Prof Heather Zar

Heather Zar is Professor and Chair of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at Red Cross Children’s Hospital and Director of the SA-MRC Unit on Child & Adolescent Health University of Cape Town UCT. Her work has focused on childhood respiratory diseases, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, asthma and HIV-associated lung diseases. She has developed a strong clinical translational research program, establishing several clinical research sites, building a core clinical research facility, attracting substantial funding from international grant agencies and mentoring several postgraduate students.  She has established a novel African birth cohort study, the Drakenstein Child Health study to investigate the early life determinants of child health. An NRF-A1 rated scientist, she has published more than 350 peer reviewed publications, has substantial international grant support and currently mentors or has mentored 50 PhD or Masters students. She is immediate past President of the Pan African Thoracic Society and serves on the Forum of International Respiratory Societies. She received the World Lung Health award in 2014.  In 2018 she was awarded the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Laureate for Africa and Arabia.

Unit Director