is a full-time lecturer across the Division of Physiotherapy and the Centre for Health Professions Education at SU. She graduated as physiotherapist from SU in 1997 and obtained her MPhil in HPE (SU) in 2017. She is involved in both UG and PG teaching and the clinical coordinator for the final year physiotherapy students. She does research in both areas with a main interest in clinical training and has fulfilled various roles related to clinical training over the years. Her interest lies in development of the clinical training platform as well as the engagement for both clinical educators and students.
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Lecturer

Mr A Titus

BSc Physiotherapy 2001 (UWC); M Physiotherapy 2015 (SU)

+27 21 ​938 9083

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Room: 4102

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Adnil Titus is currently a lecturer in the Physiotherapy Division at Stellenbosch University, He joined the world of academia at the end of 2009. During this time, he expanded his knowledge in the field of education and adult neurology to effectively teach undergraduate students as well as presenting courses to already qualified physiotherapists. Part of this role as lecturer entails facilitating post-graduate students through their process to obtain their master’s degree. He is currently the 2nd year Class coordinator and Physiotherapy Science 272 module coordinator. During the eight years prior to this he worked as clinician at an acute hospital setting where the love of adult neurology developed. The focus of his master’s degree investigated the trunk kinematics of people with stroke. Adnil’s interest in education research involved being co-investigator of a multidisciplinary project exploring inter professional education as well as other studies in Health Profession education.​​​

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Associate Professor

Prof​ M Unger

BPhysT 1988; MSc Physiotherapy 2004; PhD Physiotherapy 2011; PGDip International Research Ethics 2009; PGDip Educational Technologies 2017

+27 21 ​938 9302

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Room: 4084

Passionate senior lecturer in physiotherapy offering 25 years’ experience, having served and chaired various committees including undergraduate program- and research ethics committees. I have a PhD degree in pediatric neurology with a special interest in better understanding movement strategies for improved interventions in children with cerebral palsy. Concerned about future physiotherapy practice and education I furthered my training and have recently completed a teaching & learning fellowship. I drive our programs curriculum renewal and am excited to discover new and innovative methodologies to better students’ experiences while preparing them for the changing scope of future physiotherapy practice.
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Lecturer

Mrs L Williams

B.Sc. Physiotherapy 1999 (SU); M.Sc. Physiotherapy (Cum Laude) SU 2007

+27 21 ​938 9503

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Room: 4097

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Leoné Williams is currently a senior lecturer in Orthopaedics at Stellenbosch University. Leoné teaches on the topics of orthopaedics, manual therapy, ergonomics and cancer rehabilitation to undergraduate Physiotherapy students. She has a passion for teaching with quality teaching methods and fair assessment processes as some of her fields of interest in health professions’ education. Leoné is in the process of finalising her studies for the degree of MPhil in Health Professions Education. Her research project focusses on the preparation of UG PT students to include exercise in the management of cancer patients. Leoné is a long-standing member of the South African Society of Physiotherapy and the Australian Physiotherapy Association. She is currently managing the Undergraduate Programme portfolio in the Physiotherapy Division.​​​​​​

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Researcher

Dr K Berner

BSc Physiotherapy 2006; MSc Physiotherapy (OMT) 2009, PhD (Physiotherapy) 2019

+27 21 ​938 9667

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Room: 1008

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Karina Berner is a researcher in musculoskeletal health and chronic disease, experienced in physiotherapy clinical practice and teaching. After receiving her PhD at Stellenbosch University, she was appointed in the first full-time research post in the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Her research and academic interests include multimorbidity epidemiology, HIV-related disability, human motion analysis, and research training. She is the principal investigator of a longitudinal study in the field of multimorbidity and functional outcomes in a semi-rural South African setting and involved in research collaborations with the SU Division of Medical Physiology and World Health Organization. She supervises under- and postgraduate research and serves on the Health Research Ethics Committee. Dr Berner is coordinating the revision of Research Methods training for undergraduates in the DHRS, and currently coordinates the Research Methods 472 module in the Physiotherapy Division. ​

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Administrator: Undergraduate and Postgraduate programme

Ms S Steenkamp

+27 21 ​938 9037

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Room: ​



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Senior Secretary

Ms H van der Walt

​​+27 21 ​938 9300

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Room: 4096C

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Senior secretary of the division. Responsible for the financial administration and handling a wide range of administrative duties.
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Assistant

Ms U Van Wyk

​​+27 21 ​938 9037

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Room: 4100





 

Clinical Lecturer

Ms N Fobian

+27 21 ​938 9084

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Room: ​


Bishop Lavis Rehabilitation Centre

​​+27 21 ​934 6315​

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