​​​​​​​​​​​​Department of Psychiatry


Research staff​

Olivia Matshabane.jpg

Dr. Olivia Matshabane  


BA, BA (Hons), MA, PhD

Dr Olivia Matshabane is a research psychologist and neuroethicist. Her work focuses on the ethical, legal, social and cultural implications of neuropsychiatric genomics and the neuroethical implications of new and emerging neurotechnologies. She earned her PhD in Medicine from the University of Cape Town, her Master’s and Honors degrees in Psychology from Stellenbosch University, and her Bachelors in Psychology from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Her past work focused on exploring how a genetic attribution to disease relates to the stigma experiences of South African Xhosa people with schizophrenia. She has also conducted research on questions around feedback of incidental findings in the context of neurogenomics research. She completed a 2-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health in the USA, where her work used social network analysis to investigate family communication patterns and stigma among families affected by a genomics-related neuropsychiatric disorder. Dr Matshabane is a member of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) Africa Ethics Working Group and the International Brain Initiative's (IBI) Cross-Cultural Neuroscience Working Group. She also serves numerous roles in the International Neuroethics Society (INS), including leadership of emerging scholars and sits as a representative to the Board of Directors. She served in the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Consortium as the Secretary and then Chair of the Fellows Committee and an active member of the Ethics and Community Engagement Committee. In 2021 and 2022 she participated as one of 15 international experts to serve on roundtable discussions held by the United Nations (UN) which aim to share insights and expertise to inform short-term and long-term priorities and preferred outcomes for the UN around neurotechnologies. 

Muneeb Salie.jpegDr. Muneeb Salie  
Science Writer and Project Co-ordinator

BSc, BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD
Tel: 021 938 9454

Dr Salie received his PhD in Human Genetics in 2014 from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University. For his PhD he studied the genetic aetiology predisposing specific South African population groups to developing TB disease. His work highlighted the importance of host-pathogen interaction studies to fully understand the geo-specific disease burden of TB. In 2016 he took up a Postdoctoral Research Fellow position at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, USA, in the Department of Developmental Neurobiology. There he used stem cells models to understand the epigenetic regulation of both normal and diseased human brain development. Dr. Salie has been successful in obtaining both national (NRF and MRC) and international (EMBO and Fogarty International Center) grants, has several papers published in internationally recognized journals and has mentored and supervised both under- and postgraduate students in research design and writing.