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Prof Liesl Zühlke
Vice President Extramural Research & Internal Portfolio​
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She obtained a Master of Public Health degree in 2011 and PhD in 2016. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the outcomes of asymptomatic and symptomatic rheumatic heart disease.
Her other degrees are related to her sub-specialist qualification in Paediatric Cardiology: DCH, FC Paeds, Cert Card (Paediatrics) FESC, and FACC.
She also holds an MSc in Health Economics, Outcomes and Management of Cardiovascular Sciences (with merit) from the London School of Economics, obtained in 2018.

Professor Liesl Zühlke, a Paediatric Cardiologist and leader in cardiovascular medicine on the Continent has been appointed the SAMRC Vice President-Extramural Research & Internal Portfolio (VP-ERIP).

Prof Zühlke joins the SAMRC from the University of Cape Town (UCT) where she was the Acting Deputy Dean of Research in the Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT, a Paediatric Cardiologist in the Department of Paediatric Cardiology at Red Cross Children’s Hospital and the Director of the Children’s Heart Disease Research Unit.  She will retain her UCT affiliation and her research endeavours as a member of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at UCT.

Her research spans congenital and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD), HIV in adolescents, Grown-up Congenital Heart Disease and Cardiac Disease in women of childbearing age. She is NRF (C1-2016)-rated, with an H-Index of 44 with well over 32 000 citations, eight published book chapters, she has edited two books and published 158 articles, including in New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Circulation, JACC and European Heart Journal.

She has managed several large-scale RHD projects in South Africa and on the African continent. She was instrumental in the development, coordination, and management of the largest prospective RHD registry the Rheumatic Heart Disease Registry (the REMEDY study) involving 25 sites, in 12 African countries, Yemen and India.

Prof Zühlke has achieved the highest leadership positions within cardiology in South Africa; as President of the Paediatric Cardiac Society of South Africa (2012-2016), President of the South African Heart Association (2016-2018) and currently chair of both the Paediatric and Rheumatic Heart Disease Taskforces in the Pan-African Society of Cardiology. Internationally she is the President of Reach (Rheumatic Heart Disease, Evidence, Advocacy, Communication and Hope) since 2018. She is a board member of the World Heart Federation and NCDA- Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance, a member of the International scientific advisory board of Children's Heart Link and Global ARCH and an executive member of SAVAC (Strep A Vaccine Global Consortium).